Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The redundancy of time

As for poverty, boredom is the most brutal part of its misery, and the departure from it takes more radical forms: of violent rebellion or drug addiction. Both are temporary, for the misery of poverty is infinite; both, because of that infinity, are costly. In general, a man shooting heroin into his vein does so largely for the same reason you buy a video: to dodge the redundancy of time. The difference, though, is that he spends more than he's got, and that his means of escape become as redundant as what he is escaping from faster than yours. On the whole, the difference in tactility between a syringe's needle and a stereo's push button roughly corresponds to that between the acuteness and dullness of time's impact upon the have-nots and the haves. In short, whether rich or poor, sooner or later you will be afficted by this redundancy of time.

--Joseph Brodsky, "In Praise of Boredom"

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