Tuesday, October 22, 2013

it's the 21st century!

Hey man!

It's the 21st century!

Things are different now and geezers like me are behind the up-to-date curve ... or anyway, I can imagine my children or others secretly and not so secretly putting me in that category. I don't know much about hand-held electronic devices and worse, don't care. I don't know much about seeing employment as a nomadic adventure in which loyalty, whether from employers or employees, is a fool's errand. I don't believe that multi-tasking is much more than a self-serving bit of hot air. I can't recognize the musical icons of these 21st-century times and the actors and actresses are all pretty much indistinguishable and mediocre in my eye.

Yes, the list of ways in which I am behind the curve goes on and on, but the funny part is that while I can acknowledge my station as one behind the curve, those who are ahead of the curve seem incapable of wondering why I don't give much of a shit. It was ever thus, I suppose.

The interesting thing about being ahead of or behind the curve is that it relates to power and being in control and imagining that the future which no one can know can somehow be brought to heel. OK, knock yourself out. Run down to Rodeo Drive and get another pair of extravagant shoes. Party in Gstaad. Learn what it is to run with the crowd that knows and is assured. Take up august causes. Be an expert. Get ahead of the curve and stay there.

But what is 21st century is still pretty much what was 20th century, or 19th, 18th, 17th or 16th....

There is love and there is anger.
There is success and there is failure.
There is kindness and there is cruelty.
There is certainty dissolving into uncertainty.
There is laughter and there are tears.
There is horniness and there is a spent satisfaction.
There is effort and there is laziness.
There is willingness to examine and an ever-balancing unwillingness to reflect.
There is enough and there is not enough.

The fact that none of this stuff, and more like it, works on an iPhone is not to denigrate iPhones. It is not to exercise the pomposity of encouragements like, "stop and smell the roses." It is not to suggest that a much-praised simpler lifestyle is therefore simpler.

It is to suggest that the curve -- whether "behind" or "ahead of" -- is ...

Well, you figure it out.

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