Thursday, March 16, 2006

An Uncool Rant

Some anonymous person sent me a nasty e-mail message that accused me of trying desperately to be cool, and that essentially stated that fifty-year-old rock 'n roll critics were kind of pathetic. I should apparently take up mahjong or bingo and eventually just quietly shuffle off to the nursing home.

For all you inquiring minds out there, I am a fifty-year-old balding guy with a beer gut and a hearing aid. If I have ever been cool, it was sometime back in the Nixon administration. And if you think I am currently laboring under the delusion of being cool, I will be happy to introduce you to my wife and daughters, who will be more than glad to share my many uncool moments with you, some involving flatulence and drool (although never at the same time, to my knowledge).

It is apparently scandalous to some people that a middle-aged geezer should like rock 'n roll. If I were acting my age, I would limit my conversation to golf, fertilizer, and my 401K plan, and if I wanted to talk about music, I could occasionally bring up Lawrence Welk or wistfully look back on Beatlemania. Well, I plead guilty. I have never stopped caring about music. More true confessions: I have also never stopped reading or going to the movies, juvenile though these activities may be. I have never figured out that at some age, apparently now long past for me, "maturity" is supposed to set in and I'm supposed to become a Boring Old Fart and stop engaging my mind. If that is immaturity, then I'm willing to live with it.

None of it has a thing to do with being cool. It has to do with being human, and being alive. So look at me, Mr. Anonymous Critic, being uncool by blowing my cool. If that helps to reinforce your stereotypes, then I'm happy to oblige.

15 comments:

teddy dellesky said...

you rock andy! buggers to the person who sent you that. double buggers to them for not attaching their name. who could dislike what you're about so much that they would want to send such a message?

nikkip said...

obviously, this person has never met you! just know that anyone who has had the privillege of shaking your hand or chatting with you at church would definitely never think that way. please forgive the anonymous critic's ignorance and count it as exactly just that--ignorance.

John McCollum said...

Andy,

You're not cool? Crap. I'm sending back the hearing aid. I was hoping to be on the vanguard of a new craze.

Karen said...

clearly this person has yet to meet you. i was just talking with someone about you and kate how you two are much hipper than i could ever hope to be!
so THHHHP to that person who is so narrow-minded and know that those of us who know and love you think of you as incredibly cool!

Karl said...

Well, I think you're cool, and I've never even met you. Keep doing what you're doing. For every ignoramus who writes a cowardly email, there are many, many more who appreciate what you do and who you are.

Karl said...

Oh my. It kind of looks like I was claiming that there are many more ignoramuses who appreciate what you do and who you are. That isn't what I meant at all. Sorry about the ambiguity there.

KarlandBethany said...

The terrific irony here is that he thinks "that fifty-year old rock n' roll critics were kind of pathetic". Wasn't rock n' roll originated about 50 years ago? Wouldn't it seem that the BEST critics are around that age?

The wisdom of a 50-year-old rock n' roll critic far outweighs that of say a 19 year old. What has happened to listening to those with experience? and to those that experienced it?

Besides... this guy doesn't even understand the meaning of critic. There are three listed on dictionary.com:1. One who forms and expresses judgments of the merits, faults, value, or truth of a matter. 2. One who specializes especially professionally in the evaluation and appreciation of literary or artistic works: a film critic; a dance critic. 3. One who tends to make harsh or carping judgments; a faultfinder.

It seems your anonymous e-mailer has chosen to only go with the final definition, not the all encompassing meaning, but a rather narrow approach to life in general. He's just being plain, old (pardon the pun) mean - a bully.



BTW, in journalism, we learned never to print or give credence to anonymous letters. They are basically crap- worthy only of file 13. Yes, I know... "free speech", but with the right of "free speech" comes the responsibility of "free speech". If he can't sign it and take responsibility for it, it's not worth you giving your time to read and care about it.

Who knows, maybe he's jealous. Don't let it bug you; it's HIS problem, not yours. Besides, someday, he'll be 50 and he'll understand. I guess in the meantime, all you can do is forgive him and pray for him.

And, THAT's cool...
B--

KarlandBethany said...

Sounds like somebody's jealous...

K-

thatpatti said...

man, i hope that person never reaches 50-something, eh?

i think the coolest thing about you, andy, is that you DON'T try to be cool - you just are!

jessezgirl said...

much love andy...
Lisa

mommy zabs said...

WOW! That person has no clue about art and the appreciation or critique of art. If they did, they would realize that there is no age limit, race limit, religion limit on the ability to have an opinion, about it. What rubbish! I love to hear what you have to say about things, Music and other topics. Even when I don't agree I appreciate your valid opinions!

Jeff Cannell said...

andy- it's probably the defensive girlfriend of someone whose music you did not vibe with.

But really- cool is pretty overrated. If you were trying to be cool- you would not wax eloquent about Tonio K while waiting for tea that never comes at a hooka bar.

My dad raised me to love rock n' roll- and he is your senior by 10 years!

Brother-in-law Bill said...

Omigod! Does this mean that I'm not (gasp) cool either? I'm old enough to consider you my kid brother-in-law, and I don't have a good excuse like being a music critic for wasting my time listening to rock and roll and all the other music I love. How pathetic is that? And if you were cool during the Nixon administration, maybe I was cool during Eisenhower-Kennedy. In any event, unlike your anonymous critic, at least we were cool once. Rock on, bro.

scott said...

Amen!

Scott

kate said...

Look, I'm only 26, and I'm totally uncool. Once I embraced that fact, I became a lot happier. Besides, as Lester Bangs by way of Cameron Crowe and Philip Seymour Hoffman would say...

"The only true currency in this bankrupt world... is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."

(Whenever my friend Jo and I call each other to see if the other is home and can come over, we say, "I'm always home... I'm uncool." I would estimate that 45% of our conversations involve quoting either Almost Famous or David Sedaris. Or beginning a sentence with "I heard on NPR that..." So uncool.)