“Somebody who’s asleep will not say no”

ANDRE: “OK. Yes. We’re bored now. We’re all bored. But has it ever occurred to you, Wally, that the process which creates this boredom that we see in the world now may very well be a self-perpetuating unconscious form of brain-washing created by a world totalitarian government based on money? And that all of this is much more dangerous, really, than one thinks? And that it’s not just q question of individual survival, Wally, but that somebody who’d bored is asleep? And somebody who’s asleep will not say no?” — My Dinner with Andre: A screenplay for the film by Louis Malle, by Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory (New York: Grove Press, 1981), pp. 91-92

If we were bored back in 1981 when this screenplay was written, we are even more bored now. We try to keep our boredom at bay with social media — reading Facebook posts from people we don’t really care about instead of talking to neighbors, looking at Instagram photos instead of at our children — and as a result, we’re not just bored, we’re lonely.

And too many of us are not saying no. We’re not saying no to demagogues and Christian nationalists and sadistic employers.

Maybe we need to wake up.