Silly, stupid myths.
I am expected to think of them now, since I’m 39.
Well, I say bullshit.
Many of you might remember the series ThirtySomething. I don’t, since I never watched it.
Gods, what an inane idea. Let’s focus on constructed midlife crises explored by people entirely imaginary, and pretend they’re valid explorations into the human condition of being … of being … next week, in a Very Special Episode of…
Of Old White People With Problems. Does Blasé fuck the lawnmower boy? Does Crudité hump the UPS guy? Does Idontgiveashitteté blow the entire Eagle Scout troop, with hilarious results?
So now I get to experience 330 or so more days of people smirking and saying, “Thirty-nine and holding, huh?”
Shit, shit and fuck and shit.
No; just 39. And next year, 40.
I can’t WAIT to be forty. Get it?
Holding on to what? Onto a myth of youth, or a ludicrous idea that a moronic country song is in any way an address of reality? If so, why not nineteen and holding? (Well, we know what most nineteen-year-olds are holding onto, but still.)
The part that pisses me off the most, personally, is that this stupid cultural mythology more or less requires me to make a monument of the big Three-Nine, has turned it into … into a milestone that simply doesn’t exist.
I used to hear that my high school years were supposed to be the best of my life. Maybe that would have been believable, if my high school years hadn’t sucked cold dead dog cock.
I knew, even then, in my teens, that that was a lie. I’ve never bought into social ideas about the values or merits of any age. Maybe I was born 20,000 years old; or maybe, just maybe, I managed somehow to escape ageism totally.
Still, at 39, I guess I’m supposed to Look Back Fondly, etc etc, bla bla.
So here are my remembrances.
Remember Space: 1999? A great, and I mean great in the sense of abysmally bad, SF TV series. Awful, terrible storylines and a definite tilt into fantasy. A lot like Babylon 5 or Farscape, only a lot, lot worse. But the series had one good thing going for it: Amazing hardware. You could really believe that Moonbase Alpha was plausible, that its eagles were viable spacecraft. I mean, look at this shit:
The construction is wonderful. Symmetrical fore and aft pods that were completely interchangeable, engine and command modules just attachments to the connecting subsections; and in between, you had freight, human or cargo transport options — and, in a pinch, a more or less complete flying hospital-cum-rescue ship.
This was a viable, completley believable moonbus; you could imagine it being mass-produced in the thousands, a sort of space SUV. The only major flaw was that its horizontal and vertical thrusters needed to be reversed in terms of size. (On the moon, up would be harder to achieve than forward.)
Remember that? Kermit and Piggy, jokes about sweet and sour pork, and the terrible, gut-wrenching loss of Jim Henson, far too soon, to pneumonia. (Brian Henson went on to make Farscape, BTW; I’d like to think Jim would have approved mightily.)
Oh, and of course, this:
The first Dr. Who to invade the US, Tom Baker, changed the way I looked at … at pretty much anything; the show might well have switched on an Anglophilia meme in my brain. After all, what came next was…
Yeah, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the book series of which kept me more or less sane throughout my dreadful high school career.* Here we have Marvin, the inaptly-named Paranoid Android, from the television version of the series.
And we had throwbacks like Monty Python.
Of course it was fun; but there’s nothing to hold onto with sad nostalgia. It was not a nostalgic feeling, for instance, that made Brian Greene an influence in cosmology; nor was it a sad sense of yearning for the past that made David Brin a hit. Magic: The Gathering was spawned by my peers, as was TiVO, the internet, and Xbox, the only good thing Microsoft ever made.**
I’m not afraid of 39 and I’m not afraid of 40. The idea that one gets older is only partly rooted in reality; the calendar is undeniable, but the reaction to the years is entirely psychological. (Except for the occasional ache; but what the fuck, that passes.)
I have always, more or less, been a kid. I own a Furby, a Pokedex, and have been tempted more than once by Bionicle. My favorite Xbox game is Lego Star Wars II. Maybe my brain chemistry, odd as it is, is a part of it; but at least some of it has to do with attitude, with a solid resolution to not become one of the staid, boring, cranky people in business suits; or the grumpy farts we see all the time in restaurants, frowning in dispproval at the noises of the young;*** or those who shake their heads in sad sorrow at the misguided, randomly-pierced skin of the wandering Mall Teens.
Heh, you’re only as old as you feel; but if you find yourself using the word youngster to refer to anyone, ever, it’s time for you to die.
* Which, if you recall, sucked cold dead dog cock.
** Apart from the typfaces from Microsoft Foundry, most notably Georgia and Trebuchet.
*** Though I fess up to asking regularly to be seated in infant-free zones in restaurants; but I have never, in all my life, wanted to be stuck next to someone’s whine, shit and drool diaper factory. Babies in public are hideous.
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