The kids are headed back to school, which means it's time for Beloit College's annual effort to make us feel old, the Mindset List. The Mindset List is an attempt to help us old farts understand Today's Young People (tm). This year's college freshmen were born in... 1989! Holy crap. I feel old already.
As is usually the case, some of the stuff on the list is an eyeopener, some of it is wrong (Sorry, but the World Wide Web has not "been an online tool since they were born"--at least not a mainstream tool--and some of us still roll down our car windows), and some is just plain scary. Here are a few of my favorites:
13. “Off the hook” has never had anything to do with a telephone. Really? I still accidentally leave my phone off the hook, but then I am older than dirt and still use phones that aren't cordless. I guess now the big problem is leaving it off the charger for too long.
22. No one has ever been able to sit down comfortably to a meal of “liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” No one except Hannibal Lecter, anyway.
24. Being “lame” has to do with being dumb or inarticulate, not disabled.
35. Stadiums, rock tours and sporting events have always had corporate names. Sad but true, as I contemplate going to the Sleep Train Pavilion (known to me as the Concord Pavilion) for a concert next month.
44. Thanks to MySpace and Facebook, autobiography can happen in real time. Yep, and you're lookin' at it.
55. MTV has never featured music videos. That was my first indication that the '90s would suck.
58. They get much more information from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert than from the newspaper. Don't we all?
So there ya go folks. Just when you started believing that 40 was the new 30, along comes a reality check. I can practically feel my bones creak.