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2006年NPR美国国家公共电台七月-'Doing Nothing' as a Full-Time Job

时间:2007-07-20 06:42来源:互联网 提供网友:zhao6221133   字体: [ ]
Most kids are on summer vacation from school right now, but the adults still have to go to work. Commentator1 Yvette Doss wishes she could split the difference between the two.

Frankly2, a lot of days I'd rather be doing nothing. I string up the hammock and settle into my backyard with an iced tea. To commune with the spiders suspended from a little web just above me, only to find myself scrambling3 for a pencil to capture the brilliant, earth changing, poor children saving idea for a business, that will make me ridiculously wealthy and solve all the world's problems all at the same time.

Next I'll remember an E-mail I was supposed to send out and the fact that we have no more socks to wear and that bill that was overdue4 and the doctor's appointment I have to reschedule. Funny, isn't it? I'm never more productive than when I am doing nothing. It's what I like to think of as the paradox5 of not doing. It's like another paradox, the paradox of being Zen. After you've done buying the yoga mat and the meditation6 cushions and the prayer beads7 and a little statue of the Buddha8 and the incense9 and one of those cute little incense holders with the Yin and Yang symbol on them. You have expended11 considerable energy doing and accumulating rather than just being.

Take author Tom Lutz, a self-proclaimed slacker turned professor. One day he found his 18-year-old son Cody in a prone12 position on his sofa in front of the TV set instead of out job hunting. And it made Lutz inexplicably13 angry. So he was compelled to examine the reasons that other sloth14 makes smoke come out of our ears.

He decided15 to write a book tracing the history of slackerdom. It's called "Doing Nothing". In it, he examines the impulse to drop out that rucksack revolution epitomized in Jack16 Kerouac's book Dharma Bums17. It is at its roots a refusal to work just to consume. To keep that vicious cycle of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume alive.

Lutz argues that for as long as man has considered the work ethic18 ,man has considered shirking the work ethic and it's often been a point of contention19 between fathers and sons, much as it was between him and his son Cody. Lutz's history book clocks in at a plump 320 pages and that's without the healthy 34-page-bibliography. Proof positive that he worked his heiney off researching and writing this tome about doing nothing. So, apparently20, did a lot of famous slackers that Lutz profiles such as Dharma Bums himself Jack Kerouac. Playboy Hugh Huffner and the loafer poet Walt Whitman, all whom Lutz argues were closet workaholics.

To make matters worse, Lutz says Benjamin Franklin, our country's most industrious21 and hard-working inventor and author of the words "early to bed, early to rise", was only good at making it appear as if he was working hard. To do or not to do then, that is the question. It's enough to make a girl retire her meditation cushion altogether.

Yvette Doss is managing editor at Ciudad magazine.


string up:very nervous, worried, or excited; 使兴奋, 使敏感
hammock:a large piece of cloth that is hung between two trees or posts so that you can sleep in it;吊床
commune:to communicate with a person, god, or animal, especially in a mysterious, spiritual way;精神意义上的交流,谈心
scrambling:the activity of climbing over rocks using your hands but no ropes;不规则性
overdue:not done, paid, returned etc by the time expected;迟到的
paradox:a statement that seems impossible because it contains two opposing ideas that are both true;自相矛盾的观点或话
mat:a small piece of thick rough material which covers part of a floor;小席子,小垫子
meditation:the practice of emptying your mind of thoughts and feelings, in order to relax completely or for religious reasons;冥思,冥想,沉思,入静
incense:a substance which has a pleasant smell when you burn it;香,薰香
holder:something that is used to hold an object;支持物,固定器
Yin and Yang:阴阳
self-proclaimed:having given yourself a position or title without the approval or agreement of other people;自称的,自诩的
slacker:someone who is lazy and does not do all the work they should - used to show disapproval22;懒鬼
job hunting:求职,找工作
rucksack:a bag used for carrying things on your back, especially by people on long walks;(旅行用)帆布背包
epitomize(=epitomise):to be a very typical example of something;摘要,概括
vicious:violent and cruel in a way that hurts someone physically;恶意的,刻毒的
shirk:to deliberately23 avoid doing something you should do, because you are lazy;因懒惰而逃避或推卸做某事
plump:round and full in a way that looks attractive;丰满的
loafer:someone who is lazy and does nothing when they should be working;吊儿郎当的人
workaholic:someone who chooses to work a lot, so that they do not have time to do anything else;以工作为第一的人,工作狂
to make matters worse:used to say that something makes a bad situation worse;使事情更为糟糕的是...
early to bed, early to rise:Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. 早睡早起,使人健康、富裕又聪明。—— Benjamin Franklin 富兰克林


1 commentator JXOyu     
  • He is a good commentator because he can get across the game.他能简单地解说这场比赛,是个好的解说者。
  • The commentator made a big mistake during the live broadcast.在直播节目中评论员犯了个大错误。
2 frankly fsXzcf     
  • To speak frankly, I don't like the idea at all.老实说,我一点也不赞成这个主意。
  • Frankly speaking, I'm not opposed to reform.坦率地说,我不反对改革。
3 scrambling cfea7454c3a8813b07de2178a1025138     
v.快速爬行( scramble的现在分词 );攀登;争夺;(军事飞机)紧急起飞
  • Scrambling up her hair, she darted out of the house. 她匆忙扎起头发,冲出房去。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • She is scrambling eggs. 她正在炒蛋。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 overdue MJYxY     
  • The plane is overdue and has been delayed by the bad weather.飞机晚点了,被坏天气耽搁了。
  • The landlady is angry because the rent is overdue.女房东生气了,因为房租过期未付。
5 paradox pAxys     
  • The story contains many levels of paradox.这个故事存在多重悖论。
  • The paradox is that Japan does need serious education reform.矛盾的地方是日本确实需要教育改革。
6 meditation yjXyr     
  • This peaceful garden lends itself to meditation.这个恬静的花园适于冥想。
  • I'm sorry to interrupt your meditation.很抱歉,我打断了你的沉思。
7 beads 894701f6859a9d5c3c045fd6f355dbf5     
n.(空心)小珠子( bead的名词复数 );水珠;珠子项链
  • a necklace of wooden beads 一条木珠项链
  • Beads of perspiration stood out on his forehead. 他的前额上挂着汗珠。
8 Buddha 9x1z0O     
  • Several women knelt down before the statue of Buddha and prayed.几个妇女跪在佛像前祈祷。
  • He has kept the figure of Buddha for luck.为了图吉利他一直保存着这尊佛像。
9 incense dcLzU     
  • This proposal will incense conservation campaigners.这项提议会激怒环保人士。
  • In summer,they usually burn some coil incense to keep away the mosquitoes.夏天他们通常点香驱蚊。
10 holders 79c0e3bbb1170e3018817c5f45ebf33f     
支持物( holder的名词复数 ); 持有者; (支票等)持有人; 支托(或握持)…之物
  • Slaves were mercilessly ground down by slave holders. 奴隶受奴隶主的残酷压迫。
  • It is recognition of compassion's part that leads the up-holders of capital punishment to accuse the abolitionists of sentimentality in being more sorry for the murderer than for his victim. 正是对怜悯的作用有了认识,才使得死刑的提倡者指控主张废除死刑的人感情用事,同情谋杀犯胜过同情受害者。
11 expended 39b2ea06557590ef53e0148a487bc107     
v.花费( expend的过去式和过去分词 );使用(钱等)做某事;用光;耗尽
  • She expended all her efforts on the care of home and children. 她把所有精力都花在料理家务和照顾孩子上。
  • The enemy had expended all their ammunition. 敌人已耗尽所有的弹药。 来自《简明英汉词典》
12 prone 50bzu     
  • Some people are prone to jump to hasty conclusions.有些人往往作出轻率的结论。
  • He is prone to lose his temper when people disagree with him.人家一不同意他的意见,他就发脾气。
13 inexplicably 836e3f6ed2882afd2a77cf5530fca975     
  • Inexplicably, Mary said she loved John. 真是不可思议,玛丽说她爱约翰。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Inexplicably, she never turned up. 令人不解的是,她从未露面。 来自辞典例句
14 sloth 4ELzP     
  • Absence of competition makes for sloth.没有竞争会导致懒惰。
  • The sloth spends most of its time hanging upside down from the branches.大部分时间里树懒都是倒挂在树枝上。
15 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
16 jack 53Hxp     
  • I am looking for the headphone jack.我正在找寻头戴式耳机插孔。
  • He lifted the car with a jack to change the flat tyre.他用千斤顶把车顶起来换下瘪轮胎。
17 bums bums     
n. 游荡者,流浪汉,懒鬼,闹饮,屁股 adj. 没有价值的,不灵光的,不合理的 vt. 令人失望,乞讨 vi. 混日子,以乞讨为生
  • The other guys are considered'sick" or "bums". 其他的人则被看成是“病态”或“废物”。
  • You'll never amount to anything, you good-for-nothing bums! 这班没出息的东西,一辈子也不会成器。
18 ethic ziGz4     
  • They instilled the work ethic into their children.他们在孩子们的心中注入了职业道德的理念。
  • The connotation of education ethic is rooted in human nature's mobility.教育伦理的内涵根源于人本性的变动性。
19 contention oZ5yd     
  • The pay increase is the key point of contention. 加薪是争论的焦点。
  • The real bone of contention,as you know,is money.你知道,争论的真正焦点是钱的问题。
20 apparently tMmyQ     
  • An apparently blind alley leads suddenly into an open space.山穷水尽,豁然开朗。
  • He was apparently much surprised at the news.他对那个消息显然感到十分惊异。
21 industrious a7Axr     
  • If the tiller is industrious,the farmland is productive.人勤地不懒。
  • She was an industrious and willing worker.她是个勤劳肯干的员工。
22 disapproval VuTx4     
  • The teacher made an outward show of disapproval.老师表面上表示不同意。
  • They shouted their disapproval.他们喊叫表示反对。
23 deliberately Gulzvq     
  • The girl gave the show away deliberately.女孩故意泄露秘密。
  • They deliberately shifted off the argument.他们故意回避这个论点。
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