On the lazy river

Posted 02.07.04

LENNOXVILLE, QC | We're doomed.

Not because we're going to blow ourselves up, or kill the rainforests, or mislabel the cyanide.

It's all over because we talk to our roommates on MSN.

Seriously. We are just getting lazier and lazier.

I'm not talking lazy like throwing your pudding cup at the garbage can, missing, and leaving it on the floor.

I'm talking lazy like, starving to death because you didn't want to put the energy into pulling back all that foil.

I think I can say, with a fair degree of certainty, that book tapes marked the beginning of the end for us.

Where our eyes used to be occupied in reading, and our brains hard at work painting pictures in our head, now we listen to William Shatner read Macbeth to us, and our eyes are free to stare at our shoes, and we contemplate how hard it is to do up all those laces, and consider how if only you could eliminate that task, that you'd have so much free time.

The invention of Velcro shoes is another example of our insane quest for effort-free lives.

The worst part is what we do with all this free time.

We spend all day trying to find the easiest way to do things, taking little shortcuts, getting machines to do the work for us.

We under-exert ourselves and look for ways to save our energy, but at the end of the day we've used so little energy that we get flabby and out of shape.

So we go to the gym and spend hours running around in circles, and pushing and pulling big metal bars around so that our bodies don't get too fat.

This is absurd.

Nobody enjoys running around in a circle under fluorescent lights. How is that somehow better than being outside with a shovel and some boots?

A friend of mine has an idea. He wants to combine a fitness centre with a power plant, so that at least the energy we spend pushing big pieces of metal around isn't wasted. Conversely, it can power the ridiculous lifestyles we lead.

Instead of pillaging the world for oil, we can use the energy of a couple of sets on the bench press to power our snow-blowers and our dishwashers.

We're making all kinds of excuses, saying that things take up too much time, finding ways to put machines in our place so we can save our precious energy, but why? What are we doing with this energy? Certainly not anything productive.

Sean Nardella attends Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec. He is a reporter for The Local News, the on-line newspaper of the students in the webjournalism class.

Copyright © 2004 Sean Nardella/Log Cabin Chronicles/02.04