Productivity was all the molten rage for a minute on the internet: getting things done, lifehacks, deep work, inbox zero, social media blackout apps, monotasking. The current moment seems to be about the opposite of productivity: paeans to the enriching existential benefits of boredom, the fertile possibilities in doing nothing (the Danish fondly enshrine it as something called niksen), idleness as a resistance against the constant capitalist mandate to produce and consume. With my own paradoxical psychological makeup of someone who on the one hand can compete with sloths for heroic, essential laziness but who on the other hand is also constantly simmering in a radioactive stew of puritanical guilt for not Doing Something Right This Moment, I oscillate myself into a plasmic fugue state when I think about it too much.
The point? It’s a clumsily overthinky thematic segue to our September issue and our Fall Culture Guide — a to-do list that’s anything but a chore. Culture represents to me a happy midpoint between these two poles, between work and idleness, between doing and being. It’s leisure, to be sure, but selective leisure that requires a level of engagement beyond passive consumption. It requires your brain and your heart to work. And this year’s Fall Culture Guide will engage both, with plenty of art exhibits, dances, plays, concerts, and readings to carry you through the end of the year. The summer may define Las Vegas in many people’s imaginations — the season of heat and abandon — but fall is when the real Las Vegas — our Las Vegas — truly comes alive.