Tuesday, October 14, 2008

monsters of boredom

I almost slapped myself in the face yesterday.

The guy in my local newsagent was about to put my yoghurt and milk into a plastic bag, when I raised my hand. "No bag is necessary." I told him, emphasising the word 'bag' unnecessarily.

"No bag is necessary." That convoluted sentence has come out of my mouth several times in the last couple of weeks. It's a shocker. I'm going to try to never say it again.

It got me wondering why this word-cluster popped up from nowhere and got lodged in my brain and I've decided that it's because of boredom. I think I actually got bored of regularly saying "it's ok, I don't need a bag" and out of sheer desperation for variety I started saying it in a new way, despite that new way being hideous.

Andy, stop writing drivel.. go lie down or something.

Ah - but I have a point to make. You see, I was in a meeting the other day in which an idea we had been kicking around for ages started to be dismissed for the first time. Its novelty wore off and we got bored of it before anyone else had even seen it. Something we've all faced, I'm sure.

Lars Svensson, author of A Philosophy of Boredom suggests that humans are notorious for valuing novelty above usefulness and that this is a direct result of boredom's hold on us. The problem is, this attitude of avoiding boredom at all costs leads to making surface changes just to scratch our itch.

Scratch enough and you turn it into a monster.
That makes absolutely no sense. I've decided that I have little patience for the last 10% of a blog post. I make a vague point and then trail off. I'm going to go and have some toast...


Anonymous Asi said...

Boredom is actually good for you
(well, sort of)


4:40 pm  

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