Saturday Night: Wham] It hit me. George, you have won

Like most people, I used to live in hope. No particular kind, you understand, just the vague feeling that it might be nice to learn that there was some point to all this. I was constantly alert, in a bleary-eyed way, for that moment when the flat-pack unit of life would assemble itself and stand proud. Last Wednesday morning, it finally happened.

I walked into the newsagent's and picked up the the Independent, with its front-page story of George Michael losing his epic legal battle with Sony. George was very unhappy about his pounds 11m recording contract, seriously pissed off with his meagre pounds 70m fortune. Hell, he was miserable, so much so that he described his situation as 'professional slavery' and promised he would not record another note until the contract expires, 10 years from now.

Then I bought a copy of the Face, mainly for the rather pert and saucy Winona Ryder cover. (I'd buy unrefrigerated body parts if they came wrapped in saucy photos of Winona.) Inside, I found several articles loosely based on the slacker sub-culture. Slackers, as any media-literate fool will tell you, are young people whose lives are totally devoid of tension. Money, fashion, work, war, sex, drugs, politics - what's the big deal? In the end it's all a hassle, and nothing really worth getting worked up about. They can take it or leave it, whatever it is. Slackers would tell you to shove it, only they can't be bothered.

I suppose it was inevitable. All the real radical poses got used up years ago. Those greedy baby- boomers (the generation preceding the slackers, and their mortal enemies) cleaned the store out. They did all the drugs, had all the sex, blew all the cash, revived all the great moments of pop history and photographed themselves in the act to prove it. Realising this, the only thing left for slackers to do was to shrug and say: 'So what?'

Slackers (who hate being called slackers) got their name from a low-budget film called Slacker, made by Richard Linklater in 1991. I wondered why the Face had taken so long to raise the slackness issue, before I realised I was probably missing the point ('Hey, it's just another cultural phenomenon expressing the nihilistic fatalism of today's pampered youth. This year, next year . . . we'll get around to it, OK?'). And then I made the connection. The scales fell from my eyes.

George, you are inching towards slackdom. It makes perfect sense. For years now you have toiled in bondage. Of course, like millions of others you believed you were free, but in reality your waking hours are sheer torture. I mean, just being George Michael is a form of slavery.

You have that cheesy image to maintain. A golden tan to be topped up regularly. Hair that must be washed and conditioned every morning to keep it soft, silky and healthy-looking.

Then there's the stubble to trim and the nose hairs to clip. You must work your fingers to the knuckle in order to look so effortlessly well-groomed. And keeping that waistline under 32ins has never been a breeze, George, let's face it. Sit-ups? Diets? Am I ringing any bells here?

Consider the relentless wardrobe frenzy you must endure every time you appear in public - especially in the High Court. Which belt to wear with the Gucci loafers? Tortoise-shell Ray-Bans or gold rims? Is Versace too chi-chi for morning wear? It must be a nightmare, making those choices. Others may scoff, but my heart goes out to you.

All this time, you have been in denial, trying to convince yourself - and us - that you were in control. But finally you uttered the name of the beast - 'professional slavery'.

Now that the truth has emerged, I hope you will have the courage to go all the way, so that one day you can fling open those closet doors and tell the world: I'm slack and I'm proud. By setting such a courageous example you would help countless others in their own search for happiness and self-

acceptance.

It won't be easy, George. As a long-time devotee of slackness, I know the path, and there will be sleepless nights, soul-searching and terrible self-doubt. The quest for stasis, for that elusive inert condition, is an arduous one. It can be likened to meditating: if you think you're doing it, you're not doing it. You must surrender all effort, and then surrender your lack of effort, too.

Even the most committed fall by the wayside, and wake up one day slumped in an office chair, doing something, being someone, or even - God forbid - holding down a job.

The best thing you can do is get a slacker guru to help you find your way. On your behalf I rang Tom Hodgkinson, editor of the Idler, a magazine dedicated to slackness of all kinds, and asked for his advice.

'Actually, I'm not very idle,' he said. 'It's a complete paradox. Those most dedicated to slackness somehow end up with the least free time on their hands. People like freelance journalists, for example, have practically zero leisure time. It takes a lot of effort, not working.'

As you can see, there is a long way to go. But you have taken the first step, so why go further? I am willing to do as little as necessary in order to help you become the first megastar to cross over, in the hope that you will lead your fans (mutely, now - you promised) into a state of glorious slackdom. Don't forget, there will always be room for you on my bean-bag.

Relax, George. Your eyes are growing heavy . . .

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Assistant - Travel

    £15500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...

    Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

    Recruitment Genius: Experienced Mechanic

    £17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Auto centre is based in We...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Technician

    £20000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This long established dealer gr...

    Day In a Page

    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate