I like to think I am a hip young mom. I am 35. I love Neko Case and the Avett Brothers. I am not scared of people with tattoos. I enjoy drinking and despise “the system.” I may not know much about technology or pop culture, but again: I like to think I am a hip young mom.
Then last month’s Rolling Stone came.
My husband likes Rolling Stone, but somewhere in the 1990s, it seemed the emphasis shifted to a lot more half-naked women being featured, while the monthly editorials tend to be on either a beautiful girl being murdered or the latest rich white kids who were peddling drugs and hiring prostitutes for their friends. The day my older son asked, at not even 4 years old, “Mama, why is that woman in her underwear on this magazine cover?” was the day I told my husband that I was no longer a fan of Rolling Stone lying around the house. I thumb through it once in a while, usually annoyed by the misogyny that seems to dominate its ads and articles, and occasionally amused by candid photos and lengthy interviews with Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, and other such musicians that 35-year-old people sometimes like.
Back to last month’s issue.
Last month’s issue featured famous musicians listing their favorite music for different scenarios. Ke$ha (I feel so silly using a dollar sign for the “s” in her name, but whatever) was to list her favorite “Party Starters.” Sounds innocent enough, right?
Not so much.
Ke$ha, in one fell swoop, made me feel like an old lame mama. Here’s my top 5 reasons why. And for the record (by which I am not referring to an LP), I have nothing against her personally. I know nothing about her except that “Tik Tok” is sort of addictive.
1) Old people like cursing to be for cursing. Ke$ha uses curse words in more than half of her list. I don’t have a “no cursing” thing (I am, after all, hip and young, or so I thought), but I also disdain cursing when it’s blatantly unnecessary and non-specific. So Ke$ha says, for example, that a certain song makes her ”want to go fucking crazy,” but it’s unclear to me why “fucking” has become synonymous with the word “totally” or “completely” or “really.” Any of those words would not have made me feel old and lame, because some songs make me “want to go really crazy.” Why so much cursing, this old hag wonders.
2) Old people are elitist. Wayne’s World is her “favorite movie.” Okay, that’s just a knife in my heart. I am not trying to be a snob, but I clearly am being an old lady when I want to say, “That’s your favorite movie!? Of all the movies in the world that one could love, Wayne’s World is your favorite!? It’s the best movie ever? It is so entertaining, so thrilling, so moving, that it gets the word “favorite” to modify it?!” Oy.
3) Old people like lofty heroes. Iggy Pop is one of her heroes. I don’t even know how to touch this one. I mean, he is innovative for sure. He is outrageous. He has a distinctive sense of style and music. But one of her HEROES!? Again, could I feel any older to be wondering why Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, or–for the love of God–Moses is not her hero?! Old people like heroes to be people like that. Or at least Bono.
4) Old people like to keep private things private. One of the songs she lists because she first heard it “while getting laid in the back of a car.” Now, I have been in the back of cars. I used to be young and sometimes young people do fun things in cars. But I would never in a magazine list a song as my favorite in reference to it first being heard as I was “getting laid in the back of a car.” Old people think those details are best left for private conversations.
5) Old people like knitting. Activities she cites as part of her life, both past and present include: going to strip clubs, destroying hotel rooms while being “hammered,” and her and her friends giving each other “tattoos” on the inside of each other’s lips while drunk, ending in “a disgusting, bloody mess.” Old people don’t much like women going to strip clubs as an activity, destroying hotel rooms, or carving things on the insides of sensitive mucous membranes while drunk (or sober for that matter). We, apparently, like knitting, listening to Jewish a cappella music (preferably the YU Maccabeats), and studying the Talmud. Ahem.
I don’t even know what else to say. I guess I am officially old for those 5 reasons and more. Ke$ha says so. Totally completely really old. Dagnabit.