“Nobody’s thinking about you.”

Such are the wise words of essayist Roger Rosenblatt, who goes on to explain, “The rules were less about aging than about living generally, one of the first being ‘Nobody’s thinking about you.’”

But then he does get into aging:

In old age that’s true in spades. And that’s another of aging’s unnerving surprises. You disappear from the culture, or rather, it disappears from you. Young women and men shown on TV as world famous, you’ve never heard of. New idioms leave you baffled. You are Rip Van Winkle without having fallen asleep.

Old people don’t seem aware of how prevalent and isolating the phenomenon is. They are just out of it, culturally speaking, though many get a daily charge from following all the Trump tripe. I’m getting sick of that.

Then there are the things that bug me so much I refuse to follow them. Like the chatter about gender pronouns. Gender sensitivity seems to be the new norm with liberals. I really don’t care to get into it. Let them live their own lives but don’t ever use “they” as a pronoun for one person.

As Rosenblatt noted, who are those young celebrities on TV you’ve never heard of? The meaning of so many internet acronyms eludes me. Pop music and hip hop are mostly garbage. Who can get interested in most of the new movies? How much can you really grasp of the controversies over AI? And how much more do you need to know about Kevin McCarthy and Matt Gaetz?

There is clearly a large audience for this kind of stuff or we wouldn’t be constantly confronted with it. Older people are just not part of it. They have their own problems, like trying to master their smartphones. The new culture ignores us, and it may be time for us to ignore it.

3 Replies to ““Nobody’s thinking about you.””

  1. I think some of it, John, is not connected to age. Thirty years ago I didn’t know young celebrities or pop music, or many acronyms internet or not, and I was happy for it to be so. At no age have I ever needed to know this much about McCarthy or Gaetz. But it may be true that the things that didn’t appeal to us when we were younger appeal to us even less now.

    1. When I was younger, say in the ’80s, I was much more tuned in to all the manifestations of culture, feeling definitely part it and (mostly) enjoying it. Now I feel very much detached from it, like it’s abandoned me. Maybe I should have stated this more clearly. –JG

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