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Hobbies… June 5, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Short but useful piece on Slate recently on hobbies. All this on foot of a David Brooks article which suggested in the context of Hillary Clinton that ‘hobbies make us interesting’ but that Clinton exudes the sense of someone who has none. So, is that the case that hobbies make us interesting? And what do people count as hobbies? Katy Waldman in the piece suggests that:

If that’s true, a lot of us are in trouble. What do any of us do for fun? Watch TV, see friends, have a glass of wine? Snack? Does going to the gym count as a hobby? Does cooking dinner count? If we were better athletes and more skillful chefs, would these pursuits count more? What about riding your bike to work or listening to a podcast while you walk the dog? What about dreaming up amazing hobbies to put on your online dating profile—is that a hobby? (It certainly takes up a lot of time, and no one pays you for it.)

Apparently, for some, there is ‘hobby anxiety’ – ‘the fear that you have failed to cultivate interesting or likable or merely non-imaginary hobbies’.

Is reading a hobby? Listening to music? Or making or writing music, or writing. And if the latter are hobbies should they be directed to an end – i.e. published or performance or is that crossing into work.

What’s the difference between hobbies and interests?

I can’t work out is the CLR a hobby to me or some sort of weird therapeutic release.

And what are your hobbies?

Comments»

1. Tomboktu - June 5, 2016

CLR Therapeutic?
Yikes!

Liked by 1 person

2. 6to5against - June 5, 2016

CLR is certainly therapeutic for me. But it surely must count as a hobby for WbS.

Though hobby can seem at times like a dismissive word – for time spent on doing something of little consequence, and often doing it poorly.

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WorldbyStorm - June 5, 2016

Therapy. Definitely therapy.🙂

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3. Gerryboy - June 5, 2016

Hobbies are important for children because they develop manual and intellectual talents – and keep boys out of street mischief sometimes. I collected postage stamps from the age about 8 to 14 years, and still keep a stuffed album in a tea chest. I’ve travelled and worked abroad. My stamps with glorifying portraits of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Generalissimo Franco, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Grace, the Shit of Iran and other Illuminati are not for sale. In September, I played ‘conkers’ and marbles, and robbed apple orchards. Hillwalking was a hobby until recent years, and nowadays summer gardening using lazy beds keeps me busy when not reading. Oh, and as a teenager before television took over Ireland, I used to listen to overseas broadcasts from AFN, Radio Moscow, Hilversum (Netherlands), RFA English programmes, Radio Prague Czechoslovakia, the VOA from DC, Radio Luxembourg 208 MW “Your Station of the Stars” , and not excluding BBC 3 & 4.

I don’t visit websites like CLR for therapy, but for challenge and stimulation. For therapy I listen to radio stations, sometimes on the web, but also like switching on the old-style radio. I enjoy being infuriated by the Joe Duffy phone-in discussions – they can dissipate bowel blockage and have an emetic effect. What would Freud say?

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WorldbyStorm - June 5, 2016

I loved stamps. Had a few, but only a very few. Music became the thing that consumed me subsequently. And reading. Well that and science fiction and science fiction art.

Know what you mean re Joe Duffy!

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4. sonofstan - June 5, 2016

I realised recently that playing guitar, which used to be something I did *seriously* is now a hobby in the true sense; I’ve no ambitions in that direction anymore, so something that was once focussed, and quite stressful and frustrating sometimes, is now quite relaxing, though I’m much worse at it.

Collecting records was a consuming passion for a long time, but living between two countries, the absurdity of having a lot of records I can’t play most of the time, and the equal absurdity of buying lots of heavy vinyl and moving it from one place to the other every now and then, has tempered it, though I still pick up the odd charity shop gem. I did find going to car boot sales on spec of a sunday morning very relaxing though – although more in the anticipation than the nearly inevitable disappointment.

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WorldbyStorm - June 5, 2016

I had that too re records, and then subsequently CDs, though it was never as pleasurable due to the tiny format. With digital it was like goodbye printed stuff, which was such a pity. But I still listen to a ridiculous number of albums on a monthly basis. But buying CDs is never the same.

I can play keyboards very badly and I make wretchedly awful electronica for my own entertainment. Currently I got sound files for purported UFO/jet incidents and am lashing on the beats behind them. I got an ALDI guitar a while back as a gift and while I know SFA chords it is incredibly relaxing as a tactile experience.

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gendjinn - June 5, 2016

Seems like the cover art creativity was directed into video. The consolation of creativity née boethius, as such.

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JM - June 6, 2016

If you could solve crime while looking for records they’d write a book about you too :

http://titanbooks.com/the-vinyl-detective-written-in-dead-wax-vinyl-detective-1-8325/

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sonofstan - June 6, 2016

some of the records are criminally bad alright, but I can’t solve why anyone thought to make them.

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5. LeftAtTheCross - June 6, 2016

Nowadays hobbies are hard to find time for in between work and family. I suppose the Left blogosphere and social media and joining the WP is a hobby of sorts, but as above I’m nervous of the label in that sense, it’s a bit dismissive.

Cycling is my main thing these days, in that it takes up a fair portion of my non work time. Gardening to a lesser extent and I’m just the hired help there, I do as instructed by she who has a clue about such things. And reading, mostly politics and history. Currently reading the biography of Francois Mitterrand and it’s a very enjoyable read.

I used to be interested in old cars. I hesitate to say classic cars. When the kids came along there was no time and the interest waned. Still have a few rusting heaps on the shed for my retirement though, I can’t bring myself to sell or scrap them.

As a teenager I was a model airplane maker for far longer than I was cool to be. Then music took over, never playing just listening. Before that, stamps yes, a great way to learn history and geography. The collection is in the attic still, I think.

I wonder will kids these days develop hobbies as we did. Social media takes over. Boredom and anticipation seem so old hat to the instant gratification generation.

Actually I do keep meaning to start him brewing but just don’t seem to ever find the time.

So on this very pleasant public holiday I’m off now to the garden for some grass mowing and flower planting.

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6. Gewerkschaftler - June 6, 2016

I can’t garden these days because of lack of a garden, apart from maintaining the most diverse balcony in our block of flats. Haven’t played the piano for a couple of years unfortunately, due to lack of time, and the feeling that I’m not likely to get any better at this stage.

Internet-enhanced flâneuring is my new love – being a stranger in a strange land. At the weekend stick a pin in the city map of that of Brandenburg – go there by bike or by public transport and shanks’ pony and then wander about – looking up anything that catches the eye to put it in historical / economic / cultural context.

And peering down holes – to see how the transport/electricity/data/water/sewage veins of the city work – is always fascinating. I mean to start a blog about it some day – that’ll probably never happen for reasons above.

Sighs.

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WorldbyStorm - June 6, 2016

Wow that’s a great idea just going to a place and wandering around like that.Sounds both educational and fun. And good cafe’s I’ll bet.

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Gewerkschaftler - June 6, 2016

‘Bad’ café’s are also interesting. Usually more so than ‘good’ ones.🙂

When I lived in London I always liked so-called ‘greasy spoons’ as place to sit and earwig on what was going down.

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gendjinn - June 6, 2016

The grandfather tried doing that in Texas once. He was promptly interviewed by a passing squad car and the police refused to believe that he was “just out for a walk” until he explained he was Irish and we couldn’t afford cars. Which they believed and let him go on his way. This was the early 70s.

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Gewerkschaftler - June 6, 2016

🙂

At the end of the 80s I once tried it in Atlantic City having gotten bored with the overnight casino bus crowd from NYC which I thought would be something worth experiencing at least once.

*Not* a good decision to to out onto the streets at night in that area.

But you live (if you survive) and learn.

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sonofstan - June 6, 2016

Not trying to go one better, but I tried it in St. Petersburg/ Leningrad once – despite being warned. chased out of the station by a pair of junkies, and having my camera stolen soon afterwards by some apparently homeless kids from Georgia – so I was told by a sympathetic but powerless cop –

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gendjinn - June 6, 2016

Good thing we were invincible back then. Wouldn’t have the courage these days.

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7. roddy - June 6, 2016

LATC, my main hobby is old vehicles and I have often found it to be a hobby that transcends all political divisions.My work involves interaction with “all sides” and I have spent many’s an hour in nostalgic conversation with strong unionists (and even sticks!) about 60s cars and old tractors.

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gendjinn - June 6, 2016

Steam engines, especially trains is another place where the divide is erased. Sure the old lord where Stradbally is held was one of the Anglo ascendency that never accepted independence.

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LeftAtTheCross - June 6, 2016

Roddy, I found the classic tractor thing very strange when I first moved out to Meath. Having an active interest in old cars at that time I joined the local classic car club in Kells, and attended meetings for a year or so. I was amused at the disproportionate, or so it seemed to me, focus on tractors rather than cars. I sort of get it more now. The nostalgia, and the beautiful simplicity of the machines, fantastic engineering. Every summer there’s a classic tractor run that passes our house and it’s a great spectacle and day out. My own interest is in old Skodas, I’ve a couple of 80s Rapid coupes in the shed. Not quite Ferraris but lovely machines that weren’t appreciated properly in the west when new. Someday I hope to get them fixed up and enjoy them on the road. Anyhow it had to be something east European to be compatible with WP membership, otherwise it’d all be a bit bourgeois and that.

Liked by 1 person

8. roddy - June 6, 2016

Gewerkschaftler, if you ever move over here,I suggest you get a job with the dept of the environment.Many a news report mentions that “a large hole has appeared in main street and D.O.E are looking into it!

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Gewerkschaftler - June 6, 2016

Roddy – If I ever retire back to rural Ireland an old tractor I think will be the only form of internal combustion engine transport that I will be able to afford. Ditto agricultural diesel.

I had the chance to get an old one for a song 15 years ago but turned it down, unfortunately. It could have been waiting for me in the brother’s barn.

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9. JM - June 6, 2016

Hobbies are so counter revolutionary .

Liked by 1 person

10. sonofstan - June 6, 2016

Actually, on this, I spent the weekend in a very odd environment, which I decided to treat as fieldwork; MIDEM, the annual music biz bash in Cannes. A recurring theme over the various presentations by execs, between explaining how ‘superexceted’ they were by their newest bland Adele soundalike, was ‘passion’ and how hard working we all were bacause, well, passion.

Talking to them, apart from their entirely predicatable and quite narrow frame of reference when it came to music, was the lack of a hinterland; apart from sport – big sport – no one seemed to know about, or be interested in anything else. Now the music biz has always been a deep shit filled trench populated by sharks – to quote Albini (from memory) – but the likes of Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Wexler, even Tony Wilson and Geoff Travis and Daniel Miller knew stuff about other stuff and it informed what they did and allowed them to envisage things their artists maybe couldn’t.

Whereas, all the people I talked to this weekend – and remember this is an industry that has failed spectacularly to keep up with music, with tech, and with the audience – had nothing much to bring to the table apart from a mystical faith in big data.

So lack of hobbies may bring down capitalism. Which is good.

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gendjinn - June 6, 2016

I think Mary Poppins said it all really.

It’s always seemed to me that good music makes it to an audience in spite of the music industry.

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11. roddy - June 6, 2016

LATC,the reason tractors are popular is that once they are restored,they tend not to deterriorate and emerge from a shed year after year not a pin the worse.Cars on the other hand need constant attention as they are more rust prone and if they are not driven every few weeks the brakes and clutch can seize up.The Skoda Rapid would indeed be very collectable now and I even knew people who rallied them in the 80s.I would however be more a fan of 60’s Fords which were the choice of the “boy racers” of my childhood!

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Gewerkschaftler - June 7, 2016

Not only to they not deteriorate – the old tractors are simple enough that even a relative mechanical idiot (outside the field of push bikes) like me could more or less work out what was going wrong when it did.

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12. Joe - June 7, 2016

I have very happy memories of sea fishing as a teenager off Howth and Greystones and various other places around Ireland.
The fishing itself was the biggest part of it but a big part was also the preparation – preparing the gear, gathering the bait.
I hope to return to that hobby some day.
My other hobby as a teenager was Leeds United. I’ll say no more.

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