Dear Old Friend,
I know what you mean about wanting to get involved in some sort relevant project. Just sitting on the sidelines watching the world go to hell is driving me crazy too.
I read something a few months back in which the author spoke of aging in terms of a descent into irrelevance. I think he had a good point. In our society–maybe all modern meritocracies–age and relevance are in inversely related for all but the few who are celebrated or notorious by virtue of some accomplishment. We average oldsters are supposed to just ingloriously fade away, like old soldiers I suppose.
Of course there are those well-heeled Boomers still flush with wealth, who take up traveling, attendance at wine-tasting gatherings and high-minded cultural events, their increasing irrelevance tempered by their delusions of self-importance. Don’t worry, be happy, is their irrelevant mantra.
Personally, I feel more like going to war against the insanity and stupidity around me that has grown clearer and clearer as my irrelevance has increased. A good disorderly protest march would be nice. Maybe I could become a old-style pamphleteer, cranking out righteous declarations on an old mimeograph machine in the basement. Ah, those were the days!
But the days of getting high on mimeograph machine chemicals are long gone. The social media have leveled the playing field to such an extent, that sorting out noise from signal has become virtually impossible. This is so much that case that now I can’t even decide if my own thoughts are, or ever were, signal or noise.
Of this I feel certain. As a nation of people we are on the wrong path, both practically and morally. Since social media is all the rage nowadays, maybe we should scavenge up some old soapboxes, head downtown to an urban park, and standing atop them start shouting after the fashion of London’s Hyde Park denizens. Okay, if that’s too undignified for you, we could just don sandals and robes and wander the urban landscape with signs saying “The End is Nigh!”. Now that’s real social media for you!
But honestly, I think putting on some “new economic age” workshops would be just the ticket. Just like the old days, huh? In an age in which the difference between noise and signal is impossible to determine, a few people are bound to show up if we can come up with a catchy title. I know! How about “The End is Nigh”.