Sunday, April 6, 2008

A day for being bored


For text, this day, I choose the place in Kierkegaard where, to satisfy the custom of his time, he begins with a principle, that all men are bores.

From this incontrovertible beginning, he proves that boredom, not idleness, is the Devil's domain and the root of all evil. And then he proceeds to distinguish two kinds of bored men: those who bore themselves and those who bore others. Those who bore themselves are the few, and they are highly entertaining to others, whereas those who bore others are the herd, and they are continuously entertained by the morose few.

I read these lines as a lad in school. I underlined many passages, using a straight edge for neatness. Beside one sentence, I wrote "Oh?" in the margin. By another, I wrote "Ha-Ha."

I'm different, now. I would not write "Ha-Ha" in the margin of anything today. I would not underline at all. And I wouldn't keep the book for forty years.

The difference is slim. Back then, I was not really interested in joining the ranks of the few, unless it was free. Today, I'm happy to be swept along with the herd.

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