January 14, 2017

Whatever Happened To ‘A Mis-Spent Youth’

Graham  wonders how you could tell, but …

… he has at least one friend who demonstrated it.

His friend ‘went to school in Cambridge’, (actually … across the river from the other one, as he explains), has an MBA, an uncanny skill at Pool, a fund of stories about where he acquired this skill (mainly south of San Diego, apparently) and what he stood to win at the time (don’t ask…).

A later generation presents now, in its own right, with nasal surgery, hearing issues, and a tendency to shake the head around to the supermarket soundtrack. And Graham got to thinking.  Fifty years on, what will be the signs, the badges of dishonor, of a youth similarly and joyously squandered? (Although, for sure, a Harvard MBA is nothing to sniff at.)

Calloused thumbs? A pronounced squint and hunch? Hands permanently stained with Dorito dust? A tendency to swing the hips from side to side of the sidewalk? Seems a poor trade-off, even with the high-tech jobs tucked back down the resume. Where’s the fun-that-leaves-its-traces these days, and what are the traces?

John wonders if in 50 years time …

whether Rolling Stone will have a feature like this on artists like Lukas Nelson, Lorde, Shamir et al … no - thought not.

And yes - he does have a crystal ball!

Graham gripes, mildly…

What, no Neil Young (71)? No Ginger Baker (76)? Harrumph!

John just realised that …

… the Cambridge referred to in Graham’s initial comment is, in fact, those scallywags over in Massachusetts and not the real Cambridge back in the old country - he makes a note to himself about clarity.

He is also happy to see that Graham spotted what I can only call a hatchet job on septuagenarian rock stars  - but I guess this is what constitutes journalism in this post fact world.

Graham adds…

‘Went to school in Cambridge’ is a sly in-joke, a dig at the stale Harvard affectation ‘I went to school in Boston,’ although Harvard U is really in Cambridge.  Those people at that ‘other’ Harvard would apparently rather keep the oiks from the Business School across the river, where they belong – a deal that seems to be acceptable to both sides.

As for digging at the geriatrics, ok, but there are other dimensions to them. I was impressed by Johnny Rotten’s aside that when Sid Vicious (really, a kid needing help) was accused of murder, it was Mick Jagger – no stranger to legal issues – who popped up to help out in getting him an attorney.  Said Rotten:

…That was all kept very quiet, so a great deal of respect to Mr. Jagger I have for that. He shows a good heart. . .Under Mr. Flamboyant himself, he’s a person.

Yes, Rotten said something nice about the “old guard.” Imagine that.


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