when I’m 64 (more or less)

Paul McCartney is 64 and must be wondering if we still need him.  I imagine way back 40 years ago when he first asked that question 64 must have seemed a million miles away.  Now as past stars are aging and fading into rock and roll oblivion you gotta wonder, is this the way their grandparents felt when they were 64? 

They say now that 60 is the new 40.  There are commercials all over T.V. that tout the new generation as an older but still hip generation, but I’m not so sure.  First of all, the sixties were a time of “turn on. tune in. drop out”.  The rock anthem was anti-establishment and non-conformity.  It just was not cool to “sell-out” to capitalism.  The “new 40” may be just a sales pitch cause you are really just as old as you feel.  (or as pretty as you feel)  Can you imagine protesting the war driving around in a BMW?  Weird.

Gee, where have all the flower power children gone,  …long time passing? 

So , now… maybe the generation before wasn’t so out of touch after all.  I mean, weren’t they then pursuing the very things that the beat generation is being targeted for now?  You know, retirement things… security, health, family values, etc.?  Is it hard for them to hear the Who sing, “we won’t get fooled again” if in fact, they have?  Bummer.

We try to learn from our mistakes but they continually resurface in a new package and seem harmless to the inexperienced person.  Take smoking marijuana.  Reefer has been around for some time now, but really made head way (HEAD way, get it?) in the sixties.  Now it seems like everybody has tried it or at least knows somebody that has.  (remember Bill Clinton?)  It permeates the entertainment industry seemingly more like a prop than an illegal substance. 

Sadly, drug use has maintained a strong hold on the young people of today, but really the message of the sixties wasn’t about getting stoned and playing video games.  It was about questioning authority and where it was taking us, what direction were we heading in? could we change or challenge it?  was it what we wanted for future generations (the generation of now?)  Global warming and pollution were concerns back then, so was an unpopular war, alternative fuels and social injustice.  Smoking pot was incidental to the real issues of peace and love.

So, when I’m 64 (many years from now) I wonder what the world will be like much the way people today have wondered and people before them.  I’d like to think I’m growing wiser and more hip, not just maintaining my hip-ness and wisdom.  I will no doubt sit back and listen to the old songs and wonder why the kids today don’t respect their elders.  I guess respect has to be earned… hope I will have learned that before it is too late 

Now that sixties generation is them today,  now that generation is they, now that generation is questioning the future and young people are reluctant to hear and trust because the same re-treads are rolling past them careening towards a blow out.

When will they ever learn?

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