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CURRENT STORIES


Bling-bling?

by James Logue

News Editor

I'm either going to have to stop reading the AP wire or I'm going to have to accept the fact that I'm getting old.

A story that ran yesterday asserted that the cultural gap between Baby Boomers and 18-year-olds is enormous. The gap is so big, in fact, that Evel Knievel couldn't cross it with his rocket-bike.

Who is Evel Knievel, you ask? That's what I'm talking about.

Beloit College in Milwaukee, Wis., releases an annual "Mindset List," which seeks to determine what college freshmen know -- or don't know -- about modern culture.

For instance: Some think Paul Newman is just a guy who sells salad dressing. Pete Rose? Gambler.

I have known about this generational gap for years. We older folk here in the newsroom often work with younger employees and even younger interns.

When you lament the fact that there are only two Beatles still living and someone asks you who the Beatles are, you generally start feeling around on the floor for your jaw, because that's where it usually drops.

We have no points of reference. I was 10 when JFK was assassinated. Kids today see it only as ancient history, like Lincoln and Garfield (the president, not the cat).

Not long ago, I wrote in a column that I looked in the mirror and Ed Meese was staring back. A younger member of the news staff asked who Ed Meese was. When I explained that he was Ronald Reagan's attorney general and he was kind of heavyset and had multiple chins, the younger staffer asked: "Who's Ronald Reagan?"

And us Boomers are just as confused about today's culture. I couldn't tell you what a bling-bling was if you put a gun to my head. Ashton Kutcher? Who is he?

There are those who will pat me on the arm and tell me that I should get to know this younger generation and try to understand their culture. Well, I'm sorry, but I won't do it.

I will not lift a finger to find out the definition of bling-bling until an 18-year-old can explain to me what a Pet Rock is, er, was. I will not try to understand the allure of Ashton Kutcher until an 18-year-old writes an essay for me on Troy Donahue. Double-spaced.

Maybe I'm coming off as some old fuddy duddy, but I don't know why it is I have to be the one to bridge this generation gap. It's a really bad trip.

Don't know what a bad trip is, kid? Ha! Look it up.

News editor James Logue can be reached at 626-1031 or by e-mail at JLogue@exponent-telegram.com