Okay, if you’re here for some new wank fodder, you’re out of luck. Go visit my Tumblr or something, while I vent. Go on.
Last evening we went to a fancy-schmancy dinner party for a friend’s birthday; he’s the “baby” of our particular social circle, having just turned 50 (I’m the next youngest, having reached that age almost 3 years ago). So, I’m sitting around the table talking some of our other friends, and a few of them suggested that we meet regularly in a newly-opened local pub. “It’s for older people,” one of them said.
“What?” I asked. “How do you market for ‘older folk’ when you’re a pub?”
“Well, that’s what they’re doing,” somebody else said. “They’re trying to keep the kids out.”
“How does that work? What, do they play Frankie Vallee and doo-wop music?”
Another one nodded, seriously. “And none of that rap music and head banger stuff, either.”
“But… but I like rap music, ” I responded. And then — quite uncharacteristically — I shut up as I imagined several dozen of my friends sitting around, drinking pitchers of light beer and waxing nostalgic about the good old days. And then I walked into the next room to see what the children of my friends were up to.
Look, I understand if you don’t like rap music. Or any other kind of music, for that matter; we don’t all have the same tastes, and that’s actually a good thing. But I can’t stand it when my peers start acting like my freaking grandparents.
Pretty soon, the weather will be warmer — and lighter — in the morning, so I’ve been slowly getting things together to get a start on my morning bike rides. You may remember that last year I supplemented my weight lifting with cycling on alternating days, and took a longer ride on the weekend. And it paid off; my blood pressure was down, my heart rate was excellent, and I wore a smug expression as I tweeted the stats on different rides, much to the dismay of my friends who remained chair-bound.
“What the hell are you doing lifting weights at your age?” they would ask. “What’s with all the damn bike riding?” My answer was essentially this: “I’m lifting weights now so when I’m 70, I’ll be able to more than just lift a six-pack or the remote. Feel free to de-friend me if you don’t want to read my posts.”
Anyway, it was a coincidence that yesterday morning I was looking for a different music player for my Android phone (AT&T Captivate / Galaxy S). I installed MixZing and at the moment I’m looking the artists on the playlist that I made up for my bike rides. In no particular order:
- Beastie BOys
- Van Halen
- Judas Priest
- The Clash
- Cypress Hill
- Frankie Goes to Hollywood
- Barenaked Ladies
- Green Day
- Patti Smith
- Run DMC
- Sir Mixalot
- Talking Heads
- Billy Idol
- Third Eye Blind
- Twisted Sister
- Blink 182
- ZZ Top
- Tone Loc
- Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick
- New Radicals
- MC Hammer
- Lady Gaga
Right now, I’m charging the phone via a USB cable to my laptop, and I’ve got “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” blasting, and if I can figure out which Linux based player is better (I’ve been running Mint and Ubuntu on my old Dell), I’ll be sharing the tunes across my home network.
Do I sound like a fifty-something year old guy?
That was a trick question. As I’m only a few months away from 53, obviously the answer is “yes“. The real question in my mind, however, is why so many other 50-something year old guys don’t act like this. I’m not talking about the guys in a mid-life crisis who suddenly realize that they’re not teenagers anymore, and who run off with a hot blonde and a cool car, although that, really, is a symptom of a larger problem. No, I’m wondering what happens to people that at some point in their lives, they stop learning and appreciating anything new.
Last year at another dinner party, several of my friends didn’t know any popular musicians since the early 80s. Seriously? How do you manage that? Some of my friends are actually proud of their ignorance of cell phones, digital anything, and computers in general, and believe me, I cringe every time an old high school bud finds me on Facebook. “HI TOM!!! I FINALLY GOT A COMPUTER SO I COULD SEE MY GRANDKIDS ON FACEBOOK. PLEASE ADD ME TO YOUR FRIENDS LIST!!! AND WHY DO YOU ALWAYS POST ABOUT YOUR BIKE RIDES? ARENT YOU TOO OLD FOR THAT? LOL!!”
Jesus H Christ in a bucket.
Okay, look. I love my friends. That’s why I allow them to hang out with me, and all. And they must love me, because, really, they must in order to put up with the crap that I give them for being the way they are. But why do some people completely shut out current or popular culture after they hit 20, 30, 40, or whenever? I’ve sat with them at dinner and listened to them complain about “kids today” without the least sense of irony, or even realization that they used to complain about their parents saying the exact same freaking thing. I mean, these are people that lived through the 60s and 70s, for crying out loud. Former hippies, Dead followers, the sexual revolution, FM radio, even disco. The 60s and 70s were all about cultural change; so why are they so freaking stuck back there?
Yes, I’m annoyed. I’m annoyed that the more I look around, the more lonely I feel. Sure, I’m surrounded by people, but they’re slowly turning into old people. The way things are going, by the time I’m 60, my friends will be zombies; I’ll recognize their bodies, but mentally, we won’t have anything in common anymore. They will have become the walking dead.
Why am I the only one that seems to see this?