Last night, the telephone rang and a nice lady asked me whether I'd answer a series of questions for a survey about public opinion and ratings for social media programs and children. I said that I would, and answered amiably for a few minutes until the questions got more and more in-depth about the need to provide ratings for apps on phones and tablets that children download. And then I realized that I really didn't care about the need for ratings for apps on phones and tablets and that it bored me to tears, so I hung up. And then I thought about what else bores me in this world, even as I did what some people might think of as mind-numbing, like cleaning up the kitchen, folding laundry, changing an adult child's diapers and putting on her pajamas, drawing up cannabis oil in a syringe and shooting it into said adult child's mouth, telling The Brothers to pick their wet towels up off the floor, letting the dog out and musing for the millionth time about how perfect the back stoop would be for a smoke, but I don't smoke.
Here are some things that bore me:
- Long conversations about how social media, cell phones, Facebook and the internet are destroying our capacity for community, particularly for our children. I think this is largely bullshit and probably more a case of old-fashioned projection. I think, too, of the worlds that have opened for people with disabilities, for the caregivers of those with disabilities (ahem), for the blending borders of the great, wide world. I think, too, of the hours and hours and hours I spent alone as a child, with a book, dazed and isolated, immersed in worlds from other centuries, immune from the calls of friends and families (and that wasn't a bad thing, either).
- Essays on Huffington Post about how people who don't vaccinate their children are immoral, anti-Science, and stupid or are endangering others' precious children yet never acknowledge the tens of thousands of children affected negatively by vaccines. Notice that I said nothing, here, about being anti-vaccination but everything about acknowledgement (and thus my boredom, because in the end it's the not delving into complexity that bores me)
- Anything, really, on Huffington Post
- Articles and essays on the mommy wars or anything having to do with the dilemma of women working and not working
- Articles and essays on different types of parenting, but most especially tiger moms and that whole debate about how bad it is to over-praise your kids or give them trophies when they play soccer in kindergarten as opposed to shoring up self-esteem and teaching resilience
- Texas public education policies
- American history (I'm sorry, but other than bits of the Civil War and perhaps the Salem Witch trials, I'm bored by it)
- biographies of American presidents
- Christian evangelism (this type boredom can turn into virulence, but that's not the subject of this post)
- fantasy novels
- talking about diets (but I'm not bored by people talking about their dreams)
- myself, right this moment
Reader, what bores you? And if this bores, you, please let me know because that would never bore me.