Now I’m not so cool, culturally speaking, which is karmically appropriate. As a Libra guy and aging Baby Boomer, I appreciate the irony and cyclicality captured in the fact that I went from being a cynical long-haired young Vietnam war protester at CU Boulder to becoming a cynical bald curmudgeonly old fogey. Like some mythological dragon or snake figure (Ouroboros) I now chew on my own snarky suburban tail. In my mind, that still makes me more of a cool circle than a big square.
Oh well, I can still PROTEST and I choose to protest just about everything considered cool or popular today, except maybe my son (Eli) who dresses up in elaborate super-hero character costumes (Cosplay) and goes to DragonCon with around 30 to 70,000 other sci-fi/fantasy nerds every year here in Atlanta. He just got back and said it was “the best DragonCon ever”.
Here is a short list of 12 THINGS I really hate today, and, as a result, choose to officially protest in writing. You dont have to agree with me, of course, but for God sakes, be honest.
2) TV commercials in general, especially in whodunnit crime shows and long drawn out but ultimately futile National Geographic specials, ie. search for ghosts, Lochness Monsters, Bigfoot, free diamonds, Jewish mermaids, etc.
3) People who have the same cell phone ring tone that I do even tho it’s one of the most common ring tones and I refuse to change it out of pure laziness and ineptitude.
4) Termites, wasps, killer bees, mosquitoes, cockroaches and those tiny little ants in the kitchen and now in my car. I thought we were the apex predator and that every other species is supposed to be innately afraid of us?
5) I hate the fact that every time I amass a substantial “collection” of anything, ie. cassette tapes, VHS movies, CD’s, surround sound theater systems, Trinitron TV’s, alarm clocks, 8 track car tapes, etc., the technology changes and everything I have is now worthless …….again.
6) Car mechanics who tell me my car is hopelessly messed up due to some human error on my part, and then try to buy the car off me for cheap. Why do they want it so bad if it’s that f#@$-ed up…and why is there always something else wrong with the car right after I leave the mechanics garage?
7) Humidity, rain every day, scorching heat, frozen tundra, frostbite, snow drifts, sleet, black ice and getting stuck on ski lifts in any of the aforementioned conditions. What happened to plain old blue sky and weather between 70 and 80 degrees? Do I have to live in Santa Barbara next to Oprah Winfrey to get that?
8) Traffic congestion, road construction and having to wait for ANYTHING whether it is at a toll booth, in a supermarket, a lunch line at Subway, and especially at the US Post Office where employees are apparently paid more to move slower.
9) The slowest moving employee of all the various places mentioned in #8 who somehow seems to just “know” that I hate to wait and so he/she/it slows down even more just to torture me, especially if I’m late for something else.
10) Health Insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, corrupt home contractors, Comcast, Silicone valley CEO-entrepreneurs who still have teenage acne, Fox News, TV psychics, sex-abusing Catholic priests, televangelists who smile and show their gums grotesquely when they lie, any politician’s “chief of staff” or “communication officer”, most lawyers except for my friend Martin and Bennett, psychotherapists who dont do anything except take money and file for insurance reimbursement, chiropractors who do the same thing but explain the problem in vaguely unscientific chiropractic terms, doctors offices who ask me to write down my current medications four times and then send in a nurse or doctor who asks what medications I take, and licensed or unlicensed plumbers and electricians who dont show up and still think that their truck “breaking down” and being unable to call is even remotely believable in this day and age.
11) Today’s pop culture. It appears to me to be generally moronic, stupid, simplistic, celebrity-obsessed, narcissistic, materialistic, inane, anti-intellectual, insincere, false, fake and inclined to elevate or ingratiate itself toward musicians or psuedo-celebrities (ie, The Kardashians, Snookie, Housewives of Istanbul, Paris Hilton. etc.) who lack talent, speak in ghetto slang for “effect” (even if they grew up in Kenilworth, Beverly Hills or Bel Air) and write musical lyrics that are racist, sexist, violent, xenophobic or performed solely for their sensational-shock value. Besides that I like young people.
12) Low flow toilets that save on water but take four flushes to get the job done. I’d rather have one giant hydraulic turbine nuclear powered toilet that flushes like the Prince of Dubai’s private commode on his gold and gem-encrusted 747. Trust me, if I could, I would flush everyone and everything I just mentioned down and out at maximum cruising altitude and enjoy watching them all drop while screaming, “Hey, whutt up, dog????? AYYYYIIII!!!!!”
Clearly I could go on…forever. I know…that’s not cool either. It’s cool to stay positive and constantly repeat self-affirming mantras like Stuart Smalley. The good news is that there are still many good things and good people that I like and love. My “Love” list is just as long as my “buh-bye” list.
So, why do I still love my twenty-something son and all his nerd-gaming-costume wearing friends who dress up and prance around at DragonCon? I love them because at least what they’re into is artistic/dramatic, creative, colorful, healthy, pro-social, interactive, and fun (for them). Also, if one cares to think about it, their super-hero “characters” and their collective interest in Cosplay are grounded in a kooky sense of humor, an “inclusive” (versus exclusive) ethic, an overall striving for social justice, a belief in helping the less fortunate, and ultimately knowing the difference between a good guy/do-gooder and a total shmuck or lunatic psychopath, even if sometimes it’s a little bit more complicated then that. See, I told you I dont hate everything today.
P.S. Do you think it’s even possible for a 60 year old to dress up as a colorful dragon/snake eating it’s own tail at DragonCon 2014? Of course my son, the super-hero would die of embarrassment…….:)
DragonCon Hans Solo Cup Costume: Not the most elaborate, but creative: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cloudlesslens/9660515027/