If you've read this blog with any regularity it appears as though I have a form of mental Progeria. My mind is constantly looking forward in an attempt to explain and understand aging. Thankfully, I balance out my forward thinking mind by being completely irresponsible and immature with my life. I suspect the only reason I am obsessed with understanding how my actions today will affect my future is so that I do not live typically and end up with a generic, repetitive, boring, dull, pedestrian, common life. Well, there's that and the whole being deathly afraid of death thing which kind of motivates my urgency toward understanding the here and now.
On with the point already...Recently I realized the era that I was born into just got old. I'm sure that some of you have already encountered and surpassed the age that I am talking about while others won't know what I'm talking about (in their minds and hearts) for at least a decade. As a little bit of a back story allow me to say the following:
I was born in the 80's, 1981 to be exact. As a child I grew up listening to Rap music or as parents refer to it Crap music. Every kid my age for a time listened to Rap because is was new and so so fresh. During that time however I don't think anyone in my age group thought that Rap had staying power or that it would evolve and become a huge part of shaping our culture 20 years later. In the same way I remember the Internet, it was this brand new thing. It had email and pictures and message boards and voice chat, the only problem was that it was really slow and you had to disconnect your home phone to use it. For those of you who don't know a home phone was a cell phone that was permanently attached to your house via a cord. The Net could have evolved into something cool or it could have went the way of the pogo stick, Delorean and laser discs. The point is that I think the majority of us who grew up through the 90's as well as many adults didn't fully realize the impact that the Internet would have on our lives until it was ubiquitous.
In this same way, I don't think that the children and adults of yesteryear were aware of how the things that were introduced in their lives would grow to influence the future culture. When you're in it you don't really see that far beyond it. Certainly radio and then television were cool new things but I doubt that people sat around the television and generally thought "Geez, this is going to change the entire way we operate and interact as a species." Certainly there is a level of projection but if you watch movies that supposedly take place in the future you will note that outside of flying cars "their future" is not vastly different than the current time they were living.
I realize now that I have reached the age of the Old generation. When I was a kid I remember watching infomercials about music from the 50's. I remember going to 50's inspired diners, I remember going to car shows with cars made in the 50's. I remember how cool, interesting and nostalgic it felt even though I was born 30 years after the 50's. To me it was a far off distant era that I could never quite grasp but I could appreciate nonetheless.
So now I'm at that age and looking back on it prematurely it seems kinda funny and kinda strange. I'm trying to imagine a collection of old people 20 years from now sitting in a parking lot with their import tuner cars. All of their engines have been converted to electric/solar power. One of their teenage kids has a throwback hairstyle called "The Rachel" another kid has bleach blonde hair, another one with frosted tips. A few car stereos are strategically placed. One is playing Ace of Bass, another Prodigy, another Tupac and Biggie and so on.
In this parking lot, this vacant lot a collection of fogies and their kids are remembering a time when people used to hang out together. Long before the apathy and the anxiety of the human experience kicked in. Somewhere in the background there is a faded broken sign that says: Appl__ees a homage to the chain restaurant craze that existed before the great bubble burst. On the drive home my son or daughter hears a Creed song on the radio and turns it up exclaiming "I like this song." I take a glance to my left and right, roll up my window to hide my shame and embarrassment and we both happily listen to Creed blast through the chorus of My Own Prison.