Sunday, September 23, 2012

Waxing Indignant Over Trivia

"Don't sweat the petty things; and don't pet the sweaty things" is equally apropos. 

Anyway, since few people are showing proclivities toward fondling perspiring objects, I thought I would comment on the other.

There are real things out there to worry about.  Some are obvious; and I can give you a detailed list of what I think should be worried about that may not completely fit in with any list that you generate.  And there are some things only in the distant future, like the next ice age or are improbable, like the Presidency of Tila Tequila!  Oh, I don't know:  we might someday elect poorly-tattooed attention-craving idiots, I guess.  Do Rush Limbaugh or Keith Olbermann have tattoos?

We're realistically limited as to what we can do with real problems.  Hell, the President and other world leaders have only so much control over things, and events don't always go according to plan.  That's life.  That's the way it is.  Uhh-huh.

Well, here's where getting one's knickers in a knot over trivia comes in.  Let's look at the things that make some people hot and bothered lately: vuvuzelas, Twilight, Lady Gaga, Kate Gosselin, the Octomom, NBA player salaries, dumb things that pols or radio shock jocks say.  Is there a little overreaction here?  Seriously, other than the unpleasant sound of those horns, these are all tiny acne spots in the course of life.  It was the same with other things: how many people got incensed over Britney Spears?  Or other things.  I'll bet you can think of a song or two or a movie that generated controversy at one time, and now, retrospectively, seems inconsequential. 

A quick quiz? Whose breast did Justin Timberlake expose during that infamous 'wardrobe malfunction' at halftime in the Super Bowl?  Okay, now was it the left or right one?  Finally, which teams played in that Super Bowl?  I'll bet that you can answer the first one, and maybe the second one, but not the last one.  Do you see what I mean?

My theory is that people use these trivial things as a means of focusing their anxieties and attention on to something that is more manageable, rather than something really scary, like a pandemic.  In that way, we navigate haphazardly through life using maps that say that in some places "There be dragons here," and studiously avoid sailing in those uncharted waters.  But why should we go into the extreme South Atlantic, when we can loll on Ipanema or cruise Alaska's Inside Passage while drinking Margaritas?  Getting exercised over trivia takes out some of the worry of being. 



Meredith said...

You gave a very intriguing interpretation of why so many people focus on the ridiculous, like the Kardashians.

Big Sky Heidi said...

Janice Jackson, and I don't know who was playing.

John said...

There was a football game?
I thought it was a commercial contest with entertainment!

Dianne said...

oh people definitely worry about tiny things to avoid the big ones
I catch myself doing it

and politicians dwell on nonsense to distract from importance

Duckbutt said...

Trivia inoculates against the existential anxiety of mortality. Plus, for some people, it's fun.

Grand Crapaud said...

The super Bowl: Usually a so-so game, hyperexpensive commercials, and on-stage ego stroking for some passed prime performers.

Janice's boob and her assistant boob Justin had an easy task to top those!

Mike said...

I do a trivia with a group of people on Tuesday nights. Out of 50 questions if I know 2 or 3 I'm doing good. But the 2 or 3 I do know most other people don't.