Friday, April 10, 2015

Nostalgia inside out



This came up on Facebook recently:  “People born in the 50’s have lived in seven decades, two centuries and two millenniums (sic).  We had the best music, fastest cars, drive-in theaters, soda fountains, and happy days.  And we are not even that old yet.  We’re just that cool.”

Sounds a little desperate, doesn’t it?  A little grasping. 

I mean really.  “We’re just that cool”?!  Sounds like something Eric Cartman would say.

If you have to announce it, you’ve already diminished your claim.  When did you ever hear any truly cool person claiming to be cool?  News flash – if they did, they were automatically disqualified from the category.



John Wayne?  Katharine Hepburn?  James Dean? Grace Kelly?  We knew they were cool.  They were not concerned with it.  That’s bad form.  Mick Jagger? John Lennon?  Forgetaboutit!



Also, if you break down that Facebook proclamation, what’s really there?  Having lived through decades and across centuries in and of itself is not sufficient to bestow coolness.  Although tortoises are cool.  And the Parthenon. 

You cannot diminish the music, that’s true. Elvis.  The Beatles.  Lynyrd Skynyrd. Jimi Hendrix.  Janice Joplin.  Aretha Franklin.  Come on!



But also, the Black Keys.  JohnLegend.  Nora Jones.  Uh, Maroon 5?  OK.  I’m in foreign territory here, but I’m making a point! 



We did have some cool cars back in the day.  Matter of fact, Mr. Plath and I still have my dad’s ’63 Corvette.  Hard to argue with a Split Window Coupe.  Do you think I’m cooler now that I’ve mentioned it?  Maybe I should have told you sooner. 



The past tense though – “we had the fastest cars.”  Even the goober who penned the post gave himself away with that.  Maybe we were bringers of cool, but we don’t have exclusive rights to it.

Drive-in theaters?  That’s it?  That’s what we’re gonna wave in people’s faces and say, “Neener Neener!”? 

I just think this guy was having a lonely night with Andy and Opie and his high school year book.  And all he could come up with was soda fountains!  “Happy Days”…was he referring to the Good Ole Boy heydays of men dominating everything or the Viet Nam war?  He surely lost his train of thought.

Dude!  If you want to put a generation on a pedestal, you might mention the first artificial heart, unveiling the structure of DNA, eradicating smallpox or pioneering organ transplants? 



Space exploration!  Duh!

Boomers can point with a sense of pride to the Civil Rights movement, inception of the environmental movement or the women’s liberation movement – even though, yes, all of those are still works in progress – we tipped the dominoes.

It just makes us older folks – “we’re not even that old yet” – (he didn’t realize what including those telltale qualifiers does to his credibility) seem stuck.  Too much looking back and saying, “Me, me, me!”

Funny thing is, I agree with the guy.  We are pretty cool.  But it’s completely uncool to demand the acknowledgement when there is so much cool stuff going on around us.  So much talent.  So much creativity.  And energy! 



Start with the internet and your Smart Phone.  A library in your pocket!  Wireless everything.  GPS. 
Jump from there to all manner of technology.  If you can live without it…well face it – You cannot.  I don’t want to go without the backup camera in my car.  Or Netflix!  Pandora!  Very cool.

I have a golf app that tells me I’m farthest from the hole.  Again.  And what would life be without Words with Friends?



I don’t think I’m the only Boomer who orders her meds online.  They bring them to the house for me!  Vegetables at a keystroke.  And shoes!!  Car parts.  Puppy food.  J

We had our glory days, to be sure.  But the beat goes on and thank God for that!  We are in the capable hands of some extremely cool younger people. 

They’re making some cool cars – especially those retro Mustangs – and face it, IMAX tops the drive in.  A Frappuccino beats a root beer freeze, sometimes.

Their enlightened attitudes toward the treasure of their parents and grandparents speaks well of them.


I’ll bet they’d even like Neil Young – “Old man, look at my life.  I’m a lot like you were.”