Commentary by Bill Buchanan
I read the other day that you officially become an old fogey when you turn 50. I can attest to the fact that I have indeed achieved fogeyness. While I have sensed this for some time, it was made painfully evident to me as I watched the Screen Actors Guild Awards. I didn’t recognize a lot of the people who were nominated and won; and many of the actors I did know seemed to have aged so much that I almost didn’t recognize them. The notable exceptions to this were an ageless Dick Van Dyke and Linda Gray, who looked fabulous — like she just stepped off the set of “Dallas.”
When you are younger, you are a lot more involved in pop culture. For one thing, it is aimed at your demographic. I doubt there are many network producers involved in intense planning meetings about upcoming shows who are screaming, “Hey, what we really need is a show tailored to all the 57-year-old guys out there!”
Like most of my fellow baby boomers, we are spoiled. For years and years we owned pop culture —- or at least we thought we did. Television shows, movies and music revolved around us and our tastes. Other generations’ tastes didn’t seem to even exist, much less matter. And while some of us may be caught in a time warp, here is a sobering fact —- the 50th anniversary of Woodstock is just seven short years away. I think it’s safe to say, when it comes to popular culture, our time has come and gone.
For those who may be unsure whether or not they are a cultural old fogey, I have devised a short test below:
1. Sports —- which answer would best describe your feelings about the NBA:
a. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson couldn’t carry Kobe Bryant’s jock.
b. LeBron James will bring the championship to Miami this year.
c. I haven’t watched an NBA game since Michael Jordan retired.
2. Television — how would you describe the show “Two and a Half Men”:
a. It is a ground-breaking comedy, and the best show on TV.
b. I liked it better with Charlie Sheen.
c. Charlie Sheen? Isn’t that the guy who made a brief career out of lunatic rants on the “Today Show” and the internet? Was he on a TV show?
3. Movie Stars — what would you say about the work of Minka Kelly, Jessica Biel and Jessica Alba:
a. Jessica Biel is my favorite. In addition to acting, she is also a writer and producer, and seems to be the one to watch for the future.
b. I think Minka Kelly has a real future starring in romantic comedies.
c. I can’t tell them apart.
4. Music — how do you feel about rap music:
a. I enjoy rap, have a section of my iPod devoted to it.
b. While I am not a huge fan, I appreciate the music’s passion and underlying themes.
c. Rap music is nothing but noise, and the only thing I can tell you about it is what I read in police reports.
If you answered “C” to any of the questions above, I’m afraid that you, too, have achieved fogeydom. You have earned it, so just enjoy it.