Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Been through the desert on a horse with no name.

Oftentimes the greatest revelations come to you in the wee hours of the morning as you toss and turn hoping for blessed sleep. In the darkest hours of night problems seem more dire somehow, urgent, unsurmountable. Things, that by day, have smaller significance when pitted against the more urgent imperatives: getting a job done, going somewhere on time, and all the cares of modern living. It is therefore little surprise when seemingly startling answers to all those puzzles that you push to the back of your mind, reveal themselves in detail when there is little to otherwise occupy you. However, depending on your state of mind, they are perhaps, not the solutions you should be looking at.

It is hard to face the realisation that increasingly, values that were once held close, have over several generations been eroded, leaving behind a global culture that more and more, worships the vapid, self promoting cockiness that stems less from true ability and relies more on being “with it”. You Tube has provided a platform to promote your every moment, documented in often excruciating detail for mass consumption. More and more electronic media gives rise to the adage that everyone is a writer/photographer/designer/chef or whatever is today's trend. Even blogs, like this one, are really one person's musings put out for opinion. In fact, the constant magnifying glass has removed any need for standards, after all, anyone can do it, no matter how good or bad. Is this a good thing? You get to muse about that when you can't sleep, I don't have an answer.

When you consider that public figures these days are mostly famous for being famous, the result of a “sex tape” or having some scandal attached to their names is it wonder that we seem to be raising children with little morals and ethics. Things that ten or even five years ago would have been unacceptable have now passed into being commonplace.

It is okay to be a lout. Starting sentences with, “in my day”, is a surefire way to have eyes rolling and to be typed as a dinosaur, probably past your usefulness. And in truth, who's to say they're wrong. After all, they are the ones inheriting the earth, never mind that the majority seem to have passing acquaintance with grammar, manners or common sense. No, my generation is not perfect, far from it, we raised you lot so that should tell you something.

But it is interesting, we are told that age is a number. Advertisements for cosmetics, educational opportunities etc tout that we can be forever young even as our ageing bodies let us down by developing joint problems from all those spin classes and immobile botoxed grimaces that pass for a smile. We endlessly the pursue the fountain of youth, competing though we should know better. You see age is more than a number, it signals that we have had some life experience, or it should. That we have a wider perspective than someone just starting out because of those experiences and that we are unashamed of being who we are. Sadly, that is not the case. We struggle to keep pace, even as we conversely say that we are proud to be older. One of the best ads on TV is for the Toyota Venza. Hats off to the ad agency who came up with that one. You'll have to google it – see, we can learn new things that are relevant.

These musings in the wee hours of the morning are not about vilifying young people or the way of the world. It is the calm acceptance that perhaps my time has passed, my relevance eclipsed by younger, brighter stars, and that's as it should be. It is wondering, in my fourth decade, what is the next chapter. And no, forty is not the new thirty, it is what it is. 

1 comment:

Gabriela said...

I think each age has its own charm. There are things that are OK only in our twenties, and other things that we can achieve only in our forties.