I’m Too Old to Write What You Want to Read

"Ahh yes Mr. Gardiner, there seems to be a tiny CCR cover band lodged in there."

“Ahh yes Mr. Gardiner, there seems to be a tiny CCR cover band lodged in there.”

*

They laughed at me when I called him “the Flow Rider”.

I pitied them a little.

I sat down earlier today to write a couple of sample articles for an LA-based fashion and culture (Ha!) magazine. I was instructed to, “write an article under three paragraphs about a subject relevant to current trends”. I sat down at the computer and stared at Google for a minute. I tried to think of something ‘current’ that wasn’t a football scoreline or an emotion I’d felt. I’d been in this position before, staring at my own reflection in the white pool of Google’s infinite relevance, inspecting the wrinkles forming around my eyes. I typed in ‘Vice’, because it was the only thing I could think of that was ‘current’ and ‘relevant’. I sighed at myself. I felt the same feeling of dejected frustration a middle-aged man must get when he tries to buy a drink for a girl half his age.

Since coming to Los Angeles I have been known amongst my circle of friends to be someone that wallows in the dust swept from things forgotten. Every band I listen to has at least one dead member. Tarantino has made two movies since I was last in a theatre. I still think Malcolm Gladwell needs to ‘prove himself’ before I’ll read him. They make fun of me because I haven’t heard of things they’ve heard of. I don’t know who punched Rhiannah, and I don’t know if I spelled Rhiannah properly. I’m just not up-to-date and I seem to be suffering because of it. Every single magazine aimed at young people makes reporting and sharing ‘new stuff’ their priority, and in doing that they often relinquish control on the quality of their output. And completely alienate old souls like me.

Like someone going through their midlife crisis I worry about my dwindling relevance to a youth obsessed with their own youth. When I left Asia it was like a divorce. I had learned a lot about myself and a few things about the world, but I realized in coming to Los Angeles that I had missed out on so many aspects of modern youth culture, and the things that I’d learned were completely irrelevant in the West. People didn’t care about the things that I’d seen because their relevance hadn’t been verified by Fader magazine.

“I was in this house in Pushkar, Rajasthan a while back with an Indian tribal drummer jamming with a young Danish sitar player, it was really cool man,” I said.

“meh. LOLLOLOLO. BRB. jst gonna chck out dis rad new band wot is playin in a convrtd sewer systm calld PenisFacePenisFaceCuntFace!?!?!?!@!>!&*!>!??!?! ROFLOL me thinks” he replied.

I’m not sure exactly what the problem is. I don’t know whether I can’t find work writing for magazines, or whether I’m unwilling to write about the things that they want me to write about. On one hand I want more people to read my writing, to know who I am and to follow my work. But on the other hand I don’t want to write shit. Be it here-today-gone-tomorrow fluff, or that sludge that’s constantly being added to the bulging canon of dreadful music journalism by writers that confuse convoluted writing for complex writing:

“PenisFacePenisFaceCuntFace whack and smack and jack out their newnique melanthropic (heart)beat that click clacks along a yellowished brick-a-brack road of scuzzed out, moon bleached dumbfudgery, all the way to a wilted crispy parish of orgasmic melodiousness.”

“Haha, ask him which Kardashian this is! It’ll be funny.”

It won’t be funny. And if it is funny then I’m glad that I listened to my parents when they told me that this generation was fucked.

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13 thoughts on “I’m Too Old to Write What You Want to Read

  1. Dan says:

    Pity you didn’t pay more attention to K-Pop dreck whilst abroad. That dreck is white hot!

  2. Tajna says:

    You still have us, your faithful followers.

  3. VG says:

    This is exactly what I want to read! Cheers to you and what you write about.

  4. Barolojoe says:

    ´
    Having missed two Tarantino movies and some recent musicians – that’s no tragedy.

    My great-grandfather, born in 1888, stopped visiting cinemas early 1931 – ’cause he didn’t like talkies.

    And because after the withdrawal of the unmatched, legendary Erich von Stroheim, he found the work of most other directors petty & boring….

    ´

  5. Brandi says:

    “I don’t know whether I can’t find work writing for magazines, or whether I’m unwilling to write about the things that they want me to write about.”- Please remain unwilling and don’t fold. I’m a woman of little words and no writer that’s for sure, but I completely relate with you on not being “up-to-date”. I don’t get wrapped up in what’s hot and what’s not, which celebrity is dating who, what song is popular on the radio, hell I don’t even have cable. Those things aren’t important to me. I feel like Brandiland (a magical place) has more substance to it than what the “youth culture” has to offer, and my life takes on a much deeper meaning. Your old soul mentality and genuine character are what draw me in and I’m sure many of your other readers as well. Your writing will take off and you will find work, no doubt in my mind. Who knows you might bring in a new audience than what these magazines you’re trying to work for are reaching, maybe your audience doesn’t read their crap. 🙂

  6. Thoughts Of Me says:

    Ha ha this made me laugh because its exactly how I feel about my culture and youth today. I think you’re the same age as me actually I don’t know (I’m 24?) Its sort of a difficult age I think. I find that there are a few types of mid 20 year olds depending on their life experiences. I know people that think deeper about things (like me) usually because of their personality or because they have experienced something in life more significant than who dumped who or the latest chart music.
    Then I find that there are 20-something year olds that have not really grown up yet or maybe just not experienced life (as it can be for others) because they have grown up in a habitat that is centred on who the latest celebrity to get dumped is etc. It is hard to fit in with these people and you might find that there are more of these people than there are of people like you. But there are people out there like you and me and I think they would be interested in reading what you really have to write you just have to put it out there and see 🙂

    • Hi!

      Thanks for your comment! It was lovely to read, and as you suggested it’s always nice to find people out there that are of a similar mindset to you. I started to worry that if I did contribute to the culture of manufacturing hype and encouraged single serving art then I might one day end up a victim of my own doing. I couldn’t bear the thought of becoming chewed up and spat out by a greedy culture devouring itself.

      Old souls. We’re old souls x

  7. Gooch says:

    Pidge. You need to watch more TV. Seriously, do you not pause to wonder what delights these mewling cabbages are drooling at? It’s quite… Enlightening.

  8. Emma says:

    We have tabulated your answers and your spirit guide is; You are Howard Moon. Sing it, PreacherMan.

  9. deeenasaur says:

    “People didn’t care about the things that I’d seen because their relevance hadn’t been verified by Fader magazine” Brilliant.

    I find people generally don’t care about things unless they’ve been approved by the seal of conformity. Or…when they do care about things, it’s because it’s now “cool” to care about things other people have seen, felt, and breathed. Magazines are shit. Don’t let them change your writing or doubt your ability to appeal to “youth.” Not all reply with “PenisFacePenisFaceCuntFace!?!?!?!@!>!”…we sometimes put a smiley in there.

    🙂 Dxx

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