A mind-boggling You Tube video describes how quickly the world is changing, how disorienting it is for even young people, how overwhelming are the intellectual demands made on us for processing new information, how China and India are surging ahead of the U.S., and -- while we're at it -- how many illegal music downloads there are.
Meanwhile, Frank Rich describes the panic among the dominant -- but disappearing -- white male elite, which is responding by attacking Barack Obama, Sonia Sotomayor (I have to look her name up twice to spell it right), et al. (Does the et al. include Michael Jackson?) But even Barack Obama, the first Internet and Twitter President, may be behind the cultural-techno curve.
And where does this leave me, a 63-year-old white male? In order to reassure me, my 21-year-old NYU senior daughter pointed out I have just purchased and started using an Apple. True. It's not even worth noting that I know how to e-mail, and I do have a low-key blog. I can text (although I use my forefingers). I am on Facebook (although somehow I created two entries for myself).
But not only do I not Twitter, I don't use an iPod or a Blackberry. I'm running behind even the senior crowd! I imagine myself on the ground, with 500 billion Chinese and Indian youths running over me -- all of them tweeting, texting with their thumbs, with iPods and Bluetooth phones in either ear. (Have you noticed, even the new version of Word for Apple red lines texting?) I'm doomed!
What consolation is there for me as I wait in line to sign my living will? (I know from the President that no Medicare worker will come to my home for this indignity.) Sure, I can watch old movies on TCM, featuring actors tweeters don't even suspect were once as popular and sexy as Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Or are those two also way past the curve -- how else would I know about them?
I can gloat that soon I'll be sopping up the last few bucks left in Social Security and Medicare. And, after all, I did get a full boat scholarship to Penn when that was $2600, including room and board. (This was decades before Penn became the top-five school that my son -- himself now over 30 and a parent -- attended. But don't noise that around.) So families must now sell their life's blood in order for their kids to attend Penn while they're going broke paying for my old age.
Okay -- that's mean-spirited. Does getting a digital hearing aid count as being on the cutting edge?