When I was young I remember hearing older adults complain about the “good old days”. I also remember thinking they were “old fogies” who didn’t have a clue. They didn’t “get” the Beatles, Pink Floyd, astrology, hallucinogenic drugs, pot, protesting the war, Ram Dass, rock and roll, or even Twinkies. They were not “cool”. They were “squares” while me and my friends were super cool and nearly enlightened human beings, kind of like Ace Ventura Pet Detective.
Now I’m not cool, culturally speaking, which is karmically appropriate. As a Libra man, Bro-Dad of three twenty-something sons and aging Baby Boomer, I appreciate the Lion King “circle of life” irony captured in the fact that I went from being a cynical long-haired 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 Atlanta Georgia. In my deluded mind, I’m still more of a cool circle than a big square.
Oh well, I can still PROTEST and I choose to protest just about everything considered trendy or popular today, especially among supposed cool people under 30 (even more hippie irony) with the notable exception of my son (Eli) who dresses up in elaborate super-hero character costumes (Cosplay) and goes to DragonCon in Atlanta with around 30 to 70,000 other sci-fi/fantasy nerds every year. He just got back and said it was “the best DragonCon ever”, whatever that means. The idea of my body in form fitting spandex almost makes me nauseous.
Here is a short list of 12 THINGS I, Bro-Dad really hate today, and, as a result, I choose to officially protest in writing. You dont have to agree with me, of course, but for God sakes, be honest.
2) Todays 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.
Did any of you EVER take a science class?
3) People who have the same cell phone ring tone that I do even tho it’s one of the most common ones and I refuse to change it out of pure laziness, failing eyesight and ineptitude.
Ok, my fault but couldn’t you make a written instruction manual with extra large lettering for older people? Your eyes are going to fuck up over time too and you cant all possibly get Lasik or could you, you selfish spoiled brats?
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?
I dont know how your generation is responsible for climate change and more bugs, but somehow you are, probably by leaving windows open and lights on all the time.
5) I hate the fact that every time I amass a substantial “collection” of anything, ie. cassette tapes, VHS movies, CD’s, Dolby 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.
Definitely your “high tech” fault. You are never satisfied. Your initial “Survivor” shows and iPhones are never good enough without 2,3,4, 5, 6 and 7, etc. Even Sylvester Stallone knew when to hang his Rocky and Rambo movie characters up. Nobody in Hollywood is going to look so “Coolio” at age 80 and neither will you skinny jean punks!
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 or Montecito next to Oprah Winfrey to get that? I guess I do, but only you people know how to do a tech “start-up” or create a “nimble” multitasking software platform..blah blah, whatever that is. Can you fix my leaking toilet?? I didn’t think so.
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 slow.
Ok, the Post Office employees are my age and my generation and are generally waiting for their bloated government pension plans to pay off like busted slot machines. I dont blame them. I blame you geeks for ruining the original mail system and making it obsolete with all your internet “solutions”. Too lazy to lick a damn stamp?
9) The slowest moving person or employee of all the places mentioned in #8 who somehow seems to just “know” that I hate to wait and so he/she/it slows down to a snails pace even more just to torture me, especially if I’m late for something else.
Ok, I admit to being both highly impatient and paranoid but I still want to go postal on this person and curb stomp them behind the checkout counter, deli meat section or parcel weighing station. WHERE DO THEY GO WHEN THEY SAY, “I’ll be right back”??? There are literally cobwebs forming in line while I wait. I’ve actually seen them.
10) Health Insurance companies and their customer care “specialists”, pharmaceutical companies, corrupt home contractors, Comcast, Silicone valley CEO-entrepreneurs who still have teenage acne, Fox News political pundits, TV psychics, sex-abusing Catholic priests, televangelists who smile and show their gums grotesquely when they lie, any politician’s “chief of staff” or “chief 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 special chiropractic terms, medical 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 first is even remotely believable in this day and age.
Right. Nothing more to say (about this) except in my day we didn’t put up with gigantic bullshit like what is considered normal today. Go ahead and laugh. I see you smirking, but you’re the asswipes who invented and pay a fortune for 3-ply toilet paper and a cup of coffee.
11) Today’s pop culture. This may seem generational and petty but what is considered popular appears to me to be generally moronic, simple-minded, 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 completely lack talent, speak in ghetto slang for “effect” (even if they grew up in Beverly Hills or Bel Air) and write lyrics that are racist, sexist, violent, xenophobic and performed solely for their sensational shock value. Besides that I like young people.
I beg even one of you to write me, text me, or break ranks with your hipster mafia unspoken code and admit, “I know. Our music sucks ass and is lame. We’re all mostly just pretending to like it. Yours was much better.” Then I can die in peace. Period.
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!!!!!”
Admit it. You have the same exact fantasy or even worse.
So, why do I still love my twenty-something bro-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 doing is moderately 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 in society, 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. Now all of you get off your asses and do something productive, like take a walk outside without your cellphone.