Don't get me wrong. It was a phenomenal concert for a great cause, that made me proud to be a New Yorker and thankful for all I have. But something in particular about it made me feel old. Like, really old.
It wasn’t when all the cool, brash rockers of my formative years took the stage one-by-one looking wrinkled and worn and hobbled by time. It wasn’t when I took a moment with each to look them up on Wikipedia, as they worked their way on stage without assistance, to see their actual ages … 67, 68, 69, 70. And it wasn’t even when my 9-year-old daughter said, as Roger Daltrey’s shirt came unbuttoned, that he looked pretty fit for a grandpa.
|Roger Daltrey strips down to Oldies but Goodies.|
No. Reality crashed the party when Kanye West took the stage and started “playing” music. And all I heard was noise. It hit me: this must be the same noise my grandparents heard when the generation before mine started listening to those crazy English chaps.
I turned to my daughter, sounding like a Jackie Gleason character, and asked, “What is this junk?” She stared at the television, purposely ignoring me so I didn’t tell her again that she was up past her bedtime. But I didn’t care about bedtimes anymore. I was obsessed with the infernal noise.
“Do you listen to this stuff?” I continued. And she continued to stare. As each noise-filled song ended, another one would begin. I kept waiting for a song I enjoyed. I mean, he's had four number 1 albums and he's sold 30 million digital downloads, which I think is a lot. He must play something I'll enjoy.
Then I thought, maybe it was not him that was the problem. Maybe it was me. And that's when I decided to do something about it.
I hit mute.
At that very moment I realized exactly how old I am, or at least how old I am becoming. Not on the outside, mind you, but on the inside. On the outside I’m not all that old, relatively speaking. But on the inside, I am ancient to the core. And I’m not terribly hip, either -- although that was well established before.
So, what can I do about it? Well, I have decided to embrace it. It just seems like the old-person-type thing to do.
Yes, I admit it: I like The Who better than Kanye West -- and always will. And yes, I’m going to yell upstairs to my kids to turn that racket down when they play it, and I might even hit the ceiling with a broom. And yes, when I have the chance, when I see an opening, when the opportunity presents itself, I’m going to hit mute.
If that makes me old, so be it.