FREAKY FRIDAY! + Warm Milk

Preface: I am not a "Oregonian" by many people's standards. I feel that my decision to be a first wave Portlandia immigrant was dumb luck for a kid who chronically tried to hard to ever be really cool. Regardless, this post will probably  sound like ridiculous hipster navel-gazing and/or ivory tower bullshit. All I can say is I have been living in the post-post-ironic BioDome for over 13 years now, and free range indie folk will eventually get into the brain via osmosis. It's science, look it up. I'm 37 today. It's generally true that birthdays in the latter half of a decade  feel a little flat. But I would put forth that 37 is a remarkably unremarkable birthday. Unless, you know, you're an amazing person. A number of my friends come to mind. That big hairy weirdo in the green speedo on Twitter certainly has some special sauce. But really, at 37, my most important task as it pertains to introspection and taking stock is figuring out if I can manage to not be a whiny baby for the next 3 years until I hit the halfway point to the great dirt nap. It's just not a birthday that brings to mind any kind of existential urgency, socially constructed checkpoints, or grand openings of vast vistas of opportunity. I think I would say that the best thing I can say about turning 37 is that I managed to get life insurance before I hit the big Trevin Sarvbos. Well, and also, that at this point in my life I'm not afraid to put poorly constructed references in blog posts to the actor who portrayed Hercules on television. Fuck you, Edward Snowden, THAT'S REAL COURAGE. So anyways, lame birthday. Whatever. But here's an interesting thing, or at least its interesting to me. I am beginning to find that my capacity for recognizing patterns is getting better as various other parts of me are getting demonstrably worse. Don't even ask about my knees. But here's one example; to say that culture and society are cyclical is not really something that's going to get you any AP credits. However, when reading an article recently about the new JJ Abraham's directed Star Wars movie I had an epiphany. Geeks and jocks or in their modern incarnation, Bros, have traded places from when I was growing up. And this is something that has been recognized in popular media for quite a while, but it's usually framed as the geeks triumphant. Hell, I was involved in starting a organization that basically does just that. Which is weird, since a core component of geek culture seems to be holding onto its marginalized outsiders status. But that's not exactly what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that the geeks are in the cultural drivers seat, and the bros are in the backseat being told that I WILL PULL THIS CAR OVER IF YOU DON'T STOP PLAYING THAT DISPATCH SONG RIGHT NOW! You see the same introvert/extrovert dominant/passive tick tock all over. Beatniks verses greasers and 50's football jocks. Hippies versus yuppies. Enlightenment thinking vs romanticism. Etcetera etcetera etcetera. Now that's probably all sounds like some pretty pedantic shit writing. To this I say; "Well, if you're reading this, you read the stuff in italics at the beginning. Its your own fault you moron." but I would also say that this is an insight that comes from real world experience not just from removed analysis. In retrospect, it makes complete sense that's a generation raised on Janeane Garofalo and Vincent Gandolfini would obviously create a generation of super-bellybutton-watchers. But at 37 I can confidently say that I've lived through the entire transition. When your summer blockbusters for the last 5 to 10 years running have all been based on toys from the 80's, SciFi reboots from the 80's, or science fiction books from the 80's, you've gotta get the point eventually. You're the dominant culture. This is made it even more apparent by the characterization in popular media of the "geek". They're always complex characters, with real emotional depth. Jocks and Bros are left to fill the void of 80's Poindexter, i.e. two dimensional. Don't believe me? Just ask Vince Vaughn about the variety of roles he's offered to play. Even the comedy world of Seth Rogen et al doesn't rely on its nuanced complexity of motivation. And for those of you who are about to mention Freaks and Geeks, I just want you to try to picture Bradley Cooper talking about getting his dick wet. Unlikely, because he's a classy guy. But now try imagining that same dialogue coming from Neil deGrasse Tyson. One is a little bit more plausible than the other. Anyway, now that we fully rambled into astrophysicists dipping their wicks, I'd like to close with this statement; I don't need any more birthday parties, or at least, not this year. The reason is I'm much happier having the big picture. It's much more satisfying than the wild night. Having a realization like this, as old, worn, and tattered as it is, is pretty enjoyable on a visceral level. It is a glass of warm milk. I heard an interview with Bob Dole, aka Methuselah, on NPR the other day. It included a bit about how he has an eating regiment of organic milk and cookies, and i found it oldy charming. 2004 me would have scoffed himself into a coma. But I'm beginning to see, via "hands on learning" a point in time in the future when my greatest pleasures are that stupidly simple, and I don't give a shit what's on the teevee, because I know in 20 years it'll go back the other way regardless of whether I'm alive to see it or not. TL;DR - Bring on the old, the circle of life, & I have a crush on Bob Dole.
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