In praise of boredom MAR 20 2009
In an excerpt from a Dartmouth College commencement address, Joseph Brodsky argues that boredom is a "natural condition of modern life" and should be embraced in order to realize your proper place in the world.
The other trouble with originality and inventiveness is that they literally pay off. Provided that you are capable of either, you will become well-off rather fast. Desirable as that may be, most of you know firthand that nobody is as bored as the rich, for money buys time, and time is repetitive. Assuming that you are not heading for poverty, one can expect your being hit by boredom as soon as the first tools of self-gratification become available to you. Thanks to modern technology, those tools are as numerous as boredom's symptoms. In light of their function -- to render you oblivious to the redundancy of time -- their abundance is revealing.