My brain swims in circles for a few moments every time a headline like this moves on the wires: "Hits from the '80s become the new classics on radio stations nationwide."
Wait — it's not the '80s anymore? I'm not just out of college? Giant shoulder pads and pleated pants aren't en vogue?
George Michael did what?
Oh, right, right, right. Now I remember the past 20 years. Jobs, marriage, child, hair dye.
The above story goes on to say that music's past hits aren't being called "oldies" anymore. Seems that term is as archaic as I feel reading about it all.
No, the songs — and apparently those of us who enjoyed them in our dance hall days — are now considered "classics." The word "classic" really shouldn't be an irritant. It connotes top of the line, excellence, a masterpiece. All quite complimentary.
But, somehow, in this instance, it feels more like being compared to a Studebaker than to a Corvette.
Great news, all you fortysomethings and up — we're not getting old. We're becoming classics. Kind of like that rusty '56 Chevy your friend's dad had in the garage when you were in high school, the one that never did run quite right again.
Gee, I feel so much better being a classic rather than one of those 1950s-era doo-wopping "oldies," don't you? (With apologies to all you doo-woppers out there. It's just a matter of time.)
Sure, they have to label these songs something. Our world lives by labels. Besides, the folks over at Modesto radio station The Hawk have been calling their tracks "classic rock" for years.
Another radio station here used to call songs from the '70s and '80s "retro flashbacks." That term didn't really warm the hardening arteries of my aging heart, either.
When you label the music of an era — any era — you're also labeling the people who came of age to it.
So I'm a retro flashback? Um, talk to the hand.
Being labeled a classic might be better than being called an oldie. Or retro. Or dusty old relic.
But maybe there are other options. Maybe we can find a label for past music that doesn't grate on some of those who were young when it debuted. How about instead of "classic rock" we call it "ageless rock."
Oh, hey — we might be on to something with that one.
Shhh. Don't tell anyone, because this is really embarrassing: I actually watched Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New York City."
I know, I know, this from a person who thinks "American Idol" is the final scourge that will send our society the way of the Romans.
But I was so darned curious. And, as expected, the show is mortifyingly bad. Horrendous. Disingenuous. Pulp trash.
It goes without saying that these "real" woman are about as unreal as it gets. New York socialites with way too much money, way too much ego and way too much Botox, they snoot and flit about from luncheons to society balls in designer garb and travel to second homes in the Hamptons or St. Bart's.
Where's your second home, by the way? Mine isn't far. It's in a cozy little spot called Mom's Guest Room.
The "Real Housewives" are monumentally self-indulgent and give deeper meaning to the term "vain." I've seen only a couple of episodes of its predecessor, "The Real Housewives of Orange County" (yes, also horrifying to admit), but the New York version seems even more over the top than that swill.
The most obvious thing we all can take from this abomination is that the so-called wealthy elite can be amazingly tacky people, no matter the expensive clothes, multimillion-dollar homes and upper-crust private schools. Money can't buy class.
One nauseating couple drop nearly six figures in a single shopping spree. An American-born "Housewife" — truly, that term is being used as loosely as it possibly could be here — calls herself a "countess" because she married a French aristocrat. Another insists that there is a chic to New Yorkers and all the rest of us aspire to be just like them. (Note to sadly delusional "Housewife": the very fact that you verbalized such an idea in and of itself negates your premise as it displays a stunning lack of the very chic you claim to exude — i.e. style, grace and sophistication.) Yet another says that "status is everything."
Should we feel scorn or pity?
You know, kids, "American Idol" is starting to look a lot less threatening.
Scene editor Pat Clark can be reached at email@example.com.