This chapter argues for the value of lazy intellection by marking the difference between saturating or totalizing laziness, a state of impassivity, and lazing, a mode of reflection that makes provisions for liquid movements among thoughts, the relaxation of certainties, and nonpurposive, associative play. Creating a genealogy of laziness’s theorists, and demonstrating that these theorists of “doing nothing” are consistently doing something (typically, producing compelling writing), the chapter finds one curious—and curiously instructive—terminus for historical idling, lazing, and lounging in the lounge music of the mid-twentieth century, as practiced with seeming “effortlessness” by such crooners as Dean Martin. Turning the reactionary politics of lounge music on its ear and addressing pressing, contemporary economic inequities, Len Jenkin’s performance piece, The Dream Express, provides a more progressive model for the possibilities inherent in lazing. He and his collaborators mine the unexpected boons to be found in an ambling and shaggy approach to creation, in a casual indifference toward archiving their efforts, and in serenely confronting the oscillation between ease and unease.
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