One of Marcel Duchamps' most famous works.
It's in the Pompidou Centre in Paris and I've seen it...
In this blogposting…
*Procrastination Day
*An Incredible Story
Now go forth and…

In the Comments to posting 264, Hildie mentioned that last Friday (25 March) was National Procrastination Day. She has also sent me the link to the online Telegraph article, in which the man whose idea it was makes some interesting and serious points about why he thinks such a day is necessary.

‘Far from encouraging people to stop time wasting, this global event is about promoting "positive procrastination" in a high-paced, hi-tech world where taking one's time is a crucial act of resistance.

"To procrastinate is to refuse to do what the context – be it from bosses, administrative obligations, or a culture of results – asks us to do. We must absolutely take the time to think about the tasks we accept to execute, or we will lose all control over our lives," warned the event's founder, David d'Equainville.

Long submerged by a tide of books and methods which seek to "cure" chronic procrastinators from what was considered a "disease", the world has now reached a "historic turning point," Mr d'Equainville told The Daily Telegraph, in which the notion that "one time fits all no longer works" and putting something off has virtues.

The accelerating speed of multimedia communications and transport creates huge constraints, he said. "Just reading work emails is an impossible task. One has to make choices, and procrastination becomes a tool – a defence mechanism".

Taking the television or smart phone as a metaphor, he said that in today's world the best button to press on these devices was neither fast forward nor rewind, but pause. "We need to be able to seize the moment in all its richness," he said.

Mr d'Equainville has set out his procrastination theories in a "Manifesto for a Day Put Off", just released in French and soon to be published in English.

His heroes of procrastination include Marcel Duchamps, the surrealist artist, who was all but written off as he spent years devising relatively few works, but then was eventually recognised as a genius.

While being late for paying one's taxes for example is ill-advised, there are also dangers involved with making decisions too quickly. Citing Shakespeare, he said: "If Romeo had put his suicide off a bit on Juliet's tomb, the two lovebirds could have grown old together."

Ironically, for Mr d'Equainville, France's ultimate procrastinator is its president, Nicolas Sarkozy, seen as a reformist man of action renowned for his high energy levels.

"The price of perpetual action is that he ends up with micro-measures and puts off the real issues that require longer debate and thought."

Couldn't agree more.

I was actually in France on Procrastination Day but decided to put off celebrating it until tomorrow.


Our old friends Eric and Jean Grosvenor, who run The Commercial in Tantobie, have sent me this amazing, and very thought-provoking, story…

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University .

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air.

The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee, inspected the elephants foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.

Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled.

Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son.

As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing.

The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down.

The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure.

He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant...

Let that be a lesson to all those people who send me mawkish, honey-covered internet stories. Dingo’s kidneys, the lot of them…

The next AGM will take place at 1100 on Wednesday 27 April at Birkheads Nursery, near the Tanfield Railway.

Post comments on this blog or email me: truckshunters@googlemail.com

1 comment:

Hildie said...

But ......... what is it .......
Marcel Duchamps' wondrous creation?!

And, speaking of Eric and Jean ....
last Sunday, while listening to Michael's programme, I heard
mention of the fact that those two have just celebrated being married for 57years!!! I'm sure I've got that right ...... so I'd like to say
With love and best wishes
from we Truckshunters.

x x