It’s the end of 1972—and for the first time in my life, I’m in a full-time job that pays more than $30,000 a year. That sounds like insanity to many of you, but that’s just because it sounds insane to your generation. $30,000 was a very handsome salary back in the day, equivalent to $200,000 today.
After all this time, I still remember when we used to listen to cassette tapes and watch black-and-white TV. Also, the first computer I touched was a Commodore 64. I remember buying every game I could get my hands on for that thing and devouring stacks of books about computer programming.
And there was no YouTube back then. No Netflix, no iTunes, no Amazon Prime. We walked down to the local video store (probably called “Video Treasures”) if we wanted to see a movie.
Well, here’s why I think the new generation might be wrong:
1) You have no respect for those who came before you. This is a massive point because the fact is that most of what we accept and use every day was created by people who aren’t alive anymore.
They had to work hard to create things that people wanted—but then we just took it, and as a result, we don’t give them the credit they deserve.
Do you even know who invented the telephone? Or the lightbulb? Or sliced bread?
Let me tell you; it wasn’t the millennials. It was Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Otto Rohwedder—all of whom were born in the mid-1800s. And as for the polio vaccine was created by Jonas Salk, born in 1914.
Significant but small, you know?
2) Your music library is terrible. You can only find three or four of the same songs on Spotify because you bought them all on cassette back in the day. However, the rest of us have a massive library so vast and deep it might as well be the Library of Congress.
And I’m not even talking about the classics. We have weird, random songs that you’ll never encounter on your internet radio stations—but we love them because they give us some sense of continuity with the past.
For example, I have this cassette tape of my dad when he was a teenager in the 70s. It’s called “The Best Of Cat Stevens.” That’s correct: “The Best Of Cat Stevens” has absolutely nothing to do with the 70s.
It’s just a bunch of 70s samples and sound effects compiled into this confusing mess of an album. But I love it anyway because I can relate to the era—even though I was born in 1952! Anyway, this is why we need more cassette tapes: Future generations can experience our music as we did in the past.
3) You look back on the past through rose-colored glasses. Our parents were huge hippies and acid heads when I was your age. And they were only doing that because they were kids in the 60s—when everyone else was doing it, too!
They had to do drugs to be cool, but now it’s okay for us to do them because we’re old and wise, right? Nope. A different generation thinks they’re better than us by judging us by their standards.
I’ll give you an example. When we were in high school, everyone was obsessed with “The Monkees” group.
I mean, they were utterly ridiculous—they dressed up like the Beatles and had a silly song about jumping out of airplanes. But it was all cool because we were kids in the 60s, and these guys looked like us. Everyone did drugs, but now you’re acting like you’re too old for that stuff.
Well, let me put it in plain terms: If you want to be old and wise, then at the very least, don’t be a hypocrite. Don’t tell me how great your generation is when you’re acting no better than teenagers.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got this cassette tape I will put on: “The Best of Cat Stevens.”