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Consuming media as an older person?


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I remember when I was young seeing older people (such as my grandparents) watching movies or tv. Media is of course dominated by young characters. This always came across as kinda creepy to me honestly, especially given how dirty modern media tends to be, even though I knew full well there wasn't much that could be done to avoid it.

Now I'm getting close to 40 myself, I've noticed that less than half the people I see in media, fictional or real, are my age or older. This is starting to disconcert me. Yes, I know its impossible to avoid, but it makes me feel uneasy for multiple reasons. One of them is it makes me feel old myself. I didn't think I would start having this problem before I was even technically middle aged, though I never did bother to think about it.

I guess I'll get used to it eventually, but it still feels weird. This just me now while I was trying out a game on itch.io called toe II toe. The thing has you playing as a young female boxer. For some reason, simply looking at these young able-boded characters made me feel ancient. I won't be playing that game anymore, though mainly because I couldn't get the controls to work for some reason (the keyboard did nothing, and even the in-game buttons didn't work reliably, wtf?)

I don't know what type of answer I want. I'm obviously not going to be quitting media. Though I will say that seeing old metal artists now that I've known for decades also reminds me a bit too much of my own mortality. Fun times. And this is despite the fact that I'm still technically younger than these people. Doesn't help though that the only people old enough to be my parents now are the type that are old enough to sign up for aarp. Fun times. Guess I just need advice on dealing with this, especially considering this problem is only going to get worse as I age further. Fun times....

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First of all, mainstream media has been and always will be targeted towards the younger demographic. Once you realize that, you're a little closer to realizing that it's all BS like George Carlin said. But I'm going to go out on a whim here and say that this is less about media consumption and more about your own mortality. What you're feeling is normal. It happens to us all somewhere between 30 and 40. Usually after all those crazy, reckless stunts we pulled in our teens and 20s and realize we could have died many times over. I've had a lot of those and some were absolutely stupid. Case in point: I was maybe 21, 22 and my friend and I went out bar hopping on his motorcycle, 45-50 miles both ways. From Camp Lejeune, NC to Wilmington, NC. We got there fine because we were sober but fast forward several hours and we're both trashed. Myself, more so. I blacked-out at some point, in fact, and only recall bits and pieces. On the ride back, my friend not only had to elbow me in the ribs repeatedly to keep me centered on the bike (I kept passing out) but he somehow got both of us past the MPs at Lejeune's back gate. Good choice, on his part. I owe that guy my life.

That was roughly 35 years ago and I look back and know that I would never pull such a stunt again. One, because I no longer drink and two, I consider consequences now because I'm older and wiser. I got lucky on the back of that motorcycle and I learned from the experience. But not until about 10, 12 years later when I began reflecting and my own mortality became apparent. It's not a pleasant thought, is it? You could die today... or tomorrow. Mindlessly walk out in front of a bus or a detached engine from a commuter flight plummets 30,000 feet and squashes you flat. Cancer, AIDS, COVID... War, Famine, Black Widow spiders, Fer-De-Lance snakes. A brick mason carelessly drops his brick hammer from a three-story scaffold onto your head. All of these things can kill you. What's a person to do? You relax and live, that's what you do. You know what helps me accept the fact that I will die one day? A quote from a movie, as silly as it sounds, but this is profound: 'First you've gotta know - not fear, know - that someday you're gonna die.' It's still sinking in and still bugs me but I'm closer to accepting the inevitable now and I feel as if I live my life fuller because of that realization. And by fuller, I mean that I still live on the edge by cycling regularly on a fixed gear, no brakes, at 56 years old. I have ridden standard bicycles most of my life but wanted something more so I self-taught myself to ride fixed 6 years ago and have become quite skilled at it. But rarely a ride will start without the thought of this could be my last. I don't let it deter me, in fact, I take that thought with me and allow it to guide me, if that makes sense... that whole considering consequences thing I referred to earlier. I liken fixed gear riding to controlled chaos. This is all in metropolitan traffic, mind you. Talk about fun times...

The way I look at it, if I died today on my bike,  I died doing something I love.

Anyways, I'm neither going to offer advice nor answer any implied question. I just wanted to share some experience and possibly some wisdom with you. One thing I can tell you is that this problem will get worse as you get older... if you let it.

 

 

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Honestly, I'd say what I'm going through is more of a mid-life crisis. I'm no longer part of the 'next generation'. I don't have my whole life to look forward to. The majority of the population no longer is on the same page as me; I've had decades of experience that people in their 20s would have no clue about. I don't live in a society that values me. Older people are all seen as ugly, disabled, and an outdated relic of a by-gone world. Surely you would know this better than me. I actually wasn't amused when a few months ago I ran into a 'youth empowerment' song made by a metal band fronted by a woman older than me. That's fine and all, but where's the empowerment songs for my generation? Doesn't help that boomers still seem to insist on seeing millennials like me as hopelessly immature and worthless. Do they not realize we grew the f*#@ up? They essentially see us the same way they did decades ago when we were teens! Wtf? What do we have to do to get them to accept us as grown-ups like them? They were our age once.

I guess I just don't like becoming a minority. I can't learn to play games anymore. My ability to acquire any new skill dimishes by the day. For instance, there's no way I could ever become better at RTS games than I was when I was young, and I was utterly terrible. I can't play fighting games, because I never could and there's no way I could get better. I can't even play some of the games I did when I was young anymore, seriously. For instance, I found that I can't get as far in Injustice as I did when I was a decade younger, and I never could even beat the final boss on easy (now I can't get past the mid game even on easy, wow). I'm also getting really sick of the ablist slur 'git gud' just because I'm too old to play 99% of modern games. I'm sorta surprised at times I can still play Skyrim, though I did use to play it on expert all the time. I can't seem to do that anymore though. Guess I can only keep playing it now because I got used to it on expert when I was still in my 20s. Who knows how long that will last.

Yeah, I have a lot of problems. I'm losing things due to my age, and I'm not too fond of it. I can't even enjoy a lot of my own games anymore. This is bullshit. What am I supposed to do?

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42 minutes ago, InDarkestNight said:

I actually wasn't amused when a few months ago I ran into a 'youth empowerment' song made by a metal band fronted by a woman older than me.

That wouldn't happened to have been OTEP, would it? If so, that's good stuff. I love her!

Who cares if they think you're 'immature and worthless'? Are you? And as for acceptance, the only attribute I require from another person, whether millennial or anyone, is that they act like a civil adult. If you've got that covered, you're doing better than a lot of folks. But if you act like a kid, you'll get treated as such. Something to think about.

1 hour ago, InDarkestNight said:

Older people are all seen as ugly, disabled, and an outdated relic of a by-gone world.

Only by fools.

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Posted (edited)

Metalite acutally, a new band. Also, Otep isn't a 'real' metal band. They're 'rap metal', which bigotted manchild metal heads don't accept as true 'metal'. The general public is of course always unaware of what metalheads consider 'true' metal'. It can't fall under the category of 'hard rock' (a term that didn't exist until the 90s, before then they were classified as metal, as evidenced by just about every metal band from the 80s technically being hard rock). The genre also had to originate before 1990. It also can't take influence from pop like metal core does (rap metal in particular is blasted for taking in influence from rap).

 

Of course, I'm not saying Otep is bad. I'm just saying 99% of the stuff people consider 'metal' isn't true metal. I used to keep a metal playlist, until I realized that just about everything on it was actually hard rock. I've since deleted it. I didn't look at it anymore anyway. I also quit metal after I found out that Viking metal was a white supremacist genre! Fml... Can't I ever catch a break?

Edited by InDarkestNight
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6 minutes ago, InDarkestNight said:

They're 'rap metal', which bigotted manchild metal heads don't accept as true 'metal'.

Very true. But I don't get tied up in sub-genres. It's got loud guitars, screaming vocals, hard hitting bass drums. It's not Slayer but it's still metal to me and gets categorized in my collection as such along with the aforementioned Slayer, Anthrax, Slipknot, Static X, Megadeth and others I can't recall at the moment. And the cleverly crafted lyrics are a bonus. The lines kind of blur between hard rock and metal anyways. I don't worry about it.

1 hour ago, InDarkestNight said:

rap metal in particular is blasted for taking in influence from rap

That should come as no surprise from those in the rap metal genre, especially if they dubbed themselves rap metal. I'd find it amusing if they didn't. The whole thing is ridiculous in my opinion. But there's always a critic.

We've digressed into a debate about music genres and I'm bored with it. I have a project that demands my attention. So, later...

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A friend of mine used to think that you couldn't continue to be a rock star after 30 or 40 at a pinch. I don't really watch TV any more but I have seen The Who in concert and they are still amazing... what's left of them. I agree with UsernameWithA9 age is what you make of it. 40 was several decades ago for me but there are people in their 20s who are definitely older than I am!

No, I no longer have the beauty of youth but I have serenity; and actually these days are the best of my life. If I was allowed to choose at which state to stay at it would be right now. Now... not yesterday... or tomorrow ... Now is always best because it's what you make of it right now.

 

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28 minutes ago, zixi said:

If I was allowed to choose at which state to stay at it would be right now. Now... not yesterday... or tomorrow ... Now is always best because it's what you make of it right now.

Yesterday's gone and tomorrow may never come. Right now is all we have and the only thing that matters. I know it sounds cliche but you can't deny the truth it holds.

However, if I was allowed to choose a time to stay, it would be about ten years ago when my knees were a little less degraded. Although, I'd like to keep the scars.

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3 hours ago, UsernameWithA9 said:

it would be about ten years ago when my knees were a little less degraded.

I know what you mean. I wish I could grant your wish. My husband has knee issues. And thumbs issues - he plays guitar and piano so it's sad. I had a life threatening, very lucky to still be here illness 10 years ago and every day is now a gift. Cliche or not! So, I try not to let things get to me...

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Okay, this got a lot darker than I intended. I was asking about consuming media filled with people much younger than me. It feels odd, and as I said I always thought it was kinda creepy even though I know full well its impossible to avoid. Is there anyway to justify it or is it just something I need to get used to? Will I ever get used to it? Is it even normal to think such things?

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