For all of my life there has always been an older person around to tell me how things were so much different and much harder back in their day, meaning back when they were my age. Even still there are those older folks, those “senior citizens” who instantly have a brighter day just to be able to tell you that when they went to school they had to walk 10 miles, uphill both ways, with no shoes, in snow and broken glass…
Recently (as in just before writing this) I read an article on Cracked where jokes were made such as, “Oh — for our younger readers — a record store is a place where, as a teen, I failed repeatedly to find chicks willing to have sex with me.”
This joke was repeated a couple of times in that article when talking about CD’s and Blockbuster Video, and what it says is, there is a generation of people alive in this world today who do not know of these things. Sure CD’s are still out there and every now and then you’ll find a store that still sells music. We have one left here in Cincinnati and it’s awesome to go into. From what I understand there’s actually TWO record stores, but I didn’t believe the man who told me (my dad) and I stoned him with rocks until he took back his terrible lies.
Thinking about it, I realized that my generation is a unique generation in that we remember a time when all of the popular stuff out today didn’t exist, and it happened to be not that long ago. Technology is moving at an alarming rate. So fast that we can’t keep up with it. The “joke” is absolutely true about how if you buy a brand new computer today, it’ll be outdated within a year. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Consider this… depending on who you ask an “antique car” is one that ranges anywhere from 15 to 25 years old. So, those of you who are as old as I am are clearly old enough to remember your parents car when you were a kid, and that car now would be an antique. Never mind that, do you see a Ford Taurus as an antique car? If you base it off of the 15 to 25 year ranking system a Dodge Neon would be antique. That car was just out a few years ago, right? Yet there are kids today who would read that and say “What’s a Neon?”
Holy shit, I never thought I’d feel THIS old at 33. I was around before home video game systems. Sure there was Pong in the 1970s but home video game systems really didn’t take off until the mid 1980s with the first Nintendo and Atari. Those of you who are my age, remember when Nintendo came out? Stores couldn’t keep them on the shelves. People waited in long lines, took raffle tickets and spent entire paychecks just to have one.
Back then, not everybody had a PC in their home. AMAZING! What the hell did we do for fun? We went *gasp* OUTSIDE to play. We used our imaginations. Holy fuckbeans, that wasn’t THAT LONG AGO.
We didn’t have cell phones. We didn’t know what an mp3 was because they hadn’t been invented yet. We had to use Walkmans to have our music portable, and even then you could still catch someone walking down the street with a fucking boom box on their shoulder, blasting the hell out of one eardrum at a time listening to N.W.A. or Kenny Rogers.
And the worst part? I’m totally turning into one of those people who hates modern stuff. Music and some fashion styles in particular, but seriously, I hate that I’m becoming that person and I’m only 33 years old! What the fuck?!
When I was a teen I honestly thought I was hipper, or cooler than my parents. I wasn’t going to become one of those people who bitched about how things were better back in my day and how everything today sucks, but I’ve totally become that person and much quicker than I ever thought possible. Because technology, and everything else for that matter, is progressing so much faster than it ever had before now.
Musically speaking, think about this. We went from the late 70s where, granted we were probably too young to remember the music then, straight into the 80s where the fashion and the music spoke directly about that decade. Let me pause here and say the NINETEEN eighties. Before all of the computers and electronics crashed and burned when the year 2000 struck us.
I don’t think any other decade is that recognizable just based off of the music and fashion alone. Sure the 60s and the 70s had their own stuff, but even the kids of today can see the bright neon colored mismatched clothing and hear a Simple Minds tune and instantly know it was from the 80s because quite frankly, no other decade wanted to be a part of that shit.
And then we hit the 90s and music completely swung another way, as well as the clothing. And then the 2000s hit and holy shit, another fucking huge change in everything. Even now in the 2010s we’re still basically where we were in the 2000s, so maybe things are slowing down a bit. I guess at least as far as music and clothing are concerned, but technology is skyrocketing into the future every day, and I’m actually scared to see what’s going to be available to the everyday consumer in the next 10 years.
So is that when it happens for every generation? Was our grandparents hitting their mid-30s and thinking that everything of the day sucked balls? And everything only continued to get worse? Will I be 50 and wishing there was a plug to be pulled to end my misery of dealing with the shit that is popular then? Oh man, I hope not. I hope at some point I can enjoy what’s out because otherwise, what will there be to look forward to?
My current PC, the one I’m writing this up on right now, is over 10 years old. It’s ancient by today’s standards. I have to crank it to get it started. I’m sure I won’t have it in another 10 years, but who knows, I might. Maybe by then I’ll be using it as a hard drive to store all of my favorite TV shows and movies, or I’ll be using it as a DVR. By then I’m sure DVR’s will be replaced with something else entirely, but I’ll have one, because I like to stay behind the curve by about 20 years. That’s what keeps me young.
Speaking of staying behind 20 years, anybody hear that new Nirvana song “Smells Like Teen Spirit”? It rocks. They have a long and promising future ahead of them. I hope nothing happens to alter that.