One of the things I try to explore at depth in the book, is the idea that hanging out itself is structured by improvisation and spontaneity, and that there is a lot of equanimity to be found in that idea that people enter into a situation and then once they're in the situation, they start to sort of improvise what's going to happen in it. And they do that together, which itself can be kind of a radical act rather than having somebody set the agenda for what has to happen and having everybody else follow along. So if hanging out requires spontaneity, then the busier we feel forced to become under capitalism, means that we have fewer and fewer opportunities for that spontaneity and improvisation. So I often think of the phenomenon these days of how we got to a place in our society where it is now generally considered to be socially acceptable to text or email someone before calling them. It's almost like you're making a reservation for a time at which you can call them on the phone and talk to them. And I find that very fascinating, that once upon a tome we would have just called eachother, and now we have to slot into someone else's calendar the idea of the phone call, so they can be prepared and make sure they have time set aside to actually talk to us. It's fascinating for me to think we don't even have time to talk to each other, in an unplanned or spontaneous way, that we have to reserve and set aside time to do that because our lives have becomes so scheduled and so busy.
Writer, professor and musician Sheila Liming joins us in Hell! to talk about her recently published book, "Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time". www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/71726…ila-liming/
Sheila Liming is an associate professor at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, where she teaches classes on literature, media, and writing. She is the author of two books, What a Library Means to a Woman and Office. Sheila also plays the accordion and bagpipes.
Image: Unknown (artist), Ministry of Aircraft Production (publisher/sponsor), Fosh and Cross Ltd, London (printer), Her Majesty's Stationery Office (publisher/sponsor), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons