A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
It’s January, and it’s snowing – a rare occasion in Vancouver. So rather than risk starting a Netflix binge that could last all week, here are a few random thoughts on a frozen winter morning.
I’m old enough to have survived the great Jennifer invasion. Remember those days? You’d call “Jennifer” on a crowded street, and 30 teenage girls would turn around; teachers were numbering their female students and it got so bad parents were spelling it with a “G” (Gennifer) or a “Y” (Jennyfer) or both (Gennyfer.) Ah, the good old days! Currently, le nom de jour is Ryan, and I don’t think anyone saw that coming. After all, Ryan O’Neil is too old to stir the imagination of young parents, and Saving Private Ryan is – uh – just strange. Either way, our world is up to its elbows in Ryans. There’s Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Hansen, Ryan Merriman, Ryan Guzman, Ryan Kwanten, Ryan Rottman, Ryan Eggold, that “I’m no genius” swimmer Ryan Lochte, and for you older folks, Ryan Seacrest. There are even a couple of women, including Ryan Newman. But the weirdest thing about this phenom is Ryans seem to love to play hockey. At last count, there were 57 Ryans in the National Hockey League. That’s more than all the Johns, Dons, Rons, Steves and Toms put together. In fact, you could field an entire team with nothing but Ryans on it. Go figure!
Although I spend a ton of time complaining about millennials, I really have no idea who they are. Honestly, once Gen X was over, I kinda got confused. Especially when Generations Y and Z started to run together like eggs beaten into cake batter. (Yeah, they’re different, but good luck trying to separate them.) And now, apparently, there’s a Post-Millennial generation. This is too much for my brain, so, like most people, I work on the assumption that if you’re younger than me and an asshole, you must be a millennial. It just makes things a lot simpler.
Have you ever noticed, in the movies, when Satan comes back to rule the Earth, Hollywood always blames the Catholics? It’s always some medieval Vatican screw-up that leaves a loophole in the space/time continuum for the Prince of Darkness to slither through. You never see Tom Hanks trading riddles with the Archbishop of Canterbury or Arnold Schwarzenegger duking it out with a bunch of Baptists. Protestants are cool and all that, but I’m pretty sure that when the Apocalypse shows up, they’re going to get their fair share of fire and brimstone. You’d think Hollywood would know that.
And speaking of Hollywood, the Academy Award nominations came out this week, and everybody west of San Bernardino is already starting to apologise — too white, too old, too male – the list of Oscar’s offences is never ending. Ironically, the only person to ever out and out refuse an Oscar was an old, white male — George C. Scott. (FYI, it’s a popular misconception that Marlon Brando refused the award. He didn’t. He just sent somebody else to get it for him.) And, incidentally, rather than having to fire another host for 10 year old Tweets or risk a Ricky Gervais ass-kicking, Oscar has decided to go host-less again this year. If this keeps up, eventually, the Academy Awards are going to be Drive-Thru.
Harry, the Englishman formerly known as a Prince, has decided he doesn’t want to be a royal anymore. I’ve always liked you, Harry, but I don’t have a lot of boohoos for your predicament. Yeah, it’s tough living in a fishbowl, but if you’re serious, you might wanna think about paying back all the taxpayer money you spent on The Wedding and renovating that house your grandma gave you. Just sayin’!