[LMB] OT: Fun

Ed Burkhead ed at edburkhead.com
Fri Apr 3 04:47:53 BST 2009

Tria wrote:
> Thank you so much. Please stop age-generalisation now? It's not funny.
> not all "old fogies". . . .
> . . . Yet somehow, I'm still
> irritated by this forward. Please don't.


Please don't think that old fogie e-mail has anything to do with you
non-old-fogies.  (You may, of course, claim young-fogie status but, if so,
you'll have to define it for us.)

The annual e-mail, listing the things today's college freshmen haven't
personally seen, is only of interest to OLD-fogies.

Growing old can often be hilarious.  Here we are, 20-30 years old in our
minds (some younger, some older) and we're walking around in bodies that
hurt and usually don't run and certainly don't jump as we feel they ought.

One could moan and groan or, looking at it sideways, laugh uproariously!

A list of what this year's college freshmen never saw or know only from old
records or don't know at all gives US that strange misplaced feeling, like
denizens from the dark ages, here among you.

It is fun.  And in no way does it or COULD it be insulting or denigrating to
you young (possible fogie) people.

> * The people who are starting college this fall were born in 1990.

This by itself gives me pause.  1990 is RECENT!  It's almost yesterday.
These newly minted ADULTS were BORN in that year!  How strange!

> * They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.

This was a big deal to us.  We knew space flight was dangerous but up till
that moment, none of our astronauts had ever died on a space flight.  That
day, seven of them died.  And we watched the live TV of the smoke trails as
they hung in the sky.  We watched the instant replays of the explosion
before their bodies could grow cold.  It was one of those days.

> * Their lifetime has always included aids.

I remember the moment I first heard of AIDS.  It was a news program telling
how this new disease attacked the immune system.  I remember my immediate
thought that, oh, if it ever became easily contagious or airborne, we could
be in serious trouble.

AIDS was a new big deal, an untreatable, fatal illness.  For the previous 20
something years, the sexually transmitted diseases had all been curable (as
far as we knew in the general culture).  This was special.

When AIDS was discovered, I had gone through college, spent years in the
Army, worked a few more years and gone back for two more years to finish
college and was out, working again.

It sure feels strange that today's new adults never knew a time without it.

*	The CD was introduced three years before they were born.

The CD is NEW!  Egads!  And it was on the market three years before these
new adults were BORN?  Wow!  (And, yes, I know it's being phased out and
will soon become extinct.)

*	They have always had an answering machine.

Of course not everybody has every toy.  But you and this year's freshman
class didn't go through half your life with answering machines just not
existing.  It's a perspective thing.

*	They have always had cable.


*	Jay leno has always been on the tonight show.

Jay, the new guy?

*	Popcorn has always been micro-waved.

Yet another new, recent technology that's the only technology these new
adults know.

*	They never took a swim and thought about jaws.

Well, actually, neither have I.  I live too far inland to worry about sharks
and swimming.

*	They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.

A silly show which dropped in the bit bucket pretty completely - except for
the memories of semi-old fogies (real old-fogies were too old to like this
show much when it was on).

*	They never heard: 'Where's the beef?', 'I'd walk a mile for a
Camel', or 'De plane boss, de plane'.

These and many other commercial and TV-show catch phrases have been played
with my many of us for decades.  It's part of OUR culture and it feels
strange that it's not part of the culture of you young potential-fogies.

*	McDonald's never came in Styrofoam containers.

Ah, those were the days.  The food sure stayed warm better. <sigh>

*	They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.

I've got two or three of these in the garage - kept mostly for that sense of
anachronism.  I've also got two Osborne 1 computers in the garage, history
from the very first few years of personal computers.  Personal computers are
NEW to us old fogies.  We spent the majority of our lives WITHOUT them -
they weren't possible! (But they sure were cool when they did come out, at
least for the few of us who got involved with them before they somehow took
root on nearly every desk in the land.)

Here are a few of my own:

*	Presidents Reagan and Ford, Tricky Dicky and dour Lyndon Johnson and
his "birds" are nothing but dull, statistics and obnoxious
names-to-be-memorized to today's college kids.

*	Mainframe computers in glass enclosed rooms with white coated
attendants (or blue jean geeks).  Where are they now?

*	International telephone calls placed through the operator - the only
way possible.  International direct dial didn't come in till I was in the
Army in Europe after leaving college.

Tria, we're certainly not disparaging anyone who's young.  We're just
marveling at the world and time, whatever that is.

Please let us have fun.


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