Excerpt from Boredom Fighters, “Introduction”

Boredom Fighters, “Introduction”

Hello. There are a few things that seem to pop for us:

1/ pushing comic graphics to excess (lots of bubbles, lots of booms and lots of non-words)
2/ overwhelmingly gendered perspectives and narratives
3/ politically engagement (we are thinking of the environment-all the time)

We were reading an articles today written by psychologist Pierce J. Howard (Director of Research at the Centre for Applied Cognitive Studies), when two things struck us:

1/ “Moods are temporary. When an emotional state is permanent, as in continual sadness [or boredom – we’re interchanging the mood], that is a trait, not a mood. Typically, such traits cannot be changed without pharmaceuticals, surgery or therapy.”

He goes on to say that moods can be managed … with a simple five minute outdoor walk, among other things (we need light, air, exercise, change of pace)…

2/ Howard suggests that the probable cause of boredom is that a task is too easy.

If boredom becomes a trait, we surmised, then mothers smash sons with vacuum cleaners, schools soporificize students in greasy cafeterias, governments crush the rebellious with plasma screens. Strangely, it’s the ‘easy talk’ that causes boredom and yet there is nothing more difficult to manage than having nothing to do. Of course, we believe it is obscene and unethical to be without ‘doings.’ Just yesterday we received a letter from neo-Situationalist who said, “I remind you both that ‘Boredom in Counter-Revolutionary’.”


For more information about Boredom Fighters or to purchase the book, please click here.

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Boredom Fighters | Ed. Jake Kennedy & Paola Poletto

Boredom Fighters, edited by Jake Kennedy and Paola Poletto
ISBN: 9780978335151
Pub Date: 2008

This collection of graphic poems brings together eighteen works that fall somewhere between a graphic novel and poetic verse.

Participating authors reside across the country and include Derek Beaulieu, Christian Bok, Stacey May Fowles and Marlena Zuber, Tim Gaze, Jake Kennedy, Mark Laliberte, Donato Mancini, Kevin Mcpherson Eckhoff, Gustave Morin, Marc Ngui, Paola Poletto, Daniel Scott Tysdal, Jen Pickering, and Sally McKay.

Their poems tackle the broad topic of boredom: Is boredom a symptom of the absence of love? Does it suggest our present task is too easy?

Inside, graphic doesn’t always trump poetry and thus the ultimate tug of war is in the most captivating sense a real yawnyarn between word and image. We like images and we like words.

With epigonic respect to Dada and concrete poetry and with of-the-moment admiration for the graphic novel we’d like to think (we do think!) editors Jake Kennedy and Paola Poletto have collected something other. They are also flatlanders, mandalas, leg chewers, leaf-shakers, dogs, televisions, bricks, calligraphy, typefaces, remote controls, emblems, tazers, lightning bolts, hotels, and sinking cities. All of them sticking intrepidly an unwavering index into the hirsute gargoyle ear-well of boredom.

Click to read an excerpt from Boredom Fighters.

Jake Kennedy is a poet, prose writer, and teacher. His work has appeared in a number of literary journals and anthologies. His chapbook, Hazard, is published by BookThug. Jake currently teaches in the English Department at Okanagan College.

Paola Poletto is an arts administrator, mixed media and installation artist, writer and curator. Artist-led projects have included Kiss Machine Magazine (co-founding publisher since 2000), Inflatable Museum (on-line exhibit 2001-2004), Girls and Guns (travelling exhibit Toronto-London, 2003; Budapest-Albania-Montenegro & Serbia, 2004), and Robot Landscapes (exhibit Toronto, 2004). She is senior director of programs at Design Exchange, Canada’s national centre for design (www.dx.org), where she oversees youth programs, professional programs, exhibitions, museum collection and research. She is also the director of digifest (www.dx.org/digifest), a festival of design and media culture produced by Design Exchange in partnership with the Ontario Science Centre and Harbourfront Centre.

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