I listen to the voices in my head. I mean, really listen. The voices in my head are neither satirical nor ironic. They tell it like it is, and I listen because I know that these voices aren’t the voices of god or monsters, but the voices of me. They are my thoughts rattling around in my head, and almost counter-intuitively, the older I get, the more confused the voices become. The things and concepts that I used to have a pretty good grip on are slowly slipping out of my grasp.
Not all old folks have this problem. For many, their voices were pretty much set in concrete a long time ago. They’ve taken the best part of their lives (war, military service, career, college, etc) and decided to just stay right there. You know them when you meet them… within five minutes, they’ll be telling you about that very special time when life was good for them. They can’t excitedly tell you about their plans for next month, but they can sure as hell talk about what they did forty or fifty years ago. I have little patience for these people, and I have zero patience for anyone under thirty-five who does it (by all the gods… get a life).
Don’t tell me what you’ve done… tell me what you’re going to do.
“What?” Oh, that’s my voices again…
I used to have a pretty good grip on feminism. I don’t anymore. With the advent of the interwebs, there are so many virulent strains of feminism out there that trying to discuss the issue is like walking into a densely-packed minefield. The first mine that I inevitable step on is the “You’re a cis male (or even worse, an old white cis male), therefore, you have no voice in this”. I beg to differ, but then again, the voices in my head tell me to embrace my inner stoicism and move on. Like I said before, I listen to my voices.
I used to understand young people. I mean, they’re just younger versions of me, right? Well, no. They are not. My voices tell me that telling an absurdist story or joke is funny. They also tell me that subtle humor or dry wit is funny. There was a time when I could tell an absurd story, and people would laugh because they understood the incongruities buried within the story. But no more. Young people, who pride themselves on the mastery of all things ironic and satirical (which they certainly are not) seem to listen to absurd stories as if they were true, and react with disbelief, or take deep offense, at the story. So, despite what my voices tell me, I try to abstain from any attempts at humor around youngsters. It just confuses them.
Q: How many impressionist artists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: The fish.
Ah, damn… the voices are banging the inside of my head… “NO MORE JOKES!”
But then again, there are no voices in my head. It is a literary device that enables me to make social commentary using nothing more than an absurd premise… that I have voices in my head. So, if you’re reading this, and you didn’t get that, you just might be a millennial (on or off of your meds). But don’t let it get you down. After all….
“Millennial, I am your father.”
Have a day.
primum vivere, deinde philosophari