Sitting reading fragments, because I canâ€™t really concentrate on anything. I pick up a couple of Ballard tomes and leaf through them. â€œInternal emigration, the route laid down by Kafka.â€ Heâ€™s talking about novelists, but I can see that as being the situation for so many people. Stories, fictions, other worlds, even the girl with the celebrity mag on the train. Weâ€™re getting the fuck out of here. In a display of agonising banality mag-woman reported her opinions regarding Paris Hiltonâ€™s sidekick; she was lost in a world of magnified human icons, with their dieting plans and marketed personalities. Had this woman emigrated too, to a world where all the gloss trash took on some greater reality? A gossip-rag unKafka, trapped in Swansea but living in Celebrity Glam-land?
Iâ€™m wondering if my own life has always been about leaving the country without moving. As a kid people remarked on my self-sufficiency: I was quite happy to be left alone, to amuse myself. Not that I was a loner â€“ I was certainly more amiable than I am now. But I donâ€™t think I was ever faced with boredom. But I wonder if my gift for sidestepping boredom has stopped me from achieving some greater arc in life. Reading Svendsenâ€™s book on boredom has given over to some searching thoughts. One thread in the book suggests that our human activities need to be imbued with meaning in order to avoid their being plunged into boredom. Even repetitive tasks, given the right context, can provide meaning. Conversely, many great projects are made in through boredom-torture, and the attempts to dissolve that state through meaningful work. I wonder if my own disquiet in recent times has something to do with my capacity to get lost in minutiae, without ever getting bored enough to reach for the stars. I should at least be looking up, I think. (Can you be immune to meaning? A kind of Death of Affect, looping back to Ballard. Cultural aphasia, a life through perpetual redescription, with no grounding and no truth.)
I find myself getting stuck on a load of age old problems. One of those, which bugs me because I can find so little material that genuinely focuses on the idea, is that of meaning perception, a la Colin Wilson. If I can grant myself the resolution to do so, Iâ€™ll work up something about this. Iâ€™m not sure how, but the seed is there.
Iâ€™ve worked on a mass of small projects in the last few years, but the activities themselves havenâ€™t satisfied me. Iâ€™m wondering if I could compose a book entirely of titles, perhaps with occasional marginalia and footnotes, of books and essays that I will never get round to writing.
Here are a few of those:
Keraunopathology, or Post-electrocution Syndrome
“Spam is actually generated by the ghosts of bad salesmen, trapped in the Internet.”
electric fences/fried air
An Ounce of Redemption and a Ton of Ruin
The Sound of Vast Metal Bending To The Sea
Information a kind of heat / Cultural boiling point.
Weird Skull Control
Melancholic Gritty Magicalism, Offset by Baroque Periods of Surreal Titanism
Zip Zipman: The Ultimate Salesman
The Brain Scans of Dying Luminaries / Alpha Wave Charts
half rabbit, half spider
The Fear of Voids â€“ Kenophobia
Hmm. Which one needs to be written?
Incidentally, I deleted a comment made on the original boredom post, where a nameless American had stated â€˜You are a jackass.â€™ I should have left it there. I now wonder if he was just pissed off with my idiotic whimsy, or whether he really was a disgruntled Heidegger reader. We may never know.