I have spent at least an hour every day this week trying to find something intriguing to rant about. As I sit here at 1:30 a.m. not a single topic is doing high-powered calisthenics in my brain. I am wondering – should I race to the emergency room? On a normal day, any day, and all day I am usually playing psychological ping pong with thoughts that bounce from life’s scathing inequities to chores that need attention, not to mention a bountiful dialog with Alexa to determine what day it really is. It is a ritual that truly defies all rules of propriety. Yet momentarily my mind is afloat in a sea of peace and serenity that may actually teeter on a ledge of absolute boredom. Someone, please call 911.
Boredom. Now there is an unfamiliar word to me. My dear friend Webster identifies it as the feeling of being wearied by dullness, tedious repetition, unwelcome attentions, etcetera. My, isn’t that interesting? That definition is in stark contrast to my cerebral sea of peace and serenity reference. I do believe someone just threw a new ping pong ball into my subconscious. Does lack of intellectual stimulation equal boredom?
I will admit that it was a week that truly lacked any kind of specific focus. I allowed myself to be swept away with mindless entertainment. I am an internet TV subscriber and have one service that will not only suggest the next film title based on the type of film just watched but automatically start it unless directed otherwise. I do not believe I have ever let a “suggestion” play until this week, but I got caught up in film titles that I doubt I would have ever chosen to watch. I was delightfully surprised. It was actually both emotionally riveting and intellectually cleansing. Some were subtitled foreign films while others were coming-of-age film noir. It was refreshing to let someone (or something) else decide what I should watch. Yes, I know. Perhaps only singles understand that concept.
And to continue on this thought, is there a difference between thought-provoking vs. intellectually stimulating? Some movies do not actually ignite a response. They are just entertainment. Although I can usually glean at least one poignant quote from every film, even if I have to take it out of context.
The industry has changed so much during my time on this planet. I have another service provider that plays previews before your movie choice. I am dumbfounded at the “warnings” that accompany 90% of these previews: violence, sexual content, foul language, drug use. Whatever happened to good, clean, family fun? So often anymore, movie content neither provokes thought nor stimulates intellectually. It simply leaves nothing to our imagination. Subjects that were not even discussed privately in a careful whisper in my youth are now mainstream entertainment. Yes, times change. No, it is still unacceptable and disturbing to me.
I have officially become my grandparents. I long for Bonanza and Lawrence Welk. So, I guess I have to conclude that no, lack of intellectual stimulation does not equal boredom. But it may contribute to the psychosis of neurotic old women. Ah, but that is fodder for yet another rant.
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