Another video before we lose power/interwebs.
Hurricane Odile is heading towards Cabo.
I love being 40. It has only been 90 minutes or so since it became official, yet I can tell that it fits me like a mitten. Conversely, I hated turning 30. In every way. Of course, I got to spend it crossing the international date line on a 14 flight from Shanghai, only to experience the same day again. The only thing worse than spending a birthday you don’t want on a trans-Pacific flight in extreme turbulence is having a second day of it while extremely jet-lagged.
The last few years I have finally felt my age. Being the curmudgeonly, misanthropic, and introverted type, being young doesn’t feel right. From what I can tell by reading Tumblr pages, young grumps like me have it easier these days because everyone is ‘talking about their feelings’ and ‘sharing their human experience’. Well good for you! Back in my day, we just pretended to be like all the other people out there and suffered in silence. In all seriousness, this awareness has made life a bit easier. I have actually learned a lot from how open today’s young people are. It has made me feel a little less crazy on the inside. So thanks, Millennials. I’m sorry everyone thinks you are shiftless and lazy. Here’s a little wisdom I might have gleaned. The same percentage of people of any generation suck. The reasons might shift, but overall the same cream will float to the top. Certain generations have something crazy happen, like say WWII, that will force more to be better people, because the stakes are higher, but that means you need to live through something awful. I don’t wish that on anyone.
Another thing…no matter how grand any idea is from any generation or movement, ultimately it is temporal. Great ideas are only great as long as the people that lived in the time when they were created. That is why institutions always become corrupt, no matter how idealistic they are at the time of creation. There are hundreds of reasons I could list, but I’m feeling slightly drunk, so I’ll keep it short.
I was reminded just now by a friend that was writing about The Road on Facenets in the ‘books that stuck with me’ posts. The concept of ‘keeping the fire’ means so much to me. I am a man that is extremely cynical of human nature. See a few paragraphs up if you don’t believe me. Here’s why — of all the creatures on this planet, we are the only ones with the intelligence and the means to make a choice not to be reactive, indulgent shitbags. (I include the means because there are other creatures here as intelligent and self-aware as us — cetaceans, great apes, elephants, and so forth — but they don’t have the means to destroy or consume like humans.)
Humanity does a lot of great things. We can aspire to even greater things. Human imagination is powerful in a way I don’t think I can even express in words, which are yet another amazing invention. Yet we undo all this greatness with bad choices. I believe in the fire. I want to believe in the potential of humanity. Much like Fox Mulder’s poster, I WANT to believe, but it can be trying.