Friday, September 20, 2013

September... Auf Deutsch

I've begun reading, just for shits and giggles (as they say in the old country), Extrem Laut und Unglaublich Nah - which is Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close ... auf Deutsch.
Now the fact that I can't speak, read or fully comprehend Deutsch without a dictionary, or a drunk companion, does not deter me.  I am giving it the college try!   I started at the beginning of this summer.  I am already on page six.  I've found that if I skip around to the English bits -- words that I recognize, like "New York City" ... "Money Can't Buy Me Love" ... "Stephen Hawking" -- the pages turn faster.

Der Herbst, autumn -- in fact, life in general -- is all about the pages turning.  I approach fifty ... My parents, still living, are in their eighties.  My brother, still stuck in the '80's, is forty (Just kidding about my brother ... He isn't really forty!).

We're OLD, dude.  Alten S├Ącke!  And yet, though I still might rage (or flail) against the "machine" and show petulant, (sort of) tongue-in-cheek truculence toward Facebook and "its" generation, I still dig sounds I know Gen Y finds interesting ... can get up when I fall still, and have all my hair.

Beyond this, I have begun doing the same thing Gen Y is all doing:  putting my "work" out there ... unabashedly, shamelessly tiring you with it - my writing and imperfect photographs ... Words & Images, Random Poetix and Faction by Jeff Glovsky.

The key difference between me -- that is, my own generation, so aptly (nondescriptly) labeled X -- and the Facebook / Gen Y crowd -- the so-called millennials -- is that I leave the house.  While Gen Y hides behind its computers and smart phones and mixers and apps, I enjoy nothing more than walking, live music, fresh air and potential ... while still creating, doing, being, like Y does ...

It's not entirely Y's fault, though - the fear and feeling of What's the Point? that it has.  Gob-smacked with the Great Recession and trying to feed itself and excel in the worst economy in 80 years ... with guns creating daily havoc and so many jobs out there not worth the pennies (or "experience") they insultingly offer ... the running for the comforts of (mom's) home and "man caves" -- not to mention the support and opprobrium of vast "communities" of global strangers -- can be sweetly tempting ... in the same way I loved lying on my bed or sofa, "channel surfing" and talking to friends on my land line back in the day ... I get it.  I get the urge, almost the need, to stay home.

What I don't understand, and never will, is the eschewing of normal, everyday, whole life functioning.  Millennials seem to have collectively blown off driver's licenses, cars, homes, careers, marriages, children ... adulthood.  Intellectual curiosity ... anything with the faintest whiff of active participation.  They are a musical bunch, to be sure - capable of passively (aggressively) tuning out; but give them an instrument, or a book, it will languish untouched - unless it's an i-Something.  If it's a shimmering, vibrant keyboard graphic, or wildly animated guitar or drum kit ... That, they will pick up and click on, to "play"!

But I'm lumping now ... painting with broad strokes.  Like a racist or homophobe, I'm lazily generalizing.  Like every alter Furz (old fart) gone beyond 40, I'm trying to root for my own generation, and the certainties of the world I knew when I made the rules up while going along, and the paradigm shifted for my demographic.

I am over.

As the torch becomes past ... and the leaves of youth fade and fall like sex around my ankles, I can only watch, helplessly mixing metaphors ... hiding away inside a new world I wasn't born into, and don't (yet ;) fully comprehend.
Photo(s) by Jglo - 'Enchantment'
"Verzauberung (Enchantment)", ©Jeff Glovsky