Out Of Touch

One of the besetting problems of getting older is that much of what passes for the modern-day zeitgeist  simply passes one by, either unnoticed or else rejected without even attempting to follow.

I must have been getting old when I was still young, because:

  • I have never watched a single minute of Dr. Who
  • …or the Kardashian women’s show
  • …or any of the “competition” shows like Dancing With The Stars
  • I never watched any of the Rocky shows after Rocky II
  • I’ve only ever watched the first three Star Wars movies, and even The Return Of The Jedi  sucked
  • I pretty much stopped listening to “new” popular music when grunge appeared (at age 40-ish)
  • I have never played an online computer game, of any description
  • and so on.

At some point, therefore, I must have started looking at new trends, and decided, “Best not” (in the words of Lord Salisbury, circa  1894).

Don’t even ask me about politics, cars or clothing.  (Longtime Readers will know all about my antipathy towards those modernistic monstrosities anyway.)

I know that everyone gets this way in their later years, but it seems mine started long before I actually reached my seniority, way sooner than when this happened to my friends of like age.

If I’d owned a house at that time, I’d probably have been yelling at the kids to get off my lawn when I was in my late twenties.

None of this means that I reject all things new, of course, just that I am extraordinarily picky about adopting any of them.  This is being typed on a laptop that is hundreds or times more powerful than the corporate IBM 360/40 I worked on as an operator in the mid-1970s, and I love the cord-free existence of Bluetooth and wi-fi.  But if I had to, I could easily revert to an earlier generation of comm technology.

I’m even getting bored of writing about this topic right now, so I think I’ll quit.  There are a couple of books that need reading — paper books, not that Kindle nonsense.


  1. My only deviation from your list is that I have seen one or two of the next Star Wars movies, before vowing I’d never see another until receiving credible reports that it shows Jar Jar Binks being fed into a wood chipper. It’s an oath I’ve not violated.

  2. Confession: I once paused on the Kardashian show while channel-surfing, Kim was doing jumping-jacks. for a man like me who enjoys well-endowed females, the effect was mesmerizing.

    For me, technological improvements have to be ACTUAL improvements over what they replace. For instance, when I was commuting 3-4 hours a day by public transportation, my Kindles (I’ve owned three, replacing them as the batteries stopped charging or they got otherwise squirrelly) were wonderful, smaller and lighter than even a small-format paperback (let alone hard-cover), as as I approached the end of a book I didn’t need to carry two. Likewise my iPod is much better for listening to music on-the-go than my old portable CD player. On-demand TV/movies beats going to the video store. Etc.

    I get annoyed when companies change what works for what’s new. For instance, my Jeep (2006 Liberty) has the old three-knob climate control system, left knob off/recirc/dash/feet-and-dash/feet-and-windshield/windshield (that’s the exact order, from memory), center knob fan speed, right knob temperature, buttons above to turn on A/C and rear defog. Takes 30 seconds to learn, and you can do it without taking your eyes off the road. The Platonic Ideal of controls. Wife’s 2014 Ford Edge has this set of controls designed by a sadist who was having a bad day and needed to take it out on someone. Whole bunch of buttons, one of which you hit multiple times to get where you want to go (but it remembers where you were last time, so no hitting it three times to get the setting you want). Two buttons for fan speed, and various lights to tell you what the setting currently are. Nothing you can TOUCH to see where you are, you have to look at all the lights. Since I seldom drive her car without her in the passenger seat, I just ask her to do what needs doing.

    As far as Star Wars, I watched the three pre-quels and the others during the lockdowns when I had little better to do, and they were free on-demand. They sucked as much as I’d heard.

    Mark D

    1. The change in climate controls that I dislike is the “set a temperature” type. Gods above and below, no. If I want to blow warm or cold air, I want to do that. I don’t give a dang what a thermometer reads, I want to control what I feel coming out of the vents.

  3. Kim, as my eyes get older, I ‘m more and more thankful for my Kindle every day. I can change the font and read without eyestrain.

    The rest of your list would be close to mine.

  4. Most of what I’m not in touch with is Hollyweird and I don’t regret it a bit. Some page will put an article up about some starlet being a strumpet and although easy on the eyes, I have no idea who she is. If I chose to waste time learning her claim to fame, it’s usually for movies I have not and will not see. This is a badge of honor.

    I bought the Nirvana album “Never Mind” when it came out but shortly thereafter it became rather main stream so I ditched that genre.

    Mark D is spot on. Technology should improve what we had yesterday unfortunately car designers are making changes that actually make their car worse. You could get a new or newer car and learn its controls in less than five minutes. Now thirty to forty five minutes in the driveway with the manual is required to use a lot of the features. I miss my older simpler truck


  5. Captain Kirk and the original Star Trek opened my eyes to the power of television as a tool of propaganda. It was a blatantly anti-gun episode that made me think “that’s not right”. Maybe I should be thanking them rather than cursing, but I stopped watching and blindly accepting such drivel as truth.

    As an aside, Was it here that I read William Shatner is going to ride Bozo’s rocket?

    I can match or exceed each of your bullet points.

  6. I’ve watched Doctor Who from the Tom Baker Days until Colin Baker came along, and then all the new Doctor Who’s until the woke female one.
    I’ve tried watching a couple of “reality” shows, etc. They’re not remotely real, and bore the piss out of me.
    Dropped Popular/Rock music when Grunge/Seattle sound/Alternative rock came along. I went over to Country music for most of my pop (since most country is pop music with a fiddle/slide guitar/twangy voiced singer, anyway) but now that Rap sounding country has come along I’ve dropped it too.
    Never watched any movies starring Sly Stallone – in the cast, yes, but not the lone star.
    I’ve seen all the Star Wars, and loathed most of them except the original three. I don’t like modern animation so I haven’t watched any of the Star Wars animated stuff. The Mandalorian was very good.
    Kindle, etc. No thanks – I want to read something that doesn’t require batteries. And yes, in my car give me buttons I can quickly understand, not some bloody “Infotainment Center”.

    1. What you have is Early Onset Geezerhood. I’ve got it myself. I realized it when working in a mall store in my early 30s. The mall was FULL of teenyboppers in streetwalker-chic and as one particularly toothsome example rippled by I distinctly heard my brain say, “*sigh*, but she’d want to TALK afterwards, and there’s nothing between her ears but merengue.”

      1. Don’t diss meringue like that. Lemon Meringue, Chocolate Meringue, the dance of the same name, but between her ears? Not even fluff.

  7. Could not stand the survivor series. There is at least a camera man there so unless they do something involving gravity there is little risk there.

    Now some of the Bear Grillis ones, he carried the camera so that had a little more grittiness, just he was such a pretentious ass.

    I have watched all the star wars movies as well as all the star treks. It was a future, or past, I kind of liked. Not sure Monarchy or Socialism will win.

    Pretty sure Western Civ. is the gold standard by which all shall be judged someday. Maybe while I am still alive would be nice.

    Have good day and and a better one tomorrow.

  8. I was 23 when I got out of the army in 1978 and I told my dad that I despised everyone and everything equally. He laughed and said that I was a dinosaur and would become extinct. While my ideas have seemingly become extinct I am not yet dead. Now get the fuck off my lawn!

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