Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The kids today, they're like those hip musicians with their complicated shoes

This is one of those it's hell-being-30-something moments.

The Onion's AV Club reported yesterday that there is something called a Seinfeld Campus Tour, "a 26-city, 10,000 mile cross-country road trip in a 60-foot long Seinfeld branded, bio-diesel fueled bus designed to integrate the show directly into the digital, on-the-move, multi-tasking lifestyle of college students and members of the 70 million plus millennial demographic." (Stop: Too many buzzwords.)

Question from the stocky, slow-witted bald guy (but not short!), who's apparently passing to the other side of the generation gap: You mean when someone of a certain age says "not that there's anything wrong with that," in the presence of someone 18-24 and they just smiled and nodded, it was a pity smile? They were just humouring the geezer for being trapped in a time warp?

(At the same time, there's no language barrier with the young youth today who were barely out of kindergarten during The Simpsons' peak years. Seinfeld was about nothing, but it tapped into something that was very peculiar to its era.)

This is not so unsettling. It's good to know that biggest challenge on college campus in the most powerful country in the free world, the one next door to Canada, aren't the thousand students who need remedial reading courses when they arrive in university. Many struggle with comprehension since their entire school career has been solely based on being able to pass a standardized test (which was such a good idea that, of course, it was implemented in Ontario and helped put in on the fast track to being a have-not province). It's not having to deal with students from areas of the United States where so many people don't believe in science, to the point that laws actually had to be passed requiring evolution be taught in classrooms.

No, it's that undergrads don't know about Junior Mints or where the notion of being "(blank)-worthy" got started.

That's a shame.

5 comments:

Duane Rollins said...

Was it just me or was the '90s send-up the Simpsons did this past season the best episode produced since, well, the '90s?

Sadgasm!

Tim in London said...

I want my Commodore 64 back.

Andrew Bucholtz said...

Sadgasm was brilliant. "Margarine" got me listening to Bush again...

sager said...

"Brilliant" in this case is any pop art that drives a wedge through the ranks of armchair critics.

By that token, that episode was brilliant. Many slavering Simpsons fans hated that it was non-canon and played hell (Marge and Homer were shown living together without children in the early 1990s, by which point the show had begun).

That episode did capture that brief epoch that began around mid-1991 (the year I entered high school) and petered out in 1994, the year of Forrest Gump, Kurt Cobain offing himself and Collective Soul's Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid going double-platinum.

Getting back to that episode, it captured that 1991-94 period about as well as anything since Chuck Klosterman's essay "Sulking With Lisa Loeb on the Ice Planet Hoth."

All together now: "Winona Ryder is Luke Skywalker, only with a better haircut and a killer rack."

DR said...

My first thought after reading that post was: Is it coming to Syracuse? (Second thought: Hey, maybe the athletic director here has been trying to get fired, a la Costanza, and that's why he hired Greg Robinson.)

I teach a class, in a communications school, with 75 students, mostly freshmen. And they don't really respond to Simpsons references either. Maybe it's just me they aren't responding to.