Good God, Y’all

At the Apple store today, a brief exchange with the Genius who told me my iPod is essentially half dead got me thinking. (Note to PC people: when you’re down and troubled and you need a helping hand with your Apple product, you make an appointment at the Genius Bar.) When I was an adolescent, angry at my parents for some terrible injustice (you know, like not getting the music I listened to, or suggesting that hiking boots, patched jeans, and halter tops weren’t appropriate for every occasion), I’d think: “If I have children, I’ll never be like that. I won’t forget what it was like. I’ll understand.” See, when you’re young, you know what it feels like to be misunderstood by people–adults, that is–who don’t inhabit your very specific world. And the next logical step after door slamming, followed by brooding, is to imagine a different kind of adulthood for yourself. (Whether one can actually be the adult our younger self hoped for is another question). But I never considered what it’d be like when the equation got reversed: when as an adult, I’d be “not gotten” by people younger than me, people from the ongoing onslaught of new generations, each one farther removed from the earlier points of reference piled up in my mental and emotional cache browser. Which brings me back to our young Genius. Not a child, but probably young enough to be mine. When at last it was my turn, and he asked, “What’s happening with your iPod?”, I held up my device, clicked it on to reveal the blank screen, and said, “Ab-so-lutely nothin’ – hunh!” To which he responded, well, not at all. Not a chuckle, not a smile, not even a smirk. How could this be? There are a few possibilities. (1) He has no sense of humor. (2) He didn’t get the reference. Yes, friends: it’s possible that this young man doesn’t know “War, What is it Good For?” (3) He got the reference, but he wasn’t giving it up for me. I’m not sure which possibility is the worst, though 2 is certainly tragic. Say it again.

3 Responses to Good God, Y’all

  1. Rick Stone says:

    I fear that #2 is probably the correct answer. Cultural references that we take for granted having grown up in the 60s and so far removed from the consciousness of the college students I’ve been teaching for the past 15 years or so. You can’t take anything for granted.

  2. I know. . . but there are classics! Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting.

    • robyn says:

      read…and relating. very. in it’s way…your ipod sort of experience keeps us young. we are presently in that “tweener” part of the circle of life…not young enough to avoid the not being gotten…..not old enough to have regressed beyond being gotten…lol ….thankfully, we have one another in this time warp 🙂 i am actually in no hurry to pass through it… 🙂

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