Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Culture

I missed some of the jokes watching the Super Bowl yesterday.  I guess that makes me officially old. There was laughter on the screen while TBG and I were shaking our heads.  It didn't happen often, just frequently enough to be noticed.

The culture has passed us by.

Is thug just a replacement for the n word (a phrase that makes me gag as I type it since we're all saying it in our heads as we read it, anyway) ... and, if so, when did it happen and why did no one inform me?

Then, again, why do I think I have to be notified of a cultural shift?  The answer is obvious to me: my generation defined the culture, right up until technology took it away from us.  Before then, we had our fingers on the pulse of what was new, from the electric typewriter
to the first generation of portable personal music
through the DiscMan's CD's
and the ultra-cool, all-in-one Sony radio, 
right up until the iPod and the need to understand playlists and downloading and copyrights. 

It didn't used to be this hard.

It's not only on television that my cluelessness is brought home to me. The children's section of the book store still has Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal in the classics section, just as it did when I was young, and when my children were young.  But now, Where the Wild Things Are is sharing the shelf with Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and that's just not right.

I try to keep up, but when my local radio station was sucked into a national, taped, generic conglomerate I lost my last link to current musical tastes.  NPR is not the place for such knowledge.  Nor is Sirius, nor XM.  I'm locked into what I know.  That's not a bad thing, as far as it goes.  The problem is that the rest of the world is moving on, and I am not.

Renee Fleming astounded the sportscasters with her powerful rendition of the national anthem. Her voice was an equal match for the fireworks and the fighter jets.  To me, that was culture.  I wonder if those on the other side of this divide are wondering why they'd never heard of her before?

Or, is that the prerogative of those of us on the downward slope of life?  I ask because, as I typed this post I began to realize that I really didn't care about being disconnected. Perhaps it is the reality of being a matriarch which sends me to this place of comfort with these limitations.

Then, again, if someone wants to send me a playlist of songs you feel I absolutely must know in order to be in and of the moment, I promise to give them a try.  I'm old, but I'm still breathing, after all.

6 comments:

  1. Don't bother asking for things that are "in and of the moment" because those are almost never necessary. Ask for things that are "new that you love that I might love too". The proliferation of options given to younger generations by the internet has allowed each of us to specialize, so there are very few defining songs that address the generational gap.
    And from what I've seen, NPR does a pretty good job of covering the basics - especially in their Tiny Desk Concerts.
    (I really love NPR's pop culture blog/staff. They do a weekly podcast and they sound like people I would really love to hang out with. Very smart and they like things in the same way I like them.)

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  2. I am disconnected from popular culture too, and l do not care either!
    Bah, humbug...

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  3. You and I are the same age so please don't call yourself old. We have another 20 years before we are old. Then we'll discuss the issue again!

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  4. The Spousal Unit and I have lost touch with our culture. It bothers me that I don't have the Google Chrome stick thingy that you plug into your TV and then magic happens and there are movies. I just can't understand how it works, and am not sure it's worth the effort. I had hoped to stay current on technology, but it doesn't appear that I will do that. At the Superbowl halftime show, I did recognize the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but had to be told the other band was Bruno Mars. I'd heard one of their songs previously on the radio, but I thought it was sung by a woman. Music is really getting by me. We don't have it on in the RV because we both have hearing deficits, and with music going our conversations consist of "what?". In the truck, we have Sirius/XM presets for what we like from the past, further cementing our out of touch-ness.

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  5. It helps to know that I have company in this position I find myself in with regard to music and technology. Did our parents and their parents feel this way when they were our age?

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  6. We were just having this conversation at lunch today. How wearing those parkas without arms were called life preservers in Back to the Future and how we wore them in the 80s. How things are accepted and yet not accepted in certain times in our lives. The conversation came up when we were talking about the high schoolers in our lives not wearing coats to school--even when it's 10 degrees outside. AB, you are not alone. Many of us feel that we are out of touch with what's "in". I feel like I cannot stay on top of it all. I constantly ask my 19 year-old niece what's in.

    Welcome to the club. :)


    Megan xxx

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Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!

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