By DAWN BRANDVOLD-GRAY
As the years plod steadily on, my husband and I were reflecting on things that surprised and annoyed us as we got older. Not that getting older is all bad, at a certain age most of get a bit more laid back and philosophical about things. However, there is one thing that I can’t get used to.
I’m a music lover, seriously. From Memorial Day to mid-September I went to no less than 25 live performances. I traveled across state lines to see some favorites, waited in the hot summer sun at Red Butte for a spot up front, and didn’t miss a show of the Davis Arts Council’s summer season.
The “oldies” are fun, but I want to shout at everyone over fifty, “They are still making some great music!” Too often, as people age, they stop seeking out new artists. It seems like a trip down memory lane and nostalgia drives their concert attendance. Wake up friends, the music didn’t die in 1983.
I find myself at many shows with my children’s friends, young adults in their late twenties, or I go alone. It wasn’t so bad before I let my hair go gray; I could blend in a little bit. But now I can’t count the times, the kids have found me by saying “we just looked for the white-haired person dancing up front.”
I can handle feeling less relevant, having a few more wrinkles, and even the gray hair, but it would be nice to discuss the latest offerings by Brandi Carlile, The Decemberists, and Neko Case with someone who graduated from high school before 1999.
And if you want to hit Brett Dennen at the State Room in November, drop me a line! I’ll be the “white-haired person dancing up front.”
By MARK GRAY
Physically, Americans are aging better and living longer. However, that doesn’t mean they are receiving the attention of merchants and manufacturers. The worst part about aging is that the only businesses seeking us out are pharmaceutical companies selling blood pressure and sex drive medication.
For instance, a nationally-televised drama (“Harry’s Law” starring Kathy Bates) was cancelled after one season despite sturdy ratings. Why was it cancelled? Because it drew too many viewers over the age of 55, not the young hipsters advertisers wanted.
Last month auto manufacturers were drafting ideas to sell new models to younger drivers. The common thread was to eliminate current features and substitute a dashboard for iPods, iPads, and a whole host of other electronic gadgets. (Listen, we already have too many distracted drivers. The last thing we need is to turn a moving vehicle into an entertainment center).
News magazines are being fazed out since readership is filled with geezers. Movies are produced with teenagers and twenty-somethings in mind. Clothing designs are focused on young men and women, not older adults. The youth culture has won the attention of “forward-looking” firms. If young people told pollsters they enjoyed dirty windows, I imagine Ford and GM would stop making vehicles with windshield wipers!
Listen, Mr. Businessman. We are still alive and kicking. We buy more than pills and laxatives. Create products for us and we just might make you rich.