I’ve had a tiny amount of bluefin tuna in my life, and it was absolutely exquisite. At the time, I was conflicted about it, because they are so overfished, but if anything, the experience made me even more concerned about its preservation.
What’s remarkable is that Japan lead the opposition to the ban, even though by overfishing bluefin, they’re engaged in a sort of minor cultural suicide. No one will lose out more than the Japanese if bluefin are no longer available.
I’m obviously flattered that Go is the game of the highbrow, according to a 1949 issue of Life magazine, but having played both, I wouldn’t say it’s a more highbrow game than bridge. I like it better, but I wouldn’t say it’s a better game than bridge.
Even more confusing, Go’s footprint in the US was extremely small in 1949. Not even many highbrow individuals would have played it, even if they’d heard of it.
You know that Munday is Sundayes brother
Tuesday is such another
Wednesday you must go to Church and pray
Thursday is half-holiday
On Friday it is too late to begin to spin
The Saturday is half-holiday agen.
That’s by Merlin Mann some moralist, writing in 1639, which I found in “Time, Work-Discipline and Industrial Capitalism,” the E.P. Thompson paper that Julian recommended. Thompson soon offers as an aside:
The work pattern was one of alternate bouts of intense labour and of idleness, wherever men were in control of their own working lives. (The pattern persists among some self-employed — artists, writers, small farmers, and perhaps also with students — today, and provokes the question whether it is not a “natural” human work-rhythm.)
I am so glad to hear that.
This 1991 Atlantic Monthly article “Waiting For The Weekend” by Witold Rybczynski is interesting throughout, even if it doesn’t fully substantiate its most ambitious claims. It’s worth reading if just for the depiction of work culture before and after the Industrial Revolution, which is quite fascinating. I’d known that drunkenness on the job was common before the Industrial Revolution and remained a problem throughout it, but I’d never heard of Saint Monday, for instance.
I found the article via the Atlantic’s new ideas blog, which is being written by Conor Friedersdorf–more about which later.
Update: In a comment to this post, my friend Julian suggests a very nice piece of academic history on changing conceptions of time and work for those who want to read more.
Posted in Culture
Tagged Leisure, Work