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I agree with Kierkegaard: boring kings should abdicate, and

boring prime ministers and boring journalists should be executed


forthwith. Boredom, quoth Kierkegaard, and not indolence, is the
root of all evil.

Please mind you that I am speaking figuratively, not literally. Such


a precaution was once unnecessary, but in this day and age when
the difference between the actual and the imagined often goes
unnoticed, our metaphors might in fact result in the assassination
of a few journalists if not a prime minister and president - the war-
mongering leaders are often most popular.

Indeed, bored intellectuals often use figures of speech to incite


people to riot and revolution. For instance, if your taxes exceed
twenty-five percent of your income, you are in 'shackles' and are
no doubt being "whipped" by tyrants, no matter what you are
getting in return for your percentage, so a tax revolution is in
order.

By the way, the prisons you see simply exist to deceive you into
thinking that you are free so you will not mind your boredom on
the job; or off the job, as you hurriedly consume leisure as
advertised. Yes, ma'am, you really are in prison, you know, but
you cannot see the walls, therefore revolt.
But humans do not need radical revolutionaries to persuade them
to mayhem and murder: they already have leaders who will
capitalize on massive boredom. Indeed, many people are bored
with formal life and they would fain freak out, cast off the social
mold and kill one another in the name of something or the other if
not for nothing.

But that is nothing new, and war is not really not unique to our
race: apolitical students of animal behavior have noticed wars
between such creatures as hyenas, for no apparent or known
reason such as territory or mates. If hyenas could talk, they might
say they were just bored to death with life. Of course humans
naturally make an art out of war and write books about it. It used
to be a sort of invigorating tonic to bleed tribes and nations that
they might rise to manly virtue - now we hear widespread
complaints about the feminization of civilization again; perhaps
another world war is imminent.

Now that technology has made total annihilation feasible, we


think we want world peace; but if we had it we might get so bored
we would not know what to do with it, then all hell might break
loose again so that the fittest among us, the young and strong,
might be decimated that the old weaklings in high places may
remain there and hand down wealth to their families so they will
not have to struggle for survival of the fittest - but we cannot
blame them for representing our boredom.

Boredom does have a certain negative motive power which can in


extreme cases lead to war just for the hell of it if not for some
relative moral cause. Universal love will not do for long when
violence is wanted: hate-based love will suffice for bloody
conflicts with enemies.

I do not mean to say that war is natural, necessary, inevitable.


Please do not start a war on my say so. I do not want my words to
harm anyone. I was recently alarmed to hear that my "trite
(expletive deleted) had already killed people inside." I then
recalled that many suicides were attributed to Goethe's Werther.
My investigation revealed that my words were not as lethal as I
had imagined, and the complaint had been a figurative phrase
referring to the hurt feelings of the identities of a single person,
and not to the death of members of the external association.

I detest real warfare. I prefer virtual warfare. I do not mean


football games or video-game battles. You see, my thing is the
angelic struggle against the beast in me - beast and angel are
formalities I am equally fond of, but I rise above them as the spirit
of their relationship. Thinking is my thing lately. I say it is my
thing but I know it is not mine, not my sole possession: my
thinking is borrowed from the encyclopedia of civilization. I am
just another reader and writer, an open processing system. The
more I think, the more I know I am really nobody - how ironically
alienating it is to become fully individualized to the point where
one realizes he is in principle an Everyman.

Being a literate Everyman can be exceedingly boring nowadays.


At least I am bored almost to tears and death, to the very verge
of screaming bloody murder, by the functional and objective,
third-person, hyphenated style of writing today, a style that is
suitable for a scientific or newspaper report, a technical manual or
an honest advertisement, but has become so widespread that it
has almost made objective nobodies out of everybody - I must
confess that I am awfully bored with being a nobody.

Many of my fellow ostriches prefer to bury their heads in the sand


of facts and do not want to know how those facts are related; that
must be left to the authorities to say, and they had better say it in
the third person: a man complained, "He is no authority! He kept
saying 'I' and 'my', meaning his personal opinion, so what can he
know?" I kid you not.
Many of us are not even aware that facts are in fact related
events, actions. Thus is the independent thinking of the
threatened self-deactivated, that it be of little or no threat to the
power elite who flip the switches to run the current their way.
Now cultural anthropologists have admitted the psychic unity of
humankind again, but not as a world spirit or personal soul: all we
have in common now is our on-off switches.

Even post-modern intellectuals who love to talk about talk as if


talk is identical to god instead of god's word - even they resort to
a linguistic objectivism that diminishes the subjective speaker to
blank membership in a multi-cultural diversity that is merely the
superficial diversity of shoppers in a gigantic shopping mall.
Everything boils down to: Buy this or buy that. Or, Never stop
buying.

Ah, here is yet another "let the reader decide" essay on some
pressing issue, written by a highly credentialed author. It is a
polished piece. It says nothing new really, and is devoid of the “I”.
It is favors the authorities who own company and country. The
ideology is so common it is barely noticeable. The piece is yet
another inoffensive rehash of the news that is as boring as the
pancake of the brazen hussies and the cardboard suits of the
callous men who serve as professional pundits on cable television
- to call them 'phillistines' would insult a superior culture.

Please do not get me started, for, as you can see, I am way


beyond bored, and I do not want someone to get the wrong idea
and start hanging journalists and pundits. But before I finish I do
want to say something about plain language. Although
magnificent ideas can be wonderfully expressed in plain
language, I cannot stand the universal cultivation of the sort of
plain language that passes off inanity as a 'good read' or 'good
write' nowadays simply because someone with the attention span
of a gnat does not have the gumption or the wherewithal to think
for himself, preferring his switches to be flip-flopped according to
the usual program.

How I abhor the boring hackneyed phrases nobody seems to


notice - I am nobody. Of course culture is founded on a few
platitudes, but for heaven's sake, the higher culture has its
exciting intrigues, it mysteries, its enticing ornaments and jewels
to break the sheer monotony of plain vanilla. I'm tired of pabulum
or mealy-mouthed oatmeal. On each side of the depressing
valleys are peak experiences all readers may aspire too. I love the
plains too, flyover countries like Kansas where I grew up on corn
for awhile, but not as a steady diet.

Watchers of television, readers of newspapers and magazines,


employees of companies, citizens of countries should aspire to
the peaks from time to time, and they probably would aspire to
them if boring editors were executed along with the boring writers
they assume the bored public wants to read. But please do not
take me seriously. I do not want anyone to get hurt.

XYX