"The desire to do something well . . . reflects a need that was previously met in the workplace. Competence was shown on the job -- holidays were for messing around. Nowadays the situation is reversed. Technology has removed craft from most occupations. This is true in assembly-line jobs . . . as well as in most service positions (store clerks, fast-food attendants). . . . Nor is the reduction of skills limited to manual work. Memory, once the prerequisite skill of the white-collar worker, has been rendered superfluous by computers; teachers, who once needed dramatic skills, now depend on mechanical aids such as slide projectors and video machines; in politics, oratory has been killed by the thirty-second sound bite.
"Hence, an unexpected development in the history of leisure. For many, weekend free time has become not a chance to escape work but a chance to create work that is more meaningful -- to work at recreation -- in order to realize the personal satisfactions that the workplace no longer offers."
-- From Waiting for the Weekend, by Witold Rybczynski (Viking Penguin, 1991)* * *
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