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Why Are We So Bored?

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Thinker13
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Posted 04/26/12 - 9:42 AM:
Subject: Why Are We So Bored?
Why most of the celebrities are entertainers?


Heroes might be war heroes, great scientists, social-reformers as well, but more often than not entertainers are heroes in our society. Just try recalling celebrities who were scientists--you will be hard pressed to come up with more than two or three names. Now, try recalling movie stars who are sought after every hour just for a photograph or an autograph. Why? Are we too bored and need a lot of entertainment? People literally die to work in cinema. Anyone connected to film industry or even to television industry is considered to be a star. Why entertainers are considered so important? Why cinema plays such an important role in society. If you take up any newspaper randomly, you will find a substantial percentage devoted to the film stars, sports persons and the rest of the bit to the politicians. Why is it so? There are supplements with newspapers and most of them publish news related to TV or cinema performers everyday.


People have a very short attention span and that is why most credit is given to actors and then some credit to some of the persons behind the scene. No matter how masterly those craftsmen behind the screen are they are not given much of the credit ever. Why entertainment, especially the big-screen has a such a high reputation in our world?


Scientists, engineers, doctors and various others make our lives easier and so do entertainers but if you go about searching for most important role, in so called 'normal times' of a person's life, it would be the role played by an entertainer. But then again, jokers are not so highly valued, not many magicians or circus artists are as highly paid. [ I must not be misunderstood here; I don't consider prize=value, but then some of us do and that's what is the point I am trying to bring out for the discussion] Even great artists who act on stage in theatre or in the art films are not considered to be great celebrities. Then, what exactly is so great about the entertainment value of mainstream cinema or most popular sport which makes them go viral?



I would love to hear your ideas as it's very much possible that I am overlooking some sides but I know that I have never given less than enough stress on the role boredom plays in our lives.
libertygrl
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Posted 04/26/12 - 8:50 PM:

I don't doubt in this era of instant gratification that boredom is often a significant factor in people's motivations, but I think the fascination with celebrity also has to with image. Looking and acting a certain way, being "cool", having charisma, being fashionable, being a trendsetter. Scientists alas are not known for having charisma (although I have known a few who I think are charismatic, but I would say that it is not a stereotypical trait of a scientist.) Also I think that Hollywood glamourizes the idea that so many people want to be in Hollywood and make it as a movie star, but in honesty I have known just as many who want to become successful in other pursuits: writing, medicine, law, and so on.

Entertainment is a facet of storytelling, and storytelling has a very powerful effect which so far as I know it has always had on humanity even from the very beginnings of our species having the ability to speak. To me, it's not just about alleviating boredom but also about "tapping into" some spiritual aspect of ourselves. And that does not necessarily mean connecting to some kind of supernatural being (although it might), but it may just describe something indefinable in ourselves that causes us to feel strong emotions such as inspiration or validation.

Of course, boredom is said to be the root of all evil.
Thinker13
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Posted 04/27/12 - 2:05 AM:

lib wrote:
I don't doubt in this era of instant gratification that boredom is often a significant factor in people's motivations, but I think the fascination with celebrity also has to with image. Looking and acting a certain way, being "cool", having charisma, being fashionable, being a trendsetter. Scientists alas are not known for having charisma (although I have known a few who I think are charismatic, but I would say that it is not a stereotypical trait of a scientist.) Also I think that Hollywood glamourizes the idea that so many people want to be in Hollywood and make it as a movie star, but in honesty I have known just as many who want to become successful in other pursuits: writing, medicine, law, and so on.


This reminds me of another thread where we had discussion about boredom and I asked if boredom today is more than it used to be say 200 or 500 years ago. As far as charisma is concerned, it's not a fact that actors are more charismatic than people in other walks of life. As far as research which has come into my notice goes-spiritual and political leaders are considered to be most charismatic people in society and it has reasons. Glamourous casting of spells has more to do with embellishments around 'woods' like Holly, Bolly, Tolly or Kollywoods. Theatre actors, despite having great talent don't cast same spells. If you study the feedback loop, it seems that it's the society which gives Hollybood or Bollywood this feedback of greatness and hence this glamour becomes even more reinforced. The question is: why?

I agree about people opting for various career profiles but I feel that masses don't treat others with as much of awe.

lib wrote:
Entertainment is a facet of storytelling, and storytelling has a very powerful effect which so far as I know it has always had on humanity even from the very beginnings of our species having the ability to speak. To me, it's not just about alleviating boredom but also about "tapping into" some spiritual aspect of ourselves. And that does not necessarily mean connecting to some kind of supernatural being (although it might), but it may just describe something indefinable in ourselves that causes us to feel strong emotions such as inspiration or validation.


I have always wanted to discuss on storytelling. I even wanted to open-up a thread for this in this forum. Storytelling is rewarded in our society. There are obvious exaples in our history. This is a great topic for discussion, but I think, in case of Hollywood or Bollywood, directors and scriptwriters who are real storytellers are not treated in the manner actors are.


What about sportpersons? They don't tell stories but entertain. Sachin Tendulkar or David Beckham or Tiger Woods are almost demi-gods for their followers. They do project that charismatic image about which we have been discussing, but I do want to point to the platform which allowed all of them to do so: Sports. Why sports have so much of appeal? Because it entertains and brings out this hidden hero or warrior within us to the front?



lib wrote:

Of course, boredom is said to be the root of all evil.


Indeed.
libertygrl
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Posted 04/27/12 - 9:34 AM:

Thinker13 wrote:
This reminds me of another thread where we had discussion about boredom and I asked if boredom today is more than it used to be say 200 or 500 years ago. As far as charisma is concerned, it's not a fact that actors are more charismatic than people in other walks of life.

Please note that I did not say actors have popularity based on their charisma alone. But yes, I would say that charisma plays an important part. A spiritual guru or politician may also have charisma while lacking in the other areas I mentioned.

Thinker wrote:
Theatre actors, despite having great talent don't cast same spells.

But they do, on a smaller scale. If you spend enough time in a theatre community, you will find that the very popular stage stars have a large fan base in the community and I have seen theatre actors give autographs and even become stalked by fans. One acquaintance of mine had a stalker cover her entire car with roses during a show.

Thinker wrote:
If you study the feedback loop, it seems that it's the society which gives Hollybood or Bollywood this feedback of greatness and hence this glamour becomes even more reinforced. The question is: why?

I would say also that having a favorite entertainer does not require as much intellectual capacity as having a favorite scientist or favorite politician. These latter fields require that you really understand the capacity at which one has come to excel in their field, the issues they stand for or the real impact of their achievements. An actor, meanwhile, has the ability to make you feel something by means of their storytelling. The same is actually true of spiritual gurus. This is where charisma comes in. But again, it is not only charisma. It is having good looks and glamour and fashionable clothes which will earn your face a place in movies, television and magazines.

Thinker wrote:
I have always wanted to discuss on storytelling. I even wanted to open-up a thread for this in this forum. Storytelling is rewarded in our society. There are obvious exaples in our history. This is a great topic for discussion, but I think, in case of Hollywood or Bollywood, directors and scriptwriters who are real storytellers are not treated in the manner actors are.

I think there are many famous directors who are considered with awe. However, we don't often know their faces because they are behind the camera. So, not as easy to recognize on the street. Someone like James Cameron, though, can easily be considered a superstar who will readily be approached by fans on the steret.

Thinker wrote:
What about sportpersons? They don't tell stories but entertain.

Oh, I disagree. I think every match is a story. Hidden heroes and warriors, yes. The audience chooses their team and engages in a vicarious war between heroes and villains.
libertygrl
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Posted 04/27/12 - 10:16 AM:

By the way, I think your use of the term "feedback loop" is apt. It is probably face-recognition that is the biggest key in boosting one's popularity on the world stage. Entertainers become most famous first for the field in which they work and then that fame is reinforced by constant appearances on television and in magazines.
Thinker13
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Posted 04/27/12 - 10:35 AM:

libertygrl wrote:

Please note that I did not say actors have popularity based on their charisma alone. But yes, I would say that charisma plays an important part. A spiritual guru or politician may also have charisma while lacking in the other areas I mentioned.


Point noted.


lib wrote:
But they do, on a smaller scale. If you spend enough time in a theatre community, you will find that the very popular stage stars have a large fan base in the community and I have seen theatre actors give autographs and even become stalked by fans. One acquaintance of mine had a stalker cover her entire car with roses during a show.


True. I did not mean to convey that they don't get popular. I just wanted to compare their image with that of the mainstream cinema actors. Even in field of cinema, art film actors are not followed as much as mainstream film actors. [ At least in India it's so.] Just to touch another point: Oprah Winfrey is a bigger celebrity than many movie stars, in spite of her being only a TV persona mostly.

lib wrote:

I would say also that having a favorite entertainer does not require as much intellectual capacity as having a favorite scientist or favorite politician. These latter fields require that you really understand the capacity at which one has come to excel in their field, the issues they stand for or the real impact of their achievements. An actor, meanwhile, has the ability to make you feel something by means of their storytelling. The same is actually true of spiritual gurus. This is where charisma comes in. But again, it is not only charisma. It is having good looks and glamour and fashionable clothes which will earn your face a place in movies, television and magazines.


This point is pertinent and I think you touched it earlier in the boredom thread. When I questioned Win Wenger about the sports meme frenzy last year, he came up with a response which suggested that 'immediacey of feedback,' in sports and feelings of being a warrior and taking sides seem to play most important role in making them such a hit.

lib wrote:

I think there are many famous directors who are considered with awe. However, we don't often know their faces because they are behind the camera. So, not as easy to recognize on the street. Someone like James Cameron, though, can easily be considered a superstar who will readily be approached by fans on the steret.


We should not take things by their face-value, but we do! laughing


lib wrote:

Oh, I disagree. I think every match is a story. Hidden heroes and warriors, yes. The audience chooses their team and engages in a vicarious war between heroes and villains.


By that standard even life is a story but does it entertain as much? I think commentators are also storytellers in sports. I agree about warriorship and we have touched it in our discussion in 'Hero Worship' thread.
henry quirk
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Posted 04/27/12 - 10:42 AM:

I haven't a clue why and how folks get 'bored'.

I'll be fifty this year and living is a fun and exciting (and terrifying) as it was when I was my nephew's age.
Thinker13
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Posted 04/27/12 - 10:47 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
I haven't a clue why and how folks get 'bored'.

I'll be fifty this year and living is a fun and exciting (and terrifying) as it was when I was my nephew's age.



Believe me, it's as rare to find a man who doesn't get bored as to find an enlightened human being. It's rarer than a true genius. thumb up
henry quirk
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Posted 04/27/12 - 4:01 PM:

It may be, Thinker, I’m just too simple to be anything but amused, or befuzzled, by the phantasmagoria of living... wink
thedoc
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Posted 04/27/12 - 7:40 PM:

Boredom, enlightenment, genius and happiness all come from within, you have the ability to make yourself whatever you want to be.

Dec 24, 2009 1:08:02 AM

Edward Hays has written several books of modern parables, in one of them a young man, on a date with a girl, receives a fortune cookie that says "You will die a happy man." Reading this he thinks "I could die tonight, so I must make this the happiest night of my life." He does not die, but lives on with that same attitude toward life. Many, many years later he does die, as an old man, and at his funeral everyone says that he was the happiest man they ever knew. Happiness comes from within, meaning comes from within, those who search for some wise man to tell them the meaning of life, or the secret to happiness, will die frustrated at the end of a long futile search. Meaning happiness and acheviment are all internal and it doesn't matter if you make a great discovery or support and help others to do so. There is a song "Wind beneath my wings" where one person can do great things but only with the strength and support of others, and these others have acheved great things even if their name is not on the credits.
by thedoc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrvodSr3JmA
Thinker13
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Posted 04/28/12 - 12:53 PM:

thedoc wrote:
Boredom, enlightenment, genius and happiness all come from within, you have the ability to make yourself whatever you want to be.

Dec 24, 2009 1:08:02 AM

Edward Hays has written several books of modern parables, in one of them a young man, on a date with a girl, receives a fortune cookie that says "You will die a happy man." Reading this he thinks "I could die tonight, so I must make this the happiest night of my life." He does not die, but lives on with that same attitude toward life. Many, many years later he does die, as an old man, and at his funeral everyone says that he was the happiest man they ever knew. Happiness comes from within, meaning comes from within, those who search for some wise man to tell them the meaning of life, or the secret to happiness, will die frustrated at the end of a long futile search. Meaning happiness and acheviment are all internal and it doesn't matter if you make a great discovery or support and help others to do so. There is a song "Wind beneath my wings" where one person can do great things but only with the strength and support of others, and these others have acheved great things even if their name is not on the credits.
by thedoc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrvodSr3JmA




Those are some nice words thedoc and I really love this idea of reading something you had written long back, as it gives a strange feeling of witnessing something which was a part of yourself and connects you to your past in a unique way. smiling face


But what exactly is 'with in' you? What exactly divides things as external or internal? Is everything, internal or external, not part of one stream of consciousness?


Edited by Thinker13 on 04/28/12 - 1:49 PM
thedoc
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Posted 04/28/12 - 1:08 PM:

Perhaps I could have phrased that better, I did not mean to imply that any of that was exclusively from within, but I have seen many who seem to expect those qualities to come from outside themselves. The difference would be, someone who expects others to make them happy as opposed to someone who will decide that they will be happy no matter what. I was just reading the book "Reading the Body" (Oreintal Diagnosis) by Ohashi, in it he states that any situation can be looked as in 2 or more ways, one as a disadvantage or a problem and the other as an advantage or oportunity. Basically the individual chooses how to see things.
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Posted 04/28/12 - 1:23 PM:

Well, I get bored of politicians, because they are making use of many words, without saying anything in particular.
Now I will repeat someone’s words I truly appreciate, he said most people don’t carry the power words when talking to others.
And without the use of this power when talking to others, people switch off their brain and walk away.
Thinker13
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Posted 04/28/12 - 1:54 PM:

thedoc wrote:
Perhaps I could have phrased that better, I did not mean to imply that any of that was exclusively from within, but I have seen many who seem to expect those qualities to come from outside themselves. The difference would be, someone who expects others to make them happy as opposed to someone who will decide that they will be happy no matter what. I was just reading the book "Reading the Body" (Oreintal Diagnosis) by Ohashi, in it he states that any situation can be looked as in 2 or more ways, one as a disadvantage or a problem and the other as an advantage or oportunity. Basically the individual chooses how to see things.



True. I was pointing to the possibility of looking at everything as an inseparable part of your 'self', in which case, the reference to what you call 'inner' comes from introspection and witnessing of your thoughts. Everything which you know or think is stimulated by triggers somehow connected to your senses and more you start observing your thoughts, more this intelligence of feeling happiness on your own comes at your disposal.
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Posted 04/28/12 - 1:56 PM:

Morgena wrote:
Well, I get bored of politicians, because they are making use of many words, without saying anything in particular.
Now I will repeat someone’s words I truly appreciate, he said most people don’t carry the power words when talking to others.
And without the use of this power when talking to others, people switch off their brain and walk away.



laughing How apt! Politicians in UK are no different from their brothers, here in India! Do you think that it has always been the case with rulers, Moregena, in history? Do you think that there is a difference between 'rulers' and 'politicians'?
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Posted 05/03/12 - 3:26 PM:

By the way, Thinker, I just saw a great documentary last night that examines the famous rivalry between the soccer teams of FCB (Barcelona) and Real Madrid. It actually had a significant portion devoted to how soccer matches (and other forms of sports) are forms of storytelling, each match having a beginning, an end, and the requisite narrative and conflict in the middle of it. The speaker in the film talked about how some matches are good stories, others not so great, but every match is a story and that's why people love them.

That got me to thinking on this topic some more and feeling that storytelling does more than alleviate boredom, it also calls into play very deeply resonant archetypes and so I feel that storytelling connects to people on a very spiritual level. With sports, though, you have the added impact of great demonstrations of physical prowess and skill. Nonetheless, you can see such demonstrations in other aspects of entertainment - for example at the circus, or at a dance concert, where you might see very talented acrobats perform amazing feats. Still, I don't think these have the same emotional impact that forms of storytelling have.

A few random thoughts,
lib
Thinker13
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Posted 05/04/12 - 4:25 AM:

lib wrote:


Oh, I disagree. I think every match is a story. Hidden heroes and warriors, yes. The audience chooses their team and engages in a vicarious war between heroes and villains.



Thinker13 wrote:

By that standard even life is a story but does it entertain as much? I think commentators are also storytellers in sports. I agree about warriorship and we have touched it in our discussion in 'Hero Worship' thread.


libertygrl wrote:
By the way, Thinker, I just saw a great documentary last night that examines the famous rivalry between the soccer teams of FCB (Barcelona) and Real Madrid. It actually had a significant portion devoted to how soccer matches (and other forms of sports) are forms of storytelling, each match having a beginning, an end, and the requisite narrative and conflict in the middle of it. The speaker in the film talked about how some matches are good stories, others not so great, but every match is a story and that's why people love them.


In spite of our affinity for stories, I cannot right away agree on it. What might be flaw in the argument of the speaker in film? To begin with, since we are so accustomed to stories, he might be eager to interpret the history of game as a story. What I am trying to say is: It's more of his representation than actual narrative out there.

But on the other hand, in support of your proposition, the life too is ( though, incorrectly and tragically in my opinion) interpreted as a story by all of us. In our dreams, in our waking life, we are consistently weaving fabrics of this story and we are always central figure, the protagonist in it.

That makes sense if somehow ( as you point out in your next paragraph, in this very post) stories relate to the core of our being. I have always looked at sports as an aspect of lives of people where quick activity and immediate feedback loop lessens their boredom and also makes them get 'a feeling of belonging' by taking sides and getting attached to virtual heroes. But yes, I have to concede that heroes cannot exist without myths and myths are stories; grand stories which have been part of human civilization almost since its inception.

The name Barcelona doesn't ring a bell for me, but for millions of people across the globe, its mention causes an immediate rush of adrenaline. Boredom and need to feel belonging to something is so fundamental and driving aspects of our everyday existence that we are ready to get attached to comic, cartoon, film, sports, war heroes, historical geniuses and philanthropists as if they're our everyday acquaintances and our functioning is some how dependent on them.




lib wrote:

That got me to thinking on this topic some more and feeling that storytelling does more than alleviate boredom, it also calls into play very deeply resonant archetypes and so I feel that storytelling connects to people on a very spiritual level. With sports, though, you have the added impact of great demonstrations of physical prowess and skill. Nonetheless, you can see such demonstrations in other aspects of entertainment - for example at the circus, or at a dance concert, where you might see very talented acrobats perform amazing feats. Still, I don't think these have the same emotional impact that forms of storytelling have.

A few random thoughts,
lib


Food for thought and more discussion! This just triggered another question: Role of stories in religions and mysticism. I feel that mythologies play such a vital role in almost all religions. People are ready to kill others and themselves just to defend stories. I think it might make for good discussion. zen
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