9 to 5

When a man comes home from his working day, he is of course utterly unable to enjoy true leisure for which he has lost all inner disposition. You cannot expect somebody suddenly to shift from the tempo and turmoil of a modern working day, from the incessant external demands besieging his fleeting consciousness to the calm and composure in which alone real leisure can grow. You cannot expect a man, after having served as a function for eight hours, to turn into a complete and personal human being in an hour or so.

So he turns from his working function to his home functions, from his machines to his gadgets. As soon as he leaves his shop or office he is awaited by other abstract, mechanical devices, functions answering his own functions, again appealing to his functional skill and susceptibility. He drives a car, he turns switches, and not only is he served by machines but here again he is induced to serve them in turn, to accommodate himself to the machines. . . .

For entertainment the man turns on his radio or his TV, he goes to the movies where again, for the most part, he is served specialized, functionalized events, attitudes, feelings—attitudes and feelings which are utterly untrue in a human sense, but which are shaped according to what Hollywood considers the desires, the predilections, the notions of the masses.

Kahler, Erich. The Tower and the Abyss : an inquiry into the transformation of the individual. New York: George Braziller Inc., 1957. 27–28. Print.


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