A new leaf

Don’t be alarmed by the time on this blog entry. I am in London and it is the middle of the night but this nocturnal burst of writing is not the beginning of a descent into workaholism. I’m just jet-lagged. We returned yesterday from a long (and very happy) holiday in Canada and my body is still on Prairie time. So rather than toss and turn for hours on end, I figured I’d start on one of my resolutions for 2007: to spend more time with my blog. The first observation of the new year comes from our journey home. Two years ago I wrote a long piece about the joys of Slow for EnRoute, the inflight magazine of Air Canada. This month, EnRoute has a cover story entitled “Why Fast Is Good” or “Éloge De La Vitesse.” It’s a hymn to the joys of speed. The writer starts off lamenting that “Slow gets all the buzz” and then goes on to sing the praises of taking a high-velocity approach to everything from the arts to food to exercise. The paradox, of course, is that the whole feature is just further proof that the Slow movement is on the rise and that the forces of speed are on the defensive. And not surprisingly much of what EnRoute says makes sense. Just as there are moments that call for slowness, there are also times when switching into hare mode is the best policy. In fact, some of the pro-speed trends touted by EnRoute sound perfectly reasonable to me – high-quality fast-food and environmentally-friendly hybrid cars with a bit of oomph are two that spring to mind. Then again, others sound just downright silly. A drive-thru art exhibition, anyone?