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Forward into the Past

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011, at 11:35 AM

(Photo)
Me in 1968...and again in 2011!
Well, I come to you once again with another sad tale of geezerhood. Go ahead and laugh, young people! Laugh at me all you will. I'm not bothered because I know that someday your laughter will dry up as mine has.

Unless, of course, you die young. Either way, I win.

Here's the skinny: I have found myself lately embroiled in an imbroglio.

At first I thought I was imbroiled in an embroglio. However, my spellchecker tells me that this is not the case, and I do not argue with it. Believe me, I have argued with technology before, and it never turns out well. I've learned my lesson. When I type, "I feel a little hoarse," and my iPhone tells me I really mean, "I fuel a little horse..." by George, the rest of my message will be about hay and ponies. Steve Jobs, even in retirement, makes more in ten minutes then the last nine generations of my family made in the last four hundred years. His shoelaces are worth more than my house. So his infernal phone changed "oats" to "oak" and I've been eating Quaker Instant Acorns for breakfast ever since.

Because of this mindless embrace of technology, I have recently acquired in my home the latest cutting edge thing, entertainment-wise. I don't know from cable or satellite television any more. When it comes to television, I STREAM. I stream, you stream, we all stream for that is the new thing. I get my television via broadband, daddio. High definition. Progressive scan. In Color. (Though I guess that last one's been around for a while already.) Netflix. Hulu. These were just sounds made by toddlers a couple of years ago, but they are the absolute be all and end all nowadays. And "be all and end all" is from Shakespeare and was written about 400 years ago and thereby hangs the tale, which is also Shakespeare and is my point: The new stuff doesn't make the old stuff disappear. The cutting edge cuts both ways.

You see, along with all the newest and shiniest, this Internet video Brave New World has opened up the floodgates of The Past. Embracing the Future has set me back about forty years.

As soon as I sat down to watch the newest thing(s), I was confronted with all the old stuff I used to watch in the dim, distant past. Holy mackerel! There's "Rat Patrol!" Who knew that was out there? I used to have the Tonka Rat Patrol Toy Jeep. Here's every single episode of "The Addams Family." Boy oh boy. When I first watched Carolyn Jones I didn't fully understand why I liked her so much. I'm crystal clear on it now. I watched Simon & Garfunkel get back together on Saturday Night Live just like I did the first time they did it. I sat up half the night with the Night Stalker and Night Gallery.

This technology of the future has trapped me in the past. I'm never going to survive long enough to catch up to the new things. Do you have any idea how many episodes there are just of "Have Gun Will Travel"? I'm doomed to spend my declining years watching only things I've already seen.

I guess there is some kind of metaphysical symmetry there. Or something. I don't know. I'm too busy digging all the mini-skirts on the Mod Squad.



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