Monday, February 15, 2010
The Ever-Encroaching Epiphanies of Aging
Epiphanies can be a wonderful experience. You know, those "ah-ha" moments of perceptive clarity when you suddenly "get it". As a kid, it may be that moment when you're standing at the plate and you finally recognize the spin of that nasty curve ball the little sh!t on the mound has been using to strike you out all day. You get that grin on your face, cock your bat, kick your leg, then still flail at it like you're waving a NASCAR checkered flag. Indeed, maybe you'd be better off writing about baseball than playing baseball.
Or maybe, as a teen, it's that embarrassing moment when you realize that Dawn Jamison from across the street didn't come up to your room to see your Al Oliver rookie baseball card after all, and it hits you the next day with profound clarity, "OF COURSE she didn't want to see my Al Oliver rookie card, she wanted to see my Fergie Jenkins card!"
As you get into your twenties, you may start having political epiphanies, especially if you participate in the Progressive-Collectivist indoctrination process known as "College" (or as you Brit readers say, "University"...that is so friggin gay) The feeding-from-the-taxpayer-trough professors fill your young mind with Keynesian wealth redistribution economics(how convenient for them), cross-discipline, create-a-crisis enviro-science, and of course, Progressive History 101 - All White Males are Evil Incarnate, the sum total of which leads you to the inevitable conclusion that you are a Democrat and that Republicans suck a$s.
Of course, the political epiphanies may change as you hit your thirties. If you majored in something marketable and start actually making a little money, you tend to want to keep that money and suddenly another epiphany hits - all of that feel-good Keynesian nonsense fed to you by your fiery, state-employed professor is nothing but a bunch of Robin Hoodesque bullsh!t...the only difference is that the smiling Progressive Democrat or Folksy Republican you fawned over and voted for isn't stealing from "the rich", he/she is "the rich" and is stealing from you, Joe Middle-Class! Thus spawns the epiphany that there's really only ONE political party in this country, but they've brilliantly managed to keep up the facade of a two-party system in order to fool the people into thinking their vote counts for something, when in reality, the ruling class is merely taking turns p!ssing away our coerced tax dollars!
*takes blood-pressure meds*
But I digress. Today I had another epiphany, it was the epiphany that my life is one giant string of epiphanies, and that said epiphanies just get progressively worse, constantly reminding me that I'm getting old.
Here are some of the ones you may recognize (or will eventually recognize, for you young farts/fartesses out there):
1. The "Sir/Ma'am" Epiphany.
This one is pretty cliché, but inevitable nonetheless. It usually strikes shortly after your thirtieth birthday when you are addressed as "Sir" or "Ma'am" by someone younger than you. Your first reaction is usually something like "WTF did you just call me, kid?", which spawns the add-on I-might-be-getting-old epiphany of "I just called that 21 year-old college kid 'kid'!" This one is dangerously recursive and might drive you insane if you don't discover the recursive epiphany termination statement of "21 year-old college student". No wonder the Powers-That-Be in Logan's Run chose 30 as the Friday Night Fireworks age.
2. The "Hollywood Regurgitation" Epiphany
I always wondered why my mom and step-dad never went to the movies after they hit their mid-fifties. Now I know - all the stories have been told, and I'm just now arriving at my mid-forties. Hollywood continues to tell the same stories, they just repackage each one with better special effects and a seemingly endless stream of attractiveness-to-talent inverse ratio "hottest young stars". I had this epiphany a couple of weeks ago when I went to see "Legion". It didn't take long to realize I had been sucked into yet another zombie flick disguised as yet another Armageddon flick disguised as a fairly cool-looking pseudo-biblical flick (I was wondering why there were so many cars in the parking lot displaying that idiotic Christian "fish" magnet on their trunks). Anyway, let me save you the 10 dollar ticket and 40 dollars worth of artery-clogging concessions: go rent "Shaun of the Dead", it's the only zombie movie you'll ever need to see.
3. The "That Hip Adjective Sounds Stupid to Me" Epiphany.
This one took a while for me. "Cool" was the first one I remember growing up, it was ok because, well, I was young and old people were old. Then somewhere along the line, everything was suddenly "awesome", but I'm cool, so I rolled with it. Mixed in there somewhere was "excellent", which was the first one that had a tinge of awkwardness, but The Simpsons saved that one for me because saying it like Montgomery Burns just feels right for some reason. But I knew it had to end, and end it did with the recent rise of the catch-adjective "epic". My youngest nephew loves this one, and he regularly reminds me that many things are "epic", like the latest album from "Nickelback" ("album", you say? WTF is THAT, old dude?), or "Ninja Assassin" is "most epic" (uh-oh, variation), to which I try to be hip and agree, even though I have no idea what "Nickelback" or "Ninja Assassin" might be. I keep waiting for him to inform me that Legion was "epic".
4. The "Religion/Supernatural Cognitive Dissonance" Epiphany.
The path to this one varies, and may not occur at all, depending on how you were raised, how much of the kool-aid you've consumed, and how obstinate you are. For me, it was a three stage process:
Stage One: Yeah, some kind of God exists, mainly because I live in Texas and that's all I've ever been taught.
Stage Two: (An epiphany in itself) There definitely IS a God because apparently, I'm susceptible to logical fallacies! Hallelujah! Praise-UH Jayyyysuss-UH! Republicans Rock!
Stage Three: (After several thorough readings and studies of "The Bible") "Holy F**k! What a bunch of contradictory, control-the-ignorant-masses bunch of garbage! How did I EVER believe this sh!t?!? In fact, why the hell would I believe in anything supernatural when there is absolutely no credible evidence for any of it?!? What sort of insane cognitive dissonance was I engaged in? Holy Christ, I'm getting OLD...I just said cognitive dissonance!!!"
5. The "Major League Baseball Players are really just in it for the MONEY" Epiphany.
HA! Liar! No they're not!! Our heroes play the game for the love of the game, you blasphemous fktard! Shut the hell up! I SAID SHUT UP!!!!
Long live cognitive dissonance.