FROM THE VALLEY: Is my high horse getting taller?

Tom Valley

I saw an article on a news feed, on either my laptop or phone, criticizing my generation, the so-called boomer-generation. It was written by some twit — wait-a-second, I can't say "twit" because of my New Year's resolution to not use derogatory names in From The Valley, fine! — make that "person" who was unhappy that people my age haven't conformed to how he and his same-minded, millennial twits (to hell with it) think we should act.

I'm sure he was writing the column with tongue in cheek, but why would anyone ever do something like that?!

OK, let's continue. Right off the bat, let's get something straight: just because a younger generation does something a certain way, it doesn't mean us old geezers can, too. For instance, we can't move in and live off of our parents' hard-earned pension, because for the most part, they're dead. Unfortunate, but it is what it is.

With that said for no particular reason, there was an item on this clown's list that fired me up like a California wildfire. It stuck in my craw not only because of its insensitivity but because of its hypocrisy. The complainer was bothered that a lot of seniors talk on their cell phones with the speaker on. Apparently, that's annoying.

Taking into consideration that the natural process of aging can affect one's hearing, why, I ask, would a senior trying to adjust to that growing disability bother anyone? Can someone be that inconsiderate, that cold-hearted?

For starters, if it isn't bad enough that millennials are walking around with headphones/earbuds crammed into their ear canals, they also have their car radios turned up so loud that people in Iowa, and points east, often call begging them to turn it down a click or two. (No idea what that even means — just let it go.) So the question begs to be asked, how could they possibly be troubled by the ant-whisper level of sound that a small cell phone speaker can produce with all that other crap going on? Frankly Scarlett, I'm baffled.

Just maybe us ancient buzzards have the speakerphone on to hear over the audio pollution that they're blasting all over the place. Yeah, that's the ticket. The ball's in your court ... twit-boy.

And before I climb off this horse, there are television ads with a Mr. I-got-all-the-answers teaching people how not to become like their parents. My wife reminds me not to get so worked up: “It's just a commercial!”

“Yes,” I agree, “but someone wrote it” and, thus, someone, somewhere thinks it's a valid point.

I don't get it, so what if we speak to people in a supermarket or make friendly conversation as we go about our daily lives?! Is that so horrible? Should we be wearing headphones, like you-know-who, and sever our existence from reality?

As a related side note: I remember several years ago when I was in a church as one of my grandchildren was receiving the Catholic Church's sacrament of Confirmation. The bishop spoke, and as he casually walked up and down the aisle, making eye contact with young and old, he noted his deep concern for the trend of young people constantlying wear headphones in public.

“Music is wonderful,” he mused. “It's God's gift of inspiration to those who make it. And we all benefit. But there's a place and a time for everything.” He went on to explain that he was somewhat disheartened by the craze and the ensuing consequences of what contemporary youth was missing.

“Try listening to the music of Mother Nature. The wind is her breath and the trees are her vocal cords. Listen, as she whispers and howls. Listen, to the birds' soft lullabies, the rain's pitter-patter and the fresh sound of a rippling creek.” His eye-opening message had an impact, with me, at least. Awareness is critical for the authenticity of gratitude. But I digress ...

Finally, I think full disclosure is appropriate. The cynicism that I have represented here toward the younger generation is not really how I feel. I knowingly used the few to categorize the many. They are a much better lot than I portrayed them in my curmudgeonly diatribe.

In fact, there are some out there, just like every generation, who know it all. Just ask them.

And that's the way it looks from the Valley.

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