It is true, I have been dawdling, and am at risk of further dawdling, so long as this summer lasts. Hardly anyone reads me, though; who will notice?
Truth to tell, I have nearly lost my mind, so that it wobbles on the precipice of being, and I am under an arguably moral imperative to, if possible, fetch it back. But then, mental health is often overstated. For instance, I have caught myself taking “events” with untoward seriousness, and devoting an unconscionable amount of time to perusing such filth as the Main Stream Meejah. At the risk of contradicting Mr Trump, there is no genius who can do that very long, and remain “extremely stable.” Indeed, I attribute the fact that all of our politicians are mad, to their universal habit of following the news. How could anyone maintain equanimity, keep an even temper, even a straight face, in such circumstances? Invariably they turn into strait ones.
And when they are not following the news, they are generating it.
“Monkey see, monkey do.”
Voters should demand that they take long, reflective vacations, for their frenetic activity is idle in entirely the wrong way. It should be philosophical. I propose that presidents only serve, and parliaments meet, once in a while. Their bureaucrats should likewise be encouraged towards indefinite truancy. By way of giving them the hint, we could stop paying them. Let them go to the fields to watch the food grow, and ready themselves to help come the harvest.
The French are good at this, or were. In France, by tradition, nothing happens during the month of August, and the government shuts down. I spent that month in Paris, once, and found that the city had become, except for a few abandoned tramps and lunaticks — and some critically necessary wine merchants — completely depopulated. Indeed, even the Sorbonne was emptied of its usual rioting communists. Even feral pigs had disappeared from the suburban arrondissements, in pursuit of their neighbours, to carry on their culinary researches in the départements. Finally, even I left. It was just too hot — that year as no doubt every other — and when the plumbing failed, the prospect of bathing in the Seine did not appeal to me.
I may still write one thing or another, now or then through the month, should I find myself present in Greater Parkdale, up here in the High Doganate, and feeling perversely industrious. For even my absences are unreliable. But gentle reader should ignore these things. He will find, if he shuts down his laptop, and any other devices he may own, past North American Labour Day, that nothing will have happened in this world, at all worth his attention.
Unless something does, but should that be the case, he is likely to be apprised, direc’ly.
All from the great David Warren at August calmative: Essays in Idleness
Take it away, Nat: