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“I felt a strange pang of nostalgia for boredom, the kind of absolute emptiness so familiar when I was a teenager, or a college student, or a dole-claiming idler in my early twenties. Those great gaping gulfs of time with absolutely nothing to fill them would induce a sensation of tedium so intense it was almost spiritual. This was the pre-digital era (before CDs, before personal computers, long before the Internet) when in the UK there were only three or four TV channels, mostly with nothing you’d want to watch; only a couple of just-about-tolerable radio stations; no video stores or DVDs to buy; no email, no blogs, no webzines, no social media. To alleviate boredom, you relied on books, magazines, records, all of which were limited by what you could afford… Boredom is different nowadays. It’s about super-saturation, distraction, restlessness. I am often bored but it’s not for lack of options: a thousand TV channels, the bounty of Netflix, countless net radio stations, innumerable unlistened-to albums, unwatched DVDs and unread books, the maze-like anarchive of YouTube. Today’s boredom is not hungry, a response to deprivation; it is a loss of cultural appetite, in response to the surfeit of claims on your attention and time.”

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source: Retromania (New York: Macmillan, 2011), 74–75.

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medium: Nonfiction

“We always need to remember that behind almost every great moment in history, there are heroic people doing really boring and frustrating things for a prolonged period of time.”

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source: “My Favorite August,” The New York Times, August 13, 2010.

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medium: Op-Ed

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