Confession. Before I focused on music performance in college, I was on a path of creative writing and poetry. I took a course on French poetry and Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil was on the reading list. He is one of my favorite poets and one of my favorite poems is from that volume, it is called "To the Reader."
Baudelaire famously ends that first poem in this volume by personally addressing his readers in the creation of his poetry: "Hypocrite reader--my likeness--my brother!" Hmm .. 19th century social media?
The poem is rather dark and has some disturbing imagery. Baudelaire points out that boredom or disinterest is the worst of the evils:
There is one more ugly, more wicked, more filthy!
Although he makes neither great gestures nor great cries,
He would willingly make of the earth a shambles
And, in a yawn, swallow the world;
He is Ennui!
Fifteen years ago, I was the community builder for an online network of artists. The Web just hit the mainstream and people were giddy with excitement. From October until June - we played and played and played. Then summer hit. A colleague from a performance artist group in NYC posted a discussion thread with the title "Web Ennui." It was about what happens when the early adopters fascination with a new technology wears off or maybe it was that were spending too much time online and needed to turn off the damn computer and go outside.
It stuck with me because I connected it to Baudelaire.
I don't have blogging Ennui (or as Steve Rubel calls it "Bored 2.0") - but after a very hectic travel season, I'm enjoying the fact that I don't have to hop a plane for several weeks. But I still feel like the end of every June is Web Ennui sets in a for a week or two. Is it just me?