Frozen yogurt


People just blindly grabbed at whatever there was: communism, health foods, zen, ballet, hypnotism, group encounters, orgies, biking, herbs, Catholicism, weight-lifting, travel, withdrawal, vegeterianism, India, painting, writing, scultping, composing, conducting, back-packing, yoga, copulating, gambling, drinking, hanging around, frozen yogurt, Beethoven, Bach, Buddha, Christ, TM, H, carrot juice, suicide, handmade suits, jet travel, New York City and then it all evaporated and fell apart. People had to find things to do while waiting to die.

Women – Charles Bukowski.



Ο άνθρωπος που έβγαλε την φράση «the survival of the fittest» μπορεί να φαίνεται παράδοξο* αλλά πίστευε ότι η υπερβολική δουλειά είχε πλήξη σοβαρά την υγεία του και ότι η κοινωνική εξέλιξη θα έπρεπε να οδηγήσει στο να δουλεύουμε λιγότερο και να ζούμε για την ευχαρίστηση περισσότερο.

* I have spoken to
that immense injury is being done by this high-pressure life–the
physique is being undermined. … But Nature quietly
suppresses those who treat thus disrespectfully one of her highest
products and leaves the world to be peopled by the descendants of those
who are not so foolish.



[Speech of Herbert Spencer at a dinner given in his honor in New
York City, November 9, 1882. William M. Evarts presided.]

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:–Along with your kindness there
comes to me a great unkindness from Fate; for now, that above all times
in my life I need the full command of what powers of speech I possess,
disturbed health so threatens to interfere with them, that I fear I
shall often inadequately express myself. Any failure in my response you
must please ascribe, in part at least, to a greatly disordered nervous
system. Regarding you as representing Americans at large, I feel that
the occasion is one on which arrears of thanks are due. I ought to begin
with the time, some two and twenty years ago, when my highly valued
friend, Professor Youmans, making efforts to diffuse my books here,
interested on their behalf Messrs. Appleton, who have ever treated me so
honorably and so handsomely; and I ought to detail from that time onward
the various marks and acts of sympathy by which I have been encouraged
in a struggle which was for many years disheartening.

But intimating thus briefly my general indebtedness to my numerous
friends most of them unknown on this side of the Atlantic, I must name
more especially the many attentions and proffered hospitalities met with
during my late tour as well as, lastly and chiefly, this marked
expression of the sympathies and good wishes which many of you have
travelled so far to give at great cost of that time which is so precious
to an American. I believe I may truly say that the better health which
you have so cordially wished me will be in a measure furthered by the
wish; since all pleasurable emotion is conducive to health, and as you
will fully believe, the remembrance of this evening will ever continue
to be a source of pleasurable emotion exceeded by few if any of my

And now that I have thanked you sincerely though too briefly, I am going
to find fault with you. Already in some remarks drawn from me respecting
American affairs and American character, I have passed criticisms which
have been accepted far more good-naturedly than I could reasonably have
expected; and it seems strange that I should now again propose to
transgress. However, the fault I have to comment upon is one which most
will scarcely regard as a fault. It seems to me that in one respect
Americans have diverged too widely from savages. I do not mean to say
that they are in general unduly civilized. Throughout large parts of the
population even in long-settled regions there is no excess of those
virtues needed for the maintenance of social harmony. Especially out in
the West men’s dealings do not yet betray too much of the «sweetness and
light» which we are told distinguish the cultured man from the
barbarian; nevertheless there is a sense in which my assertion is true.

You know that the primitive man lacks power of application. Spurred by
hunger, by danger or revenge he can exert himself energetically for a
time, but his energy is spasmodic. Monotonous daily toil is impossible
to him. It is otherwise with the more developed man. The stern
discipline of social life has gradually increased the aptitude for
persistent industry; until among us, and still more among you, work has
become with many a passion. This contrast of nature is another aspect.
The savage thinks only of present satisfactions and leaves future
satisfactions uncared for. Contrariwise the American, eagerly pursuing a
future good almost ignores what good the passing day offers him; and
when the future good is gained, he neglects that while striving for some
still remoter good.

What I have seen and heard during my stay among you has forced on me the
belief that this slow change from habitual inertness to persistent
activity has reached an extreme from which there must begin a
counter-change–a reaction. Everywhere I have been struck with the
number of faces which told in strong lines of the burdens that had to
be borne. I have been struck, too, with the large proportion of
gray-haired men; and inquiries have brought out the fact that with you
the hair commonly begins to turn some ten years earlier than with us.
Moreover, in every circle I have met men who had themselves suffered
from nervous collapse due to the stress of business, or named friends
who had either killed themselves by overwork or had been permanently
incapacitated or had wasted long periods in endeavors to recover health.
I do but echo the opinion of all the observant persons I have spoken to
that immense injury is being done by this high-pressure life–the
physique is being undermined. That subtle thinker and poet whom you have
lately had to mourn–Emerson,–says in his «Essay on the Gentleman,»
that the first requisite is that he shall be a good animal. The
requisite is a general one–it extends to man, the father, the citizen.
We hear a great deal about the «vile body»; and many are encouraged by
the phrase to transgress the laws of health. But Nature quietly
suppresses those who treat thus disrespectfully one of her highest
products and leaves the world to be peopled by the descendants of those
who are not so foolish.

Beyond these immediate mischiefs, there are remoter mischiefs. Exclusive
devotion to work has the result that amusements cease to please; and
when relaxation becomes imperative, life becomes dreary from lack of its
sole interest–the interest in business. The remark current in England
that when the American travels, his aim is to do the greatest amount of
sight-seeing in the shortest time, I find current here also; it is
recognized that the satisfaction of getting on devours nearly all other
satisfactions. When recently at Niagara, which gave us a whole week’s
pleasure, I learned from the landlord of the hotel that most Americans
come one day and go away the next. Old Froissart, who said of the
English of his day that «they take their pleasures sadly after their
fashion,» would doubtless, if he lived now, say of the Americans that
«they take their pleasures hurriedly after their fashion.» In large
measure with us, and still more with you, there is not that abandonment
to the moment which is requisite for full enjoyment; and this
abandonment is prevented by the ever-present sense of multitudinous
responsibilities. So that beyond the serious physical mischief caused by
overwork, there is the further mischief that it destroys what value
there would otherwise be in the leisure part of life. Nor do the evils
end here. There is the injury to posterity. Damaged constitutions
re-appear in their children and entail on them far more of ill than
great fortunes yield them of good. When life has been duly rationalized
by science, it will be seen that among a man’s duties the care of the
body is imperative not only out of regard for personal welfare, but also
out of regard for descendants. His constitution will be considered as an
entailed estate which he ought to pass on uninjured if not improved to
those who follow; and it will be held that millions bequeathed by him
will not compensate for feeble health and decreased ability to enjoy

Once more, there is the injury to fellow-citizens taking the shape of
undue regard of competitors. I hear that a great trader among you
deliberately endeavored to crush out everyone whose business competed
with his own; and manifestly the man who, making himself a slave to
accumulation, absorbs an inordinate share of the trade or profession he
is engaged in, makes life harder for all others engaged in it and
excludes from it many who might otherwise gain competencies. Thus,
besides the egoistic motive, there are two altruistic motives which
should deter from this excess in work.

The truth is there needs a revised ideal of life. Look back through the
past, or look abroad through the present, and we find that the ideal of
life is variable and depends on social conditions. Everyone knows that
to be a successful warrior was the highest aim among all ancient peoples
of note, as it is still among many barbarous peoples. When we remember
that in the Norseman’s heaven, the time was to be passed in daily
battles with magical healing of wounds, we see how deeply rooted may
become the conception that fighting is man’s proper business and that
industry is fit only for slaves and people of low degree. That is to
say, when the chronic struggles of races necessitate perpetual wars
there is evolved an ideal of life adapted to the requirements. We have
changed all that in modern civilized societies, especially in England
and still more in America. With the decline of militant activity and
the growth of industrial activity the occupations once disgraceful have
become honorable. The duty to work has taken the place of the duty to
fight; and in the one case as in the other the ideal of life has become
so well established that scarcely anybody dreams of questioning it.
Practical business has been substituted for war as the purpose of

Is this modern ideal to survive throughout the future? I think not.
While all other things undergo continuous change, it is impossible that
ideals should remain fixed. The ancient ideal was appropriate to the
ages of conquest by man over man and spread of the strongest races. The
modern ideal is appropriate to ages in which conquest of the earth and
subjection of the powers of Nature to human use is the predominant need.
But hereafter, when both these ends have in the main been achieved, the
ideal formed will probably differ considerably from the present one. May
we not foresee the nature of the difference? I think we may.

Some twenty years ago, a good friend of mine and a good friend of yours,
too, though you never saw him, John Stuart Mill, delivered at St.
Andrew’s an inaugural address on the occasion of his appointment to the
Lord Rectorship. It contained much to be admired, as did all he wrote;
there ran through it, however, the tacit assumption that life is for
learning and working. I felt at the time that I should have liked to
take up the opposite thesis. I should have liked to contend that life is
not for learning nor is life for working, but learning and working are
for life. The primary use of knowledge is for such guidance of conduct
under all circumstances as shall make living complete–all other uses of
knowledge are secondary. It scarcely needs saying that the primary use
of work is that of supplying the materials and aids to living
completely; and that any other uses of work are secondary. But in men’s
conceptions the secondary has in great measure usurped the place of the

The apostle of culture, as culture is commonly conceived, Mr. Matthew
Arnold, makes little or no reference to the fact that the first use of
knowledge is the right ordering of all actions; and Mr. Carlyle, who is
a good exponent of current ideas about work, insists on its virtues for
quite other reasons than that it achieves sustentation. We may trace
everywhere in human affairs a tendency to transform the means into the
end. All see that the miser does this when making the accumulation of
money his sole satisfaction; he forgets that money is of value only to
purchase satisfactions. But it is less commonly seen that the like is
true of the work by which the money is accumulated–that industry, too,
bodily or mental, is but a means, and that it is as irrational to pursue
it to the exclusion of that complete living it subserves as it is for
the miser to accumulate money and make no use of it. Hereafter when this
age of active material progress has yielded mankind its benefits there
will, I think, come a better adjustment of labor and enjoyment. Among
reasons for thinking this there is the reason that the processes of
evolution throughout the world at large bring an increasing surplus of
energies that are not absorbed in fulfilling material needs and point to
a still larger surplus for humanity of the future. And there are other
reasons which I must pass over. In brief, I may say that we have had
somewhat too much of the «gospel of work.» It is time to preach the
gospel of relaxation.

This is a very unconventional after-dinner speech. Especially it will be
thought strange that in returning thanks I should deliver something very
much like a homily. But I have thought I could not better convey my
thanks than by the expression of a sympathy which issues in a fear. If,
as I gather, this intemperance in work affects more especially the
Anglo-American part of the population, if there results an undermining
of the physique not only in adults, but also in the young, who as I
learn from your daily journals are also being injured by overwork–if
the ultimate consequence should be a dwindling away of those among you
who are the inheritors of free institutions and best adapted to them,
then there will come a further difficulty in the working out of that
great future which lies before the American nation. To my anxiety on
this account you must please ascribe the unusual character of my

And now I must bid you farewell. When I sail by the Germanic on
Saturday, I shall bear with me pleasant remembrances of my intercourse
with many Americans, joined with regrets that my state of health has
prevented me from seeing a larger number.