How embracing boredom could help us
Head Slacker, sorry for the late response, but I was busy not being busy. Another great article.....”don’t be scared of being scared” and a Fr. Merton quote.
Look, you watch SOTU so I don't have to, and hey, my subscription got to be worth something.
Not for nothing, this was freaking hilarious: "I was too lazy to change the channel to something more edifying and dignified, like Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey..."
Also, first fishing trip of 2023, 2 keeper Walleye and Perch, slow, but not skunked.
Bedtime Stories must be a popular album name. Madonna used it, as did Tammy Wynette, though hers was Bedtime Story. The whole album was one story, I guess.
Love the Neruda poem. Visited his house in Valparaiso, now a museum, and can envision him writing this in his eagle’s nest study. Don’t know if he wrote this one there but the spot inspires this type of quietness.
This is what I hoped COVID would help us do. Unfortunately, people couldn't wait to get back to the familiar hustle.
Well said, thanks!
I dropped off the ‘wheel of outrage’ mid-pandemic. I couldn’t be happier, aside from my new part-time job of explaining to my friends that not being constantly outraged doesn’t make me a liberal.
“Give us Barabbas!”
Nothing I enjoy more than getting hit in the funny bone with an unexpected zinger coming out of the 60s.
I thought you were going to go in a different direction with this one: How the "smart" phone has eliminated boredom, in that we have all the world at our fingertips to scroll through, and scroll and scroll and scroll, whenever we're standing in a grocery store line or in our car at a stoplight or surreptitiously under the dinner table when our mother-in-law is going on about something. And how our attention span now has to be measured in minutes, because we can't sustain any concentrated focus when the siren song of TikTok/Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/AppleNews coming from our phones/laptops/iPads is deafening. (I can barely make it through a short chapter of a book without taking a break to check Twitter or solve a chess puzzle on Chess.com.) We're no longer bored, but we've traded it for something worse.
Speaking of porn in your browser history -- I have no idea what you're talking about. My brother sent me a meme of a guy vacuuming a rug and his wife and sitting in a chair reading a magazine. His line is: "How clean do you want it?" Her reply: "Like your browser history."
(Loved the Neruda poem: "and not move our arms so much." Geez, that guy is good.)
This is an interesting piece. Sort of the sanding down of outrage to a lovely table top that we use daily without recalling the gnarly tree from which it came. There are a few things I still hope for, even at my advanced age. One is that we could hypnotize Marjorie into sucking on a banana everytime she has the urge to speak outload. First of all, its healthy, second its sort of suggestive of her actual mental state and third, it eliminates all but the sucking sounds - which I can live with.
Your average drug store variety drag queen is quite a bit more truthful and forthcoming about their life than Santos, though! Sometimes at cringe levels of honesty, at that. Nothing like a grown ass man in runny mascara crying about his ex-boyfriend - better TV than Sleepy Joe any day, too.
As I read the organization’s health and safety plan each paragraph began with “Remain calm”. I was amused but when you think about the disaster in DC......
Truer words could not be spoken
Hey now Matt…While I couldn’t agree with you more on embracing a little boredom could we spare Barbie any comparison to MTG. Barbie has her critics for sure, but she’s always been a class act. She’d never disrespect a sitting President or wear a gosh-awful fur trimmed coat to the State of the Union. Never!
My father thought the opposite of boredom was activity - any activity. So if my brothers or I claimed we were bored, within his earshot, we ended up cleaning out the inside of garbage cans, pulling weeds, putting tools away in alphabetical order, etc. This is not the opposite of boredom. Cleaning the family's silver is not the opposite of boredom. The opposite of boredom is doing something that is mentally stimulating, exciting, interesting, absorbing, something that makes time pass quickly because it's mentally or emotionally absorbing. Try making out with someone you find interesting. Time will fly!
What has become boring? Watching anything related to America's ad absurdum (How's that for intellectual posing? Latin) politics. It's like watching a Fellini film. I remember trying to carefully find the meaning of the comical characters, in ridiculous parades, and the caricatures of existential philosophy, then finding myself sound asleep before the movie's over. I never made it through either of the two I tried, so I just gave up. Now, when I remember the clowns, the weird makeup, the costumes, and the bad music, I think, American politics. Our government is a "come to life" Fellini film, in which they are both equally absurd and make me fall asleep. Ironically, sleepy Joe doesn't make me fall asleep. Why? He's just too normal to be in a Fellini film and he reminds me of people I know and like.
Silence is not boring. In fact, for many, silence is anxiety provoking. Do you know people who do computer games with the TV on while talking on a phone, hands free. Seems weird? No. It's just avoidance of what silence can show you about yourself. Want to know yourself? Socrates virtually commands it. Silence is a good teacher. (Again, posing that I know a lot about Greek philosophy...)
By now, we all expect MTG to be a loud dumb ass. My mom called women like that "brassy." That word doesn't seem mean enough, but we all knew what she meant. Uncouth would be a better word, but still, not mean enough.
Sleepy Joe expected the R's to act like a crowd of spoiled adolescents and played off of it. They were simply written into his script. Stupid insolence used to be shocking. Now, it happens so often that it's boring.
Don't be bored. Take time away from the performative shock and outrage of the news and learn a foreign language. Plan a trip to some exotic place. Cook something new. Lessen someone's pain and loneliness without expecting even a thank-you in return. Do something good without the expectation of anyone noticing. Be still with your own thoughts and accept them for what they are...mostly detritus.
Go to the library!!! It's one of the most democratic and life enhancing ideas ever created. Libraries can be churches for some...to the point of being salvific! While there, check out a CD by Stealers Wheel, "Stuck in the Middle with You." The song contains the lyrics, "...clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am..." Wait. Don't. It will make you think of politics and you'll screw the pooch again.
If I had a dollar for every time I played "Boomtown." LONG LIVE THE 80's! T'was a great decade to come of age. Boredom led to some very interesting capers....stealing lawn ornaments and putting them in the grocery store parking lot, filling a pressure washer with water and spraying unsuspecting kids from a car, keggers at the dam....so many good memories.
Good piece, Matt. I almost enjoyed it. Watching the SOTU the otha nite made me laugh. I said to my girlfriend (AKA my wife) that we had just witnessed an exhibition of rope-a-dope without Ali. Anyway, was ticked that I had no popcorn. BTW, the hummingbirds are back nesting. So that’s how I spent some time yestaday...beautiful.
Matt, very good one today. If nothing else, I will try to be a little more bored and encourage others similarly.
“not the “good” kind of war criminal like Vladimir Putin“
.. “Give us Barabbas!”
That’s gold Jerry!