Thursday, March 20, 2014

Past Imperfect

The imperfect is a verb form, found in various languages, which combines past tense (reference to a past time) and imperfective aspect (reference to a continuing or repeated event or state). It can therefore have meanings similar to the English "was walking" or "used to walk." - Wikipedia

Take another little piece of my heart, now baby
(Break it)
Break another little bit of my heart, now honey
(Have a)
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby
You know you've got it if it makes you feel good - Bert Berns and Jerry Ragavoy,  better known for Janis Joplin's rendition

Crowd gathers to remember George Harrison
Central Park 30th November 2001
I was posting on Facebook. I am usually very careful of what I post on Facebook. Nothing inflammatory.

Maybe it is just the people I am "friends" with on Facebook. Whatever. The people I "know" there are a polite group, except for one or two eccentrics who seem to be tolerated for their amusement value.

A few weeks ago I had been watching Scorses's "Living in the Material World" on the life of George Harrison, and was thinking about how affected I am upon hearing about the death of artists who I particularly like, and who were part of the youth of my generation.

I nearly posted how I feel, on hearing such news -  that a little bit of me dies with each such passing, and how "what a drag it is, getting old". I tried to explain, then remembering  my virtual reality whereabouts, I did not click on "post". Too negative. To confrontational. Definitely not the time or place. Cancel.

Then this week I saw a  photo of Mick Jagger published at the time of the death of his partner L'Wren Scott, in Manhattan this month. Jagger in the sixties, Jagger now almost in his seventies. What a transformation, though he looks good for his age, as people like to say. I prefer his line, "What a drag it is getting old", although he penned those words when he was young and brash.

I remembered hearing of  Jimi Hendrix's death in September 1970. And then Janis Joplin's the next month. Joplin's "Take another little piece of my heart, now baby".  The first sense of loss. Lost youth. So apt.  I decided to post something about getting old.

My circle on Facebook, as vanilla and polite as it is, seemed hardly to notice when I posted  - "Looking of photos of Jagger on hearing of his current partner L'Wren Scott's suicide, after seeing him as a twenty year old in a documentary a few days ago, I thought how sad it is that the young get old."

Hardly anyone commented. Two friends agreed. Another posted about enjoying getting old. Another seemed non-plussed - what on earth did I mean?

We are so polite on Facebook. Is is my circle of "friends", or is if Facebook? I suspect it is the latter. After all,  I read the other day that young people are deserting Facebook in droves, leaving it to "old people", preferring other social networks where young people hang around in a universe that is not dominated by cutesy sayings embedded in retro-fonts in rectangle graphics with yellow backgrounds and photos of grand kids.

Can't say that I blame them. Though a part of me thinks, "what a nerve!" Who invented the web anyway? Do they have "like buttons" on those other sites and apps? Is there the young equivalent of the cutesy sayings?

It is something I will never know. Like how to change a car tyre, or how how electricity works. It just isn't worth the effort.

Instead I joined a knitting circle. It's so much fun. People sit around drinking coffee, talking about films, and knitting.

But even there I feel a bit past it. Conversations about "Girls" on channel whatever, and how much better it is than "Sex in the City" was. How much more realistic it is. SO New York.

I wouldn't know. I just sit there knitting.

I told a young friend - well not "told" in the sense of speaking words, I messaged her, about how I joined a knitting club. "Whatever for?" she messaged back. Genuinely perplexed. I was sort of glad she was bemused. It meant perhaps that she didn't see me as "old".

But I re-thought. Should I be thinking that way. Where was my gray pride? Old should be good.

But it isn't.

I fear that I am entering that age when one is assigned to the rubbish bin of life. An age when even people of forty scoff at the music of "My Generation". But deep down, behind the wrinkles and grey hair I know that we, the baby boomers, are right. We were always right. And if we hang out in Facebook boring the hell out of younger people, at least we "like" each other.

It might be that we 
no longer get our kicks, on Route Sixty Six, and that the biggest arguments we have on Facebook are about things like whether spring starts on the equinox or on the first of April or September. So what?

"We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon, And we got to get ourselves back to the garden."

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