What’s the world’s most pointless pastime?

“What’s the point of skiing….it’s totally stupid. You climb up to ski down. Why not stay down and read a good book?!” The thoughts of Slovenian  philsopher Slavoj Zizek here on the BBC. He goes on….on football “why is it so fascinating that one stupid guy kicks football better than another?” Such pronouncments got us to thinking here on the World Today about other pointless pastimes. Any suggestions?

35 Responses to “What’s the world’s most pointless pastime?”

  1. June 26, 2008 at 11:13

    Can I open the account with fishing? What is the point of catching a fish, dragging it round a lake on a hook, only to put it back?

  2. 2 Mark from kansas
    June 26, 2008 at 11:19

    Eating it;-) Enjoying nature, finding a hole without beer cans, knowing that if food gets to expensive you can find something to eat.

    I think Nascar has got to be the most pointless thing I have ever seen, I can see advertisments any time I want to.

  3. 3 Mark from kansas
    June 26, 2008 at 11:20

    blogging lol!

  4. 4 Virginia Davis
    June 26, 2008 at 11:40

    sleeping – I sleep too much. but often have great dreams which are sometimes built around what’s playing on the radio. Ziezek’s a hoot!

  5. June 26, 2008 at 11:43

    My favourite waste of time is to surf the internet, mainly BBC website. Contributing to debates on the WHYS blog forces me to check sites through Google and and Wikipedia.

    The other activity I enjoy is just walking and reading. I find it loathsome to use any means of transport for distances needing 45 minute walk when I am not pressed by any urgent need.

    The thing I hate spending too much time on is continuous talking. Too much talking gives me just headaches. I’d rather type what I think about than waste my breath. End of story!

  6. 6 steve
    June 26, 2008 at 12:41

    How could skiing be pointless? First, it’s enjoyable, second, it’s amazing exercise, third, there’s usually a beautiful view of nature, given you’re on a mountain. How could this possible be pointless? If anything, watching TV is pointless unless you’re watching the news or something education such as the History Channel. Watching Scrubs, The Office, or some reality TV show is pointless.

  7. 7 Mark from kansas
    June 26, 2008 at 12:48

    Nothing is pointless, as long as it brings people peace of mind. If you seek the point you will find the truth.

    The truth is there is no point, the entire axistence of humanity is the flicker of a spark in the universe. These thing we do here now or a thousand years from now, in a million years what will be the result? Dust.

    Live for today, do something pointless.

  8. 8 Mohammed Ali
    June 26, 2008 at 13:00

    The most pointless past time is sitting to think about what will happen tomorrow when we have no idea whether we will die tonight.

  9. 9 Dennis
    June 26, 2008 at 13:01

    I find using the internet, contributing my thougths to BBC services i.e. HAVE YOUR SAY, WORLD HAVE YOUR SAY and its related entities.

    Watching TV.

    Collecting Elephants [stuff, toys, ceramics…]

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  10. 10 Julie P
    June 26, 2008 at 13:07

    The thrill of racing down a snowy hill, getting your heart racing, and doing something you like or love is not pointless. What is pointless is doing something you don’t like, such as going to a job day in and day out that gives you no personal satisfaction.

  11. 11 Roberto
    June 26, 2008 at 13:33

    “What’s the point of

    —— Purported philosophers asking rhetorical questions has to top the list of pointless endeavers.

    Answering them a close 2nd.

  12. 12 Katharina in Ghent
    June 26, 2008 at 13:36

    Playstation games. There’s not one educational gram of intelligence in it… ask my son.

  13. 13 Nick in USA
    June 26, 2008 at 14:37

    Bowling, Nascar, and Gambling. I honestly can’t believe anyone would want to do any of these.

  14. 14 Mohammed Ali
    June 26, 2008 at 15:16

    Hi Steve, i was asking about you today. This is one of the best future times we are on. Good to know that you are still on.

  15. 15 steve b - uk
    June 26, 2008 at 15:32

    Hi WHYSers

    what’s NASCAR – can anyone tell me?

    The best sport is Test cricket – five days of hearing the gentle clunk of leather on willow, polite applause, eating lots of cake, calm – if you get really excited you can say ( not shout ) loudly ‘oh my goodness!’, and, at the end of it all, a draw. Heaven!

  16. 16 Stephen
    June 26, 2008 at 16:41

    The Internet.

  17. 17 Venessa
    June 26, 2008 at 16:53

    LOL! I agree with NASCAR as a wast of time. How fun is it to watch people making left turns only…..On the other hand if people find entertainment value in it then for them it is not a pointless pastime. This is a very subjective question.

  18. 18 Catalina
    June 26, 2008 at 16:53

    Nascar is racing.

    Why is bowling pointless? I love bowling. It’s entertaining. Also, the thrill of driving extra fast is amazing; especially when you know you can’t get a ticket for it, and when it’s your career..even more amazing. You get an adrenaline rush out of doing it.

    I can’t say I agree with any of the above comments. Just because something isn’t educational doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing or isn’t pointless. PS. Scrubs is hilarious.

    lol @ polite applause 😀

  19. 19 Will Rhodes
    June 26, 2008 at 17:03

    Nothing at all beats the pointlessness of golf!

  20. 20 Venessa
    June 26, 2008 at 17:06

    Will ~

    I love golf, and yes it is pointless but I enjoy it nonetheless!

  21. 21 Will Rhodes
    June 26, 2008 at 17:15

    Hi Venessa – I am sure all those who play it enjoy it – look at Mr Tiger he is a gazillionaire through playing it and I wouldn’t take the enjoyment of millions of people away, but I still sit and watch wondering ‘What’s the point’ – a friend of mine back in the UK divorced his wife over her being a golf widow, lol.

    I LOVE Manchester United and football in general (not gridiron) and I would have loved to have been able to play it professionally.

    I have converted my wife to liking football now – but she does still giggle at me trying to kick the ball that could well be half way across the world. lol

  22. 22 Venessa
    June 26, 2008 at 17:17

    Will ~

    I have recently become a “heli” widow. My husband is now into flying his remote control helicopters with his buddies. Fortunately I enjoy the very selfish personal time I have for myself when he plays with his helicopter. 🙂

  23. 23 Janet T
    June 26, 2008 at 17:20

    NASCAR- the ultimate couch potato sport-sitting around and watching people drive

  24. 24 Pangolin- California
    June 26, 2008 at 18:02

    Golf- It’s kicking a rock expanded and sillifiedd beyond all reason.

    Announcer-“Well Jim, we’re all excited here in anticipation of watching grown men push a little ball into a hole.”


  25. 25 John in Salem
    June 26, 2008 at 19:13

    I have to agree with Mark from Kansas on this one.
    Nothing – and everything – is pointless. You could spend your entire life only doing things which have a point or only doing things which are “pointless” and the result would be the same – you’re gone and the universe never noticed you were even here.

    I think I’m gonna go look at clouds for a while.
    Y’all have fun!

  26. 26 Scott (M)
    June 26, 2008 at 19:17

    It all is—pointless. Yep, everything. You could ask—to what degree? How much? Is this a loop? Fruit-less. Froot-loops. Why do you think they invented religion? Another excuse to say “this” isn’t pointless. There is hope. God will save ya! No point. No hope. I live, because I haven’t decided to die.

  27. 27 Lubna
    June 26, 2008 at 22:52

    Hello gang ! :-)… The world’s most pointless pastime ?! To me it’s gotta be BOXING of course… I guess that it can show us how human beings can be really primitive sometimes ! With my love.. Yours forever, Lubna…

  28. 28 Tom
    June 27, 2008 at 02:57

    Hiding in fear. 🙂

  29. June 27, 2008 at 11:47


    spot on with the Nascar left turn only comments. Surely the value of Nascar comes only in the comedy fashions in the crowd.

  30. 30 Nick in USA
    June 27, 2008 at 13:46

    @ Catalina

    I wasn’t saying I didn’t like racing, I just don’t like Nascar. I’ve been racing motorcycles, go karts, or factory chassis cars for most of my life, and I don’t think all forms of racing are pointless. Racing is a factory testing grounds for all sorts of new automotive technology. This is particularly the case in touring car racing. If people weren’t racing and testing different aerodynamics for their cars, then we would all be driving cars that look like the Corvette Stingray’s. Instead, we drive cars that are both fuel efficient and safe because of racing. I’m sure some of you out there have some of those new paddle shifters on your cars too. Pretty cool aren’t they?

    On the other hand, Nascar has given 0 inventions to the automotive market. At least in the last 30 years. They are driving bumper cars using 30 year old technology. My goodness, they are still using carbureted V8’s. When is the last time you could even buy a carbureted V8? Most used cars don’t even come with this type of motor. Nascar is a popularity contest and nothing more. People like their favorite drivers. In the driver’s defense, some of them are actually pretty good drivers when they aren’t driving Nascar. Gordon and Stewart are both capable behind open wheel racecar drivers, but Nascar’s popularity contest just pays them more money.

  31. 31 steve b - uk
    June 27, 2008 at 16:46

    James Bond, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Dante, Paul McCartney, Queen Eliabeth II, Frank Sinatra, John Lennon, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, David Beckham, The Beatles, Opra Winfrey, Chaucer, Nelson Mandela, Rick Sprinstein, President Reagan, Manchester United, Lord Norman Foster

    – enjoy while you can

  32. 32 1430a
    June 28, 2008 at 05:52

    Well,for me golf and test Cricket would be the most pointless games.Whats the point of watching tiger woods hit the shots and walk up the hill just to put that small ball in the hole.And he actually gets paid so much!!!
    To what steve said:

    “The best sport is Test cricket ”
    Well my brother its better to watch 20-20 than spending your precious five days and getting a draw.!!!20-20 is actually fun and it is over by three hours:)

  33. 33 steve b - uk
    June 28, 2008 at 06:45


    Hi there!

    I quite enjoy 20-20 but it is the subtleties, finesse and tactics of a Test match that I love. Every hour the scene is shifting.

    Anyway, I am in favour of all forms of the game.

    all the best

  34. 34 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 29, 2008 at 01:33

    Routeen sex with your wife.

  35. July 1, 2009 at 00:45

    Once anyone see ‘s a guy passing your position on a hedge at over 180 mph you will never be caught in the normal mundain sports again. Racing motorbikes on Race course like the Isle of Man TT takes a realy special type of guy or girl. Not getting paid megga bucks but doing their sport

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