The Trouble with Being Bored

Here is a new essay that I wrote for the excellent Fallow Media. It skirts haphazardly around boredom, dead-end jobs, and Hanya Yanagihara’s strangely tedious A Little Life. With much thanks to Ian Maleney for his editorial patience, and to Kathy Tynan who allowed me to reproduce one of her paintings alongside it.

I guess one of the things I was thinking about was boredom as a state of being, and if it can have any positive implications. One of the fundamental traits of the contemporary, as far as I can see, is that boredom – or, stasis – persists even as we are busier, more connected than ever, etc. With regard to politics, you could argue that the rise of Trump in the U.S and now, disastrously, with Brexit, that some people are voting just to “see what happens,” to initiate some kind of shift in the status quo – one that has been cruel, exacerbating inequality. At the same time, though, I think it’s important to remember that some people are simply bigots and knew exactly what they were voting for. Anyway, it’s not at all worked out in this essay (enjoy?).

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