Boring lives

Daughter number two has sent me a link to the BBC’s podcast series ‘The Boring Talks’, presented by James Ward, who promises that ‘Behind every boring subject is another layer of boringness you could have never imagined.’ 

I have started listening to them and am a few in. I hope this doesn’t spoil it for you but the twenty minute talks are not boring at all. They are like TED talks on the minutiae of life. You see, what you or I may find boring, or rather uninteresting, others find exciting and fascinating. One person’s meat is another person’s poison as they say.

Paradoxically, seemingly boring and uninteresting things can be interesting when talked about by someone who is passionate about the subject. It helps if they are a good orator or storyteller, otherwise I’m sorry, but the subject can still be tedious.

Now I have used the word paradoxically yet, in a way, this is wrong. It is true that much of our lives is filled with the dull, the trivial and perhaps the grindingly meaningless. The paradox may be that at times we find things that are truly exciting, like discovering the Sutton Hoo hoard, creating a new cryptocurrency or propelling ourselves into a higher dimension, yet these things are very rare. Let’s face it, most of who we are and what we do is boring, trite and tedious.

But no, that is not true. What this series of programmes has shown me is that there is beauty in everything that we do. Interest can be gleaned from the most obscure and offbeat topic as long as you have the passion and persistence. Who cares if others find it not to their liking? It can either be your thing or, with the wonders of the Internet, you could me a member of a previously unknown underground community. How exciting!

We should celebrate the unusual, the eccentric or the pastimes that may be dull but do as they say. Without them time hangs heavy upon us and then we will really know what it means to be bored.

The Boring Talks can be found here.

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