Saturday, June 20, 2009

Am I Boring You?

By Alan Caruba

Years ago, beginning around 1984, I became “famous” as the creator of The Boring Institute, a media spoof that literally garnered international attention for its annual list of “The Most Boring Celebrities of the Year.” Until around 2002 I averaged a thousand radio shows and television appearances as the result of the Institute’s spoofs.

Along the way, I became an expert on the subject of boredom and was astounded at the links between boredom and many social problems. It is a frequent factor in various addictions, in crime, as a reason why children drop out of school, why marriages fail, and a host of other problems in people’s lives. It can be an indicator of depression.

You can criticize people in many ways, but telling them they’re boring are fighting words.
We spend a lot of time avoiding boredom because it is such a constant factor in our lives. Watching television is for the most part boredom avoidance. Almost anything that does not require us to actively use our brains falls into this category. Thinking is scary.

So, because I tend to write about certain topics and am increasingly convinced that Barack Obama is just about the worse thing to happen to this nation since the horrid Jimmy Carter, my question is—am I boring you?

Because, if I am, I suspect a lot of other people are bored as well and I suspect that they are the people who voted for Barack Obama. One wag suggested his campaign motto was “This is a great nation and I am going to change all that.”

The rate of change occurring since he took the oath of office in January has been astonishing and it has been bad for America in almost every way. This determined effort to introduce changes swiftly suggests that, if given the normal discussion and debate, most if not all would have been rejected.

Given a rubber stamp Democrat-controlled Congress, however, Obama knows he has a small window of opportunity in which to enact changes that essentially seek to replace capitalism with socialism.

Writing a daily blog as I do, I find myself forced to return to certain themes, not the least of which is the fact that there is no “global warming”, as in a sudden, dramatic warming of the Earth, because the Earth in fact has been experiencing a cooling cycle for the past decade.

The repetition of this simple truth is a response to the daily torrent of lies being put forth from the White House, the Congress, government agencies, some corporations, and the countless environmental organizations all seeking damaging legislation such as “Cap and Trade”, entirely based on lies about “climate change.”

Chief among the lies is that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a “pollutant” responsible for the non-existent “global warming” when, in fact, it plays no role whatever in climate change except to show up in larger quantities hundreds of years after a period of warming.

Imposing limits on CO2 emissions, resulting from of the use of all forms of energy, would raise the cost of everything our economy depends upon to produce goods, to transport them, and to use them. The Big Lie that carbon is a threat to all life on Earth ignores the fact that all life on Earth is based on carbon, including human beings.

Boredom is often a response to too much information. The vast machinery of media in America continues to repeat the lies about the environment and, as a result people “tune out” much of it or uncritically accept it. Recent surveys by all the leading polling organizations demonstrate, however, that most Americans have concluded there is no global warming, rating it last among their concerns.

Recessions are known to last about 18 months and we are approaching that time limit. That suggests America will begin to emerge from this latest recession, the result of the “housing bubble” that burst, but most Americans are still unaware that it was caused by federal government intervention into the housing market by requiring banks and mortgage loan firms to make loans to people who were clearly unable to repay them.

Similarly, government intervention in the automotive market has been part of the cause for the collapse of General Motors and Chrysler by imposing mandates that increased cost, altered design and engineering. The Obama administration just imposed new, higher mileage requirements at the same time as it has interfered in the normal process of bankruptcy, providing taxpayer’s billions to these two companies that are not likely to ever be repaid.

These unconstitutional actions require a daily response but that in turn leaves many Americans confused and inclined to leave such matters to Congress. They have grown bored with the complexity of the issues. So Congress is able to pass legislation involving hundreds of pages that even its members do not read before voting.

A government calling for “energy independence” while shutting off access to the nation’s own vast reserves of coal, oil and natural gas is engaged in a vast deception.

A government imposing baseless “global warming” taxes is impoverishing Americans, denying them the capital necessary not just for ordinary expenses, but vital for the growth of our economy.

Our system of government was designed to slow the process by which laws are passed. Government by crisis is an open door to deception and the destruction of the protections the Constitution extends to every citizen. When there are no “checks and balances” everyone is at risk as sacred concepts of private property and contractual law are thrown overboard.

Thus, writers like myself and many others face the prospect that our warnings are ignored by a public grown bored with the many weighty issues that will determine whether the nation emerges from its current economic woes and whether issues such as national security and even national sovereignty are cast aside.

Americans cannot afford to be bored by such matters.


Jesse said...

I have to admit I find Obama very depressing and "alas" boring!!
I myself lived in a so called socialist country for 4 years. I saw that country turn from a nation that had everything (food, oil, gold,clothing, exports other luxury's) and the people were moderately happy. The immediate results of their experiment with socialism were 25% or higher unemployment. Starvation, hyperinflation, the destruction of the middle class.
I remember going to the gas station, and seeing the prices go up everyday. (Last year I was having flash backs of the past)Their government could not print the money fast enough to keep up with the hyperinflation. They finally changed the name of their currency and still it didn't help. I will give you an example of hyperinflation. My two children were babies then, one day I went to buy a can of powder milk at the store it cost about one of our dollars, the next day it cost $10.00. If you had their currency you had to spend it as fast as you got it. Otherwise, tomorrow will come and it will be only paper.
I went to a movie there , "Barry Lyndon" and the city lights went out in the middle of the movie because this country could no longer afford the spare parts for their electrical plant. No doubt it caused a panic in the theater.
It gets worse of course. I saw so much human tragedy there, I thought I had gotten off the plane and arrived in hell. I could go on and on about the human misery I experienced by this scourge upon earth named "socialism".
I was so happy to return to my country. (It's a sin for an American to be without a hamburger from McDonald's for 4 years) It was a life changing event to be there and I hoped I would never see it here. However, the similarities I see with this man (Obama) are reminisce of the past. Did he miss his history lessons?
To sum it up, I find you a voice of wisdom and of warning. Not boring at all. Like a Jeremiah the prophet, or an oracle. You express in words how my heart feels within. Thank you for taking the time to write.
I like what you said "Watching television is for the most part boredom avoidance." Does that include Scifi too?

Buzzg said...

I am not bored, Alan, I am fearful due to the fact that so many of my peers are either bored or NOT INTERESTED. I cannot understand an American citizen who cannot be interested in the current situation regardless of which facet of it gathers their attention the most. I fear your analysis is correct. Boredom has set in precisely at the time when agitated action is called for. We shall see. I'm 70 and am pretty much OK. I feel very sorry for the 20-30 year olds who are just setting out to make their life.

Buzz Gunning
Grants Pass, OR

Alan Caruba said...

Jesse: Sounds like you spent some time in Zimbabwe or some place comparable.

As to science fiction, I have reached a point where I have seen too much television and too many films. Everything at this point is just a re-run to me. It doesn't matter what the genre is. Nor do I watch sports much.

That leaves books and, after decades as a reviewer, I never lack for them.

Buzzg, we are just about the same age and I feel much the same as you. I do not think those 20-30 are adequately educated or prepared to deal with all the bad things coming their way. They represent one of the most pampered generations in a very long time.

Carolyn said...

Mr. Caruba- where do I start?! I am not bored, but unfortunately I know a lot of people who are. It's funny, but when I first started reading this, the first thing that came to mind was my son. We live out in the boonies, and all his friends from home school group are all spread out through town, so it's not easy for him to play with them all the time. Whenever he's bored, I can tell- because he gets into trouble with a capital T! I find myself saying the same thing my mother told me- READ A BOOK, or DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE! ;-)
It is sad that the present situation in our country is moving so fast, but people don't have a clue! I find things depressing too- but I can't afford to just sit back and bury myself in stupid trivial things-
As you and Jesse both said about the younger generation, it is so true. I'm between the busters and gen x- so I was raised with not spoiling by any means, but as far as necessities went, we never went without. I see kids these days who want everything NOW! They aren't willing to work in the world first and save up. They see their parents with everything and all the toys, and they want it too. I find the same thing with relationships and marriage. Young couples can't handle the stress of life the way your generation could- and they get divorced after a year of marriage! I know things cost a lot more than they used to in comparison to the wages, but still, as soon as they marry, they expect to have the 5 bedroom 3 bath home, furnished with brand new stuff, the big screen plasma TV's with all the gadgets- all on a minimum wage pay?!
Oh, it's sad- we live in a me me me society, but our govm'ent is only pandering to that behavior. It's sad because younger folks can't deal with it when it falls apart the way it has, and they are the ones suffering- because they really don't know much different.
God Bless you Mr. Caruba- please keep boring us!

Guy said...

Bored? No .... Overwhelmed? Yes ...

Rich Kozlovich said...


Is it boredom or is it complacency? Actually I think that it is a combination of both brought on by many good economic years. It is a problem of overpriced inadequate education and lack of experience in life. Kids today don’t really understand where the meat they consume comes from and that animals have to die in order to get a hamburger.

Children go home and castigate their parents for running the air conditioner because it causes global warming, (and they know it is true because their teacher told them so) but don’t have any thought about jumping into the car to run up to the mall just for the fun of it. A car that they have the keys to 24/7 mind you, because their parents (who are destroying the earth) bought it for them.

I believe that educators are turning out a bad product. The kids (overall) don’t read well, write or understand oral instructions well. They don’t know where anything is in the world even when these areas are in the news daily, they don’t know how the economy works, (neither do the economists apparently) they can’t work basic math problems without a calculator and their knowledge of history is absolutely abysmal. Furthermore, they are being taught every piece of greenie horsepucky that is on the horizon as unquestionable truth by people who score at the bottom 10% of the SAT's. In England there was a substantial number of high school kids who believed that Winston Churchill was a famous astronaut.

The boredom is soon to end. The lack of experience in life is soon to end. The complacency is soon to end. I have said that the price of energy is the beginning of wisdom. Another Great Depression is going to be the PhD in wisdom.