A Stimulating Look at Being Bored



A Stimulating Look at Being Bored

  The most boring thing to me is a graduation ceremony in which people I don’t know drone on forever, one after the other, saying things I have heard too many times before, to young people who couldn’t care less. Close to that is a guest who talks of nothing but himself and/or of some topic that is not of the least interest to me.

Of course, there are people and events that have interest for you, but you are getting tired of the same person or thing all the time. Here is a paradox of becoming bored with something that does interest you. I love seafood, shall we say…but not every night.

Well, “Boredom” is both the title and the subject of a fascinating DVD on the Disinformation label. Directed by Albert Nerenberg, it “suggests boredom is likely a state of stress… [that] may also be killing you” (from the back cover of the jewel case). The part that shook me up the most was how schools are specifically designed to bore students into inattention at the best and outright revolt at the worst.

It points out that children, naturally brimming with energy, are forced to sit quietly, pay close attention, and be punished for the slightest infraction of the rules. As a teacher, I was hit hard by seeing what I already knew and could only try in my classroom to make my lessons attention-grabbing. Alas!

Those who do well are rewarded with jobs that may be equally boring. Be it turning the same two nuts on an assembly line (as did Charlie Chaplin in “Modern Times”) or sitting before a computer in a tiny cubicle to make the CEO even richer, the mind rebels and substitutes dreams of more money and what it will bring, killing the boss, or whatever brings mental relief.

Boredom, then, can be defined as being trapped in an event that has no meaning to you—or no longer has a meaning to you—and having your mind filled with substitute thoughts of escape. The film runs just over an hour and it is not boring at all, although the narrator acts silly every now and then. To ward off his boredom?

A strange bonus is given in which the entire film is shown in 48 minutes with no effect on the speaking voices! This DVD might not set the world aright, but at least it will show you that you are not alone.