Saturday, 4 July 2009


I've been pondering the status, and situation, of the bore. One way of defining a bore would be: a person who doesn't see that what interests him does not interest you; or who assumes thoughtlessly that you will also be fascinated in what fascinates him. The alternative, of course, is not that we can only speak to others about what interests them; it is that we be aware when our interests are shared, and when they are not we earn the interest of others by making what we say interesting, engaging or witty. Or else, of course, gracefully withdraw.

The internet, then, ought to be the veritable Kingdom of Bores. And a lot of people expatiate enormously, online, about stuff that doesn't interest me at all. But they cannot compel my attention (I, for instance, cannot compel yours) in the way base-level politeness in actual social engagement can.

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