The Bored Generation

I’ve become quite bored with the bored generation. Okay, that’s not exactly true. But I do wonder what will become of all of these bored kids.

Yes, they are bored. They tell me they’re bored. They get bored at all the wrong times in all the wrong ways. It’s like they need to be bored. The opposite of bored being extremely active with meaningless superhero films to pass the time.

I had one say that the movie I showed them in class this week was boring. It was “The Quiet American” – based on the Graham Greene novel set towards the end of the French Indochina War. The book is fantastic. The movie isn’t bad. Not the best in the world, but good acting, solid plot. Action, intrigue, mystery.

But a student said it was boring. I suppose I should be happy. It must mean that my lectures are so riveting that anything Hollywood produces is a long, boring step downwards.

I do, however, lament the fact that “boring” movies mean nothing to kids these days. I just watched “To Kill a Mockingbird” starring Gregory Peck. Yes, it was slow moving. Most teens today would be asleep in the first five minutes, which would be a shame. It shows a wonderful view of southern life and all its ugly realities in the 1930s. Lessons galore for our generation, but most of them would be lost on this generation of instant gratification.

We all know what sells in this world. Wild stories, told in big epic computer-generated FX. Comic books come to life. Explosions and sex and in your face language and loud music. It’s an endless scroll of images, fast and furious, many and meaningless. Dialogue is short-changed, and characters are not so deep. We have become bored, shallow, inattentive to the world around us.

Good or bad, it’s where we are at as a society. I hope this generation will awake from its boredom and begin to ask critical questions of how our world has gotten to where it is. We need art, music, and stories which challenge the notion that we are the throw-away, consumer, classically illiterate society.

Here’s hoping that we all awake from our slumber.

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