Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ta-Nahesi on the dangers of ageing

His biggest fear about getting older is that he'll become comfortable with being ignorant about new things:
Age, like all power constructs, (race, gender, class) encourages it's own ignorance. To not know is a luxury of power. You don't have to know Their Eyes Were Watching God. But I damn sure better know The Scarlet Letter. (It's bad enough I'm slipping on Twain.) Age turns ignorance into a luxury, and worse, if you don't recognize it as a luxury you start to think everyone is as clueless as you. And of course you're clueless that any of this is even going on. It's just a bad look all around.
Sarah and I have this fear as well, and we've promised not to let each other sink into it. I think this relates to the backlash against Obama's recent disparagement of some new electronic devices:
With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations--none of which I know how to work--information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.
Not knowing how to work these devices is understandable. But it's nothing to brag about. And it sounds rather odd coming from a notorious Blackberry addict like Obama.

So, what do I need to get hip too? Good new music is probably one of those things. It's hard for me to expand my taste. I just bought tickets to see Roger Waters perform The Wall, fer cryin' out loud. That album came out in 1979. I was five years old.


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