Publication Details

Buchanan, I. (2017). The Disappearance of Boredom. Lo Sguardo: Rivista di Filosofia, (23), 277-284.

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As Baudrillard's essay on the hypermarket makes clear, the mall is the true face of Baudrillard's concept of hyperreality. It is not merely the simulation of reality; it is, in fact, a vast, multilayered consumerist dreamscape in which everything you can imagine yourself wanting can be had in commodity form, even if that wasn't what you originally wished for. Today, though, Baudrillard's hyperreal hypermarket is to be found online and thanks to the smartphone it is constantly in reach. Smartphones are not just re-shaping space; they're also transforming time, most noticeably in our apparent loss of the ability to wait. Nowhere is that 'truth' felt more keenly than in airport departure lounges where waiting is widely considered torture. But contrary to the popular view, it is not torture because it is boring - it is torture because boredom is no longer possible. We embrace our electronic thralldom and thank the Gods for the fact we've conquered boredom once and for all. By conquering boredom consumer capitalism has extinguished its most potent critic. Boredom was our defense against the present.