Thursday, January 24, 2008


Boredom is something that occurs with alarming frequency in most people's lives, and yet as far as I can tell it hasn't ever been the subject of any scientific rigor. We have no anti-boredom drugs (which might not be that remarkable if we didn't have drugs for just about everything else) there are no boredom counselors, no professional ennui advisers, no medical centers with one-way glass where scientists induce boredom and study it's effects. Do monkeys get bored? I seem to remember reading something about them getting depressed. When every other difference is stripped away (tool-making, awareness of others, celebrity worship, etc.) is boredom what truly separates us from the animals?

I think I'm more susceptible to boredom than average. I suffer from what I imagine is the same low level ennui most people do, but occasionally factors align and my boredom goes from being mild discomfort and frustration into an overwhelming impulse to scream. This happened to me last night. I don't necessarily blame the event I was at, I think much of it was just the stress of everything I need to do, and the feeling that while I was watching the half-hour power-point presentation (composed mostly of pictures, and bad music) I could have been doing those other things. In any event, in case you were curious, I didn't scream, though I may have mentally swore once or twice. I tried to distract myself by counting up to 242 in trinary with one hand, but that doesn't kill nearly as much time as you would think. Maybe I need a better method. Suggestions are appreciated.

Ennui is a French word meaning "a lack of cigarettes and wine"


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