Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cold War Kid

I grew up a Cold War Kid.  The best part of my youth was spent as a child of the 80's, and while there is no doubt that there was not as much electronic entertainment available to me back then as there is now for kids of this generation, it would be a lie to say that pop culture didn't have an influence on me.  Needless to say, I've been tossing around ideas for what to write next when I remembered a conversation I had with a friend from up the road in Greensboro.  We talked about how Yoda would have made a hell of a training officer.  It got me thinking about how a person's adulthood can be formed by subtle influences from their childhood.

(By the way, if this is your first visit the site, welcome and thanks.  Normally I fuss and complain, but this one is a bit different and I hope you enjoy it.  If not, sorry, go google something else and act like we never met...)

I have 3 boys.  They have all of this at their disposal.  Cable.  Netflix.  Wii.  iPod Touch (hijacked from me.) Nintendo DS.  Internet.  DVD's out the wazoo and toys out the snout.  Believe me, they want for everything and need for nothing.  While they have a lot, they are not spoiled in comparison to many other kids.  There are days that they would rather stay outside pushing a stick through a muddy patch of dirt for hours, so I know they are normal.  It simply amazes me that they have so much right at their fingertips.

Those of you my age (35) and older remember a little bit different life.  45's with a good song and a B side. (45's are little records rook...)  Video games that ran on quarters.  The Wizard of Oz that came on once a year.  3 channels on the TV.  Electronic football, no not an electronic video game, one that you plugged in and it actually vibrated the players around in an uncoordinated and erratic manner.  Kids my age grew up in love with Heather Locklear and terrified of the Russians. I could continue but I feel I've made my point.

My kids and those that are soon to be filling our ranks in the next few years are from a different age. The are from the reset button age, an age where there are little consequences to your actions. Get killed in a game, restart it.  Don't like that song, skip to the next.  Started the TV program a little late, rewind the live broadcast.   It continues into every facet of their lives, adding convenience but breeding impatience.  By the way, I'm aware of the irony because I'm sure there are some of you a generation ahead of me that could make the same argument about folks my age.  My kids personalities, while very similar to mine, are being shaped by pop culture influences they see today, so that leaves me looking at what shaped me.

Star Wars definitely did. And it was the episodes without digitally enhanced computer animation, not the new ones. (Damn I sound like a crotchety old fart...)  Yoda laid down life lessons in his backwards way of communicating.

Sure, it's cheesy.  Maybe some of you cannot bridge the gap between Yoda and the fire department.  Oh well, maybe the next post will make sense to you. 

My point is this:  For us to train the youthful rookies from this upcoming generation, we have to teach them that there is no reset button.  We can't restart the game once things get tough, because this game is for keeps.  Sure, it's nice in training to have the luxury of a pause and a reset, but that does not exist for us the minute the bell rings.  That's why we set our minds and actions on the task at hand and perform.  Do, or do not.  There is no try.  See, maybe it's not so hard to make the connection. 

(whew,  I shouldn't take so much cough syrup this early in the day...)


  1. Well said Jason, well said.
    Bill Carey

  2. DO it Jason.. Man this is stuff I live for. "We all need to look at our past so we will know how to walk in the future"

  3. Thanks guys! Anyone wanna come over this afternoon and look at my new Evel Knievel Bike Helmet?

  4. Sorry, playing Atari after work.
    Bill Carey

  5. Good stuff, as a fellow Star Wars fan I feel the force is strong with this post.

  6. I'm not big into the Star Wars theme, but I will come over and look at your Evil Knievel bike helmet. No matter what we do, we must adapt our training to the generation that follows. If not, who will protect our houses? Everyone here knows how too, we just have to adapt like we alwasys do.