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As it Turns out, Normal People *are* Boring

ETA: Please note the following before replying: the numerous question marks, indicating uncertainty and introspection; the part about not calling people mundanes; the part where I specifically acknowledge that I am not the arbiter of what is interesting. Thank you.

I just signed into a public PC, and the previous user must have been pretty lax about personal security, because he had taken no measures to sign out of gmail. Of course, I hastily signed him out (and, no, I did not violate his privacy further by clicking on any messages) but not before happening to see something like 80 subject lines, as well as the two or three labels he had for categorizing his mail.

Holy crap, normal people are boring. I really do try to give them the benefit of the doubt. I try never to use the word mundane as a noun anymore, and when I talk to them at work, I try to imagine that the topics they bring up are only that dull because they keep the good stuff to themselves (as I usually do). But... they don't make it easy to defend them. All they seem to care about is sports. Maybe shopping or cars. It's kind of depressing. At least to me.

I wonder if folks who live entirely within the norm don't worry much about privacy because there is nothing in their personal lives anyone could take issue with? It that a blessing for them, maybe?

I will continue to try to assume that, if I were an unethical sort of person who was willing to delve into that fellow's messages, I would have discovered that he really was a fascinating individual. I suppose I am not the arbiter of what is innately interesting. But, really. Jebus.


Jun. 27th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
Re: sports
I agree. Even if you assume that their interests are equally valid (a big assumption), how much are these normal folks* actively involved in their interests?

Let's consider some "normal interests". Sports: A lot of normal folks did play sports at one time (usually high school), but relatively few play sports now (or even coach them) - mostly they just talk about sports they watched on TV. Cars: A lot of normals (guys mostly) are fixated with cars (I observed a long time ago that most of our group have little interest in what kind of car they own as long as it gets you from one place to another, carries your stuff and doesn't break down too often), but how many are realy involved with them (car racing, rebuilding engines, etc)? Shopping: OK, by definition, this is an activity one is obviously involved in. I'll give you that one. TV watching: obviously a largely passive activity. Additionally, from listening to normal folks talk, relatively few of these viewing hours are devoted to watching stuff that they actually end up DOING later (cooking shows, Martha Stewart, etc) or even are likley to make them think (in depth coverage of events, well-portrayed dramas, etc).

On the other hand, we have "the freaks". Let's ignore all of the interesting/unusal activities and just go with some of the examples that vicar used in his comment (Sorry to speak of you in the third person) and see how they (by which I mean "we") stack up in the doing vs. passively viewing department. Music: a lot of "freaks" are or were in bands, are or were DJs, or at least go out semi-regularly to live shows/clubs and dance. I can assure you that normal guys dancing after they get out of college is VERY unusual - when co-workers have found out that I swing dance/18th Century Dance, they assume that my wife must be "making me do it." Sex: at least most freaks have actually DONE these things - as opposed to normals who's wildest venture into the depths of depravity is going to a strip club or watching porn. From conversations, I'd say that your average freak watches less porn than your average normal person, but that's just a guess. Science Fiction: Obviously, there's a lot of bad science fiction out there, and rather than get into a detailed discussion, I will simply ask: Which is more thought provoking as a whole - science fiction or Reality TV Or even Entertainment TV?

* I'm going to base this on past and present co-workers, since those are just about the only "normals" I can claim to know even moderatly well.



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