Old Viking is Bad Viking
David Lee Beowülf
An old Viking, in case you didn’t know it, is a Viking who somehow avoided dying in battle. That is, an old Viking probably got that way through cowardice or treachery. To die on the battlefield is, literally, what the Vikings lived for (which explains why there aren’t any left). To die in battle assured that a valkyrie would fly down from Valhalla, pluck up the Viking’s soul, and fly back to Valhalla where the only thing to do all day was fight. At night one’s wounds would magically heal, repeat forever. Bliss!
Of course, we modern people, in the model of Bertrand Russell, don’t believe in that fairy-tale crap, oh-no!
If you happen to be one of those folks who still watches TV or pays attention to the mainstream news media, you might think that the cosmetics, pharmaceutical, and a few other industries took their cue from the Vikings. Indeed, is not aging something to be fought? Something to be loathed? Something that is tantamount to some sort of horrible, vile disease that ought to be eradicated?
I think I speak for all Americans when I say… Wait a minute, most Americans are dumber than posts! Hey! OK, I speak for myself and those folks bright enough to read Ink Nineteen (yay!), as an observer, that I’ve observed people fighting against aging. People, mostly between their forties and fifties (that’s you, baby-boomers) doing all sorts of strange things to stave off “old age.” I even know some fortysomethings who’ve resorted to self-hatred, cursing God, and even becoming crotchety old scumbags to avoid getting “old.” Some even dye their hair — and I’m not talking about electric blue or platinum blonde here, I’m talking about “does she or doesn’t she?” colors…
What pathetic losers!
I’m getting a few gray hairs myself, and frankly, I think they look rad!
But first, a few choice observations…
The people I grew up with, precisely those Americans born between, say 1959 and about 1966, on the cusps of the Baby Boomers and Generation X, are now at their parents’ age at the time where their first memories as a child took form. My parents were married at twenty-two, but didn’t have me until they were twenty-eight. By the time I was in Kindergarten (1969!), I only knew two groups of people: other five-years olds and their parents, all of whom were over thirty. Parents back then were strange people. All the fathers wore ties and white shirts, the moms usually stayed at home and did mom stuff like talking care of the other kids (I knew one only child) or cleaning. A couple of kids had maids: one whose parents were divorced and mom was out working, and the neighbors who imported a crazy woman from Greece to clean up while mom and dad both worked and went to parties at night.
Fathers were an odd bunch. I remember one dad who was in shape (and won all the father-son swimming competitions at the pool in the summer) compared to everyone else’s father who was working on a paunch and losing their hair and wearing glasses (they swam with them on, too). All of them had thick, matted black hair covering their sloped shoulders and slowly-atrophying arms. It was awful strange to see a dad wearing a T-shirt, too, unless he was wearing it under the collared shirt.
Man, what’s up with “undershirts”? Wasn’t that incredibly hot? How about uncomfortable, too?
And don’t forget the baggy brown shorts with black socks and dress shoes?
Nearly everyone’s dad had legs that should’ve been hidden at all times.
Moms wore dresses unless they were doing gardening work and then they wore their one pair of blue jeans. They chewed gum and wore scarves in their hair and big sunglasses. At the beach or at the pool, they wore dull one-piece swim suits cut from canvas tents and the mandatory rubber swim cap.
The dads talked about Nixon, read the newspaper, went to see Woody Allen movies like Bananas , and went to see the Orioles play baseball on weekends. Ballgame attire was dark slacks, short-sleeved collared shirt (with undershirt), dress pants.
And here’s a blast from the past: what about the ridiculous sideburns? The moustache was rare, the beard rarer, but all the dads had these stupid sideburns. Yep, sure looked macho in that out-of-shape look, the constraining closes, clip-on sunglasses, and them doggone sunburns. Looking back on things, can you believe those incompetents who were employed as barbers back then?
Now before everyone my age starts to laugh hysterically, we’ve got to remember that our parents were not baby boomers, nor were they “Sixties” people who wore bell-bottoms and smoked dope (well, I’m sure there were a few of those, but not my parents’ “friends”). Our parents were born in the 1920’s and 1930’s. They mostly grew up during the depression and saw World War II through the eyes of a ten-year old or teenager. They witnessed the fifties starting with the Korean War, made it to twenty right before rock and roll, and finished up the decade married and with the first of several kids on the way. The sixties to them was seen through the eyes of a vested professional employee with a house. Those damn kids making all the noise were born in the late forties and usually they were the children of rich people who didn’t have to scrape for a living during the depression and made a lot of money during WWII.
Where’d those idiotic sideburns come from?
Anyway, when my parents were my age, they had three kids, a house, two cars and four cats. And they were old.
My father experienced a hernia when he lifted a wooden dinner chair containing my youngest sister up in the air. She was two at the time. At six years old, I could out run him (but he’d get me good when I came back home, ouch!). The farthest I remember my father walking is to the car so he could drive the eighth of a mile to get milk or something.
Now I guess it’s damn callous of me to dishonor my mother and father like I’m doing, but it’s for your benefit.
Maybe your mom and dad weren’t like mine, but I bet it was close.
You see, young parents today are about to cause a lot of trouble for the chronically immature (like myself). They are on a course to do two things that will destroy both my personal freedom and America.
To the parents of twentysomethings I say this: die motherfucker! You baby boomers have gone overboard with the anti-violence thing and are about to scrap the First Amendment with nary a peep from anyone!
The young parents believe them!
Hey! Parents of little kids, yeah you, the ones who just turned thirty! Don’t you remember what it was like being a kid at all? Don’t you remember not wanting to be like your parents?
No more to be said about that…. I think you all can figure the rest out.
Back to the “old man” thread.
My parents did me a tremendous disservice and, let me tell you, honoring mom and dad is very difficult. By their mid-forties, they were talking about how slowing down was normal. How tasks like shoveling snow off the sidewalk or painting the house or anything that required physical exertion was only for the young. My dad hasn’t “been able” to climb stairs without getting winded for the last fifteen years!
Unless, and I sure hope it doesn’t, something ends up crippling me, I’d damn well better be able to climb stairs, carry grocery bags four at a time, fix things, lift boxes and all the other stuff when I’m ninety!
My parents never were people for physical fitness and eating right. No, I’m not talking about extremist dieting, I’m talking about avoiding all the damn sugar, the ice cream, the cakes, the doughnuts… And no exercise whatsoever, except “jogging” or talking walks (that was mom only, dad does not walk anywhere. I swear, we were at Disney World once and he had to sit down something like ten times!).
So what does this dad-bashing have to do with my peers who are parents?
I tell you, I walk around town doing whatever, and I see parents, people who are my age, and the signs are there: the paunch, the flab here and there, the hiding-hair-loss coifs, and the lousy clothes. I haven’t seen the sideburns, but twenty years from now someone’s going to say the same thing about goatees.
What is with the hordes of thirtysomething dads I see on Saturdays “helping” coach their kid’s soccer teams all the while wearing my father’s clothes?! And the music they listen to! I’d want someone to shoot me if I even considered buying the “Titanic” soundtrack or that Yanni dude!
And what the hell is up with mom and dad in an uproar about their kid’s music? Now that you’re “older,” you’ve forgotten what the 1980’s music scene was like? How could you! It “broke” in 1991, when you were still in your twenties, you unobservant pile of shit!
Video games? Video games being violent? Say it ain’t so! Don’t you remember Robotron 3000 or any of the other ultra-violent video games that “we” played from about 1979 on?! Come on people! And now that you’re older, and you have “survived” it’s time to inflict yourselves on the system? On all the people? I swear, these people who are now hitting thirty and listening to tripe like Seal or whatever the fuck that limp shit is, and telling me how they “used” to listen to Anthrax when they were in high school… Well, listen up, divothead, Anthrax is still putting out albums, and I am still listening to them. Not only that, but I’m going to their shows, and I’ll probably pop your ill-behaved sixteen-year-old in the mouth, ‘coz I can’t be stopped when I’m in the pit!
I don’t get this “growing up” thing. And I couldn’t stand talking to parents in 1970, and I can’t stand talking to these clones in 1999!
Is it the water? They hit thirty and wham! Old-city. They look bad, can’t move right, and get their parent’s hand-me-downs. They hate their kid’s music, forgetting that they grooved to Iron Maiden in 1980, or maybe it was Black Flag, or the Ramones or even, ack! Flock of Seagulls and Duran Duran. And their parents didn’t approve, did they.
You asshole clones blew your chance to change the spectrum of America, you know that? You had a chance, if you stayed being into the music, to not repeat the mistakes your parents made: namely, not understanding the music, the attitudes and the general styles. You’re “old,” dude, and square.
What is going to happen?
Well, from the look of it, we’re going to have another resurgence of middle-aged blobs joining gyms, just like in the late seventies when all these old farts were hogging the pull-down machines and having heart attacks in the night. And we’re going to have more and more older women, since Americans live a lot longer these days, then get really mad that their husbands are trying to seduce “kids.” I can’t wait for that…
We’re going to see a run on the drug stores for all the anti-aging snake oil out there. The creams, the pills, the oils, the pig shit, everything. And the CDC will declare aging an epidemic, etc. Could’ve been prevented, you know…
As for me, well, provided I keep in shape I look forward to having lots of gray hair and a wild-looking gray beard. And since I plan on keeping in shape just like I’ve been doing all my life, I could look like Poseidon when I hit eighty. I will never grow old.