Rantage

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:

  • Offspring
  • AC-DC
  • Beastie BOys
  • Van Halen
  • Cake
  • Judas Priest
  • The Clash
  • Cypress Hill
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • Aerosmith
  • B-52s
  • 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
  • Rezillos
  • Ramones
  • Pink
  • Nirvana
  • Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick
  • New Radicals
  • Metallica
  • MC Hammer
  • Madonna
  • Korn
  • 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?

About Tom Allen

The Grey Geezer Dauntless defender of, um, something that needed dauntless defending. Dammit, I can't read this script without my glasses. Hey, you kids, get off my damn lawn!
This entry was posted in Aging, Culture, Sexuality & Relationships. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Rantage

  1. Jz says:

    You aren’t.
    hooooooboy, no, you aren’t.
    I won’t duplicate your rant, just give you a big “Amen!”

    I cannot tell you how many of my friends I have reamed out about this very thing.

    “Enjoy your rocking chair, dude. When I finally get around to joining you in one – in another thirty or so years – you’ll be a pro and can give me lessons…”

  2. slave_nemo says:

    Hey, Tom! I resemble that remark…. I just turned 60 and have tried to keep up with the times, even though I don’t like rap music. I do, however, like much of the contemporary stuff. I don’t do a great deal of bike riding, but I try to keep in shape.

    BTW, you listed Van Halen twice. Just thought you should know.

  3. Susan says:

    Why am I the only one that seems to see this?

    Because you’re not willing to settle. A life well lived requires effort. The path of least resistance leads to eating dinner at 4 in the afternoon because you have a coupon and bitching about those damn kids on your lawn while watching Judge Judy.

    Too old to bike and lift weights?

    WTF.

    Besides the obvious health benefits to you and the fact we could save billions in health care costs if we all got off our collective asses, here’s another reason to keep up your exercise program:

    You get semi hot, happily married women stopping by your site to check out your cute butt:)

    I think I speak for women everywhere when I say I want more AARP ass on this site.

  4. Becker says:

    Way to go Tom. I bought a bike last year and I’ll admit it has taken 12 months for some resemblance of fitness to return to my legs and also for my mind to realise I can’t ride like I did at 18 but I’m out there and experiencing the world again.

    Also it was great to hear your a devoted linux user I bet that gets some comments from your friends who are still struggling to understand windows.

    I’m sure you’ve heard of twitter well on the open source side of life we have identi.ca similar thing but so much better. Yesterday I asked a question and non other than the guy who created my distro (Crunchbang btw) answered it! You get to not only read what the big names are writing you also get their advice and they give it willingly which is incredible. So yeah if your looking for suggestions on what audio player to use I’d start there. You could also check out mpd I hear it’s the program all the sys admins use to stream their music.

    • Tom Allen says:

      Hey Becker –
      I’m not a “devoted” user, I just started a couple of years ago to resurrect an old laptop, and have slowly been getting sucked in. I now run it for my own use on a couple PCs, and if i can figure out how to make iTunes work, will set it up for my teen daughter – the one who manages to infect the family room PC once a month. :-/

  5. Dev says:

    You have strange friends. Everyone I know around your age (some rather older) is like you.

    • Grey says:

      I agree with Dev… Maybe it is living up there in the northeast? 😉

      Living out here in the mountain west is much like you do, with the bicycle as a growing way of life and lifestyle (in general, not just sexually) includes being healthy so we can ‘slide into homeplate with that What a Ride life has been’.

      Nice rant… I think I’ll go out and hop my bike for a ride.

  6. Ayesha says:

    Um….maybe this will answer a few of ur questions?

  7. Wendy Blackheart says:

    You should check out the music,of girl talk, btw. Id go with all the albu,s except for secret diary (the fake record skips are annoyimg on that album). Hes like, a dj musician who does mashups and mixes of everyrhing awesome ever.

    Also, you are a normal abnormal adult.i get the same kind of thimg from friends my agewho chose to breed and stagnate after hs instead of live. Note, breeding doesnt equak stagnation, but many let it. You can adapt, which ia pretty awesome and healthy. They are unable, thus, the non iromic nature of their distaste for pop culture.

  8. I’m with you, Tom, itching for the snow and ice to disappear so I can get my bike out onto the streets. I’m ten years your senior, and in the best shape I’ve been in since I was twenty-five. There is much truth to the statement “You’re as old as you feel”.

    I do have to disagree with you on rap music, but, hey – whatever floats your boat… The range of musical genres that I enjoy has expanded exponentially in the past twenty years – If I could wrap my head around opera and hip hop, I’d like everything.

    I just wish my ex-brother-in-law would just fuck off and quit sending me those “senior moments” e-mails.

    Last thing… There are some advantages to getting older, and it seems that becoming crusty and being tolerated for telling it like it is, is the best one.

    • Tom Allen says:

      I just wish my ex-brother-in-law would just fuck off and quit sending me those “senior moments” e-mails.

      Ugh – those are really getting to me.
      And hey – our bodies are going to age, things are going to break down, and eventually – no matter how well we maintain ourselves – we’re going to die. I’m not ranting about that (yet) – I’m ranting about the people who seem perversely proud of the fact that they are stuck in some mental era, like people from some foreign land who settle in a ghetto in their new country.

      You don’t have to like rap, or metal, or rave, or pop. But dont’ like it because you don’t like it – not because you think that *anything* after 1982 is crap, simply because that’s your own mental cut-off point.

  9. Fusion says:

    Totally with you on this Tom. As a guy who sells cell phones for a living I am amazed how many customers my age (52) and younger come into the store and tell me they could never figure out a smartphone. I may joke with them, but on the inside I’m yelling bullshit. I’ve sold droids to 70 and 80 year olds and they love them (interesting that most the older ones are women…)
    I think it may have something to do with genetics, my parents always were interested in the latest phones/computers/gadgets I’d bring with me when I’d visited them. One of my favorite photos of my mom was taken 3 months before she passed and she was laying on her bed with her hands on her chins watching her caretaker use the computer to check her email account I had just set up.
    I have a friend who sends those senior moment emails too, usually delete them as soon as I see them…
    Rock on my friend, one day your grand-edgelettes will have the coolest and most fit grandpa around. Word.

  10. roo-roo says:

    I have a lot of those same artists on my playlist!

    One guy I work with is in his early 60s. He runs, lifts weights, swims, and bikes. And he competes in races of various combinations of the above. I hope to be in that good of shape when I’m his age. And I can almost guarantee that you will too.

  11. overwrought says:

    Great post. I don’t have anything constructive to say, but… lol, Sir Mixalot. 😄

  12. Ferns says:

    *laugh* This was hilarious… “Hey you old people, get the hell off my lawn!!”

    Seriously, being 45 and single, I am looking around with a roving eye at dating prospects and I soooo agree with you. Most men around my age and older are frigging OLD… they look old, they act old, they think old. It’s like they are my dad (how the hell did that happen?!!).

    My last date was 10 years younger, my current interest is about the same. They find me, which is great, but when I look around, sorry, but ‘older than me’ is filtered out by default because of exactly this.

    Ferns

  13. However you may feel, I approve of that list of bands.

  14. Jamie says:

    I was trying to figure out what to comment on this post, beyond, “Yeah, me too!” when I realized I can’t tell if I like the post or the comments more. Which got me to understanding that you have that rare gift of writing that makes every (well, clearly many anyway) reader feel like you’re talking directly to them.

    So, yeah, we have the same phone. And yeah, I’m waiting for the mud to dry on my road so I can commute to work on my road bike, and yeah, I have a Pandora playlist that (on a good day) plays a lot of those artists, and yeah, our interests overlap a lot (though not entirely).

    But mostly, thanks for writing so eloquently about the stuff that’s hard to articulate. That’s why you’re at the top of my “Sites I read for insight” category.

    Jamie

  15. Celtic Queen says:

    I’d point to all the whingers bitching about old age that actually it is better than the alternative 😀

    And Frankie goes to Hollywood? Top choice that man

  16. mikecb says:

    Heh, your playlist looks a lot like mine!

    I’m with you, Tom. I’m in my upper 40s, I teach kickboxing and Spinning and I’ve taken up Squash, recently, and play with some friends in their 20s. I’ll be old when I’m dead. I don’t have time for it, right now!

    • Tom Allen says:

      Well, I do get aches and pains. But the difference between me and my friends is that they get sore from going on a long walk, and I get sore after a 30 mile bike ride.

      But again, I’m not so much commenting on the physical aspects as on the mindset that so many of my friends have. It’s not that their bodies are too old, it’s that they are acting old.

  17. mysubversion says:

    Well, I’m 26, and your playlist is nearly identical to mine, for what it’s worth 😉

    My dad is 66 and works out 5 times a week. My mom is your age, and she runs 5-6km daily to her dance ‘n rock playlist. She’s in better shape than I am. Ain’t nobody gonna tell me my parents are old. They love life, look and feel great. I should be so lucky at your age.

    Rock on, man.
    mySub

  18. Sex Fairy says:

    You Rock, Tom! I’ve always said that when we get old we either listen to the music we did as kids, or country. Stay current!
    xxx

  19. “But I can’t stand it when my peers start acting like my freaking grandparents.” Hear, hear. This post rocks 😀

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