I'll leave that to you to decide - I've got my own opinion.
In the hi-tech land of Japan, there is rumoured to be a "national pastime" like no other. The art of Chindogu. You see it on the news every once in a while.
It's caught on in the USA now, particularly popular with college students. The "official organisation" claims a membership worldwide of about 10,000.
The concept is really very simple: try your utmost to invent the single stupidest thing anyone has ever heard of. And when I say stupid, I mean not just stupid like inventing the atom bomb (introducing the world to the prospect of M.A.D. "Mutually Assured Destruction"), I mean stupid as in utterly useless. Good for nothing, actually intended to be a total waste of time. Not even worth thinking of in the first place.
Stupid? Well that's the whole idea.
Mind you, guess you have to see the funny side. But I'd never be able to join in the fun cos I'd never meet the requirements of Rule 6. (yes, there are rules!)
I figured with such a serious business I better not misrepresent these chaps, so here's the International Chindogu Society's own rules for Chindogu, directly quoted:
- A Chindogu must not be for real use : inventions claiming to be Chindogu must be completely useless. If you invent something which turns out to be quite handy, then you have failed.
- A Chindogu must exist : you are not allowed to use a Chindogu, but it must be made. In order for it to be useless, it must first "be".
- Inherent in every Chindogu is the spirit of anarchy : they represent the freedom of thought and action, the freedom to challenge the suffocating historical dominance of useful objects, the freedom to be "useless".
- Chindogu are tools for everyday life : Chindogu are a form of non-verbal communication understood by everyone. Specialised inventions, only understood by certain people are not allowed. Chindogu are for the masses.
- Chindogu are not for sale : if you accept money for one, you surrender your purity. They must not even be sold as a joke.
- Humour must not be the only reason for creating a Chindogu : the creation of a Chindogu is fundamentally an exercise in problem-solving. Humour is simply the by-product of finding a solution to a problem that was not really a problem in the first place.
- Chindogu is not propaganda : they are innocent and are not created as a perverse or ironic comment on the sorry state of mankind.
- Chindogu are never taboo : the International Chindogu Society has established standards of social decency. Cheap sexual innuendo, humour of a vulgar nature or cruel jokes are not allowed.
- Chindogu cannot be patented : Chindogu are offerings to the rest of the world, they are not owned. As they say in Spain "mi Chindogu es tu Chindogu".
- Chindogu are without discrimination : Chindogu must never favour one race or religion over another. Young and old, male and female, rich and poor - all should have a free and equal chance to enjoy each and every Chindogu.
Well, there you have it. Sound like your kinda pastime?
Go for it, get in touch with these, um, Chindoguists
Want to see some examples? Click here to visit an enthusiast's favourites.
Oh, by the way, no offence intended to Mr Cark Barks for using his Gyro
on this particular page. Now there is a really clever man!