WEIRD IS FINE by me. Obnoxious is OK, too. I'm also basically tolerant of arrogant, exasperating, condescending and offensive. But I have no patience for boring. I can't deal with dull. Dull books, dull movies, dull people, dull days--they drive me to distraction.
Politics, I have recently decided, is dull.
As a government major, I have to write papers about politics every week. At The Crimson, I have to edit columns about politics every day. John Locke, OMB, David Souter, ICBM, Richard Pipes, NRA. It gets tiresome. Where's the poetry? Where's the color? Where's the innovation?
It isn't difficult to figure out who's responsible for politics' vanilla flavor. Those self-important Cross Pen/paisley tie/hair gel gov jocks sucking your section leader's posterior become politicians when they grow up. And if you don't believe me, you didn't attend the IOP schmoozefest at Winthrop House last year, when undergraduates were introduced to the House of Representatives' newly elected members. As conversationalists, these Congressional airheads ranked slightly behind CPA's and slightly ahead of dead people.
ENTER ALAN CARUBA.
Caruba has always been obsessed with ennui. He links boredom to drug and alcohol abuse, high school dropout rates, violent crime, alarming suicide statistics and the general decline of the American family. He also thinks that boredom is, well, boring. There are better ways to spend a life.
So in 1984, Caruba founded The Boring Institute, dedicated to the proposition that "There's No Excuse for Being Bored!" He designated July as "National Anti-Boredom Month." He began releasing his Fearless Forecasts of TV's Fall Flops. (Bad news for "Eerie, Indiana.") He began announcing his annual list of "The Most Boring Celebrities of the Year." (1990 champion: Donald Trump.)
And he began running for President as a representative of The Boring Party.
"Technically, it's inaccurate to suggest that I ran," he said in an interview from party headquarters, his Maplewood, N.J., home. "I'd say I strolled. I run only to the bathroom. I've got a little bladder problem, you see. I like my beer, but I just can't hold it. You know, I've heard the reason beer runs through your body so fast is that it doesn't have to change color. But that's a story for another day..."
Perhaps. But the story of Alan Caruba is a story for today. Because the 1992 presidential race is shaping up to be a snoozer of epic proportions. And Caruba is testing the waters once again.
"I've got nothing better to do," he explains.
IN 1988, only 50 percent of the American public bothered to vote. For every Joe Schmoe who helped decide who would lead this country into the '90s, there was a Jack Schmack who stayed home.
And who could blame Jack? He could have cast his ballot for Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, a perfectly nice Harvard Law School graduate with crash test dummy charisma. (A compelling comparison, no?) Or he could have supported the candidacy of Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush of Andover, Yale and the Sy Sperling Inspirational Speech Club for Men. Or he could have stayed home to rearrange his sock drawer, twiddle his thumbs and watch candlepin bowling. You make the call.
"A lot of people are bored with the political process," Caruba says. "They should be natural constituents for me. Frankly, I think I'm the most interesting candidate out there these days."
Caruba isn't exactly out there yet. He has only announced that he is officially "hesitating" to run for president.
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