Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I Miss Old People
Those who can, do, those who can't, tell you you're doing a poor job. There was a reverence we used to have for older people. They fought in wars, they made brutal migrations from harsh living circumstances into harsher circumstances, just to have freedom. We admired the work that the older generations produced in order to build America. Because of this admiration and respect we found value in the life experiences of our elders. We wanted to know what they knew while we were still young so that we could grow and capitalize on their investment.
But something changed along the way. At some point we reached a plateau. All the buildings that needed to be built were built. All the ideas that needed to be thought had been thunk. We simply became a continent of people milling around trying on different clothes. We became a world of customization rather than inspiration. Everything we needed was already here for us neatly boxed, filed and organized. All we had to do was choose the number of things we wanted, and use them in the order we liked, and we called that life.
We no longer created new words with new meanings, we simply combined preexisting words and labelled them clever. So began the era of Bennifer and Brangelina. This new age would see the death of many words. Well, to be fair they didn't die, they just changed meanings in order to suit the collective apathy toward reading comprehension. Goodbye irony, I will miss you.
Since we no longer found value in the lessons and experiences of the older generations we saw them for what they were, old people. Old people are like that Easter bunny that got a little too much sunlight. Underneath all that packaging it's still delicious chocolate but if it's not on sale, I'm always going to pick the fresh one over the melty one. Suddenly, the pursuit of beauty and the appearance of youth became everything. Plastic surgery and the denial of aging was at an all time high. But none of these things prepared us for the last and final step.
Remember when your mother, father or favorite news anchor would reference a popular culture phrase? You would feel a little embarrassed because the said "The bomb" instead of "Da Bomb" It was as if they were physically unable to understand your jive way of talking. While your parents were a little stuffy and a little uncool you liked it that way. You needed to know that someone had the answers you were looking for or at the very least a different perspective on the situation.
Old people these days are so consumed with being young and staying young that they have sadly, grossly and absurdly lowered themselves to adopting youth culture. Every older generation is supposed to be repulsed by the new generation. The reason is because each generational gap has a series of levels that we grow and mature through in order to become adults. Once we are adults, the lessons of youth culture should no longer apply to us and thus, from our evolved state it should appear stupid.
In our desire to stay relevant and pretty we the "older wiser" generation are mining shopping malls and school parking lots for the newest fad. Instead of guiding our kids we are competing with them for Facebook friends and trying to see who can wear the shortest skirt and tallest heels. There is no reason whatsoever that I should have to hear Randy Jackson from American Idol use the word "Swagga". You are a grown ass man, the words confidence, poise, grace, charisma will serve you equally well without making your adult audience projectile vomit all over their flat screens.
Let's old it up people! Enough with the tights and thigh highs grandma, let's try some age appropriate clothing. Let's try to conduct ourselves like we actually have thoughts and lessons to bestow on the children. A little less friendship and a little more stern judgement. Old people are cool too.