Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Vagueness descends

Police Chief Wiggum:
This is Papa Bear. Put out an APB for a male suspect, driving a... car of some sort, heading in the direction of... you know, that place that sells chilli. Suspect is hatless. Repeat, hatless.
The Simpsons
From Homer's Triple Bypass written by Gary Apple and Michael Carrington.

I noticed the impact of tiredness today, after watching the soccer overnight (1-3am AEST) and then getting up a few hours later. And the idea that some people live with this kind of impairment - not just once in a while, but permanently - is kind of horrifying. I felt sick and shaky and sad all day, couldn't concentrate, and didn't care, and that was after just one night's lost sleep. Feeling like that every day would lead to trouble, wouldn't it? Depression? Aggression? Accidents?

I don't know how widespread insomnia is. But that's not the only thing robbing people of sleep: it seems like there's a plague of perpetual busyness, and it's cultural, not inevitable. My sister (the non-J one) used to be employed in an industry where the normal conditions - in Australia - saw her working practically every waking minute. Yet her colleagues in the same industry in New Zealand leave the job at 5:30pm every day and (at least in summer) have time to relax outside after work. They go to cafes. They go bushwalking. They wander home and watch the sunset. Maybe they even get a good night's sleep. And yet their industry hasn't collapsed, the work gets done, and the city runs on time. Miracle!

I don't know, though. Maybe I'm falsely simplifying something that is much more complex. If so, apologies.