The problem with the slow movement

This post was written by Megan on April 22, 2010
Posted Under: burnout and society

Slow Movement cartoon

One of my favourite books is Carl Honore's In Praise of Slow – How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed.

Just to kick-off, you've got to love the term 'Cult of Speed'. How evil does speed sound now?

Before too long (no pun intended), I'm imagining Speed on some isolated farm, asking for obscene donations and having sex with the daughters of its 'members'.

But for all of Carl's efforts (which include chapters on 'slow sex' and 'slow food'), Slow still doesn't sound like a very exciting alternative.

Slow isn't doing anything naughty. Instead, Slow is wholesome, sighing wistfully as it stares out at the sea. Slow is…well…slow.


The bad boys

This reminds me of another book that focuses on Slow's nemesis: Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything. Except the title appears as 'FSTR', because who has time for vowels?  

'Faster' was written by James Gleick and published by Penguin way back in 1999. He wrote the best seller 'Chaos' before it in 1988. You would think Chaos would come after Faster, wouldn't you? Or in tandem, at least. 

Things are moving so fast how can something published in 1999 still be relevant?

I remember James' observation in 'Faster' on how people tend to manically press the pedestrian button at traffic lights multiple times. You know, those three or four fast thumps – as if it's going to change the lights any faster. I still notice people punching that button today. I probably would do it too if I had the energy.


My radical theory

I'm hazarding a guess that both 'Faster' and 'Chaos' sold better than 'In Praise of Slow' – purely on the basis of sounding more exciting.


My radical suggestion

As much as I love Faster, I'm burned out. I need to hangout with Slow more. I have no choice. 

But Slow needn't be the pale-faced bore in the corner. Let's give the poor guy a makeover. Let's re-brand 'The Slow Movement'. 

What should he be? Something kinda cool, kinda funky?


Here are some of my suggestions for 'the Slow Movement':

The Cruisy Move

The New Groove Move


Or how about: Slo' Mojo – ?


What do you think? Any other ideas?

I'm all ears (comment below, pleeeeaaaassseee…….notice how slowly I pleaded then?).


This post was written by Megan Hills. Megan is a writer and cartoonist. And if the cartoon for this post is anything to go by, Megan thinks that the Slow Movement is putty in her hands. Find out more about Megan

Reader Comments

hush not rush movement
last not fast
learn slowly not burn slowly
meditation not medication
mmm I'm too tired – the pressure of a name ; 0
I just wanna curl up in a shady garden spot with a hammock and a book- only problem is finding something worth reading and figuring out how to put up a hammock when there are no stable trees in my yard ; )
oh well just keepin on plodding ; ) a

Written By amanda dearden on April 23rd, 2010 @ 10:55 am

How about slow mo bobo?
Attention extention disorder….you can just see them staring at a plate watching a fly walking around the crumbs having a fine ol time.
Sounds like bliss to me

Written By Roger on April 27th, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

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