Posts Tagged ‘Dull Men’s Club’

In praise of dullness

July 8, 2017

Some 35 years ago, there was an International Dull Men’s Club whose chairman was J.D. Stewart, a statistical analyst for Eastman Kodak Co. here in Rochester, New York.

That was in 1982, a year of peak dullness and boring prosperity for both Rochester and Kodak.   Since then Kodak has gone bankrupt, which has made life around here more “interesting” in the sense of the ancient Chinese curse.

The club was formed largely as a joke, but with an underlying idea of honoring people who enjoy mundane things and who do mundane but necessary work.

Stewart would do things like publishing a list of the 10 dullest Americans (including Don Rickles, Gerald Ford, Lawrence Welk, Walter Mondale, Fred Rogers and Garfield the cat) and proposing seminars on topics such as “dressing to break even” and “non-assertiveness sensitivity training”.

The video above shows how the Dull Men’s Club concept has been revived in Great Britain.  The club blog is devoted to safe excitement, an outstandingly dull concept.

I do have to say that the British devotion to dullness is incomplete.   The new Dull Men’s Club is devoted to unusual hobbies, some of which seem actually interesting.

There is a woman whose hobby is to follow brown road signs, wherever they might take her.  That could lead to actual adventures, which is contrary to the spirit of dullness.


August 9 is the official Dull and Boring Day

July 6, 2013


The Australian town of Bland Shire is looking to cash in on its uninteresting name by establishing links with the village of Dull in Scotland and Boring in Oregon.

The Scottish and American settlements established ties last year, for no other reason than their mutually mundane monikers.  Politicians in Oregon have even attempted to establish an official “Boring and Dull Day” – it would fall on August 9, the one-year anniversary of their twinning, and involve a celebration of all things banal.

And now Bland Shire in New South Wales, home to 6,000 people and whose name honors William Bland, founder of the Australian Medical Association, wants to seize its share of the dreary dollar.

“I think over the years we’ve had our share of fun poked at us,” Bland Shire councillor Tony Lord told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, adding that having a joke about the name could bring benefits.

“Wherever there’s a deemed threat or a deemed negative, there’s always an opportunity. I think that’s where we need to think positively and look ahead at all the opportunities that may occur or that we can generate.”

Click on Bland reaches out to Dull and Boring for the complete article in the London Telegraph.

Click on Dull Men’s Club for more about celebrating dullness.  The Dull Men’s Club was founded by Eastman Kodak employees here in Rochester, N.Y., back in the days when working for Kodak was safe and dull.  Now Kodak is all too exciting.

[Update 7/8/2017]  Evidently the International Dull Men’s Club was started by Joseph L. Troise of Boulder, Colorado, but J.D. Stewart, a statistical analyst for Eastman Kodak Co. here in Rochester, was an early chairman of the IDMC.   Read Bored by Trendy?  Dare to Be Dull by William E. Schmidt for The New York Times (1982).