Saturday, July 31, 2010

How Lazy Am I?

I listened to Scott Zesch's The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier. Meh. It's about nine different kids captured by Apaches or Comanches, and I could never keep them straight in my head. It did make me think of one interesting philosophical question, however--there's lots of mention in the book about Native American dislike for typical white European settler working life (which at the time obviously meant farming) and the children had trouble readjusting to settler life once their abduction ended and often never readjusted to the whole working/making money thing. So in what sense, if any, is that "laziness" (how it's referred to by settlers in the book), in what sense is it Native Americans being smarter and knowing that he who dies with the most toys definitely does not win, and when can I start living in a log cabin in a brutally cold place with no facilities and spend all day chopping firewood and growing my own vegetables during the two frost-free months of the year? Am I lazy with no ambition, or do suburban McMansions and the rest of the consumerism that goes along with them make me gag? Or is it that research is honestly difficult enough to warrant all the Internet surfing I do?

Regardless, even though I haven't read it, based on a decent Fresh Air interview, I'd suggest you read Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History instead if you're in the mood for Native American history.


  1. In answer to your questions:

    1. Very.

    2. Not wanting to make money is not lazy, not wanting to do anything is.

    3. Don't confuse consumerism with industry. While they often go hand in hand, the one who works hard is not necessarily the same one who buys all the toys.

    4. When you have enough money to buy the cabin and pay the taxes on the land. Also, when you have had enough of human interaction to last your lifetime. Or after you get together with a landed, like-minded life partner.

    5. This question poses is a false dichotomy. However, the answer to the questions are, respectively, no and it's possible (do you often have gag-like symptoms?).

    6. Too difficult, no. Not engaging enough, perhaps.

    I hope this clears things up. Let me know if there are other questions I can answer.

  2. 1. Bastard :)
    2. Define "anything." Even at my most lazy, I still want to sleep. So somewhere in there, you've made a value judgment that certain things are worth doing. Where do you draw that line? That's the crux of all my questions.