October 1st, 2006

Previous Entry Next Entry
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.

location: 34.0492,-81.1183
Current Mood: reflective
Current Music: Daft Punk - Robot Rock

(12 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture] From: staringgoldfish
Date: October 2nd, 2006 - 03:25 am
I gotta say, I'm digging my thirties a damn sight more than the twenties, although realizing that ST:TNG has been over for twelve years sometimes makes me stop right in the middle of whatever I'm doing and take a deep sigh.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: October 2nd, 2006 - 03:42 am
If you could be any given age for as long as you need or want to be, I'd be super happy to be in my mid-thirties. What bothers me is being ten years closer to [age + 10], given that not only do we not have an infinite lifespan, but we get inevitably [i]feebler[/i] as we get closer to the end of the finite span we have.

I don't really fear death. [i]Old age[/i], on the other hand, scares the living shit out of me. And the combination of finite lifespan and, worse, decreptiude with age means there are things you should have accomplished by any given age. And I just don't always feel like I'm as far along that curve as I ought to be for my age, yanno?

[User Picture] From: staringgoldfish
Date: October 2nd, 2006 - 03:51 am
And I just don't always feel like I'm as far along that curve as I ought to be for my age, yanno?

I'm nigh certain that that's par for the course at any age.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: October 2nd, 2006 - 04:08 am
I must have just been stone dumb in my 20's, then, 'cause I never felt like this then.

(Note: me being stone dumb in my 20's IS a distinct possibility.)

[User Picture] From: staringgoldfish
Date: October 2nd, 2006 - 04:23 am
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?

[User Picture] From: lindapendant
Date: October 2nd, 2006 - 03:52 pm
dumber than a bag of hair

This is my new favorite dumbism. I think I'm going to start using it.

[User Picture] From: lindapendant
Date: October 2nd, 2006 - 04:21 pm
I'm with you on old age scaring the living shit outta me thing. I go visit my parents who live in an apartment building for retirees and while they are self sufficient and healthy and mobile, the majority of these people are like the old guy on the street with the walker in Office Space. Even the ones without walkers are creeping along like snails and I see plenty of oxygen tanks. Then there's the stroke victims and word of the folks with dementia and Alzheimer's wandering around until they have to be 'placed'. I feel such sympathy for these people and at the same time, I'm horrified that this is what's in store.

I don't mind getting 'old' because it's going to happen even if I fight it with botox and get everything lifted, and hey - all my siblings and friends are going to age right along with me. What I fear is frailty and illness and becoming dependent on anyone. When I can't take care of myself anymore, I want the death pill. There is no way I'm going to live in some 'home' where I have no choice but to eat the bland puree that's put in front of me at exactly 4:30 and play bingo every Tuesday at 6:00 because lights out is at 7:30. I'm not going to stand for hearing 'And how are we doing today, dear' and having the staff say to my son, right in front of me, 'She had a bad night last night. She doesn't seem to tolerate the mashed banana so well anymore and she's a bit cranky lately.', as though I'm not only deaf, but an incompetent imbecile too.

No. I can't see that happening while there's such an abundance of pretty coloured pills out there to stockpile.

[User Picture] From: freakout
Date: October 2nd, 2006 - 02:53 pm
Seriously. I'm going to be 32 this month. 32! GAH. And realizing Star Wars is that old horrifies me. I don't think I'm really that old. When I meet other people who are in their 30's I think of them in a totally different way, as though they are somehow older than I am.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: October 2nd, 2006 - 03:14 pm
That's because most of them have already succumbed to Real Estate Agent Hair Syndrome.

(Google-image "real estate agent", look at a few headshots, and tell me you don't know what I'm talking about...)

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: October 7th, 2006 - 04:44 pm

oh btw...

I'm guessing you already know this? But, Lucasfilms just said they're making Indiana Jones 4.

[User Picture] From: clme
Date: October 2nd, 2006 - 11:03 pm
When my parents were my age (28) they already had a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a house. Dad worked two jobs and mom worked second shift typing. They seemed a lot more mature and happy than I feel now sometimes.

I just keep drifting along with childless relationship, just moved out of my parents house (again), and am still borrowing their shit.

On the other hand, I am in my own house, I'm fine with not having kids (even if my dad isn't) and my parents dont feel like they've done everything in life they should have by now themselves. Plus when I talk to a lot of other people my age I feel a lot better about how my life is going.

I may not have accomplished what my parents did, but at least what I've accomplished has been with a lot less debt and I didn't have to get married to do it :-)

[User Picture] From: clme
Date: October 2nd, 2006 - 11:05 pm
I keep forgetting one other thing... more people going to college (or the military) means more people starting their 'real' lives a lot later. I kind of wonder if thats where some of the percieved gap in generations is coming from.

> Go to Top