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What A Drag It Is Getting Old

This summer there was a meme going around the internet that said, “2022 is as close to 1970 as 1970 was to 1918!”

Published in the October 2022 Issue Published online: Oct 15, 2022 Articles
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This summer there was a meme going around the internet that said, “2022 is as close to 1970 as 1970 was to 1918!” As someone who was alive in 1970, this simple statement really made me readjust my perspective on time and life. Humans have a relatively long life span compared to other living creatures, and when you consider how much technology we’ve cranked out in the last century, it’s amazing our minds are even able to comprehend it all without exploding!

When I was a kid, the digital age was just dawning and “solidstate” was the big high-tech buzzword. We were all excited about being able to have a transistor radio that you could actually hold in your hand and carry around. We had no idea of all the incredible digital inventions looming out in the future.

Back then, 2001: A Space Odyssey was a science fiction movie about a life that seemed as far into the future as Buck Rogers in the 25th Century must have seemed to our great grandparents a halfcentury earlier. Little did we know that The Rocky Horror Picture Show would soon be teaching us all to do the Time Warp and that we would be living in a brave new world where 1984 was actually decades in the past.

The world we live in originated in an analog state. All energy was created naturally and light and sound were produced and received by and through naturally created organisms. The eyes and ears of all creatures perceived sounds and sights naturally. Our brains were built to process things in an analog mode. Anything we couldn’t comprehend was considered magic. Something false or fake was easy to detect, like the string holding up Flash Gordon’s spaceship in the old black-and-white movies.

The digital age changed all that.

We can no longer believe our eyes or ears. Even the smells and tastes we experience are no longer necessarily real. For those born into the digital age, everything seems normal. But to all of us relics that were born back when vacuum tubes powered those new-fangled inventions like the radio and television, aspects of the world today can seem both real and fake at the same time. Our analog-based brains are trying to process the world based on rules that no longer exist. Magic is now real. We are basically living in the world of the Matrix!

Interestingly enough, we are not alone on this journey into the future.

The brats of the bands of the British Invasion had an idea of what was coming, if not the magnitude of the change. The Beatles “When I’m Sixty-Four” is eerily precise as I come nearer to that point in life. Dealing with the challenges of the modern world was also summed up by the Rolling Stones when they started and repeated throughout “Mothers Little Helper,” “What a drag it is getting old!”

Of course, both these songs were written by now nearly octogenarians when they were in their teens and 20s. As brash as they were, even they dreaded the natural process of aging and the responsibilities that came with it. There is no way they could have anticipated all the benefits that were yet to come from advances in technology to everyday life. The world that we seniors inhabit in 2022 is far different from the world our grandparents experienced in 1970 and radically different from the world their grandparents struggled to survive in 1918.

Thankfully, age, like time, is relative.

The movie Soylent Green was set to take place in the year 2022, and we thankfully aren’t eating people yet! It’s interesting to think what a difference 19,000 days can make from a given point in time.

Any guesses on what 2074 will look like? I


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