We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Superb essay by Victor Hansen: Brawn in an age of brains. Hansen realizes that, even in an age of laziness, many brain workers feel the innate need to stress their bodies daily for a while.
Hansen himself has always done farm work and brain work. Just one of many quotable paragraphs:
Sometime in the 1970s and 1980s, millions of Americans—far more than just those constituting an economic elite—decided that a key to the good life was to be free from, say, the need to cook, watch children, mow the lawn, or rake leaves. Illegal immigration promised cheap help for the upper middle classes that had once been the exclusive domain of the aristocracy. In theory, skipping the gym for four hours a week would provide more than enough time to mow the lawn, prune the bushes, or vacuum the floor. Yet sweaty and studied exercise is often deemed preferable to rote labor, given that it is more scientifically calibrated to making one look and feel better. Repetitive muscular work is not seen as commensurately valuable, whether for the exercise it provides or for its psychic benefits. Yet for all one’s degrees and income, a person can still retain some sense of autonomy and an ability to master the surrounding material landscape, if only for a few hours each week, and to appreciate how the other half lives that does such physical labor for wages. It is a choice...
I've always though that the wealthy hire people do things that they could easily do themselves for only one reason: To have somebody to look down on and therefore make themselves feel important by comparison. It's the same reason they wear expensive suits and dresses.
Went to the cardiologist the other day. One of his questions, "Do you exercise?"
I responded, "If by that are you asking if I go to the gym and take classes, no. I don't exercise. But I do move gravel. I mow the lawn. I rake. I clean the gutters. I brush the pool. I'm in the midst of remodeling the kitchen which includes demo, electrical, plumbing, hanging rock, etc. Which I'm doing all myself. So no, I don't exercise in the conventional sense, but I am active."
I left out that I played hockey until I was 54. I'm 56 now.
Love VDH, as an organic dairy farmer myself I sometimes wonder if anyone really appreciates what all farmers do and what they'd do if we quit. When I was young 1976, if we needed help packing hay bales all we had to do was troll my home town and we had help (I live in west central Ohio), all of a sudden the reply was "well I was going to play golf today". Ever wonder why farmers went to large bales and loaders, lazy shits that's why. Gym my ass
Incidentally, most of you earthy 'Muricans wouldn't know hard work if it bit you. I'd elaborate except for my rule against blowing one's own trombone in public.
I can say that it's not a hired trainer paid for by franchise receipts in between bimonthly trips abroad or afield from your 5k ft manse. The hardest work there is probably driving to the tax guy once a year.
Land Rover, or do you keep the image all real by driving a ancient Chevy pickup rebuilt at $100/hr by the guy you have that down-home, clap-on-the-back, master-servant relationship with?
I never go to the gym or have time to formally exercise.
Work, family responsibilities, cooking, house and garden take too much time.
. A formerly serious marathoner, I miss the highs from the intense luxury and addictive pleasures of non-productive exercise. It's a form of conspicuous consumption nowadays of the type Veblen described. However, I walk a mile and a half a day in the course of my work, another 3.5 walking the dog, do all our gardening, cooking, cleaning, and help my spouse w the heavy home maintenance. Never hired a helper for my dirty work yet. Legal or otherwise. We pay American born skilled tradesmen for the stuff we are too stupid to fix ourselves (electrical, complicated plumbimy, skilled carpentry) Looked after my own kids. Ya, my house is more of a mess than those of the idle rich but I'm a better cook than the trophy wives. He does heavy brush clearing, keeps the trees from taking over our property, paints and repairs the house. Amongst other chores. We don't all have "people" we expatiate about who do our manual labor for us. We do it ourselves.
At nearly 60 my resting heart rate is 60. So I'd say this showing off about the gym is hooey. Just do your own work around the house and walk a lot and you can stay moderately fit. I grant you, agonizing knee arthritis (from 3 hr 10 min marathons in youth) limits my activity now, but I'm healthy.