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In search of lost time

A rushed sequel to a bestseller
by
May 2023, no. 453

Saving Time: Discovering a life beyond the clock by Jenny Odell

Bodley Head, $35 pb, 252 pp

In search of lost time

A rushed sequel to a bestseller
by
May 2023, no. 453

The Liver King wants your time. Specifically, your time spent on TikTok.

Australia has the highest monthly TikTok usage in the world at nearly thirty hours per user, up 26.5 per cent since last year. That time is valuable. According to Suzie Shaw, CEO of We Are Social Australia, TikTok’s unique algorithm (which puts reels, or short videos, in front of the app’s users) provides ‘a great opportunity for marketers to reach a highly engaged audience’.

Liver King (aka Brian Johnson) is CEO of the ‘Ancestral Lifestyle’. Every morning he bellows ‘Good morning, Primals!’ to his followers and exhorts them to live like our early ancestors, while marketing his line of liver-based supplements. He has 4.2 million followers on TikTok. He is seriously jacked, and aside from a pair of shorts his only other garments are an occasional ‘Viking’ helmet or fur mantle. His antics include extreme workouts (‘simulated hunts’) and the consumption of copious amounts of raw liver and testicle.

Johnson epitomises hustle culture’s constant grind for profit and purpose, maximising every waking (and sleeping) hour. Alongside the continual spruiking, Johnson frequently, and apparently earnestly, articulates his motivation for founding the Ancestral Lifestyle as helping America’s ‘lost people’ to express ‘their highest and most dominant selves’.

Saving Time: Discovering a life beyond the clock

Saving Time: Discovering a life beyond the clock

by Jenny Odell

Bodley Head, $35 pb, 252 pp

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