Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Anthropology of Boredom

I wasn't, completely, joking about labeling desk doodles as wikis. A desk is an area with boundaries and yet it is free for editing..adding, erasing, building, growing, scrubbing. A far less confined space then the lines of text that this box requires of me. A piece of paper is a more freeing area of processing than this confined space. (Ah, two times the word confined.) I find that when I am prepared to write a paper, plan a presentation, or map out a semester course (the syllabus), I turn to my note pad to draw out the flow. I never start with the lines of text forced on me by this box...and my cursor moving and the letters lining up...straight and neat....neat and straigh.t..never curved..never free formed...never inserted on the side...at an angle....arrows pointing....smaller lines of text added.....just lines of text....straight and neat.

The meaning of doodles...are those boredom....free thoughts and associations.....processing...digesting....the chewing of the mental cud....the desire to escape the battle of Yorktown....Russian absolutism....the three stages in a rite of passage....liminality......core..periphery......biomass......commodity fetishism.....anthropophagy....witches....blood sucking...Dracula...sucking...fucking....Saturday night......sweet smoke....burning weed......Led Zep....free ride....no such thing as.......Appomattox..Greg and Lia...together forever.....Greg and.......forever, too long....linear thinking....when only a curve will do.....

Do we learn in the frenzy of the rush or the quiet moments of contemplation...do we learn in the incising of a desk....the crisp click of a key depressed......the soft shuck of a page turning....a glance around the room.....the interaction with a page....with a screen...with a voice....with a click.....




Larry, this one's for you.

4 comments:

Larry C Wilson said...

Ah, the beauty of postmodern deconstructionism....

Pamthropologist said...

LOL. Busted. I had fun with it, 'though.

Owen said...

I find a lot of things click once I take my mind off the problem. Doodling for me is absolutely mandatory. My class notes are almost always intertwined with art. If I have trouble remembering someones name, I do my best to NOT remember the name, and then I get it. So go figure.

I also find some of my greatest revelations come in my sleep. I practice Brazilian Jujitsu (spell it how you like) and I find I correct my movements in my dreams, have an epiphany of sorts, and somehow gain confidence to perform the move in class.

Pamthropologist said...

Hey Owen,

I know what you mean. I am a runner and running helps me think, differently.