It sounds like the best way to go is to contact HR. If you don't trust them, type up a note, perhaps at home, fold it and slip it under the HR door. HR always has doors so they can talk to employees privately. Tell them how your manager reacts to your suggestions, and state that he is the reason no one wants to work there. There is risk depending on how they raise the issue with the boss, but you will never get the boss to change because you tell him to. It has to come from above.
Meanwhile do you have any sort of software design process, such as Agile/Scrum? Start including the cost of useless meetings in your reports and plans. This might be especially useful if your manager is not a participant and you have a useful Product Manager. Frequent reports like "I spent 2 hours yesterday in a meeting about a future project that another team might be working on" should get the PM interested in improving your efficiency by getting you excluded from such meetings. "I spent all day yesterday listening to my boss expound on the department direction" should also get interest. Spend a week or two tracking the meetings, and differentiate the somewhat or thoroughly useful from the completely useless, but count both sides. At your next sprint planning include those values in your schedule before taking on any story points. Make sure you are clear that your lack of velocity is largely attributable to "Meetings, Bloody Meetings". (See John Cleese - here) Have your teammates do the same and hopefully the PM will choose to act. If your manager is the PM you should still do this, just be more careful of the wording.
Is it possible for you to attend even a few of these meetings remotely? Call in to them from your desk, so that you can nominally pay attention, but continue getting at least a little work done? If the boss doesn't currently accept that, wait until you have a deadline that he's pushing you on and try the approach. "Gee boss, I'd like to attend your meeting to 'talk about it' but I have that deadline you want me to meet for project X, so would it be okay if I call into the meeting and keep working on the project? I can still listen to your sparkling dissertation."
Be gentle, take it slowly, get the whole team trying to do these things, and maybe you can start to make a difference.
"Remember, I'm pulling for you. We're all in this together." - Red Green