It’s an Old Man’s World

And it has not been a “young man’s world” in a very long time. This is generally more of an observation than a profound critique. A friend of mine made this remark to me several months ago and I have not been able to forget it. The beginning of his thesis was the invention and easy use of the microphone. In the olden days, if you were to be an effective politician, preacher, or mostly peaceful protester, you had to have a voice with volume and depth capable of reaching the more distant regions of the basilica, market-place, or governor’s mansion. The microphone lends the person who could not compete (or who could no longer compete) an effective voice and thus they last longer.

If we look in other places we can see similar cases. I would boldly hypothesize without evidence that the muscle cars of the 60s, 70s and 80s were designed and built for young men. Muscle cars were essentially an additional mechanical and technological appendage to the already fit and very physical twenty year old. Not only that, but they were able to be purchased at a price that a recent high school graduate could afford to pay. I do believe there is something rather grossly incongruous in an obese retiree laboriously hoisting himself up and out of a new corvette which will shortly need a new suspension.

Another observation made by a different close friend is the seemingly eternal online and potentially fleshy existence of certain celebrities who seem to have taken Dorian Gray to heart given that they have not aged in twenty years and remain as obnoxiously relevant as ever. It seems like the times change, the world, the economy and climate all allegedly do too. But where is the turnover of propped-up has-beens to genuine new talent in music or film?

And why are the same politicians still around after fifty years? It is not that they have done anything morally reprehensible that I find frustrating. But that in fifty years they have never stood for anything courageously enough, ethical or otherwise, to have made a legitimate enemy. But to the main point, they remain because their ability to lean on modern technology renders them inexplicably and unfortunately relevant when they ought to be passing the metaphorical torch to someone still rash enough to watch something burn.

All this is to say one simple thing. Contrary to some, it’s not really a young man’s world, if it ever really was.

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