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Friday, 23 September 2011

Youth / Old Age

There are two types of people in the world. Actually there are probably a lot more but these two types are so polarized and so prevalent in my life that I feel I need to address them. Because they'll be relevant to you too.

It's old age against youth. But I'm not talking years, I'm talking attitude. To be creative is to be five years old, lost in the possibilities, judging nothing, believing everything and anything anytime you can. You dream big and reach far.

And your life is filled with failure and near misses but you keep firing on, casing the promised land like some lost soul in a Springsteen song.

Old age is when you think you know the world. Think that what is is. You judge everything, because you know better. You know it's impossible.

And you're so quick to cut down anyone who tries. You throw lines at them about responsibility and risk and grown upness, and you're not satisfied until you've killed the young, left them losering, forced into drowning out their dreams and settling for a life surrounded by the same three people bitching about the weather.

This dynamic plays out in everyday circumstances. You get the choice to be caught up in the magic of life or you can claim to know the exact nature of everything and shut it down, close it off and hibernate until death.

Care to share?


  1. I totally agree. Once in a while, though, I have to stop myself from saying "these kids today..." --SCARY.

  2. I agree with your sense that the world is divided into young and old souls. When I realized, I chose the tactic of avoiding old souls as much as i can. But sometimes they appear in your own family.


    I would add Busby Berkeley to my list.

    Funny how "old" somehow got to be synonymous with being jaded and unimaginative, and therefore any person who is old in years but doesn't portray these characteristics is therefore "young at heart."

  4. I have definitely come up against people who put down what I'm trying to do creatively. While I constructive criticism is useful just being put down for trying to do achieve something isn't helpful. I'm always learning and trying and of course dealing with plenty of rejection and that's all good.

    Great post and just what I needed to read before I go off for a week to do some writing.

  5. I like this post and think it's really accurate. I've met 23-year-olds who would fall into the "old age" category, and it's just too much. One of the reasons I'm doing a blog is to try and stay creative, which isn't always easy in such a busy world.

  6. Hey thank you for commenting on my blog!

    Georges Brassens made a song about this young/old debate, "Le temps ne fait rien à l'affaire". To sum up his idea, whether young or old, an idiot is an idiot. Ideas are good or bad because they have a value in themselves, not because the person who defends them is young or old.

  7. I know you mean no harm but I still think it's a little bit sad how you decided to label those different approaches with "old" respectively "young", reading all those bad, sad things into "old". What if you had used the label "male" and "female"? "gay" and "hetero"? All those labels have a tendency to become sticky in i very sneaky way.

    In fact life isn't as boxed as we make it. If you've seen a newborn baby you know that it looks a thousand years old and in the eyes you see eternity. And when I sat by the bedside of my stepgrandmother as she died, she - the one who always had worn a hideous mask as long as I knew her - suddenly looked like an innocent child.

  8. Thanks for your comment Jessica. What you say is really interesting and I wouldn't want to come across as ageist in any way.

    I can clearly see if I implied 'male' or 'hetero' was better than the other, that would be a prejudice -- what I have said about old age, I'm not sure.

    My Grandfather is in his 90's -- but I'm not talking about him. He doesn't fit in with what I'm talking about here.

    This blog is called 'Kid In The Front Row' - the implication being a youthful and innocent love of the cinema. Perhaps the whole concept of this blog is rooted in ageism, which is a worry to think about!

  9. I'm glad you're taking my remark this way. It's not intended as criticism, rather as food for thought. I guess my own aging has a bit to do with it, fighting with my own mid-life crisis, trying to get to terms with the fact that I probably look pretty old in the eyes of others, while I'm in fact the same old kid on the front row inside. I just start to question if those labels of what it means to be old or young really are helpful.

    One minute I've got the spirit of a five-year-old, the next I've got the soul of an 85 year old - or rather what a 85 year old is to be like. I look like a 43 year old on the outside, but have many of the issues of a 17 year old.... Age is such a blunt instrument to define ourselves.

    I think we're pretty much on the same page to be honest.

  10. The soul of an 85 year old, what a wonderful thing to have! Eldership is a great thing!

  11. Such a dour post, Kid. I think the joy of growing up is acquiring knowledge and not being embittered by the experience. I feel every bit the old soul (as a 20something, no less)and somewhat disappointed by the realities of life - but I insist on persisting. Life can be bitter sometimes, but that doesn't make discovering something new and beautiful any less powerful or influential. People can easily teeter back and forth between young and old, as you put it, but the trick is not to get stuck in the latter for too long.