Here’s a bit of irony. As I mentioned in a recent column, I’ve been around for awhile and whereas I may not have seen it all, I’ve seen a lot of it. And one might think that with such “experience” one would be generally abreast of trends spanning the generations.
The irony is that experience (i.e. age) and younger generational whims are somewhat mutually exclusive and to the extent that experience doesn’t amount to squat. Some people call it a generation gap; I just say it is what it is.
Which, come to think of it, has actually become about as stupid, hackneyed and inarticulately inexplicit a phrase as there ever was. Unless, of course, you want to elevate it to a realm of philosophical consideration, as President Bill Clinton did, by asking what the meaning of the word “is” is.
Because, as Jerry Seinfeld has been known to observe, people think that if they use the same word twice in a sentence, it somehow adds gravitas and added nuance to a given phrase. Consequently, they can’t be wrong about anything and will say whatever with added (and annoying) confidence.
“It is what it is, bro.”
“Really? Tell me more.”
“OK—‘Business is business.’ ‘Parts is parts.’ ‘Chicken is chicken.’ ‘It ain’t over till it’s over.’ ‘Good is good; bad is better.’ ‘’You don’t know what you don’t know.’ ‘You only know what you know.’ ‘When you’re hot you’re hot and when you’re not you’re not.’ ‘Stupid is as stupid does…’”
“Alright already. I get it. Please stop.”
“‘If you got it you got it…’”
Anyway, a few weeks back I mentioned Venmo, a type of “digital wallet” young people are using to reimburse friends while using transaction data as a type of “news feed” that can be shared on a social networking basis among friends.
In yet another example of what some young folk are doing to amuse themselves, I heard the story about a millennial in a town far, far away — twentyish — who’s in college suffering through the usual pre-med requirements with the somewhat tentative goal of attending medical school. You see, his Dad is a doctor and it’s a potential career the young man has always had in the back of his mind.
I say tentative because the young man, like so many others of his generation, has developed a fascination with video technology and games and accomplished a remarkable milestone by becoming one of the best in the country (I’m hearing by word of mouth) at playing a certain game.
And here’s his dilemma: He’s finding that he can actually make money at that altitude — potentially a lot of money— enough to conceivably pull him away from a traditional professional career and into the world of professional computer gaming.
I’ve read that several years ago a couple of young men quickly made a fortune buying and selling online their first person, virtual video game. Not surprisingly there are now other similar models.
The more proficient players can make some serious money in a system that includes digital earnings, escrow accounts and online banking/payment sites. At least one of these games now has a spectator sport development which, according to various web sites, has raised various legal questions.
Well, I’d love to take this opportunity to offer the young man some “fatherly” advice, which I’m quite certain he has already heard from his own father. So I’ll use the opportunity to advise my own children: Don’t go there!