So I’ve been working on a book proposal, but going nowhere. I start the thing, then I stop. Instead of loafing around- I move into a more deceptive realm: I pretend to do something.
In the old days, this was called “sloth.” We used to link sloth with lying around in one’s own filth. But that’s wrong. I read a bunch on sloth – which, I know, may defeat the purpose of sloth – but, according to Daniel Rosenberg, in a magazine called Cabinet, sloth was originally defined as “unregulated curiosity.” That sloppy need ends up as pointless work – which is worse than doing nothing, because you think you’re doing something.
You know that guy you know who has a crapload going on – from decoupage to reiki therapy – but he’s always broke? If you tell him to focus, he’ll tell you he does more in a week than you do in a month. But nothing he does matters – he just created a schedule to make distractions seem important. They’re called adult education classes.
In my mind, hyperactivity – whether it’s a disorder or just a description of the boastful multi-tasker – is just sloth reinvented. “I can’t focus,” everyone says, popping the orange pill. Adderall was not just a cure for a biological ill, but also a weakened will. Willing yourself to attempt a small project -and see it all the way through – is braver than tackling that screenplay and abandoning it at page 12. (it’s always page 12).
Worse, the richest people in America have made their cash creating machinery for sloth. Facebook was made to replicate college life – four years of sloth disguised as learning. I learned nothing from college – except how to projectile vomit.
I write this as someone who sits behind a desk doing lots of things. But it’s sloth. I will never call it multitasking. You cannot do more than one thing at once, without, in the end accomplishing a few things very badly.
And if you disagree with me, you’re a racist, homophobic gut-ophobe.
-the best metal band going, right now: Torche
and a special guest cameo by Gov. Huckabee.
And…my mom (I think – can’t be sure).