Boredom, poverty and war: three themes you’d think (wrongly) would be extinct by now — war because humankind as a whole is more peaceably inclined than ever before, poverty because of an abundance of riches and boredom because … doesn’t it go without saying, given the endless stream, not to say flood, of instantly accessible entertainment available? Even real life, if not always (or even often) entertaining, is undeniably interesting. You can say anything you like, good or bad, about the times we live in, but it would seem to require an unusual degree of apathetic detachment to be bored by them.

War we can discuss another time. Boredom and poverty are quite enough to fill one column.

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