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Original Slack

June 8, 2007

People who wake up early in the morning create war, famine and death.

Vindication, at last.

I have never been a morning person.

This article explains that I am not lazy, I just have a different body clock.

“They’re called many things — “lazy”, “unproductive”, “lacking in ambition” — but late risers are starting to fight back. Long the butt of demeaning office jokes, sleepyheads are officially up in arms thanks to a Danish campaign to stop “the tyranny of early risers”.

“The Owl has the right to say: ‘Give me the late riser’s rhythm at work, at home and in society,’” trumpets the B-Society website, a movement rallying against the Danish­ 8am to 4pm working culture.”

And I thought I was just slack.

I am one of those people who needs a good few hours before I am any use in the morning. A long, leisurely breakfast. A checking of emails and news to see if the world has ended during the night. A good, strong cup of coffee while I go through the papers, the New Statesman or the post.

By lunch time, I am perking up, and maybe even feel ready to get dressed and venture out of the house. By early evening, I feel positively sparkly, and I am most productive from about 8pm to 1am – provided I am not exhausted from having got up at the crack of doom.

My current job is a real shock to the system. Even after almost two years, my first thought on waking up in the morning is “the horror, the horror”. The thought of getting up, getting my head straight, putting on my suit and heading to the office appalls me.

What’s interesting is how this has shaped my life. For my entire twenties, I worked slacker jobs, or freelance. The kind of thing you can keep yourself busy doing at 1am is not the same as what most people do at 11 in the morning – which is probably why I became a blogger, a consumer and regurgitator of strange ideas.

But it’s not just our body clocks that are at fault. We work far too hard, all of us, mostly doing totally unnecessary things. Think of all the human effort that goes into arse-covering activity. Or the amount of creativity and passion that goes into advertising, for instance – which serves no useful purpose. Or all the activity designed to catch people out, to make sure they pay for things.

(Imagine if the trains were free – the conductors could do something useful with their time).

So I have a lot of time for the refusal of work movement:

“Workers of the world. . . relax!”

May I also draw your attention to the Church of the SubGenius – a religion I urge you all to adopt:


The central belief in the Church is the pursuit of Slack, which generally stands for the sense of freedom, independence, and original thinking that comes when you achieve your personal goals. The Church states that we are all born with Original Slack, but that Slack has been stolen from us by a worldwide conspiracy of normal people, or “pinks”. The Church encourages originality and frowns on actions seen as pinkness, which happens when one bows down to authority and the accepted limits of society.

Can’t argue with that.

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