October 1st, 2006
|jimbojones||10:27 pm - makes you wonder what these moments were for your parents|
So about 90% of the time, if I stop to think about my age, my reaction is still "wtf, I'm 34? How did that happen? I am so not ready for / don't identify with this age." But that's down from about 99.9%, so the more astute among you will draw the conclusion that I'm getting more comfortable with it, even if I am taking my damn time about it.
As I do get more comfortable with being 30-something instead of 20-something, though, sometimes I stop and think about the cultural icons that differ between the generations, and how those can identify you as being of one generation instead of another no matter how much you do or don't "get" the next generation's icons. Like, seriously, for anybody who grew up in the mid-70's to mid-80's, what movie could possibly have as tremendous a cultural impact as the Star Wars franchise? Even if you didn't like the original trilogy (heathen), you pretty much HAVE to remember it as a phenomenon, and what's more, you have a whole fundamental set of immediately recognizable cultural icongraphy branded deep into your brain from it.
Lightsabers. Stormtroopers. The palpable, unstoppable sense of menace radiating from Darth Vader. The benign wisdom of Obi-Wan. Yoda's irritating combination of inscrutable mysticism and occasional hints of awe-insiring power. The Force, for crying out loud. The "Luke, I am your father" plot spin. Maybe you strongly preferred some other movie, enjoyed some other movie, a lot more than Star Wars or its sequels - Tina, I'm specifically thinking of you and Raiders here - but nothing else had as wide and profound an impact on the culture and widely understood allegories.
But, you know, Star Wars is going to be thirty years old in a few short months. Thirty! And even Return of the Jedi is already 23 years old as I write this. There are college graduates out there who hadn't even been conceived when the last of the "real" Star Wars films was released, much less seen it in the theatre. Right now, of course, the vast majority of those folks did still see it as children - on VHS at home, or perhaps on one of the cable movie channels. But the progression from present to past to distant past is well on its way; and ten years from now, will the movies themselves be any more immediately relevant than, say, Doctor Zhivago is to twenty-somethings now?
Probably not. Which seems at the same time both natural and inevitable, and really, really fucking weird.
Current Mood: reflective
Current Music: Daft Punk - Robot Rock
I'm pretty sure I WAS dumber than a bag of hair in my twenties, at least from twenty-one to about twenty-five, because I was somewhat unaware of the passage of time myself, but that was mostly because I was too busy being too proud of myself for being an adult to actually consider what my adulthood meant.
Last night, Emily and I were out with Trish, a friend of Emily's. Trish is in her late twenties and this topic did come up in conversation. Today's twentysomethings seem to be much more immature than our parents were. When Mom and Dad were my age, they had a child, a house, and careers. When my brother and his wife were my age, they had two children, a house, and careers.
I dunno, maybe we feel like we're behind because we ARE behind?