In the category of it-takes-all-kinds, in a Times Lit Supplement review of THE SECRET WORLD OF DOING NOTHING (280pp. University of California Press. $55, paperback, $21.95), 11/12/10, p. 33, subscription only:
A couple wages a “constant battle” about whether to keep the door to the kitchen open: the man, it transpires, comes from a working-class family which habitually congregated in the kitchen; for the woman, the area was reserved for cooking, and the smell of food seeping into the rest of the apartment was deemed a “vulgarity”.
More to the point of daily life as we know it:
Touched upon (but sadly then forgotten) [by authors Billy Ehn and Orvar Lofgren] is the notion that routines of “doing nothing” have evolved from productive to consumptive ones. In the past, we might have sat with the embroidery or in the woodshed; now we are more likely to be found semi-comatose in front of the television.
On the other hand, a word for the assembly line:
Industrial society has provided plenty of scope for “doing nothing”. As the authors note, Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division, enjoyed factory work because “I could daydream all day”.
To be perfectly frank, the mass does that for me, which is one reason I like it quiet and uneventful. Not quite daydream, but a sort of lightly reminding myself of its being the sacrifice for the sins of the world, including mine.