America used to make everything its citizens needed: cars, televisions, home appliances, textiles and good movies. Today, America no longer makes televisions, barely makes cars, outsources its textile industry to foreign countries paying slave wages and South Korea has eclipsed Hollywood as the most interesting place for making memorable movies. There is one commodity that America does produce and export, however. Only Japan can rival the United States in the production of this commodity.
The American of today is primed by leisure companies practically from birth to seek out boredom at all cost. Or, more aptly, no matter what the cost. The only thing that can Americans can be sure to spend money almost without the slightest regard to cost is boredom. No major corporation in America today can expect to compete unless they build into their product or service a plan for boredom. Bewilderingly, the shorter the time period that boredom is planned for, the more likely that product or service will become an enormous success. Those company that don’t plan for boredom are destined to disappear from the collective consciousness of consumers like so many John Travolta comeback projects.
American capitalist giants like Apple and Microsoft compete with Japanese conglomerates Sony and Nintendo to commodify boredom to the point where the average American can no longer live without it. Stultifying tedium is the new Coke. Unbearable monotony is the new Lite Beer. Drink it down and pass it through your urine; like Coke or beer, you don’t actually buy boredom, you only rent it. Actually, the boredom sold in America is more like coke with an uncapitalized “c.”
Without boredom in the form of good old-fashioned built-in obsolescence, there would be no need for the next generation of cell phones or computers or video game consoles or…whatever. Can you imagine any product being sold today remaining as absolutely necessary and as completely unchanged as the horse? Man got by with only a horse as the fastest means of transportation millennia and then came the train and then came the automobile. The automobile of the 21st century is essentially the same as the automobile of the 20th century. Oh, it may be more aerodynamic and look prettier and go faster and have all sorts of fancy multimedia fun inside, but your SUV operates on exactly the same principle as that loveable anti-Semitic Henry Ford’s original Model A. More than a century has passed since Ford introduced the assembly line to American production and the car is still essentially unchanged. The assembly line, however; well, with all the robots doing the jobs of human beings, the assembly line in America today looks almost nothing like the one Ford imported into the country.
Amazingly enough, the cars of 1914 and the cars of 2014 look more alike than the cell phones of 2004 look to the cell phones of 2014. A cell phone from 2000 would be laughed out of the house if you tried to give to a teenager on her birthday today. Let’s face it: the cell phone of 2004-just one single decade before publication of this article–is utterly obsolete compared to the smart phones and iPhones and Droid phones of today. The way things are going with the boredom built into the absolutely jaw-dropping technology that is the cell phone of even 2004 is almost certain to result one day in a company producing a cell phone without the ability to actually make phone calls.
Want to become a success in the world of video games? Create a video game that is exciting enough to get players interested, but lacking in certain qualities enough to create boredom. Video games are a special breed of the new paradigm of selling boredom. Do you have any idea how many different Pokemon games ever been produced and are still being produced. Pokemon had all the hallmarks of joining the long list of fads from the Hula-Hoop to Beanie Babies when it was first introduced in the 1990s. Those seven year old kids who played Pokemon on their Game Boy and watched the daily adventures of Ash and Brock are today young adults who still line up to buy the video games and attended Comic-Con. They don’t play those old games or even the games produced a few years ago. But they play the latest generation. And that’s just how Nintendo has been wildly successful in exploiting boredom to get gamers to continue catching Pokemon across every brand new console.
If you really want to succeed in business in America in the 21st century, you will be smart to employ your boredom bomb much earlier in the process of video game playing. Downloads, upgrades, mods and all the other add-ons you can sell players ot make the gaming experience more exciting once boredom sets in has the potential to make you very rich. And all because you were smart enough to sell not a video game experience, but boredom with the video game experience.
You know who the worst enemy of America is? Not some terrorist living in cave in some place that ends in -Stan. It’s the American consumer living in a cave of indifference to the latest update in technology living somewhere in suburbia. It doesn’t take a bunch of bombs strapped to hirsute foreigners to bring down America; it only takes consumer satisfaction. What would happen if every American decided not to buy boredom in copious amounts? What would happen if you didn’t buy a new cell phone every two years? What would happen if you continued playing the Madden 2014 instead of buying Madden 2015, 2016, 2017 and, well, you get the idea? The biggest nightmare facing America is that it one day becomes a nation populated by people who want what they have rather being obsessed with having what they want.