Have you heard about the Slow Photography Movement? Neither had I, until today. So to get everyone up to speed on all the slow movements sweeping oozing across the nation, below are 10 langourous definitions you might need to know. Someday. If you're ever invited to a Slow Cocktail party.
We are still waiting for the Slow Bowel Movement, the Slow Texting Movement, and the Slow Slide into Bankrupty Movement.
Slow Food (Eric Schlosser, The Nation):
The idea of slow food has its origins in the Northern Italian counterculture of the 1970s. While American hippies were forming communes and going back to the land, some of their socialist counterparts in Italy were embracing the traditional music, food and agriculture of life in the rural Piedmont region. Carlo Petrini, a brilliant and charismatic journalist, became the leading spokesman for the notion that there is nothing contradictory about championing pleasure and working for change....
At the heart of Petrini's Slow Food philosophy is a set of fundamental values that aim to distance its celebration of pleasure from mindless decadence. According to the Slow Food trinity, food must be "good, clean, and fair." The "good" refers to taste; the "clean," to local, organic, sustainable means of production; and "fair," to a system committed to social justice.
Slow Cities (interview with Orvieto, Italy mayor Stefano Cimicchi, Mother Jones)
A Slow City is committed to improving the quality of life of its residents. We support traditional local foods, we try to make Orvieto a hospitable place for visitors, and we work hard to make the city a seamless part of the urban fabric. For example, Orvieto recently closed the historical town center to all car traffic. Two large parking lots outside the city center host all the visitors' cars and save the town from traffic, pollution, and noise.
Slow Sex (Carl Honore, Huffington Post):
Make the bedroom a Slow haven: no phones, no orgasm quotas, no deadlines; just two people in the moment together, going with the flow. Slip into a relaxed, sensual rhythm with massage, stroking, eye contact, breathing in unison, maybe even blindfolds. That may sound a bit cheesy, but, as the Pointer Sisters observed, it's the lover with a slow hand who makes the earth move.
Still reading? You're probably in a dwindling minority. But no matter: a literary revolution is at hand. First we had slow food, then slow travel. Now, those campaigns are joined by a slow-reading movement – a disparate bunch of academics and intellectuals who want us to take our time while reading, and re-reading. They ask us to switch off our computers every so often and rediscover both the joy of personal engagement with physical texts, and the ability to process them fully.
Slow Theater (Anne Kingston, Macleans.ca)
Slow theatre has even been heralded as the new Ritalin. Writing in the Guardian, the British playwright Mark Ravenhill praised celebrated Polish director Krystian Lupa, who’s known for Factory 2, an eight-hour homage to Andy Warhol. Lupa’s currently staging Marilyn, a three-hour work-in-progress to be part of a nine-hour exploration of “personality.” Ravenhill enthused about “its slowness, its longueurs.” He was initially frustrated by the pace, he admits. “But then I suddenly became hugely excited. For almost the first time in my theatregoing experience, I was truly being treated as an adult, someone who didn’t need to be constantly diverted, who had chosen to be here and was being given space for my own responses.”
Slow Photography (Tim Wu, Slate.com):
Step 1 in slow photography is spending a long time studying the subject. As one guide enjoins, "pay more attention to your subject than to your camera." That's an order to actually use your eyes. It calls for consideration not just of what you think you see (a tree or a dog) but of the colors and shapes that present themselves. Thinking dog or tree can blind you to what you are really seeing—which is, in the end, a series of photons arranged in a way that for convenience you call dog. It may sound like semantics, but it makes all the difference. When you look carefully and avoid trying to label what you see, you inevitably start to notice things that you mightn't have otherwise.
Slow Travel (Scott Vogel, Washington Post)
In practical terms, the Slow Traveler movement, especially as championed by the Web site SlowTravel.com, advocates staying in apartments and rental homes while on vacation, and limiting your activities to the sorts of things you'd do if you actually lived in, say, Paris. Operating on what it calls the "concentric circles theory," the SlowTravel folks discourage day trips far from your home base, preferring instead that you start in your adopted neighborhood -- e.g., shopping in the local markets -- and work your way outward.
Slow Families (Bernadette Noll, Just a Minute blog)
It is about allowing family life to unfold in a way that is joyfully and consciously connected. This means slowing it down, finding comfort in the home, and creating the space to see and honor the family as an entity, while simultaneously keeping sight of each member as a unique and valuable individual.
Slow Blogging (Slow Blog blog)
Slow Blogging is a rejection of immediacy. It is an affirmation that not all things worth reading are written quickly, and that many thoughts are best served after being fully baked and worded in an even temperament.
Slow Talking (Bob and Ray)
Does this one need to be explained?