Saturday, June 12, 2010

Retro Rant

So I was going through My Documents on my old laptop (from my pre-Macbook days) and came across this blog I started writing a couple of years ago. As I read it I realized a lot of what I was ranting about then was actually the seeds of many of the rants I've had in the ensuing years. Some of the stuff is dated (GTA 3, Myspace, etc) but I didn't edit it other then a few grammatical issues. It ends suddenly and doesn't go on and on like most of my rants so enjoy a brief, dated, kind of familiar but not, retro Rich O rant!

I was driving the other day and randomly the song Eye of the Tiger by Survivor came on the radio. It made me sad because I remember that song and that movie (Rocky III) and remembered those as some of the last simple years of my life. Something as small as a movie or a one hit wonder song could make your summer. The simple joys of hanging with your friends after school playing street hockey, shooting hoops, or getting into trouble the like of which seems funny by today’s standards. Oh, we weren’t angels, but it was mostly good clean fun. It was a different time. We didn’t rush home after school to sit at the computer and chat for hours on end or updating our Myspace pages. We simply hung out with the people we liked and chatted with them face to face instead. The world was tiny and the idea of getting into some discussion of YouTube videos and memes with people in Topeka or Toronto just didn’t happen. We didn’t have GTA3 but we would kill each other good naturedly playing “kill the kid with the ball”. We did our best to hide when we screwed up not record it on video to share our ineptitude with the world. So much is different now I know my list would be enormous if I was to mention them all but here’s some examples (yes, a Rich list…yay):

1) Young people spending all day in chat rooms, chatting on instant messengers, playing WOW, browsing YouTube, dealing with Myspace drama etc. Now, as an approaching middle age guy, I could actually understand bored “grownups” doing this but 14-25 year olds wasting away their time like this is absurd. Even more frightening is conversations with their friends regarding what dramas are occurring in their electronics lives. Go outside, visit your real life friends, read a book, write a song, toast a Pop-Tart…just get the hell off the computer

2) When I was in high school, if we ever found one of our friends recording a video of them dancing to Soulja Boy and posting it on YouTube, he would have been the victim of the atomic wedgie from hell. I’m talking about guys. I mean, we had some semblance of self respect and most of us carried ourselves as the coolest guys in the world (we weren't we just liked to think we were) so to do something that un-cool and share it with the world…

3) A gym bag or book bag maybe during the school year would be acceptable but carrying backpack full of crap wherever you go just made no sense (the Richman was old school and carried his books under his arm). How much crap do you need to make it through the day? Every kid has an Ipod for all their music and other then schoolbooks for school, what other crap do you really need? Oh, and Ipods, we loved music too and, yes, we had music listening devices other then 8 track players, but, c’mon people, every once and a while take the fuckin ear buds out and listen to what’s happening around you, you just might learn something

4) We actually grew up and thrived without a single cell phone (ok except for those things with the huge battery packs that popped up in the late 80’s which were larger then the cordless phone in you kitchen and cost about $10 a call). It’s scary that the whole world is on the phone like, always. My 12-year-old nephew has a phone. My 10-year-old niece has a phone. While I cannot deny the safety aspect of them having phones I can’t totally condone it. But some people simply can’t stop talking. There’s a great series of commercials for stopping smoking where they show people struggling to do things they were used to doing with a butt in their mouths or hands . The same applies to phones as I swear some people have their necks permanently frozen in that phone cradling tilt they’re so accustomed to. Honestly, does anyone really have that much to talk about?

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