January 23, 2011

Dealing with Cultural Irrevelance

Last night, we watched "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes," a Disney flick from 1969, two years after I was born. It is part of our plan to "educate" our kids on the cheesy movies with which we grew up. So far, the kids have watched "The Apple Dumpling Gang," and the original "Absent-Minded Professor" with Fred MacMurray in addition to the latest. At the beginning, we had to pause the movie to explain that the four or five huge boxes in the movie with the huge bank of buttons and rotating circles known as "tape drives" were parts of a computer that in real life would have less than 1% of the capability of Elizabeth's new iPod Touch (which is another story altogether). The star of "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes" was Kurt Russell, known in the 1980's for his dimples, cornflower blue eyes and wavy hair and his ability to star in either "cult classics" or bad rom-coms with his significant other, Goldie Hawn.

As I was helping out in the church nursery this evening, we were talking about old movies and I mentioned Kurt Russel's name. The college student helping us out said "Who is that?" The father of three smiled, mentioned that he had HEARD of Kurt Russell but that he wasn't familiar with that particular movie. Did I feel old! I realized that few of them probably had heard of Michael Jordan, Walter Payton (can you tell I have spent a LOT of time in Chicago), Bee Gees or even Billy Joel! It started a great conversation about what TV shows were our favorites. The college age kids fondly remembered "Fresh Prince" and "Boy Meets World" whereas I remember "Giligan's Island,"Happy Days" and "The Love Boat." I told them that in another thirty years, they would be sitting talking to a high school or college age student reminiscing about Justin Bieber or Will Smith and the student would look at them blankly and mutter "Who?" As I was looking at recent pictures of the male movie stars that I thought were "hunks" like Kurt Russell, Jeff Bridges, and Harrison Ford and realized that they are starting to look like a bunch of old men I realized that it means that I am old and possible culturally irrevelant. It is tough becoming culturally irrevelant. It almost makes me want to sign up for the Junior High Youth group. And if you want to see a cute set of dimples and don't care how bad a movie is, rent "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes" from Netflix.


Anonymous said...

The other day I mentioned Tom Cruise and the Peanut had never heard of him.

AquaJane said...

I can't say I've heard of all the programs you mentioned, and I'm lots older than you. Neither of us is culturally irrelevant, Kris, just eminently qualified to teach 20th century history. Say, maybe you could suggest that your kids call you "Your Eminence" from now on. LOL

tandemingtroll said...

@KT: I am sure that Tom Cruise would be very distressed if he knew ignominity is fast approaching ;-).

@Jane: I am also sure that if I suggested to my kids that they call me "Your Eminence", I would see four pairs of eyes rolling. Or they would invent words that rhyme with it. "Your Peminance?" "Your Keminance?" That is very big right now in our house.

My memories of family "togetherness" activities when I was growing up as a child was watching TV almost every night that homework didn't interfere.