I honestly thought I'd be able to hold off a few more years before I got to write one of those "damn young whippersnaper" posts.
The other day I was watching Herr Meow play with a little friend of his. The nanny and I were talking and I noted that her youngest charge had his onesie on backwards. It was a polo-shirt-looking deal, so it was quite obvious that the collar and three tiny buttons belonged around the front.
I chuckled and said something like, "That's some Kriss Kross thing he's got going on there."
She looked up at me, blankly and, perhaps in my paranoid mind, irritated.
"Girls' onesies normally button at the back. I must have gotten confused."
Blinking back joke-misunderstanding irritation, I wagered, "You've never heard of Kriss Kross, huh?"
She smiled and shook her head, as if I'd asked her if she'd ever used bread cataplasms for consumption or if her doctor had applied leeches to her body for her last catarrh. So I spent the next five awkward minutes as impromptu social anthropologist, conveying to her that this once-tween one-hit rap duo who hailed from Atlanta liked to wear their clothes backwards as their gimmicky fashion statement.
"Oh I see," she said. Then she was quiet for a while. And then I calculated that she was no older than seven when these kids had been jumping around and reaching around to their butts to get their flies open.
That was awkward.
Back when the Mac Daddy and the Daddy Mac were busy peeing with their pants around their ankles, I followed with near religious devotion the Billboard Hot 100. Since my high school library, as well as the local library, had a Billboard and a Rolling Stone subscription, I would check the ascent, descent, and plateau of all the bands that were It at the moment. I sat in that musty library and saw Nirvana and Pearl Jam and Dr. Dre and En Vogue (remember En Vogue?) tearing up the overall charts and their particular genre, every week on Billboard and Rolling Stone. Perhaps it was not every week, but the memory-heavy mind makes poetic allowances that edit the part about not doing my French homework or using my biology term-project research time to gather music biz information instead.
And in the afternoons, I could walk down to the local library and stalk objects of crush while keeping up with said charts. Ah, glorious teenage years, so filled with time to waste and in which to obsess over people who end up looking (and being!) like escaped convicts.
I knew all the little symbols and I loved tracking songs. I loved rooting against songs, but most of all I loved checking to see if my favorite acts were moving up or sagging toward the bottom. I hated that the week listed was that of two weeks prior, but at the time I didn't overthink the particulars of chart tracking.
Well, today I checked Billboard.com and I discovered one very simple thing: it is no longer 1992 and I no longer want Touré's job.
Now, before you think me as out of touch as I probably am, I will tell you: in the Top 10, I recognize eight out of ten acts.
[Question: does Flo Rida pronounce his name as "Flow Ridah"? Because if he doesn't, then it's not clever enough. As it is, it sounds more like an allusion to menstruation than anything else.]
That is "recognize"– as in I know who the people are. Alas, I can't actually recall one single song in my mind. So yes, I am painfully unhip these days –though I must say that if listening to Lady GaGa is being hip, I'm going to pass on that ("Poker Face" sounds more like the title to her autobiography).
Also, Miley Cyrus? Seriously? Does the 13-and-under set now control hipness, or is this really just all about the dirty, filthy money? Have people no taste? Honestly, shouldn't we be thinking about the children at this point? MILEY CYRUS SUCKS! It's the polar opposite of taste! It's jejune and simplistic and Disney and the Velveeta of music! RARG!
Maybe it's been about the money all along, and I'm just realizing it, about seventeen years too late.
And maybe, just maybe, it's never been about being young. It's just about who you know.