Even More Boring

24Nov11

noticing the wrong things

One of the joys of events like Boring is that it rumbles around your head for an age after and as it does so more and more stuff appears for further consideration and investigation.

On the day Leila Johnston talked on the subject of the film About A Boy, on one hand about the fact that it’s essentially about being bored in London rather than about, well, a boy – and on the other about her work cataloguing the many locations featured in the film. Like many of those who attended the event she’s written about her day at one of Britain’s best known boxing venues and she’s done a wonderful job, talking about the problems of living in a world where, “If you want to take a photo of an IBM till when you’re in Gap (or Paul, or H&M) you have to do it covertly. It’s not illegal, but everyone knows you’re noticing the wrong things.”

Now it’s rare that I find myself in Gap, Paul or H&M but I do seem to notice the wrong things.

She then goes on to say, “It’s difficult, though. Truly cherishing these things means running up against a society hellbent on novelty / interestingness / the future. The world just doesn’t have time for people who want to do things the long way round. Society is a destination, not a journey. The impulse to collect, order and resist difference is deemed defensive by a culture that prizes spontaneity and communal progress. It looks uncomfortably conservative and insular, even threatening, if your time-spending priorities aren’t motivated by usefulness or consumerism, or (even ostensible) communal benefit. You’re just not holding up your side of the bargain, you’re not playing by the rules.”

You should go and read what Leila has to say in full over on her blog, and in the mean time I’m off to go and print out the above paragraph to keep in safe place to avoid having to explain myself time after time after time.



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