The day the slacker died

**The day the slacker died

                                                                    **By Spengler                                                                     
                                                                
                                                                Two events on June 6 might denote the death of the "slacker" as an American                                                                      cultural archetype. The first was the largest monthly jump in the US                                                                      unemployment rate in two decades, due to an unexpectedly large number of young                                                                      entrants into the labor market. The second was the release of the film *Kung Fu                                                                          Panda*, which transposes the ubiquitous slacker-makes-good story line                                                                      into the incongruous setting of Chinese martial arts.                                                                     
                                                                
                                                                America might be the first country in recorded history whose culture celebrates                                                                      not only indolence but also the sheer absence of ability. Byronic loafing is                                                                      the birthright of genius, but slacking has become the entitlement of every                                                                      young American. American
                                                                
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                                                                popular culture puts a special premium on doing nothing, which is what the                                                                      protagonists of such popular television series as *Friends*, *Sex in the                                                                          City*, *The Office* and *Seinfeld* did. Aristocrats throughout                                                                      history loafed because they could afford to. Until very recently, so could                                                                      Americans. That has come to a sudden and ignoble end, on which more later.

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