Friday, August 3, 2012

Culture as a non-collegian

Now that I've graduated from college, I've had to get used to a lot of new things in my life. Working at a real office three days a week and being trusted enough to be 100% productive all of the time.* Forcing myself to try to keep up with the news. The finely-tuned day-off balance of sleeping, video games, reading, and frantically applying to real (read: paying yet not soul-crushing) jobs before I run out of money.**

**35/45/14.99999999999999/.0000000000000001, in percentages

But for me, more than the crippling fears of poverty, fatness, selling out, lack of talent/drive/intelligence, and making my roommates hate me for hogging the television, is a fear of becoming culturally distant.

I'm under no illusions here. It is nearly impossible to keep one's thumb on the pulse of society forever. No matter the number of indie music shows you go to, how often you hit up night clubs, how many quotes you know from the latest hit movie, or how cutting-edge your wardrobe is, it will come to an end.

One day, you're a chic, hip dude or dudette about town. The next, you suddenly realize you have never heard of a single one of the artists in the Top 40, your favorite bands are all 15+ years old, you don't laugh whatever people are calling funny, and those under the age of 20 give you the same eye roll you gave to your father when he gave one of his "classic" one-liners or dated references. Or, worse yet, you become the creepy old person who is so desperate to cling to their former glory they gel up their widow's peak, only listen to the freshest beats, and *just* button up their low V-neck shirt over their gut that they swear wasn't there a couple weeks ago.

Really, you either die a cool young man, or you live long enough to see yourself become the dad.

I don't mean to sound jaded and dramatic. I'm only 22 and still listen to bands you've TOTALLY never heard of. And need I point out that years old Dark Knight reference? Yeah, still got it. But I am farther and farther removed from the cesspool of culture that is college with every day. I no longer work at an independent radio station. I don't have a large soundboard of constant chatter to parrot things about the Oscars or how totally dumb that one thing was or whatever. Combine that with my strong preference of shunning most human contact that isn't my girlfriend, my roommates, pornography or the service staff of Cilantro Thai Kitchen, and what hope do I have of fending off my inevitable spiral into a cultural abyss?

Luckily, I have an internet family. What say you fellow bloggers? Where do you turn to get your new fresh beats? To watch shows on the internet that aren't from 1999 (totally just started the West Wing)?

Help me.

Look, to demonstrate my dire need, here's a video of a band who was mostly popular in the late 90s singing a song popularized by another 90s band that had one 90s hit.


Pat Tillett said...

Hey there!
What's happening to you (the way you describe it had me chuckling out loud) is a good thing. It's called real life. You are separating from the herd and making your own way. It's okay to not always be on the cutting edge of things. Just do what you want and do it when you want to. There isn't any script or handbook to growing up.
You may be confused and out of sorts, but you are still damn funny. Oh yeah, I have five kids all in their twenties now. I've seen them all go through this transition from baby, to kid, to teenager, to young adult and to adult.
Well, there's my two cents. Of course, it might not even be worth that much...

Eleni said...

You're getting old! Someone in college (third year) said to me just last week, "WOW, you're SO much OLDER than me!" when I told her when I'd graduated college. That was delightful. I made a big deal about getting old on my recent birthday, and a friend (who is three years younger, I should add) was telling me not to be silly. I just pointed out, "This is the oldest I'VE ever been!" She had to give me that.

Of course, I was never cool, so I don't feel bad about not knowing what's cool in music or style. Nothing new there.

Penny Lane said...

I think that it is rather unimportant to know what is going on now, I prefer to live in older times, and by older times I mean the 1950s, 60s, some 70s and 80s. I have tried the new wave thing and have been disappointed. Way before I was born... I am now just on the cusp of entering the real world, and I assume I will feel all that much older than I do right now, which is scary!

But, NPR has some good new music sometimes.

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