diamond geezer

 Tuesday, May 13, 2003

20 top ways to fill time and avoid boredom (11-13)

11) Music: Silence is boring. That's why so many of us choose to fill our silence with music. It beats listening to nextdoor's baby crying, or the endless throb of cars humming down the street outside. Music can be used to fill the background space of the day, flooding the world with melody, rhythm and raw emotion. It's almost certainly impossible to get two people to agree on exactly what music is brilliant and what music is not. However, it is possible to collect all the music you think is brilliant, or at least to try to, and then spend hours cataloguing it, rearranging it, reviewing it and revelling in it. A quick look at my record collection reveals that I've got roughly 24 hours of music downloaded on my computer, roughly 2 weeks of CDs arranged meticulously in alphabetical order, and nearly a month's worth of cassettes back from the days when the music was great even if the recording quality wasn't. And when the music starts, I never wanna stop, it's gonna drive me crazy. Music, makes the people, come together.

12) Sport: Organised sport must be one of the most brilliant means ever devised to keep civilisation occupied and busy. It works like this. First, invent some sports. This probably means devising a few simple instructions to explain how to move a ball around in an interesting way. It helps if these sports involve a large number of big teams for long periods of time, because then lots of people can be involved. Make sure that everyone involved spends lots of time practising and exercising, just to keep them permanently exhausted and off the streets. Then organise these sports into leagues, tournaments and competitions at various levels, so that as many people as possible believe that sport is important and has a purpose. Encourage people to identify with one of the better teams in the higher leagues, so that they can talk endlessly to other fans about past performance, future hopes and meaningless statistics. Hold an enormous global competition every four years, encouraging rampant nationalism and sporting pride. And then smile, because you have society subjugated and under control without anyone even realising.

13) Gossip: "Did she?" "She didn't?" "She did!" When you have nothing to say, talk about nothing. People always find the minutiae of other people's lives fascinating, especially when those other people are trying to keep their lives a secret. We live in a tabloid culture where the trivial is important and the important is trivial. Fifty years ago we could only gossip about our immediate friends and neighbours. Now we live in the global village we're more likely to know who Robbie Williams snogged last night than the name of the family in the house next door. Some people fill their days by talking for hours about people they will never meet but feel they know intimately from the pages of Heat, the gossip bible. Of course, the rest of us are above such immature behaviour. However, I bet Popbitch is already in your favourites list...

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