I realize that it is considered important or necessary or even a means to avoid boredom this month for various bloggers to cobble together some Top Ten list or similar rundown of pop culture media releases over this still-not-named decade. Given that I feel most of that could disappear off the face of the Earth and I wouldn’t even notice, it is not in my best interest to bother jumping on that wagon. However, what IS in my best interest — the subject I am always interested in discussing, dissecting, and dallying about — is, of course, me. So, taking an otherwise pointless and often misguided trend and focusing it back to something meaningful, here is a compare/contrast of myself over the past ten years, or thereabouts.
1999: Bars were occasionally fun spots to drink and pick up girls.
2009: Bars are boring. Not only are they boring, they are filled with the noxious blather of subhumans whose oblique pleas for an early death would provoke a mass slaughter from someone with far less self-control than myself. The attendants of most watering holes are, by and large, not interesting, intelligent, attractive, charming, or the least bit tolerable. Add to that the blaring cacophony of “music” and the utter lack of aesthetics at every turn, and I’d often rather do a house party. Even better, I’d rather choose my interactions whenever possible, rather than roll the dice on whatever floats into my personal space.
1999: Any woman with a sizable amount of good looks is worth sleeping with.
2009: Most women are weak and stupid. Most men have equally deplorable traits, but in the words of the late Sam Kinison, I don’t sleep with them so women are what I have to work with. Purely as a survival tactic, I’ve learned to develop a convincing outward display of patience for the bulk of the opposite sex, their often inane chatter, vile slang, lack of emotional control, serial whining, hideous hairstyles, pseudo-intellectual tirades, and all manners of thinly-veiled attempts at masking their core 12-year-old little girl inside. So, yes, I’m not wildly motivated to seek out nookie these days. Like anything, quality comes in small numbers.
1999: I really love music and shows and a whole slew of bands.
2009: I almost never listen to music anymore. When I do, it’s something next to no one I know even likes, unless it’s “something from the ’80s.” Following suit, I detest going to rock concerts. Having approached middle-age, my misanthropy has ripened into a well-bodied vintage. Putting that evolved disdain in a room full of drunken jackasses and other human failures isn’t even entertaining in that way for which the Germans have a nifty word I’ve overused far too much to include in this paragraph.
1999: I smoke too much, drink a bunch, never exercise, and eat poorly.
2009: Quit smoking, rarely drink, exercise a fair amount, and have cut a number of bad foods out of my diet. And I did all of that without the desperate need for outside support of other people, pharmaceutical or similar quitting aids, or any sort of tricks or false starts or indecision. Woke up one day, put my will in gear, and did it. And, no, I don’t want to hear how hard it is for you. Put up or shut up.
1999: I was in my early-30s and had a few of the naive assumptions folks of that age bracket have.
2009: The developmental leap from 30 to 40 is far more massive and utterly life-altering than I expected or could possibly explain to a young person without getting resentment and defensiveness in return. Just know, kids, that so many of the precious ideas you have and important positions you take now might be wiped away without trace in the future. Trust me, you’ll laugh about it all come your 40s — assuming you have even a modicum of intelligence and self-awareness.
1999: Probably mulling over the fact of how much I hated the 1990s in terms of cultural/media output. It appeared at that time to be a decade of non-relatable everything. My own media creations were what probably kept me from going insane then.
2009: I really love this decade we’re going to leave behind shortly — or in a year, for you nitpickers. The rise of personal technology such as various social media (notably, blogging), productivity gadgets, podcasting and more have brought an added level of enjoyment to my life — in addition to the usual low-tech and antiquated indulgences such as book reading, real-world conversations, and traveling. I even like the kids of today a lot more than those of the ’90s, though they still talk and dress too funny for this crotchety old geezer. At the very least, they appear to be a lot happier. All in all, a very good decade was had, and I look forward to the next one.
1999: This blog was two years old, had a different URL, published less frequently, and covered personal and professional tidbits that were interesting at the time.
2009: Coming into my 13th year of blogging (pre-dating the term, “blog,” to be exact), I’ve come to enjoy the experience of maintaining and contributing to this growing purple monster. It’s a challenge to post every single day and keep it relatively entertaining and/or informative. Given the subscriber numbers, it appears that it’s not done just for me, and I do appreciate the attention and promotion I’ve gotten from so many of you. And, yes, I deleted the old and boring posts long ago.
That is all. End of line.