Care Crosses the River Response 2
Right away, the passage The Last of All Cult Victims: Boredom caught my attention because of the title alone. At first read, I wasn’t too sure that I understood what Blumenberg was trying to say and the choice of words, especially the constant idea of cult, seemed somewhat random and out of place. As I continued to examine this passage, I realized that the first sentence, “As soon as entire nations are ‘educated’ and their great possessions are presented to them in cult forms, boredom becomes rampant-and with it the duty to endure the boredom,” is something that is undoubtedly true. As life goes on, things can get boring and with every new experience there’s a period of excitement followed by the time when that experience becomes mundane and normal.
To me, Blumenberg is saying that boredom doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Boredom, in an extreme way, is the catalyst for new ideas and progress in all aspects of life because if everything were to stay exciting there would be no need for anything to get any better. Blumenberg says that boredom is really just society’s hunger for more than what we have or what we understand.
When Blumenberg refers to a “cult” I took it to mean any group that has gotten bored with something and might be looking for the next exciting improvement. Anyone can be part of a cult, but throughout time there have been more powerful cults than others. Everything in life was somehow formed by one cult or another from the world of politics and business to art and language. When a powerful enough cult gets bored, it could mean big changes on society. The world needs cults and boredom for things to get accomplished, both positive and negative. Boredom truly is the last of the cult victims because, in a way, it isn’t a victim at all. Boredom is never going to go away, it may temporarily disappear, but it’s always there, and, when enough people feel bored, the cult, whether small, large, informal or powerful, will step out to cure the boredom of societal hunger.
Overall, I felt Care Crosses the River was a difficult read because there were so many sections that I could not relate to or understand. The sections I did understand were interesting, but the amount of allusions that he makes added to the difficulty.