I Grew So Old Today
When I was younger, I'd see guys who really cared about their lawn mower and wonder how it happened. Was it one fell merciful blow or a gradual metastasizing where they woke up one day just wanting to eat dinner at 3:30 in the afternoon? I know the exact moment it happened for me. I was driving around New Britain, CT, with my girlfriend, when a kid in a hotrod sped by and cut me off, and I pounded a fist on the dash, exclaiming, "They need more stop signs in this neighborhood!" And I thought (to myself as opposed to someone else), Holy fuck. I'm old.
In my case it wasn't such a momentous occasion. I've been a curmudgeon since I was 7. I never got trends or current fashions, the mindset of the masses. And it's not because I was too cool for school (as Justine likes to say). Far from it. I've never been cool. In school I hung with the ugly kids in the art room. I would've loved to be popular. Just wasn't happening. Because I could never figure why who liked what.
And it hasn't changed. Justine is twelve years younger than I, but it's not like she's the only one who sits glued to American Idol or that goddamned Glee or So You Think You Can Bake a Cake or whatever other fucking show is on TV. I feel like Vincent Vega when Jules is telling him about TV pilots.
Yeah, I'm aware there's been an invention called television, and I'm not going to say I never watch it, but I watch it a fucklot less than I used to. Pretty much kids' shows and sports. (And Breaking Bad on AMC, because it the best written show on TV.) Television--scripted television--is by and large dreadful (or non-existent) today, and I'll be fucked if I can explain to you how a bunch of kids singing and dancing is suddenly hip (we used to beat those kids up and take their lunch money when I went to school), and if I never see another brooding teenage vampire, it'll be too soon. (And before you dismiss my "it's ruining America" old-man spiel, get a load of this clown: http://tinyurl.com/3t6h7gv.) And here's where I talk about lamenting Starsky and Hutch or The Fall Guy, but only to link one of the best TV show theme songs ever.
This is all mildly amusing, or maybe not. I hate to keep blaming my kid who's not even a year old, but Holden woke up at 5:30 this morning, and trying to get this blog written (and this is the only time I have) is like writing a fiction first draft and pulling teeth (and, no, "pulling teeth" is not a cliche in this instance, because I have Yo Gabba Gabba on to distract Holden while I finish this, and Muno just lost his baby teeth, and that shit is serious).
Here's the meat. Because it isn't about how much I loath Heidi Klum or America's Next Top Attention Whore. Like I said, I've been a surly bastard since the time I could spell "surly," and I hate 99% of the music I hear, and films I watch, and people I meet, so it'd only make sense I wouldn't get why watching people dance in large groups and getting critiqued by B-list stars is so captivating (it's nothing like they're putting B-list stars in a giant tic-tack-toe game and asking housewives goofy T or F questions).
The meat is I've met the enemy.
It's happened. I don't want to free Mumia anymore. I don't want to rail against the evils of capitalism. OK. I'll still rail, but I'll rail like an old guy, in a nice house in the hills, with some personal equity and a financial portfolio, so these things are in the abstract, like seeing starving kids on late night TV and feeling bad about it, and then feeling that that somehow separates me from the problem.
One of the great things about Facebook, besides not having to physically meet and speak with people in order to feel like I'm being social...actually, that is the great thing. And everyone on FB has petitions or is bringing some new injustice to light, and when it's the younger generation (with their sagging pants and that hippity-hop music they listen to), there is a sincerity, a belief that because a cause is right, and if only the people who recognize this injustice can band together, consolidate their resources in grass roots, true change is possible. Maybe. I remember when Obama won the election (this won't turn into a political post, promise), walking down San Francisco's streets, and car horns were blasting and people were shouting, and I was, like, Wow, I wonder if this is what it felt like when Kennedy won. Because it felt like a real groundswell was underway, like something..big...was happening. I know it's not the same outside of SF, but if you were here on that night, regardless or your politics, you would've seen a city genuinely enthralled with possibility, like something important had just been won. And, again, this isn't about politics. Maybe it had. Maybe it hadn't. All I can say is, for me, life seems pretty much the same as it's always been. Politicians lie. Authorities abuse their power. And the weak, meek, and affected haven't inherited shit.
I'm not fighting the good fight. I'm not fighting any fight. Except trying to get my kid to nap. Because he needs to sleep. He's been up since 5:30 this morning. And daddy is tired. Oh, so very very tired.