The New York Times

In Praise of Mediocrity

THE PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE HAS INFILTRATED AND CORRUPTED THE WORLD OF LEISURE.

I’m a little surprised by how many people tell me they have no hobbies. It may seem a small thing, but — at the risk of sounding grandiose — I see it as a sign of a civilization in decline. The idea of leisure, after all, is a hard-won achievement; it presupposes that we have overcome the exigencies of brute survival. Yet here in the United States,

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