Arts

Please help me, I am so old

It’s the Sunday night before bank holiday and I’m in Nottingham’s city centre to attend the launch of Impact’s photo exhibition at Wax Bar. The bar itself is full of noise; dozens of people – mostly trendy fashion kids – shouting at one another to make themselves heard over the sound of the Kaiser Chiefs and other modish pop and indie music.

After a drink, I leave with a couple of other people. On the streets around the town square, rowdy men in shirts and women in short skirts are shouting, laughing, screaming at each other in some kind of insane cacophony of brash excess that seems out of character with the gloomy city surroundings. Two of the girls are wearing LEDs on their boobs. We duck into The Olde Trip to Jerusalem, only to find that here, too, is filled with loud groups filled with beer and bravado. Eventually they all bugger off and we’re alone, save for a couple of old blokes. I am at peace.

On the way home, we meet people that I know who are going to Detonate to ‘get bladdered’. This morning, in fact, I meet people coming back from that all-nighter who have been drinking until 6am and have no intention of stopping now. All I can offer in response is that I intend to go home, have a cup of tea, and finish an essay. All I really want to do is go home, have a cup of tea, and finish my essay. What’s happened to me?

At the age of 22, and having spent four years at the University of Nottingham, I no longer want to go to the pub every night. Nor do I want to spend until 2am in a loud, sweaty club. I don’t want to dress like a twit to attend either of these things. In fact, I want them to stop. It’s all too much, really.

I haven’t spent a great deal of time recently listening to new music or going to gigs. Instead I have read, or spent time inside, talking to people or doing work. I feel like I need a focus, a task – or a job.

I think I know what’s happening to me. I think I’m getting old. I used to find it incredible that parents couldn’t understand the social habits of their children, having once been young themselves. I used to find it difficult to imagine a mechanism by which people fell out of touch with popular culture and emerging trends. Now I realise that such a mechanism is quite simple: one just ceases to care.

Does this make me some kind of loser, freak, or monster? Moreover, despite the title of this blog entry and my fanciful desire to get back into the spirit of youth, listen to all the new bands and be the first to attend their shows, and so on, I know that really I’m quite happy this way. It seems that as we approach the end of the academic year, my time at University has truly come to some sort of end. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: it just means that it’s time for a new chapter – one which isn’t necessarily unexciting just because it’s not fuelled by the same concerns as this closing part of my youth.

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8 Comments on this post.
  • Graham
    6 May 2006 at 21:44
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    Chris,

    There are people older than you, (me being one of them) so i don’t care. What you could do is do a follow-up story about amendments to the law which allowed MPs to alter the law without going before the House. A story that i believe you ran a while a go. It should, in my opinion, be the responsibility of the media to do such follow-up reporting, especially if the original story raised alarm (which i think you do originally).

    Regards, Graham

  • James
    7 May 2006 at 00:01
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    Graham,

    I think you’re talking about this editorial.

    The government has actually just offered something of a climbdown on the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill. It has pledged to give a veto power to the reform select committee (though that is still controlled by government MPs). There is some waffle about only using the Bill for issues of regulatory expediency. The final discussion procedures for it are tabled for May 15th — I’ll be writing more about the final shape of the Bill as it emerges after that.

    The Impact editorial staff takes a generally dim view of the government’s attitude towards civil liberties more broadly, and we’ve written several pieces along these lines. Check the editorials page.

    James

  • Chris
    7 May 2006 at 17:41
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    Don’t worry James. As my former housemate, Graham has been witness to – and possibly influence upon – my transition from (in his view) rabid Communist ideologue to my current position. Whatever that may be.

    I would contend that one can still take a very dim view of the government’s behaviour in this regard without being a conservative libertarian, however.

  • James
    7 May 2006 at 18:13
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    I rather hope that anyone who isn’t a raving fascist would take a very dim view of the government’s prevailing attitude to matters of constitution and liberty. 😉

  • Chris
    8 May 2006 at 15:15
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    True that. I didn’t mean to belittle you, James… :p

  • James
    8 May 2006 at 16:17
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    Badge of honour Chris, badge of honour… 😉

  • Chris
    8 May 2006 at 16:26
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    Congratulations, you can join the ‘people I have belittled’ badge of honour brigade, including such past luminaries as Tony Blair, Anthony Eden, Hitler, Stalin, George W. Bush and the Graduate School… 😉

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