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Weekend Watch: We could all use some 'Office Space'
20th Century Studios

Weekend Watch: We could all use some 'Office Space'

Nothing cures a case of the Mondays like another viewing of Mike Judge's cult classic.

The best way to mark the beginning of the weekend is to listen to Todd Rundgren's “Bang the Drum All Day” at high volume. This is most effective played over local terrestrial radio and introduced by a DJ named “Scooter” or “The Bearman,” while you and Carol from accounts payable play air drums.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that doesn't understand the value of tradition. Still, even when heard through earbuds, that defiant opening line ("I don't want to work") is an unmistakeable sign that freedom is nigh.

You don't need philosophical justification to sympathize with Todd Rundgren, but if you want some, you can find it in Josef Pieper's "Leisure: The Basis of Culture."For Pieper, “leisure” is not "a Sunday afternoon idyll, but the preserve of freedom, of education and culture, and of that undiminished humanity which views the world as a whole.” Our problem today is that we've replaced our sense of the divine with an obsession with productivity:

“The vacancy left by absence of worship is filled by mere killing of time and by boredom, which is directly related to inability to enjoy leisure; for one can only be bored if the spiritual power to be leisurely has been lost.”

We're certainly more bored than ever. What could be more anticlimactic than finally closing the laptop after a long day of toil only to pick up our phone? We're better off reaching for a pair of drumsticks, or even nothing at all.

Nothing restores us to gratitude like another viewing of 1999 cult classic "Office Space."This may be just another example of Gen X bellyaching about the kind of problems subsequent generations would kill for ("Boo hoo, my steady, decently paying white-collar job is boring"), but anyone who lived the kind of office culture on display in this movie knows the struggle was real.

We're not sure if director Mike Judge has read Pieper, but we can think of few better depictions of a life devoid of leisure than Lumbergh leaning over the cubicle to say, “What's happening?" Milton cradling his beloved red Swingline, Michael Bolton destroying a printer with his bare hands to a Geto Boys track, and a hundred other little, excruciatingly observed moments that make this movie so enduring.

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Matt Himes

Matt Himes

Managing Editor, Align

Matt Himes is the managing editor for Align.
@matthimes →