Monday, August 28, 2006

x is the new y

Last week, I was asked if I’d be interested in joining a Young Professional Network in my Department, I noted I was actually 30 and therefore too old. “No, no, no, the limit is 35”
35 is seen as young? Sure with life expectancy at 80-90 years old and since the average age of people in the Department being just shy of Mesozoic, 35 can be seen as young.
But Alexander the Great conquered the world by 24, Albert Einstien get a nobel prize for work he did when he was 25 and Orson Welles made Citizen Kane before hitting 27. Clinging to youth as a calling card or characteristic at 35 might be a little too late.

Well, its all relative. I suppose. I would I join a network of people in my field, sure - that would be advantageous (like I posted about awhile back) – but to join because I’m ‘young’ seems silly since it seems their priorities are wrong from the outset.

Anyway, I always get contemplative around my birthday, whilst I usually get horribly melodramatic at birthdays (when I turned 20 I had a deep depressive state ”A quarter of my life is gone and what have I done!”)(when I turned 30 “can I trust my self? I need to get outta here”). This year has been pretty calm with a lack of freak out. I’ve been immensely busy, barely a weekend has gone by when I’m not working on the house; my three major projects digging a cellar, painting the exterior and building a 12x1m retaining wall to level the backyard are 6-8 weeks away from completion (but that was the case 6-8 weeks ago). I’m immensely proud of Sureshot and plan to keep it going. Work is going ok; me and my online colleagues are still not getting the recognition we deserve, and I’m still coding and designing too much for my comfort (because I’m sort of sucky at both) but compared to where I started I’m pretty happy. Though sometimes I think I could have stuck with construction, installing air conditions and plumbing and been on a pretty good ticket with the trade shortage but …meh. So its all going pretty good. Its all very adulty with mortgages (unfortunately multiple …eeek!), weddings (unfortunately not multiple), renovations, careers and whatnot. But its not as boring and petrifying as i thought it would be.

The whole adult/young thing has been bubbling in my brain for awhile; I’ve been reading about the whole kidult phenomenon. How fun is somehow the domain of the young, to me its seems people my age seem to be clinging to their past. Monkey Magic dvds, Air Flight/Air Jordan reissues, DS Lites. I’m susceptible as well; some of the comics I read, the urge I have to buy a ps2 (yes 5 years too late but I just got bored by my Nintendo 64) and joy of just partying away 3 days.
Kids stuff or fun stuff?
Is playing World of Warcraft for a whole night that much different from my dad playing cards for 12 hours straight? Is the idea of people living at home till their 30 any different from the same phenomenon that happens in Europe for generations?

Is it people not wanting responsibility and not leaving home till they are 30, not wanting a mortgage, not staying at the same job for more then 2 years? Is it a gen-x/gen-y thing? Is it just this society’s compulsive need to label everything? Is it just marketing and business since its easier to sell at 25 year old a $1000 PS3 than to a 12 year old? Is it because I think too much?


Tonia said...

Happy Birthday! Hope you had a good one!

douglasbot said...

Happy birthday for whenever it was or is...etc.

31 is the new 2.

Anonymous said...

I was gonna say "you're not old" until I read the comment about the Nintendo 64.
hehe j/k

But seriously, I get really peeved at people who pull out a checklist to determine how suitably adult they think I am. This sort of ranking pisses me off no end. And this causes me to go off on rants in peoples' blogs... heh

All our lives we're told how we're shaped by our experiences and we grow and learn and yadda yadda. So why, when I hit let's say 30, am I suddenly asked to become someone I'm not? Why do I need to give up video games and comic books and 'kid stuff', just drop it all, and adopt a lifestyle I've had absolutely no preparation, much less inclination, for? I mean, I can go out and get a job, I can raise kids, I can pay bills, etc. -- I was ready for that, but not to give up my personality... toss it in a bowl like car keys at some party and only allowed to take it out on weekends.

Fuck. That. Gimme my playstation. Gimme my comics. Think my pirate flag bag is *gasp* too much for work? Fuck you, you're already dead. I have toys in my office, I have a robot dog for chrissakes, and I watch cartoons nearly as much as I watch the news (I watch a lot of news...). I'm not hanging on to my past, I'm just continuing on being me, the person who got formed in those 29 previous years, not playing at being someone else because someone somewhere decided that the only way to be an 'adult' is to sever the ties to childhood and put on a suit.

[whingy voice] "oooo but you can't expect to get a good job..."
Wanna see my paycheck, bitch? I beg to differ. Shut your whiny yap.

Bleh. How sad. I just don't understand why we do that to ourselves.

sorry..... didn't mean to hijack your comments. hehe

I personally think it is a gen-x/gen-y thing. We've watched the tail end of our parents' generation, the 'pretend it's not happening' generation that crested in the 50s, and we've seen a bit of what self-delusion and rules for rules sake gets you. We don't want to be smiling high-heeled housewives who sneak off at every opportunity to booze ourselves into a stupor to make up for our pathetic existence as a cooking mule. We don't want to be IBM suits who pretend to like every SOB who tries to fuck them over on a daily basis. Oh god please make me stop typing! Sorry!


G said...

Happy Birthday, Mark! Hope you get a DS Lite or a PS2 and Guitar Hero!! ;)

Mark Selan said...

Tonia - thanks tonia, its was a decent bday, there was a slight fuss made at work but it was still a bit quiet, and that's the way i like it. Family dinner which was not as painful as usual.

Doug - it was on monday. And phew i just crapped my pants which is acceptable for 2 year olds.

Maggie - please hijack my blog, you have far more interesting stuff to say then me.

You'd probably get peeved at me, whilst i didn't turn up my nose sometimes I wonder 'why?'. I don't really get it. i appreciate video games or cartoons, they just aren't my thing so much. And in my 'bone-headed-full-of-myself' mind i sometimes don't understand what other people my age see in them. (though i don't understand when my friends can't comprehend the awesomeness of comics).
i think there is an issue when all entertainment and cultural input is 'kid's stuff' because its rarely challenging (though i know their are exemptions but when i talk kids stuff i don't mean a comic like Maus, games like GTA, i'm talking PG rated stuff for kids). I'm not saying as soon as you turn 30 you should break out the dickens and tolstoy and forsake all others BUT if kidults have never read Keroauc or Joyce then they are missing out and should put down JK Rowling and make an effort. If you know the lyrics of Naruto theme song but can only name the 3 shakespeare plays you studied in high school then you are missing out on some good stuff. And i think its because kidults don't want to be challenged because that would require moving outside their comfort zone.

I think there is a difference between fun and kidult behaviour. Fun is taking your pirate bag to work, kidult is having a pirate bag and matching tracksuit and wearing that to work. Going to disneyland on holiday is cool and fun, ONLY ever going to theme parks for holidays is kidult. (yes i recognise its a bit high horsed of me dictating what people do in their free time but i'm a firm believer of travel as a means of learning and experience and going to mount splashmore every year isn't really 'experiencing the world'.)

i really think i just don't like the 'moochiness' of kidults; i don't care if a 40 year old enjoy dressing in sailor moon costumes, or play D&D or whatever that's cool. but if you are still living at home and not making any commitments (to jobs, mortgages, relationships) then you are playing it way too safe. I'm goal driven; i like accomplishing things; be that learning to make butter chicken, rebuilding a bathroom from scratch or publishing a comic. The process is not fun; i don't enjoy the injuries, the late nights or the fuck ups but i'm proud of the final product. but i get looks like i'm crazy when i tell freinds i spent the weekend chopping a tonne of firewood; 'why couldn't you just buy it or pay someone else to do it?' because when that wood burns i smell the smoke of a job well done. This is a product of my immigrant catholic parents - where 'life is suffering but there's good stuff at the end'/ 'work hard, play hard'. i think because of the essentially reprehensible baby boomer generation has essentially had such a sense of agressive self importance and naked greed that they've set up a culture that doesn't revolve around 'work as a means to an end' (ie fun) but 'fun as a means to an end' (ie work is someone elses problem, specifically poor people overseas or my kids as i go spend the inheritance). (fuck i'm sounding like Bobby N! i like women trust me!)
Fun as a lifestyle is easier to market and profit from then work (but someone has to do the work and suffer consequences 'as long as its not me' is the underlying feeling) and a mass of kidults are lapping it up.

kidults are a product of an exploitative system that denies any responisibility to the outside world or fears any thing that may challenge them and that's what i don't like

Which leads to my other issue that puts fear in my heart - when businesses start marketing to kidults. With music, i don't want my generation affecting what music young people are listening to; there's only so much dadrock (powederfinger, foo fighters) and mumrock (james blunt and john mayer) i can take or want to impinge on 'the youth'. The generation behind me (the current 15-20 year olds) don't deserve to be smothered by my generation because it just means everything gets recycled and marketed to death.
I want new stuff created.

I think i'm just difefernt - i like wearing ties. :)
Thank god my birthday only comes once a year - imagine of this happened regularly.

gary - HAHA no i didn't but i did get a bottle of sherry which is leaning towards the other end way too much.