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Dan Kieran was the editor of the original best-selling ‘Crap’ trilogy: Crap Towns, Crap Jobs and Crap Holidays. He is Deputy Editor of The Idler and has written for The Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian, the Mail on Sunday, the Observer and The Sunday Times.
As we jet off on holiday, passing from airport lounge to hotel in our desperation to escape our everyday lives and find some better weather, we'd do well to ask ourselves what on earth we're doing. Do we really travel any more or do we just arrive? The Idle Traveller calls on us all to re-assess what we're setting off in search of and what travel has become. Dan Kieran argues we need to bin the brochure, glide rather than fly, embrace disaster, be epic in our travel pursuits and immerse ourselves in the life-changing experience of true journeying. Full of inspiration for making the journey more meaningful and fun, The Idle Traveller will transform the way you travel forever.
Originally intended to be a simple Christmas humour book, I Fought The Law ended up becoming something rather different. The premise was simple enough. Dan was going to spend a year trying to break as many stupid old laws as he could find, for your amusement. You see there are loads of ridiculous laws on the statute book... It is still illegal to beat a carpet in the Metropolitan Police District, to take possession of a beached whale or to get within a hundred yards of the Queen without wearing socks. The list goes on and on. But in the process of researching these silly old laws Dan found a glut of stupid legislation that was equally ridiculous, but these laws had one thing in common - they'd all been passed by our current Government. And when he met a man who has a criminal record for eating a cake that had 'Freedom of Speech' written on it in icing in Parliament Square the idea of breaking the Adulteration of Tea Act of 1776 started to seem a little frivolous. Lifting up this legal concrete slab in the garden of England, however, caused all sorts of creepy crawlies to emerge that began to cast doubt on the health of the nation, so Dan's adventure began to change tack. His journey ended up taking him all across the country where he found some unlikely heroes fighting back. Meet... * Dorothy, who spent days living on the roof of a bus station in Derby * a group of pensioners, who were forced to let off stink bombs in a court of law * the man who dresses like Chaplin's tramp and keeps getting arrested outside Downing Street * one woman who got an ASBO for being naked in her own home - and a Tourette's sufferer who was given an ASBO for swearing. So, whether it's fighting to protect our environment, our freedom, or the right to live in an unconventional way, I Fought the Law is an unashamedly patriotic call to arms to all those for whom enough is enough.
The Book of Idle Pleasures is a restorative gift book for the stressed out, tired and hassled. An antidote to our non-stop culture, it is a welcome compendium of timeless delights. The book lists and reflects on 75 simple pastimes and proves that the best things in life really are free: lighting fires, skimming stones, catching falling leaves, whittling, staring out of the window, dreaming, doodling or taking a nap. The Book of Idle Pleasures is a celebration of pleasure for its own sake in a world of consumer overload.
We are born free but are everywhere in chains. Our culture needs some fresh air. We are boring ourselves to death by re-packaging the same flavorless pap based on a patronizing and second-hand version of what we think other people want. Meanwhile, out there, the world is as complex, beautiful and mysterious and ever. Which is why QI and The Idler have joined forces to celebrate curiosity. As Dorothy Parker once sagely noted, curiosity is the cure for boredom, but there is no cure for curiosity. It is endless and free, unlike television, wine or the water in our taps. It is more pleasurable and reliable than sex. It's what makes us human. Your hosts are Mr John Lloyd, founder of QI and the producer of legendary television shows including Blackadder and Spitting Image , and Mr John Mitchinson, co-creator with Mr Lloyd of The Books of General Ignorance (General and Animal) .They have filled every spare inch with the absurd and curious learning that fans of QI will know and expect. In addition, there is the first ever published extract from Mr Lloyd's 'lost' novel, fifteen never-before-seen, spanking-brand-new General Ignorance questions, the QI prospectus for a New School, Mr Justin Pollard's list of history's wildest stories and William Morris is rescued from ye olde gift shoppes and restored as a revolutionary hero. So, read on, and help us overthrow the tyrant boredom. You have nothing to lose but your chains.
Sex today seems too much like hard work. Magazines tell us we have to put more effort in and learn new tips. So how can we bring the playfulness back? This issue of the Idler features an exclusive cover from Damien Hirst and an interview with Esther Perel, author of the best-seller Mating in Captivity. Michael Bywater condemns the rise of frantic sex. Neil Boorman asks whether he is the only one who's not doing it all day every day, and attacks the adman's commercialisation of sex. Jay Griffiths argues that the real spirit of Christmas is bawdy and raucous and naughty. Sarah Janes reveals her sex-dream diaries, and Nicholas Lezard wonders where all the fun went. We meet Kevin Godley of 10cc fame and feature new work from Gee Vaucher and Penny Rimbaud. With its mix of savage humour, warm wisdom, radical thought and uncompromising art, the Idler will amuse, instruct and help bring the pleasure back into everyday life.
We are all agreed that there's a lot to complain about in contemporary society. Boredom, exploitation, an explosion of legislation and interference with our everyday freedoms: central government and big business seem to make life more difficult with each month that passes. But do we really need to take to the streets to protest? Or would a more effective form of resistance be to take to our beds and quietly recreate our own lives? In this issue of the Idler, we reflect and philosophise on the notion of protest. CORINNE MAIER interviews three French filmmakers making anti-work movies; we meet the brilliant history professor RONALD HUTTON. JAY GRIFFITHS writes on missionaries; JOHN NICHOLSON celebrates paradise; we ask whether there's any point in going to university and PENNY RIMBAUD reveals the meaning of life. Plus articles on the practical side of idling with advice on treehouse-building and beer-brewing.
The Idler team believe that idleness is unjustly criticised in modern society when it is, in fact, a vital component of a happy life. This new issue of the Idler looks at man, nature and the earth and reveals that doing nothing is the only way to save the planet. Richard Benson on growing a wild flower meadow Noted Gaia scientist Stephen Harding on why we need to stop interfering with nature On a Green Note The new folk movement by Will Hodgkinson Alan Moore on the Green Man in history and legend Cosmic Gardening Mark Manning is blown away by Rudolf Steiner The One-Straw RevolutionThe legacy of Masanobu Fukuoka and his technique of no-work farming , where you let nature take the strain Growing Vegetables the Easy Way An idler's guide John Michel on William Corbett Ukulele Special All you need to know about the history of the uke, where to buy one, how to play it and why the uke is more punk than the guitar. All this as well as tips for living the good life and full colour illustrations and photography throughout.
This new issue of The Idler explores childhood and wonders whether today's kids are suffering from too much education, too many activities and too much interfering. Childish Things features Bertrand Russell's essay on education and freedom, an attack on professionalism, a visit to Summerhill School, where lessons are optional, and a guide to childcare for the lazy by editor Tom Hodgkinson. There's an interview with Michael Palin, a man who has gone with the flow to great acclaim. You'll also find Nicholas Lezard on Samuel Beckett, John Michel on William Cobbett, new short stories, and biting satire and humour from Gwyn, Ian Vince, Adam Buxton, Tony Husband, Chris Donald and The Idler's own agony uncles, Bill Drummond and Mark Manning. And the ejected bass player from The Darkness writes from his French chateau. All this as well as tips for living the good life, and full colour illustrations and photography throughout.