Michael Aird

The Conditions Under Which You Are Most Likely to Have Difficulty Describing What You Do for Fun

Eyes should be open, but with lids slightly drooped
                the buccinators might be activated
                               but no flexion should be found
                                              in the zygomatic muscle

Clinically relevant expressions
can be difficult to determine, yet
you know him reader, that delicate monster

                                                             Dear Franklin W. Dixon: did the Hardy boys
                                                             ever get bored? I seem to remember
                                                             that they always had plans, ambitions
                                                             or engaged in normative delinquencies
                                                             like goofing off at work

                Perhaps that’s why I find
                leading a startup so intoxicating,
                whereas around 85% of my colleagues
                suffer from an indolence of the heart
                that’s resulted in reduced
                               spontaneous speech
                               emotional responsiveness
                               social interactions
                               interest in usual pastimes

Wasn’t the indecisiveness of the prince
                simply a quasi-cultivation
                of world-weariness and cynical detachment
                               mixed with a depletion
                               of optimal resources because of

                                              I would have thought the French had cornered boredom,
                                                             but as it turns out U.S. students scored
                                                                            significantly higher on measures
                                                                            of boredom proneness than their
                                                                                                          European counterparts

                Of particular interest,
                people prone to boredom generally appear
                higher in paranoid ideation—
                               which makes sense given how our findings suggest
                               that among male undergraduates
                               those who favored Dukakis were less bored
                               than those who favored Bush

Certainly, correlational analyses
reveal a marked negative relationship
between boredom proneness and psychosocial

                                                             Are gamblers necessarily sensation seekers,
                                                             or are they avoiding dysphoric moods?
                                                             Are those youth truly committed to radical Islam,
                                                             or are they instead
                                                             fending off their akinetic mutism?

Although, it’s only with the inception
                               of Christianity really
                               that the Sensation Seeking Scale
                               takes centre stage as a spiritual
                               or intellectual concern

                               Several hypotheses have been described
                               to account for a vigilance decrement,
                                              but at the end of the day
                                              boredom is that existential that precludes
                                              its own intelligibility

I’m not going to join the war on boredom,
                               because we need to listen to the emotion
                                                                            and ask what it’s trying to tell us

One team simply left subjects in a room
alone with a button that allowed them
to give themselves an electric shock,
which many did elect to do

                                                             To this rare breed belong artists
                                                             and contemplative men of all kinds:
                                                             they do not fear boredom, but view it
                                                             as that disagreeable lull of the soul
                                                             that precedes a happy voyage and cheerful winds

If boredom is an historically
                contingent mood or condition,
                it can occasionally
harbour flashes of subversive insight
and the seeds of transformational praxis

                                              As Smallwood points out,
                                                             new theory suggests that we have
                                                             some responsibility for our own
                                                             levels of boredom

                Remain slouched or hunched over if you want,
                etherized at the table,
                or else
                adopt the facial expression you are targeting,
                the emotional body posture that says
                flow proneness and mood labelling,
                St. Martha,
                I erected this boredom, but never bore
                of this erection

The Work Concentrates on the Surprising Aspects of the Projection and Assumes a Rigid World Setting

To put it another way,
is not every square inch of the deconcealment of being
a place-congruent continuity
                which can now be organized
                               around the category of the SCENE as such

                We tend to know when a scene works
                and when it doesn’t
                               unlike a wannabe scene or girly fucker
                               who suddenly decides to listen to
                               my chemical romance
                               act all br00tal and wear too much eyeliner

It starts and ends with a character
                arriving or leaving—
it gives the sensation that a character
                is trapped in this moment and must go through it—
it takes on the character
                of a human in the loop…observing…
                               from the artifice of absolute distance

                                                             In the industry we call these pictures
                                                             establishing shots—
                                                             this is because the development
                                                             of scenic institutions also increases
                                                             the number of scenic gatekeepers
                                                             who support the preservation of
                                                             scenic distinctiveness

At Scenic America, we believe
we have a choice about how we want to live—
                therefore it’s vital to examine
                who is most engaged in the discursive construction
                within the context of the scene—
                               lest you want to leave it to those
                               emo-looking kids or those Warez fucks

Benjamin has indeed famously remarked
                of Atget’s photographs
                of deserted Paris streets
that he photographed them like scenes of a crime

                               To be honest, scene cohesion
                               is usually manipulated
                               by including objects that do not fit
                               into the scene complex

Two different mechanisms
have been suggested to account for this
                               advantage of incongruent objects

To begin with, covert attention
                is drawn to an object when there’s difficulty
                reconciling that object’s identity
                with the overall meaning of the scene,
                thereby fixating the perverse object
                earlier in the assemblage

                                              And secondly, incongruent stimulus,
                                              engaging attention longer
                                              in rival situations, exhibits
                                              a duration dominance dwarfing that
                                              of non-arousing stimuli

It’s all about being both
improbable and novel—
                               because heart rate and skin conductance measurements
                               under novelty-induced conditions
                               are maximized by those protagonists
                                                             burdened by expanded possibilities
                                                                                                                         of the self

What do you have that compares with cocaine?—
                                              other than two buses: one headed
                                              for Nowhere, the other for Boredom

                                                                                           Are any number of crimes, in fact,
                                                                                           committed not against
                                                                                           people or property, but against
                                                                                           a certain vacant commonality

                In moments like these
                we cultural criminologists embrace
                               the epistemic surprise stored
                               in geo-specific data

                                              Is every passer-by a culprit?
                                              Are there streets that are assassins?

It’s worth considering that public spaces
                are difficult to control
                and that such context violations
                are referred to in the literature
                as a form of urbicide

                               There’s a void in understanding
                               the sense of a scene as it’s experienced
                               by local residents—
                               and while there might be cautionary flags
                                              (such as the five basic principles
                                              of designing defensible space),
                               it’s not as simple as assigning
                               a semantic label to the tableau vivant

                The term scene is rarely applied
                               to a particular space
                               unless there is a substantial degree of rawness
                               penetrating deeper
                                              than the holistic properties of the
                                                                                           spatial envelope

Scene parsing is thus the challenging problem
of making every pixel appear
                at precisely that scandalous point
                we bob on the horizon
                of our own feature-classifier paradigm

But by then the gatekeeper comes along
alternative or consequent or attendant scenes
                some of which
                               contain similar haunting qualities
                some of which
                               contain only a residue of the dreamy

I Took that Carnosine to Mean There’d Be No More Abuse by the Shelterbelt

This comes in the form of what Marx calls
                               the faux frais of the void ratio
                                                             during an internal erosion process

                In neuroscience we name this programmed death
                “creative destruction”—the thinking being
                                              if a microtubule array
                                              is to be erected, a microtubule array
                                              must be destroyed

How’s that cup looking now?
Are you down to the dregs?
Is your crumb structure compromised to the point
where you might just wash away?

                                                             While we’re all merely a necrobiome
                                                             waiting to be
                                                             deducted from the product
                                                             you don’t have to be old to feel the effects
                                                             of mojo depletion

                In fact, the No. 1 health complaint
                in doctor’s offices today
                is a sort of imperceptible sheetwash
                of the horny layer
                                              likely caused by an energy leak
                                              or some psy-vampirism

Speaking more technically,
                a tightening in the chest under
                predictable circumstances, the feeling
                of being slimed after talking to a
                certain person, tolerable or intolerable
                soul loss

                               Then, with wonderful dexterity,
                                              I perceived him loosening my shadow from the ground
                                                             in a very measured deformation

It’s said Werner Herzog and his film crew
in the Peruvian Amazon
were given the graphic description
                                                             of face-peelers

                                                                            (A quick survey of the oft-photographed—
                                                                            Lindsay Lohan, Lady Gaga, Madonna—
                                                                            makes me wonder if there isn’t something
                                                                            to this chemical denudation)

One of the first things to do
                is to recognize when you’re being drained

                               For example,
                               exploring the metaphorical links
                               between physical and social temperatures
                               (like “warm smile” or “cold as ice”)
                               researchers found a more reliable
                               subjective vitality
                               nestled in the micro-architecture
                                              of embodied cognition

I met a Traveler from an antique land
who said, “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
stand in the desart, thereby triggering
                               a perceived associative cluster
                               of homeostatic dysregulation”

                                              But what is the quenched condition?
                                                             hydration might be an essential
                                                             patrimony of the skin,
                                                             yet purge fluid is so rich in nitrogen
                                                             that after a short scorched earth period
                                                             it will fertilize future generations

Unproductive expenditure
                may well be the very point
                               of the conjunctive synthesis of consumption

                The wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
                               can’t identify what is and is not
                               too metabolically expensive
                               to maintain

                                                             If one looks in any depth into the world
                                                             of this writer’s fiction one can see
                                                             elegant self-control concealing
                                                             until the very last moment
                                                             a state of inner disintegration
                                                             and biological decay

                We have to adapt—
                               so we majored in the Humanities
                               and companies only want engineers—
                               embrace the message of Herman Hesse’s Demian:
                               keep reading novels, but start learning
                               a new skill

Is a shattered visage the punctum
that greets you in the morning’s mirror?
Is a single parent material
that which no longer pushes apically
up out of your purse?

                                              So be it—
                                              all Aufheben happens outside history
                                              and begins with detachment—
                                              my “thirst for valorization”
                                              is like the photograph’s having been there
                                              prior to transport downstream
                                              a scarcely visible discount
                                              on repeated viewing

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