I’ve noticed a recurring theme in my own posts lately, in that they much have to do with being sick and/or getting older. I’m trying to avoid becoming either, but, clearly, both issues are on my mind a lot lately.
One way I think you can keep yourself young is with music, and to keep tabs on what the kids are listening to. I don’t much like Top 40 radio, but within the genres I do like, I try to keep up with what is new and up and coming. I also try to listen the radio in general (even though stations in LA mostly suck) so I’m aware of what’s popular.
The inevitability of my advancing years is rearing its ugly head, however, no matter how much I try to ignore it. Last week while getting ready for work, I was listening to KROQ (rock/alternative rock) and they were playing a song by 30 Seconds to Mars. This is the band fronted by Jared Leto, who played the alterna-heart throb Jordan Catalano on My So Called Life. I’m generally not that excited about men who embrace guy-liner, but most of the time, I find this band’s songs to be decent – or I at least don’t feel compelled to change the station when they come on. But last week I noticed that Jared Leto screams in the middle of the new song (I forget the name). And then it occurred to me that he screams in pretty much all of their songs. This seems entirely unnecessary to me because his voice is actually pretty good, so he doesn’t need to overdo the theatrics by screaming. Last week was also when I realized that I was completely turned off by someone screaming in a song. I felt like my father for a minute, which was pretty depressing (why wouldn’t it make me feel like my mother? Perhaps best explored in an entirely different post…or therapy). I could just hear in my head, the voice of the older, crotchety generation, who just doesn’t “get it” anymore…”What is he screaming for?” But really, I just don’t understand what he’s screaming for. Maybe old people have a point 99.9% of the time, but just need better delivery and better PR.
The other thing I noticed as a new pet peeve is music that is too loud in public venues. I was out to dinner with a friend a few weeks ago, and we were in a restaurant where the music was so loud, we couldn’t hear our own conversation. Unable to deal, we mentioned it to the hostess, whose response was, “It’s just because they all like this song (presumably referring to the staff). They’ll turn it down when the song is over.” I found this to be a really unacceptable response, for multiple reasons. But, she was young and very matter of fact about it, which made me wonder if I am just getting older and clueless about what passes for socially acceptable in the world today. Similarly, a week or so later, I was out shopping and went into an H&M, which is kind of an overwhelming experience to begin with because your eyes are assaulted by legions of cheap, bright clothing. But the music was so loud you would have to shout to be heard over it. I was very happy to leave and may never go back there, ever.
So, it seems my method of keeping older age at bay – which is just about equal parts denial and delusion – will crack under the strain of reality in no time. It’s difficult to maintain the pretense that you’re young and “with it” when you’re shaking your fist and yelling at people to turn down the music.