In the age of wooden television in the South where I grew up, leisure involved sitting on screened porches, smoking cigarettes, drinking iced tea, engaging in conversation and staring into space.
Toward the end of the age of wooden televisions the futurists of the Sunday supplements announced the advent of the “leisure society”. Technology would leave us less and less to do in the Marxian sense of yanking the levers of production. The challenge, then, would be to fill our days with meaningful, healthful, satisfying activity. As with most products of an earlier era’s futurism, we find it difficult today to imagine the exact coordinates from which this vision came. In any case, our world does not offer us a surplus of leisure. … Only the very old or the economically disadvantaged (provided they are not chained to the schedules of their environment’s more demanding addictions) have a great deal of time on their hands. To be successful, apparently, is to be chronically busy.