Are you really hipper than your folks?
by Freddy GdiP
I look at my Dad and I can’t help but think he’s a bit dated. He’s a smart man and all but when it comes to subjects like religion and politics he has a much more conservative stand than I do and he also seems to be less open minded regarding aesthetical opinions and new ideas in general.
You can always date the moment a person stopped growing by how old his aesthetical opinions and his stands in life are. The moment someone stops caring about new things, be it technology, art or different perspectives and points of view, the individual stops growing and “freezes” in time.
Pop music is like carbon-14 dating for people who have parked into a more conservative state of mind. My Dad is a huge Beatles fan. Specially John. And Paul. And George. Ringo not so much. He says The Beatles are the greatest rock band in the world and everything that came after has nothing on them. I don’t think there is a single artist or whole record made after, say, 1980 that he really likes. He also thinks Picasso is crap. And that goes for the rest of modern art too. I would never even dare to make him listen to Aphex Twin -whom I believe to be the closest there is to geniality in electronic music- or show him a Basquiat painting. He’s perfectly happy with his Beatles and Van Gogh. And that is the moment he froze up in time. 1980. Not to say that Mr. Gogh was riding the wave back in 1980 but that is the aesthetic my Dad chose to settle with. Same happened with his pop music. Hearing Woman or Watching the Wheels instantly throws me back to my earliest childhood memories of weekends at home when Dad would play those songs on the stereo. As far as I can tell, that is the last “new” music he liked.
But that doesn’t mean that I am a more “modern” or open minded person than he is.
What determines how open minded a person is, how modern are his perspectives in life, is the leap he took from the previous generation. Leonardo Da Vinci would probably frown at the ideas of universal vote, same sex marriage and punk rock music but nonetheless his notions and concepts were such a huge step forward from his parents´ and probably a much bigger leap than the one you took from your folks. Therefore we can say that, despite having the upper hand on the particular subjects pointed above, you are less modern and less open minded than Leo, a guy who bought the farm almost 500 years ago.
Yes, I have more progressive views than the ones my Dad has in many subjects but if I put myself in his shoes, I realize his views and opinions are a huge step forward from the ones his father has. Not sure if the leap he took from my grandfather is bigger than the one I took from him or not. And yet I can’t help but think that I am way more progressive, modern and overall cooler than he is. But then again, we probably all feel the same about our folks, don’t we?