Sunday, October 25, 2009
The Invasion of The Body Snatchers - This Is What Happens When You Get Past 40
Are you over 40? Have you looked at all the friends you have known for at least 20 years and thought, "Who are those old people?" It is happening to me on a regular basis. I could not be approximately the same age as them, they are old. What happened to those vivacious, slim, handsome, fun-loving, young people we used to know? Where did they all go? A lot of them joined up with the other side is what happened.
This was the group that used to party all night long, rocked until daylight, trekked long distances to see the Rolling Stones, U2, Fleetwood Mac, the Who, Bruce Springsteen, and Billy Idol. We went to three day concerts, suffered heat strokes together, went on road trips, and thumbed our noses (actually we gave the finger) at the establishment. We dared each other with beer bongs and other vices (vicier vices than beer bongs). We cared about the environment and doing the right thing for all humans, which was peace and equality. With age, some of my friends became more conservative. Now, I find many from this bunch have "gone rogue", they joined the other team. They are anti-equality, anti-healthcare, anti-immigrant, antisocial, and just plan weird. They are the ones we used to complain about, the ones who sacrificed the environment for short-term gain, who started and kept wars going, who sided with big business over individual rights. Now, they have a superiorty complex, are pro-wealthcare, pro-war and have forgotten what it is to be on the side that’s losing. They forgot who they were. Look y’all, I got your names, addresses, and phone numbers. I know who you really are.
Here is what I think happened to these people, the Body Snatchers got them! The Body Snatchers replaced them with a bunch of weird old people that I do not know nor like. They do, however, vaquely resemble the people I used to know. The Body Snatchers stole their personalities and made them cynical. They stole their taut young bodies and replaced them with wrinkled, saggy ones. They took their values and replaced those with weak saggy ones, too. They took their minds and made them bitter, prejudiced, less tolerant and less than kind. They took their eyes full of youth and hope and repaced them with tired, weary worn eyes. I don’t want a bunch of old crazy people with a few young ones, I want the people back I used to know.
I liked the ones who stood up when it mattered, the ones who had fire in their eyes and passion in their hearts, the ones who knew who "The Boss" is. Now some of them have poor vision, quadruple bypasses and heartburn. They used to believe in looking out for the weaker among us, hated disco, and loved their fellow human regardless of race or religion, so long as he or she did not like disco music. Problems were solved by beer bashes and camaraderie. I liked guys who shook hands that funny way and wore leather straps around their wrists. I liked Billy Idol because he knew what “Little sister” had done. I know too. Believe me, she did. Seems like me and Billy are the only ones who remember now. He probably remembers because he wrote it down.
I was with some other friends who are hardcore "young" people recently at a cookout. I thought these friends did not get old. Our values were still intact. We still liked to rock and roll. We began taking photos which was a big mistake. We should not have done that. We looked at them on the computer. Another mistake. One friend said, "All I see is a bunch of old people." I said, “I thought we were all young and good looking until I saw that. Now I am depressed. When did y’all get so old?"
Then I realized, we were not old. Everything was still right where it always was. Values, belief system, political views, yep, we were young!
I refuse to go to any reunion of any kind because I am afraid of the Body Snatchers. I do not want to see how people have aged and changed values since I last saw them. I will not attend any high school or college reunion to find out no one became a US President, an astronaut, a nuclear physicist, world renowned heart surgeon, or a top movie star. As long as I don't know, I can believe they are all leading exotic lives, doing incredible things in research and technology that benefit the future of mankind. I can't handle the truth.
If only I had figured the Body Snatchers out early on. I could have saved so many. I would have found a reason to look under their beds and found the pod person growing there and got rid of it. We would have devised a plan to protect our other friends and got rid of the "pod" people who took over their lives. It is happening at an astounding rate. Haven't you run into someone you used to know and were shocked by how old he was? "Pod" people got to him.
Look under you beds. If there is a pod growing, you will be old in a few days unless you follow my advice. Believe me I have seen it many times. Drag it out into the yard and destroy it. This is a warning to all you young people; they can and will get you if you are not careful. The Body Snatchers are relentless. They try to catch me at every turn, but I manage to stay a few steps ahead. You can too. If they get you, your vision instantly goes bad, develop health conditions, get conservative, and old rock and roll becomes a noise rather than a joy. Remember being young, it kills the "pod" people.
There are several clues that the Body Snatchers got you and are truly growing old.
1. You hate all the new music.
2. You hate all the new clothes.
3. You hate all the new ideas, political and otherwise.
4. You do not remember being young, idealistic, and in love.
5. The big one is "I don't understand the kids these days."
Guess what? I do like the new music. I like the new clothing. I am pro-stem cell research, pro-green, and for marriage between any two people who want to marry. I want peace on earth and a cleaner environment. I want universal healthcare. I remember being young. I am still idealistic and in love. I don't understand most of the people my age anymore. What the hell happened to y'all?
I know there are more out there just like me and a few of my friends. I want to find them. Some of us are still the people we always knew we were. We are still twenty-something at heart, just a few wrinkles and a few grey hairs to show how far we have come. Get young again, and don't let the Body Snatchers get you.