Personally, I've been working as contractor/consultant for the last 8 years, getting paid by the hour worked, so I grew to like those pointless meetings, because they simply are easy money: they count as work, but require almost no effort on my side.
If you are paid salary and having to work any overtime, then it is likely taking up productive time and resulting in more unpaid overtime. If you are hourly, then I think that mentality works fine. I wonder if the different incentives every cause a problem in work places with both types of workers.
If you're not paying attention, bosses will think less of you. So not only do you have to pretend to pay attention they love when you ask lots of gotcha questions to the person trying to give status. Anything to look smart.