Coded gray.

Monday 15 July 2002

Screenshot The Sims

Pic of the day: Sad breakfast of the lonely vacationer. Screenshot from The Sims on Holiday.

Who wants vacation anyway?

I mean, it's not like work magically disappears just because you are away from it. I guess it does at the assembly line, but who works there anymore? And at the cash register, I guess. Yes, I can see *them* enjoying a vacation. But what about us?

The industrial society is gone. It was not replaced by the service society, but with the information society. And our work does not magically disappear while we are away; it just slowly fills our inbox, and then we have to hurry and do it all when we come back. Why would any sane person do that?

Yeah, vacation is an opportunity to go places, which you can't on a weekend (even if you choose to not take work home with you in the weekend, the way many do). Yes, I can see people doing this in Istanbul, Chihuahua and Ruhrgebiet. But how about us who live in Norway, or for that matter Iceland or Winnipeg? Why would we take off in summer, the best time here, and go sniff the filth of some primitive Third World city? Why would we go there to fend off their phony beggars and run-down AIDS-infected hookers? Why would we groan in the tropical heat of a place God meant for alligators and snakes?


I understand a lot of human activities, much more than I actually do myself. But I have a hard time comprehending the need to travel halfway across the globe only to arrive in some dirt poor Third World country, where you get nasty infections just from eating. A couple decades ago, when Norwegians first started to get filthy rich, they went to Spain. And not Madrid or Barcelona, but some poor rural areas. Now that Spain approaches a normal European standard of living, Norwegians fly to Thailand or Venezuela. Perhaps they just can't feel good without seeing poverty and corruption, or risking some ugly tropical disease?

It's not like you are doing people a great service by chasing them away from the workplace either. Most humans can tolerate each other for a few hours each day, which they usually spend in front of the TV. But leave them in each other's face day in and day out, and they will drive each other to insanity. Domestic violence, infidelity, psychotic episodes, even murder: They all peak during holidays and vacation time. And to top it all, you ruin the budget and max out the credit card...

Now if you wanted to improve productivity, you could let us come to work a couple hours later on Mondays. It's not like the work done before lunch on Monday is better than nothing anyway. And you would save greatly on coffee, too. But no! Instead we have to stay away from work all at one time, inconveniencing our co-workers and ourselves. Because that's what Grandpa wanted, who worked in the factory in 1939. And we all know that we should bow to the authority of dead grandparents ...

In conclusion: We don't want no stinking vacation! (Especially when we can't afford to go where our friends are...)

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Short on short
Two years ago: Meditation over infatuation
Three years ago: Hemp

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