Sunday, July 05, 2015

I'd rather get my exercise other ways: for instance, by paying for it

A few years ago, I was telling a friend about my new apartment. I mentioned it had five half-flights of stairs.

"My God," he said, "that sounds awful."

"No, no," I replied, "It's great exercise."

"I'd rather get my exercise other ways," was his response.

In fact, I knew how he got his exercise: he paid a goodly amount of money for a gym membership, and he would go to that gym four times a week... and use its stair stepping exercise machine for a half-hour!

Similarly, I had a friend who paid someone to push a lawnmower around his lawn, and then paid someone else to push weights up-and-down at their gym.

This is a notable aspect of modern American life: we only feel good about an activity if we are paying a lot of money to "consume" it. To simply have the exact same activity be a natural part of our daily lives is "drudgery."

Do you think marketing might have had something to do with this?

And kudos to Marx: he got a lot of things wrong, but he was spot on in noting the alienation of the worker from his work in modern society.

1 comment:

  1. I used to live on a third floor apartment with no elevator. Not as bad as fifth floor, but still annoying. The problem is when you get home after a long day at work exercise is often the last thing you want to be doing.

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