Is growing older so bad that we have to perpetually pretend we are still that magical ideal age, whatever that is? Movie stars keep coming back, caked in make-up and magical lighting. I get it in a way. Acting is pretending after all. Making believe. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, clumsily running, not like a young man would run but like they’re afraid of losing their balance, yet never daunted, never out-run, never out-witted. Here’s another thing, aren’t any of the characters these actors play good enough at their jobs to get a promotion? You would think after thirty or forty years of exemplary on-the-job performance they would be up for more than an occasional Employee of the Month with the honor of reserved parking privileges. Is a reverse Peter Principle at work here? Wouldn’t you think that Double-0-Seven should at least be Double-0-Eight by now? Well, at least they’re old enough to have jobs.
Musicians are another matter all together. With them we are mostly still in school, going to a sock-hop with a pack of Lucky’s rolled in our t-shirt sleeve or up all night in a beer can littered dorm room arguing, up to our necks in our own bullshit. Is it nostalgia or denial? The worst offenders are the ones who gave us the sound track of our lives. To hear them tell it nothing’s changed. There is nothing new in, or about, life worth writing about. The sound track is still the same this many years on. Someone said at a recent Rolling Stones concert he thought they should have sung, `I Can’t Get No Wheelchair Traction.’ The list goes on. Carly Simon still thinks I’m So Vein. Paul McCartney’s still hanging out with the bubble-gummers. James Taylor still sees Fire and Rain.
Do our present lives deserve the same or even perhaps, more attention than our earlier lives received? Won’t our idols respect us enough to grow old with us? There is beauty and desire in every stage of life. The mystics say, Be Here Now. Find a moment in time to be in right now, that is right now, not the past, not the future. What is nostalgia but nothing more than finding a place in the past and re-living it, letting go of the present and the future for the pleasure of a past moment of joy. It’s the opposite of guilt which is the re-living of an undesirable moment from your past. All I’m suggesting is we live in the moment, the moment we are in right now and hope that our idols will join us and help us to understand and enjoy it. Aging is neither a crime or a sin. It is a fact. But, maybe that’s the side of life we and our idols aren’t so crazy about: The Facts.