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The little girl from Jurrasic Park is 31
May 12, 2011 9:25 AM   Subscribe

Much better, IMHO, than the Beloit list. 40 Things That Will Make You Feel Old (via Buzzfeed)
posted by roomthreeseventeen (215 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Who is Kimmy Gibler?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:31 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Or does not knowing who Kimmy Gibler is mean that I'm REALLY old?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:31 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I stopped watching tv far too long ago for much of this to matter. That said, all I really need is a mirror!
Have a nice day!
posted by emhutchinson at 9:32 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


That AOL screen did give me that tide-sucking-out-the-sand-from-beneath-your-feet feeling.
posted by Trurl at 9:33 AM on May 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


P.S. No. 11?
posted by emhutchinson at 9:33 AM on May 12, 2011


28. Family Guy has been on TV for 12 years

And they're still only on season 9. Heh.
posted by rkent at 9:33 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


What is the Beloit list? I had to google Kimmy Gibler as well, though her face looked somewhat familiar.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 9:33 AM on May 12, 2011


...and the 10 year anniversary of Sept 11th is about 4 months away.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:35 AM on May 12, 2011


That AOL screen did give me that tide-sucking-out-the-sand-from-beneath-your-feet feeling.

I could suddenly feel my nether regions prime at the sight of it, sure that porn was shortly to be sought.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:35 AM on May 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


I have seen that first image about the save icon a few times on tumblr and it always gets a bunch of remarks about kids these days and "OMG I'm soooo old" etc etc.

So I asked a bunch of middle schoolers. They all knew what it was. Anecdata, but still.
posted by troika at 9:36 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Really, Surge? American Pie? Am I too old for this nonsense, or too young?
posted by uncleozzy at 9:37 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


What is the Beloit list?

Beloit College Mindset List
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:37 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't believe number 1. Not because I think that "of course everyone knows what a floppy disk is", but because I don't think most students save their work by clicking that icon. Even if they do, I doubt the photoshopper who made that image was looking at a study showing that when he wrote the caption.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:37 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wish this was all I needed to feel old.

I remember typewriters, and rotary phones, and black-and-white TV, and a powerful middle-class .....
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:37 AM on May 12, 2011 [37 favorites]


I'm glad I keep my shotgun handy while I'm sitting in this six-million-dollar man themed rocking chair, so you kids and I can have a friendly discussion about your position on my lawn, so I can go back to playing my Sears Tele-Games console.
posted by chambers at 9:38 AM on May 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


I think I had this "age shock" a couple years ago and this stuff doesn't suprise me any more. Now we're getting to the point where the age shock stuff is stuff that I was too old to even care about. People sayings things like "Pokemon is 15 years old!" I never cared about Surge for example.

Or does not knowing who Kimmy Gibler is mean that I'm REALLY old?

Actually I think it means you're probably young. She was on Full House, the neighbor girl. I'm only familiar with that show from watching reruns when I was a kid.
posted by delmoi at 9:38 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


My parents had a rotary dial phone in their basement that they RENTED monthly from the phone company (Bell!). And I'm just 40.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 9:40 AM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


I remember when Buzzfeed didn't exist, and I was happy. Those sure were the days.
posted by Gator at 9:40 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Made me feel young, as I am younger than the entire cast of friends and most of the spice girls. And I always will be!
posted by Ad hominem at 9:41 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, none of these made me feel old. I don't even know who half these people are, let alone have an opinion about what their ages should be.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:41 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I had the floppy disk disconnect about a month ago--the 15 year old boy I mentor was saving a paper onto a jump drive, and asked about the disk shape (so, yeah, kids do still save by clicking "save").
posted by Ideal Impulse at 9:42 AM on May 12, 2011


I actually didn't realize the cast of Boy Meets World was so close to my age, so that makes me feel kind of youngish.

I used to watch it while I got ready to go to the bar on Friday nights, got kind of involved in it.
posted by padraigin at 9:42 AM on May 12, 2011


The knowledge that I will never again be at someone's house and all they have to drink is Surge frankly puts a bit of a spring in my step and makes me feel quite young.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:42 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Never trust anyone under 30.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:43 AM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


There was a QDB quote that I thought was clever. I adjusted the date because it is from last year:

"Wanna feel old? Just think, if they remade Back to the Future now, they would be travelling back to 1981."
posted by Dr-Baa at 9:43 AM on May 12, 2011 [47 favorites]


Tommy Pickles being 21 did it for me.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:43 AM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


My parents had a rotary dial phone in their basement that they RENTED monthly from the phone company (Bell!). And I'm just 40.

I knew a family that rented a rotary phone well into the 90s. I used to love going over and using it, like making a call from the past.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:44 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I dunno, I found the list entirely too repetitous. Half the items were "this person is 30/31 years old!"

perhaps this is because I myself am that age, and I recognized even then that those characters were the same age as me, then.

the most recent thing that has genuinely made me feel old was this fact: There are people, right now, drinking legally in the United States who were not even alive in the 80's.
posted by namewithoutwords at 9:44 AM on May 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


Or someone pointed out (I think it was XKCD) that the little mermaid's release date is closer to the landing on the moon then it is to today
posted by delmoi at 9:44 AM on May 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I think these "age shock" lists target people somewhat younger than me. I'm no longer shocked about such-and-such was TEN YEARS AGO they way I was when I was 27.

I do still freak out about realizing how YOUNG completely adult people can be, and the cultural differences between us -- the sweet-as-pie freshman lab volunteers who were toddlers when Tank Girl came out, for instance. And realizing that the 80's are now as long ago as the 60's were when I was a teenager -- Dr-Baa, that Back-to-the-Future thing made me blink really hard.
posted by endless_forms at 9:44 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


The knowledge that I will never again be at someone's house and all they have to drink is Surge frankly puts a bit of a spring in my step and makes me feel quite young.

Because your friends can afford plumbing now and these days can offer you a glass of water?
posted by orange swan at 9:44 AM on May 12, 2011


I have discovered that if I ignore pop culture I remain forever young.
posted by humanfont at 9:45 AM on May 12, 2011 [13 favorites]


I miss the Goosebumbs books, I used to read one pretty much every week. I might have to go search and try and reread some. I also didn't realize that Rugrats was that long ago either.
posted by lilkeith07 at 9:46 AM on May 12, 2011


I'm starting to reach the point where I think stuff happened like ~2 years ago, think about it, and then realize that it was more like 10. It's unpleasant, but on the other hand I feel like I'm less of an idiot and asshole than I was in my younger years, so age is a fair trade.
posted by codacorolla at 9:46 AM on May 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yeah, this is just what I needed on my birthday...
posted by Afroblanco at 9:48 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


that Back-to-the-Future thing made me blink really hard.

I saw on Micheal J. Fox on a magazine cover the other day, with a cover blurb declaring that's he's 50 now.

I was relieved to find when reading the list that I'm in the same age bracket as the Backstreet Boys — some are older, some younger, one the same age as me. First time I ever related to them in any way, but there you have it.
posted by orange swan at 9:48 AM on May 12, 2011


But what about jennicam?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:48 AM on May 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


What really made me feel old was a lecture last semester where I was citing the Challenger explosion as an example of groupthink. One of my freshman students raised his hand and asked, "What's the Challenger explosion?"

Argh.
posted by Fuego at 9:49 AM on May 12, 2011


the most recent thing that has genuinely made me feel old was this fact: There are people, right now, drinking legally in the United States who were not even alive in the 80's.

I had a mind-blowing realization back in 2008 (which itself is now forever ago) that partially influenced my decision to campaign for Obama over Hillary Clinton during the primaries: there were 18-year-olds who would be voting for the first time, and the president of the United States had been named either Bush or Clinton their entire lives. Not being a fan of dynasties, I thought this was symbolically important.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:50 AM on May 12, 2011 [15 favorites]


kids do still save by clicking "save"

The claim made was that *most* kids (students, actually) save by clicking the floppy disk icon. My contention would be that enough students save by either going through the "file" menu, or by using a shortcut key, that "most" kids do not save that way. It's possible I'm wrong, because I haven't collected any data on the subject, but the guy who made the graphic probably hasn't, either. Also, if you're not using Word, you may not have a floppy disk icon to use at all (Apple's Pages doesn't, for instance).
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:51 AM on May 12, 2011


The only thing this made me do was wikipedia JFK.
posted by chrillsicka at 9:51 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Happy Birthday, Afroblanco! Just remember, you're as young as you feel.
Or on second thought . . .
posted by emhutchinson at 9:51 AM on May 12, 2011


And Douglas Adams has been dead for 10 years. Dammit.
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:52 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


And Douglas Adams has been dead for 10 years.

SPOILER ALERT PLEASE.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:53 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


There has got to be a stash of Surge out there. I'm going to find it, have a dinner party, and serve Surge. It will be like eating the last dodo bird.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:54 AM on May 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


What is the Beloit list?

Previously on MeFi.
posted by ericb at 9:54 AM on May 12, 2011


There has got to be a stash of Surge out there. I'm going to find it, have a dinner party, and serve Surge. It will be like eating the last dodo bird.

Can I come? I really liked that stuff...
posted by inigo2 at 9:56 AM on May 12, 2011


Why is the voicemail icon on the #1 key of my phone a stylized reel to reel tape? I'm almost 40, I learned to type on a manual typewriter, and I don't think I've ever used a reel to reel.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:57 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I recognized even then that those characters were the same age as me, then.

The day I realized I was now older than Michael Steadman was a bad day.
posted by Trurl at 10:00 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I liked the XKCD Movie Age List better.
posted by antifuse at 10:00 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


And I was also shocked to find out that the Pepsi girl is only 19. I thought that was MUCH farther in the past.
posted by antifuse at 10:01 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


These things are pretty meh in general, and this one in specific. But! There's 40 of them!

wannafeelold.tumblr.com
posted by Eideteker at 10:03 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


This list would make me feel old if I had cared about pop culture for the last 20 years.

someone had to say it.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 10:04 AM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Now I feel sad for the taco bell dog. Damn.
posted by roue at 10:04 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I had a mind-blowing realization back in 2008 (which itself is now forever ago) that partially influenced my decision to campaign for Obama over Hillary Clinton during the primaries: there were 18-year-olds who would be voting for the first time, and the president of the United States had been named either Bush or Clinton their entire lives. Not being a fan of dynasties, I thought this was symbolically important.

This occurred to me too, and then I realized (it seemed even more plausible at the time), that Hillary could serve two terms, and then be succeeded by Jeb Bush. That would mean 36 straight years of either a Bush or a Clinton in the White House. Yikes.

This list is fun if taken in the right spirit. Funny everyone is asking about Gibbler, I saw that item and thought, "Heh, this doesn't make me feel old, she looks exactly the same except for the hair!" The one that "got me" was COBAIN'S BEEN DEAD FOR SEVENTEEN FUCKING YEARS NO NO NO NO NO SOMETHING HAS BEEN ADDED WRONG DAMN IT
posted by mreleganza at 10:04 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hmm... none of those really do it for me. Let's see...

Robert A. Heinlein was born a hundred and three years ago, in 1907. He died twenty-three years ago, in 1988.

Firefly went on, then off the air in 2002.

Jesse Eisenberg was born in 1983.

GeoCities came into being in 1995, sixteen years ago.

The first Gulf War was over 20 years ago.

It's been twenty-five years since George Michael was in Wham.

USB 1.0 was introduced, and was pretty much a joke, twenty-six years ago (1995). USB 2.0 is now eleven years old.

George Carlin was born on this day in 1937. He would have been 74 today.

Happy 49th birthday to Emilio Estevez.

Yup. Pretty old now.
posted by MrVisible at 10:05 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


And oh yes....count my family as one that was renting a rotary phone into the nineties. I didn't even realize it until my stepdad died in 1993 and we started getting calls asking why we stopped paying the "equipment rental" bill.
posted by mreleganza at 10:06 AM on May 12, 2011


What makes me feel old is the thought that I met the first woman I thought I wanted to marry over 20 years ago. These things? Not so much.
posted by moonbiter at 10:10 AM on May 12, 2011


Man, this is bad enough, can you imagine what these lists will look like in 20 years?

"This year's college freshman weren't born yet when Twitter started."
"Rebecca Black is 33!"
"Osama bin Laden has been dead longer than [future teen pop star] has been alive."


Hopefully, by the time I'm that old, I'll be past the point of caring about my age.
posted by DiscountDeity at 10:10 AM on May 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


Please. I remember Shannen Doherty when she looked like this. And I'm talking first run here, not syndication.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:12 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, yes, I'm 39. Also? Don't really give a damn.
posted by kyrademon at 10:12 AM on May 12, 2011


I have a rotary phone I plug in and use to test the phone line. My kids got a kick out of it and we've left it plugged in on occassion and they use it to call their friends. It's the old stand-alone, dial on the face, handset barbell across the top.

It still has the original phone number in the middle of the dial.
posted by rich at 10:12 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Monkey Toes:And Douglas Adams has been dead for 10 years. Dammit.

Actually, he's spending the decade dead for tax reasons.
posted by dr_dank at 10:15 AM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm so old, I remember when no one ever linked to buzzfeed.
posted by crunchland at 10:15 AM on May 12, 2011


Apropos of #1, my toddler thinks a "phone book" is a toddler book app I have on my phone to read to him in long grocery store lines. He has never seen a "real" phone book.

For that matter, my toddler thinks a "phone" is a small, flat rectangle with a big glowing screen that has internet access and tons of games on it, on which we occasionally call people by pushing "the grandma button" or "the daddy button." (Pictures of their faces, which he can push himself.) We got him a Fisher Price chatter phone and he promptly declared it a "truck" and looked at us like we were crazy when we insisted it was a phone.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:15 AM on May 12, 2011 [25 favorites]


USB 1.0 was introduced, and was pretty much a joke, twenty-six years ago (1995). USB 2.0 is now eleven years old.

That was 16, not 26, years ago.
posted by enn at 10:16 AM on May 12, 2011


Unless you are posting from the future.
posted by enn at 10:16 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


What made me feel old was discovering my favorite pair of shorts while cleaning out my closet the other day and then realizing that there was no way I'd ever fit into them.

No, wait: that made me feel fat.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:17 AM on May 12, 2011 [16 favorites]


My parents rented their rotary wall phone until the day came when Bell Canada told them that they are no longer in the rotary phone rental business anymore, but you can just keep the damn thing, we don't want it back.

It's still on their kitchen wall and in regular use. And given the monthly rental fee over the years, it's probably the most expensive appliance in their house.
posted by fimbulvetr at 10:17 AM on May 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


I have a rotary phone I plug in and use to test the phone line. My kids got a kick out of it and we've left it plugged in on occassion and they use it to call their friends. It's the old stand-alone, dial on the face, handset barbell across the top.

How does that work, does it have a rj-45 connector or do you have an adaptor for the old style plug.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:18 AM on May 12, 2011


I was actually more surprised by how little time has passed. The Pepsi girl (who I am reasonably certain is that-guy-who-played-Mark-Zuckerburg in drag) is only 19? The Spice Girls aren't even 40 yet (I thought they were 40 then)? "Ironic" was only 15 years ago?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:19 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq--she is that actor's little sister!
posted by Ideal Impulse at 10:20 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or does not knowing who Kimmy Gibler is mean that I'm REALLY old?

Actually I think it means you're probably young.


Naw. I think it means you had good taste in television.
posted by schmod at 10:21 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The AOL picture has a caption of "1993" yet the interface is clearly from Windows 95. It should look more like this. Even so the 1993 is kind of arbitrary. The company and the service go much further back than that, into the BBS days.
posted by jedicus at 10:22 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Best comment in this thread wins a Silver Anniversary edition of Janet Jackson's Control.
posted by Trurl at 10:22 AM on May 12, 2011


How does that work, does it have a rj-45 connector or do you have an adaptor for the old style plug.


You just wire it up to a rj-45 connector, easy-peasy. That's how my rotary phone -- a lovely olive green model -- is hooked up.
posted by fimbulvetr at 10:23 AM on May 12, 2011


Kimmy Gibler was the original Kramer.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:24 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like scotch and bocce now. All I need is that utility vest frequently seen on late-middle-age men in Italy, and the transformation will be complete.
posted by everichon at 10:25 AM on May 12, 2011


I'd just hate to cut the cable to wire on a modular Jack.

/phone equipment derail
posted by Ad hominem at 10:25 AM on May 12, 2011


Nice, MrVisible. I was thinking, give me a list with the current ages of folks from the following shows:
M*A*S*H, Benson, The Love Boat, Mork and Mindy, Three's Company, Laverne & Shirley
No, I do not admit to watching all of these. Well, maybe once.

The original Live Aid was 26 years ago.
posted by Glinn at 10:29 AM on May 12, 2011


My rotary has those old u-shaped connectors to wire it into the wall, which are easy to wire to a modular jack, then use a patch cord to plug it into the wall jack.
posted by fimbulvetr at 10:29 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I saw this on Twitter, or maybe mefi: A dad is with his teenage kid in a mall. He tells the kid, you look like the Unabomber with your hoodie and sunglasses! The kid says, "What's a Unabomber?"
posted by desjardins at 10:29 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


(no cutting required)
posted by fimbulvetr at 10:30 AM on May 12, 2011


Oh yeah! The first time I really felt truly old was when I did this bit of math last year. The period between the setting (1976) and the release (1993) of Dazed & Confused is less than the period from its release (1993) until now.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:32 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


"OK, like, the way I feel about the Rolling Stones is the way my kids are going to feel about Nine Inch Nails, so I really shouldn't torment my Mom anymore, huh?" - Travis Birkenstock

Clueless was made 16 years ago!
posted by giraffe at 10:32 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anyone else remember having to change the TV channel with a pair of pliers? I mentioned that to my 27 year old officemate recently, and he had no idea what I was talking about.
posted by 8dot3 at 10:32 AM on May 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


How does that work, does it have a rj-45 connector or do you have an adaptor for the old style plug.


>>You just wire it up to a rj-45 connector, easy-peasy. That's how my rotary phone -- a
>>lovely olive green model -- is hooked up.


Yes, mine is not *that* old.. it has the rj-45 in the back. But I did have one of those old plug-in ones, too.
posted by rich at 10:32 AM on May 12, 2011


41. Your hangovers last for like 36 hours.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:33 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone else remember having to change the TV channel with a pair of pliers? I mentioned that to my 27 year old officemate recently, and he had no idea what I was talking about.

Cause the knob was missing? I'm 31 and I remember that. Anyone remember having a Betamax player that had a remote control that had to be connected to the unit by a wire?
posted by nathancaswell at 10:35 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


8dot3: "Anyone else remember having to change the TV channel with a pair of pliers? I mentioned that to my 27 year old officemate recently, and he had no idea what I was talking about."

Was the knob broken? Or was this standard for TVs at some point? (I'm 26)
posted by giraffe at 10:36 AM on May 12, 2011


Yes!!! I totally remember remote controls that were wired. Heh.
posted by 8dot3 at 10:36 AM on May 12, 2011


Preview fail.
posted by giraffe at 10:36 AM on May 12, 2011


And yes, the knob was broken. So maybe it's not that my officemate is too young, it's that his family had more money than mine.
That's better, I think.
posted by 8dot3 at 10:37 AM on May 12, 2011


Going to a college football game and realizing that most of the cheerleaders were born after I'd graduated.

That's just wrong.

CDs were commercially available 28 years ago. Now they are all but obsolete.

Clueless was made 16 years ago!

As if!
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:37 AM on May 12, 2011


Was the knob broken? Or was this standard for TVs at some point? (I'm 26)

Yes and yes.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:38 AM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


I was thinking, give me a list with the current ages of folks from the following shows:
M*A*S*H, Benson, The Love Boat, Mork and Mindy, Three's Company, Laverne & Shirley


For Three's Company: Suzanne Somers (the best known Crissy) is 64, Joyce DeWitt (Janet) is 60 and John Ritter would have been 62.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:39 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oops, Joyce DeWitt is 62.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:39 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


My family never had a knobby TV, though; we had one of those fancy RCAs with the buttons on the front--a space-age technology that predates me by about two years. (I just turned 30, incidentally.) The difference there is that when the buttons stopped working, the TV was unusable unless you were interested in watching channel 2, which the TV reverted to every time you turned it on. No simple pliers hack. The best you could do was add an external cable box.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:47 AM on May 12, 2011


Zima.

'nuff said.
posted by rich at 10:50 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, number 40? Is that Cameron Diaz?
posted by fancyoats at 10:50 AM on May 12, 2011


Rented phones puleeze...Pfffft. We had a 16-party line at our cottage up until about 1993. Then it went to a 4-party line.
posted by Gungho at 10:51 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whoa, and John Ritter died eight years ago.
Jim Henson? Eleven years ago.
posted by Glinn at 10:52 AM on May 12, 2011


I don't feel old. I'm only 43. I plan to more than double that.

Also, I spent the entire last year thinking I was 43. I don't know how I got confused. So now I feel like I've been given a free year.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:53 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jim Henson? Eleven years ago.

Twenty-one, surely.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:54 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


When I was 38 my wife and I thought we'd go downtown to a dance club. We were ten years older than anyone else. We felt old. That's the kind of "old" this list is aimed at.

Now, pushing 60, retirement and death cross my mind regularly, but I have stopped feeling old. In fact, I "feel" young. I "know" I'm old.

BTW, I am old enough to remember when people did not mention cancer. It was unspoken by many doctors and patients and family members. Now the Internet is full of cancer blogs. I appreciate the thoughts of Hitchens and Ebert tremendously - and thankfully they discuss other things - but I must say that I would probably think of the Grim Reaper on a less regular basis were he not lurking on my computer screen so often.
posted by kozad at 10:54 AM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm surprised that Wilson Phillips was mentioned on the cover of Seventeen magazine. Ever.

And at one point a monthly magazine for teen girls cost only $1.95.

You could watch a talkie, the news and a cartoon all for a dime with money leftover for necco wafers!
posted by giraffe at 10:55 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I remember if you depressed 3 specific buttons on the wired remote for HBO (the one with 3 rows of buttons for changing channels), you could get the pr0n channel.
posted by rich at 10:56 AM on May 12, 2011


The first commercial with the Taco Bell chihuahua aired 14 years ago. The chihuahua has been dead for 2 years.

I'm blaming his diet.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:58 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Last year I had to explain to one of my coworkers that there was another colonel in charge of the MASH 4077th before Colonel Potter.
posted by JanetLand at 10:58 AM on May 12, 2011


Are you guys really talking about RJ-45 connectors? Don't you mean RJ-11?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:00 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


and the paragraph button in Word - what's with the 2x4 with a toupee on it?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:00 AM on May 12, 2011


Holy crap that AOL screencap really brought me back.

This hit home a lot more than I expected to (except all those TV guide covers: wtf?). State quarters, Macarena, Taco Bell dog... has it really been that long? And I'm only turning 27 soon. The rest of my life will be internally reading this list every single day.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 11:01 AM on May 12, 2011


Are you guys really talking about RJ-45 connectors? Don't you mean RJ-11?

I wondered this too. Maybe they have digital rotary phones.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:02 AM on May 12, 2011


Being born the same day James Dean died has provided me with "makes you feel old" moments since I was 25. My sympathy to anyone born the day Kurt Cobain died. But what really tells you YOU'RE OLD? Getting a "join now" letter from AARP.

It didn't help that the Yogi Bear movie came out over 50 YEARS after the original TV show debuted, AND I REMEMBER SEEING THE FIRST EPISODE.

But forget Clarissa, she's been almost constantly on TV since the original show. But who I REALLY don't want to see grown up? Pete & Pete.

Here's another one for those my age and 10 years younger: Depeche Mode's first album... 30 years ago.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:04 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


That had totally the opposite effect! They showed all these young people from shows I watched as a kid, and they're still older than me - it's like I haven't aged a day!
posted by piato at 11:05 AM on May 12, 2011


Yeah, rj-blah-blah-blah number soup. I don't really know what they are called. The phone pluggy-in things that are slightly smaller than the network pluggy-in things.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:05 AM on May 12, 2011


And at one point a monthly magazine for teen girls cost only $1.95.

A convenient fogey-meter is what you can remember stamps costing.

13 cents!
posted by Trurl at 11:05 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I always knew my "before microwave ovens" would be my parents "before color television".
posted by cashman at 11:07 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


My parents rented their rotary wall phone until the day came when Bell Canada told them that they are no longer in the rotary phone rental business anymore, but you can just keep the damn thing, we don't want it back.

Yep, us too. I'll tell you what, though: that phone was built like a tank. They've been through a number of cheap touch-tone phones since, but I can't remember the rotary phone being replaced even once in 18 or 19 years.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:07 AM on May 12, 2011



"Wanna feel old? Just think, if they remade Back to the Future now, they would be travelling back to 1981."

"Johnny! It's your cousin Marvin. Marvin Rotten. You know that new sound you're looking for? Well listen to THIS!"
posted by Guernsey Halleck at 11:08 AM on May 12, 2011 [34 favorites]


Morbid curiosity: Pete and Pete
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:09 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


oneswellfoop: "But what really tells you YOU'RE OLD? Getting a "join now" letter from AARP."

I get these now, complete with the fake/sample membership card. And ads for More magazine, encouraging me to act my age.
posted by giraffe at 11:09 AM on May 12, 2011


Jim Henson? Eleven years ago.
Twenty-one, surely.


Aaaah, thank you. Holy cow, 21!
posted by Glinn at 11:09 AM on May 12, 2011


I remember when we got a VHS tape rewinder. It saves wear and tear on your VCR! We were so cutting edge.
posted by mreleganza at 11:13 AM on May 12, 2011


Your grandfather left the White House in 1845. Haha, that's got to make you feel pretty old. (directed at Harrison Ruffin Tyler)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:14 AM on May 12, 2011


Mr. Belvedere would be 89.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:15 AM on May 12, 2011


I have rotary phones all over the house- several from the twenties, none newer than 1940 (I colllect 'em)- when the phones all ring, it's LOUD!
posted by drhydro at 11:15 AM on May 12, 2011


What has been making me feel old for a good while now is my younger sister. I remember changing her diapers. All her milestones (She's in high school now! She's driving now!) always gave me the olds.
She's 23 now.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:16 AM on May 12, 2011



My parents rented their rotary wall phone until the day came when Bell Canada told them that they are no longer in the rotary phone rental business anymore, but you can just keep the damn thing, we don't want it back.


My husband forever will resent his father for being one of the last people on earth to adapt to push button phones, because trying to win concert tickets from radio shows was really hard with the rotary dials. Concert tickets, knowing his age, likely being from the KISS Alive! Tour.

derail: I preferred not knowing what the members of KISS look like without make up.
posted by peagood at 11:16 AM on May 12, 2011


What got me was when I realized that I'm now older than the oldest, fattest Elvis ever.
posted by malocchio at 11:17 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


@SysRq: "we had one of those fancy RCAs with the buttons on the front--a space-age technology that predates me by about two years. (I just turned 30, incidentally.) The difference there is that when the buttons stopped working, the TV was unusable unless you were interested in watching channel 2, which the TV reverted to every time you turned it on."

We had one of these! Only when it stopped working, my father made one of his offspring stand at the TV and hold down the button of the channel he wished to watch. For the entire duration of a show if necessary, or a whole period of a sports contest. Usually while we whined incessantly over the show's dialogue or the sports announcer.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:18 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, rj-blah-blah-blah number soup. I don't really know what they are called. The phone pluggy-in things that are slightly smaller than the network pluggy-in things.

The "network pluggy-in things" are RJ-45 connectors. The "phone pluggy-in things" are RJ-11. Although I have seen office phones with RJ-45 jacks. I assume they're digital.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:19 AM on May 12, 2011


And what totally freaked ME out was realizing I am OLDER than Osama Bin Laden was when he died. I saw the grey in his beard in the mug shots after 9/11 and assumed he was in his 50s then - nope, 44 in 2001, 54 when the Navy Seals got him. Think about that when YOU hit 44, youngsters.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:22 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


rj-45, rj-11.. I'm old. I got confuddled.
posted by rich at 11:28 AM on May 12, 2011


Interesting, I assumed with all the health problems he was in his 70s.
posted by smackfu at 11:29 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The last time humans stood on any object beyond the atmosphere larger than a container ship was December 14, 1972. That's more than 38 years ago.

Michael Jackson disowned Billie Jean's child 28 years ago.

It's been 17 years since Andy Dufresne told Red that we should get busy living or get busy dying.

This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the iPod.
posted by phoebus at 11:36 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm old enough that I didn't recognize half of the cultural stuff in that list. I have no idea who Kimmy Gibbler, Aaliyah or Clarissa are/were.
posted by octothorpe at 11:37 AM on May 12, 2011


Oh yeah! The first time I really felt truly old was when I did this bit of math last year. The period between the setting (1976) and the release (1993) of Dazed & Confused is less than the period from its release (1993) until now.

I had a similar moment when I was actually watching Dazed and Confused in 1993. I was having a fine nostalgic time until I realized that the equivalent movie for the generation ahead of me was American Graffiti which was released in 1973, and that if American Graffiti was set in 1962 the gap between it and the day I watched it as a fourteen year old (for whom it could have been a documentary about the strange and savage customs of a world a hundred years ago and thousands of miles away) was only about 11 years, but the gap between 1976 and 1993 was, erm, 17 years and what the hell.
posted by jokeefe at 11:38 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Remember when that dude painted on the wall of that cave? Anyone? Oh, come on. I can't be the oldest one here.
posted by perhapses at 11:38 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


rj-45, rj-11.. I'm old. I got confuddled.

Plus when your eyesight starts to go, it gets harder to count the number of pins.
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:38 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ooh, I know one! The final episode of Buffy aired 8 years ago. Do I win something?
posted by jokeefe at 11:40 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not on the list:
My allowance was $2.00.
Take the Bus to the Rideau Theatre: 25 cents
Pay for the double feature Kung Fu or Hammer Horror movie: 75 cents
Popcorn: 50 cents
Soft Drink: 25 cents
Bus ride back home: 25 cents.

Total: 2 dollars

I must be old if I remember double features.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 11:41 AM on May 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'll be 50 this year, and am frequently made to feel archaic by not only being able to tell people what cc: and bcc: stand for, but telling 'em I actually used to use real carbon paper too.
posted by punilux at 11:44 AM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I lived at home with my parents until I was 18. We had a black-and-white TV with no remote control (and no cable). We had a local NBC affiliate station, and when I was 8 we got a local ABC affiliate. The nominal NBC affiliate would air a few CBS shows. The TVs we had were tube sets, and there were fun controls on the back panel, like "vertical hold" and "horizontal hold". I bought my parents a color TV when I was in my third year of graduate school.

We always had a dial phone. Party line until I was in my teens. The fun(?) thing about a dial phone is that it takes ten times as long to dial a 0 as it does to dial a 1. If the dial broke, you could still dial the phone by banging on the switch hook (it took some practice).
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:44 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, number 40? Is that Cameron Diaz?

I'm pretty sure it is, yeah. She really looked like a little kid at 17 though.
posted by quin at 11:48 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pfffft, BozoBurger. I can remember when 25 cents could buy you a candy bar (12 cents) a comic book (12 cents) and you'd have a shiny penny left over.

Less fun: watching the TV news on one of the three network channels and eating dinner to the daily recitation of American dead and wounded and Viet Cong killed, wounded or captured. Coming home from school to find my mother in tears because Martin Luther King had been assasinated. Most adults smoked; women were too emotional to hold positions of responsibility in government or politics... I suppose one of the reasons I love MadMen is because Sally Draper would now be a couple of years older than me; I'd fall between her and her younger brother.

Also, how answering machines signified a whole new world of disengaged people who were terrified to directly communicate with each other (see Laurie Anderson's O Superman!).
posted by jokeefe at 11:51 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nick at Nite's lineup always messes with my head. When I was a kid, everything they showed was about twenty-five years old, black and white, and unbearably corny (by '80s kid standards).

Recently, though, Nick at Nite has started airing shows that first ran about five years ago, but I can't shake my mental image of the ancient sitcom graveyard. It's weird enough to turn on Nick at Nite and think "Whoa, I remember when The Nanny was new!" but then they'll show Everybody Hates Chris and I'll think "damn, I don't remember my fiftieth birthday at all."
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:54 AM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I remember when I was the kid on someone else's lawn.
posted by desjardins at 11:54 AM on May 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm 26 now, and I was a graduate assistant for a class on contemporary visual culture about three years ago. The professor I was assisting would pull in bits of movies or advertisements or other pop culture ephemera to illustrate course concepts for the class of mostly seventeen-to-nineteen-year-olds. He would show Benetton ads or talk about JenniCam; he showed excerpts of Fight Club and The Truman Show and I think Pleasantville. The entire class would just look slack-jawed and mystified, and he'd look imploringly in my direction, and I'd just sort of shrug my shoulders.

After his lecture one day, he comes up to me and is all, "I just can't believe these kids haven't heard of any of this stuff. I mean, it's all pretty familiar, right?"

I must have given him the wrong answer because, after I reassured him that we'd covered it all when I was in first-year art school six years prior, the poor guy practically dissolved in front of me.
posted by wreckingball at 11:55 AM on May 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


rj-45, rj-11.. I'm old. I got confuddled

Yeah I meant rj-11, I brought rj-45 into the convo. I also just got scolded for spelling Kobayashi Maru wrong, its just not my day.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:06 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone else notice the URL for this comment thread? Makes me feel old, sure.
posted by owtytrof at 12:09 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


None of that made me feel old, and I'm 41. So there.
posted by Huck500 at 12:25 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


In terms of feeling really, really old, the last row in this XKCD comic is what does it for me.
posted by joyceanmachine at 12:27 PM on May 12, 2011


My coworker brought his fiance to work. I'm guessing she was maybe 22? We're all in our mid-30s. A comment was made about a friend of a friend naming their kid Axl & how the kid seriously was named after Axl Rose and we all laughed (we're mean gossips). The fiance said, "Who's Axl Rose?"

That pretty much sucked the air out of the room.
posted by peep at 12:37 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Huh. None of that stuff really made me feel old at all. I'm nigh 39. A lot of it was outside of my culture sphere (I remember a lot of shit, but really, the Pepsi Girl? isn't she just Curly Sue?)

The Beloit list is better.

Or does not knowing who Kimmy Gibler is mean that I'm REALLY old?

Yes. Or you avoided ABC crap.

There has got to be a stash of Surge out there. I'm going to find it, have a dinner party, and serve Surge. It will be like eating the last dodo bird.

Bring along a case of Rondo for me. And Billy Beer.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:37 PM on May 12, 2011


(These men are working up a Rondo thirst)
posted by mrgrimm at 12:42 PM on May 12, 2011


This reminds me of that video that was posted a while ago where they took some young kids (French I believe) and gave them rotary phones, records, and 8-tracks and the like without instruction and filmed their reaction. It was like they were looking at alien artifacts at first, but I think they figured them out more or less eventually.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:47 PM on May 12, 2011


A convenient fogey-meter is what you can remember stamps costing. --- I remember 6 cents ... which was when gasoline cost 35 cents gallon. That was in 1969.
posted by crunchland at 12:48 PM on May 12, 2011


I lived outside of Canada for most of this time (10-15 years ago) with no access to the Internet (this was pre-Internet), very little access to N American TV (Bob Saget and Full House!), no access to pop music (I resorted to listening to Oasis and Foo Fighters, for crissakes), so this list means absolutely nothing to me.

I do, however, remember Beat Takeshi's scooter accident.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:51 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


BTW, I am old enough to remember when people did not mention cancer.

I have no concept of this. What was the point? How did this help anyone?
posted by jenlovesponies at 12:56 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Scrabbling at the Lock" by the Ex and Tom Cora is 20 years old. "Dr Octagon" and Chisel's "8am All Day" are both 15. This year is the thirteenth anniversary of the Church of the SubGenius' X-Day (any other mefites attend?). Fugazi is pushing 25.
posted by jtron at 1:03 PM on May 12, 2011


Think about that when YOU hit 44, youngsters.

Two days ago, thanks.
posted by maxwelton at 1:05 PM on May 12, 2011


"Who's Axl Rose?"

One of the fighters from Guilty Gear, duh.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 1:05 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would totally watch a shot-for-shot Back to the Future remake where they go back to 1981.
posted by Kwine at 1:10 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


The TVs we had were tube sets, and there were fun controls on the back panel, like "vertical hold" and "horizontal hold". I bought my parents a color TV when I was in my third year of graduate school.

Oh man! Vertical and horizontal hold! How I would play with those! They're on the left! They're on the right! (horizontal hold) FlipFlipFlipFlipFlipFlip! (vertical hold).

The fun(?) thing about a dial phone is that it takes ten times as long to dial a 0 as it does to dial a 1. If the dial broke, you could still dial the phone by banging on the switch hook (it took some practice).

Some interesting trivia about that: Back when they invented (for lack of a better word) area codes, the time it takes to dial 9s and 0s were a factor in what areas got which area codes. Because NY, LA, and Chicago were considered such populated, important, phone-intensive cities, they got the "short" area codes (212, 213, and 312, respectively). They apparently thought the least the least of the Riverside area of California (area code 909).
posted by mreleganza at 1:17 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


What was the point? How did this help anyone?

I presume it was because back then the treatments available for cancer were surgery and ... surgery. If you had a form of cancer that doesn't respond well to surgery, or one for which there was no surgical procedure available, or if you had metastatic cancer, then you were pretty much screwed; doomed to an ignominious end as the disease ravaged your body and turned you into a ghostly shell. With so few options it must have been much harder to deal with emotionally, something you can't fight. Doctors of that time were much more paternalistic and had much fewer qualms about outright lying to patients if they thought it would reduce their emotional suffering, so I suppose if the diagnosis was that you were headed for a grim demise you just let the patient live whatever short time they have left oblivious to their disease.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:19 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would totally watch a shot-for-shot Back to the Future remake where they go back to 1981.

I guess his name would be Abercrombie Fitch then.
posted by desjardins at 1:23 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm 21, but I'm so morbid and spend so much time around old people here in my life that this list made me feel young again!

Though, one of my facebook friends posted the other day about taking a bunch of 13-year-olds on a tour of a museum or something, and how at one point an N Sync song started to play on a radio and she was like "hey-eyyy" thinking they would be all excited - but of course they had no idea what it was. That was weird for me to contemplate.

I was a graduate assistant for a class on contemporary visual culture about three years ago. The professor I was assisting would pull in bits of movies or advertisements or other pop culture ephemera to illustrate course concepts for the class of mostly seventeen-to-nineteen-year-olds. He would show Benetton ads or talk about JenniCam; he showed excerpts of Fight Club and The Truman Show and I think Pleasantville. The entire class would just look slack-jawed and mystified

Poor professor. Yes, those examples are a bit outdated, but (depending on the circumstances of those students' upbringings) not knowing about ANY of those things in that year, at that age, has more to do with general incurious-ness than youth.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 1:30 PM on May 12, 2011


Watching The Big Chill a couple of years ago--which I'd seen in the theater when it was released in 1983--and realizing I was older than all the actors were when they made the movie.

When I realized that some of you weren't even born when The Big Chill came out.

A young guy in our office just had a baby, and I realized I'm old enough to be the baby's grandfather.

The president of the United States used to be someone my grandfather's age, then someone my father's age. Now it's a guy who was in high school the same time I was.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:34 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


There has got to be a stash of Surge out there. I'm going to find it, have a dinner party, and serve Surge. It will be like eating the last dodo bird.

I'll bring the Crystal Pepsi and OK Cola.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 1:47 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


And Zima... do they still make that?
posted by desjardins at 1:48 PM on May 12, 2011


Oddly enough, if you go to the Zima website, the first thing it asks is "When were you born?"

I've never had a Zima and at this point I never will, but it sure drags me back to the 90s.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 1:56 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh. None of that stuff really made me feel old at all. I'm nigh 39. A lot of it was outside of my culture sphere (I remember a lot of shit, but really, the Pepsi Girl? isn't she just Curly Sue?)

The Beloit list is better.


I don't know if the Beloit list is better. Back when it first came out in 1998, it had resonance partly because it was fresh and new, and touched on aspects of pop culture and common history relevant to the authors as it was a window 15-20 years into the past. Perhaps it also picked up some momentum because of the impending jump to the new millenium. Now, it's pretty much a stale formula, leveraging what had been a modest pop culture phenomenon into something somewhat boring and predictable.

Further, it takes for granted that we have a pop culture in common. Arguably, if there is a central core for pop culture, it's diluted. Too many entertainment options at every level, and the internet is a great leveling tool that allows anyone to follow any artist, performer, or musical genre of any age.

Separately, I think we relate to pop culture differently at different ages. The stuff that was important to me when I was fifteen might reappear when I'm thirty or forty five, but will have different resonance because of where I am in my life, what I'm experiencing, and what I have lived through. Maybe, it's just a matter of perspective.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:58 PM on May 12, 2011



My family never had a knobby TV, though; we had one of those fancy RCAs with the buttons on the front...

This thread reminds me of the Richard Jeni bit: "You had shoes? We couldn't even afford feet..."

I remember getting a "knobby" TV with a circular knob for the VHF channels. It came with the wondrous, newfangled "remote control". The remote had one UP button and one DOWN button for changing the channel. You would press the appropriate button and the knob on the TV would go "kachunk" and spin one channel in the appropriate direction. Since there were only three networks to watch, there was a lot of "kachunking" to get where you were going.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:11 PM on May 12, 2011


I think you have to be in your early thirties or so for these lists to really affect you. I remember being rocked back a bit when I discovered the opening line of Neuromancer didn't make sense to kids anymore -- as if a Neuromancer reference doesn't date me enough to begin with -- but at this point, meh. I already knew I was getting old; lists of celebrities who are younger than I am no longer come as a surprise.
posted by ook at 2:13 PM on May 12, 2011


The knob-tuned TVs did have one thing going for them in that you could whip it around really fast, barging through the channels at breakneck speed. With our remote controls and digital TVs and DVRs we've become complacent in the war against fast channel flipping. Some of the crappier cable set-top boxes seem to take several seconds to switch channels, a virtual crime against humanity. Not so with the big mechanical knob, where the only limiting factor was some adult telling you to knock it off because you might break it.

Also, I miss the fine and coarse adjustment knobs. At one time you had to actually have a little bit of skill to tune a television.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:47 PM on May 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


For the Surge nostalgics: It's still being produced and sold in Norway, although under the brand name Urge.
posted by Bukvoed at 3:01 PM on May 12, 2011


I remember being rocked back a bit when I discovered the opening line of Neuromancer didn't make sense to kids anymore

I've speculated on this in the past, but I still wonder if TV makers switched over to a bright blue screen when presented with static specifically because of that very famous line.
posted by quin at 3:13 PM on May 12, 2011


Couldn't get into this... still trying to get over Copernicus's death. Has it really been 468 years already?
posted by ecorrocio at 3:14 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


The knob-tuned TVs did have one thing going for them in that you could whip it around really fast, barging through the channels at breakneck speed. With our remote controls and digital TVs and DVRs we've become complacent in the war against fast channel flipping. Some of the crappier cable set-top boxes seem to take several seconds to switch channels, a virtual crime against humanity. Not so with the big mechanical knob, where the only limiting factor was some adult telling you to knock it off because you might break it.

Also, I miss the fine and coarse adjustment knobs. At one time you had to actually have a little bit of skill to tune a television.


Agree wholeheartedly. Gone are the days where we had to sit just so, with our arm up in the air at a precise angle of 20.36 degrees, to get optimal reception. And make sure we've added that strip of aluminum foil to the antenna and that it is touching the wire hanger.

As far as barging through the channels go, it took two completely different skillsets to hone depending on whether you thunk-thunk-thunking through the VHF knob or machine-gunning the braaaaap of the UHF channels.

With the latter, you couuld achieve a level of speed-driven exhilaration not to be seen again until Pole Position came out for the Atari 2600.
posted by mreleganza at 3:34 PM on May 12, 2011


Very soon people will be saying, "Do you remember when you had to move to a different apartment you had to carry twenty boxes of books up the stairs?"

I won't personally be saying goodbye to books, but fifteen moves entailed a lot of excercise involving boxes of books. Oh, and LPs!
posted by kozad at 3:57 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I must have given him the wrong answer because, after I reassured him that we'd covered it all when I was in first-year art school six years prior, the poor guy practically dissolved in front of me.

You could have seen all of those things when they came out though (that they were covered in art school is another matter).
posted by ersatz at 4:31 PM on May 12, 2011


All those who-in-the-hell-are-they-celebrities don't make me feel old. My aching feet make me feel old. And yes, I still have a rotary phone. (But I did get rid off all my floppies.)
posted by a humble nudibranch at 4:41 PM on May 12, 2011


Actually being old makes me feel old. This silly shit is for the new generation of brats who weren't beaten enough.
posted by jonmc at 5:11 PM on May 12, 2011


I'm don't consider myself old, I just don't get out as much as I used to. But tonight I think I'm going to take some of the vacuum tubes from my TV set to the drugstore to see if I can find the bad ones with the testing machine they have in the corner.
posted by digsrus at 5:12 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I never fully recovered from having to explain to a co-worker who Debbie Gibson was.
posted by Trurl at 5:19 PM on May 12, 2011


It also just occurred to me that Axl Rose is now Fat Elvis.
posted by Trurl at 5:21 PM on May 12, 2011


Here's a few that make me wince a touch, at 35.

- For my young nephews, the 90's are the same distance away as the 60's were for me.
- I'm older than Apple Inc.
- The millenium bug was about as far ahead from my birth as the 2038 epoch bug is ahead for someone born today.
- The millenium bug was all over 11 years ago.
- I'm older than episode IV.
- Someone older than Jar Jar Binks is already 12 years old.
- My first real computer only had a 5.25" disk drive. And floppy disks were actually floppy.
- My first hard-drive was 20MB. And it was huge.
- Most students at my school have never seen a real floppy disk, let alone used one.
- When was the last time you saw someone using a dialup modem? I was 20 before I could afford one.
- I was also in my 20's when a geeky friend introduced me to MP3s, and I couldn't see the point of them as my CDs were just fine, thank you very much.
- I can download an entire HD TV episode off the internet in less time (3 minutes) than it used to take to download a single MP3 off napster.
- Phones when I was growing up had to physically be connected to the wall. If you wanted to talk on the move, you needed a walkie-talkie. Or hope there was a phone box nearby.
- "E.T. phone home" almost 30 years ago. And it was guns, not walkie-talkies.
posted by ArkhanJG at 5:59 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and Jeff Bridges in Tron (1982), vs Jeff Bridges in Tron Legacy (2011).
posted by ArkhanJG at 6:10 PM on May 12, 2011


Don't quite know how to make this sound wryly humorous without coming over as a character in a Monty Python sketch but here goes.....

When I was a wee kid, in a children's Home in England I can remember going to watch the blacksmith in the village shoeing horses, in a cloud of sparks with the smell of burnt hooves filling the air. Then on our way back seeing the lamplighter doing his rounds with a long pole lighting the gas streetlights. When i went to school nobody else except us at the Home had a telephone. Or a fridge for that matter.
As a teenager we learnt how to manipulate the public phones (rotary diallers) by tapping the cradle - you could phone for free.
Later, my son at the age of two got his first religious experience listening to the Sergeant Pepper LP (erm the Beatles ..you know?)with earphones. Completely absorbed for its entire length.

A later son (now 14) asked me at the age of 8. "Dad - whats an LP?" Then when he got his own computer the same query about floppy disks.
As a video activist in the 70´s we used Sony AV portapacs with open reels. You had to be two people to lug that stuff about. Only black and white of course.
I recorded some songs in 1988 on audio cassette, one take, one built-in mike. Now favourites on my sons iPod. But then, so is Metallica.

None of that stuff made me feel old, never really got into watching TV so I have no idea who those people are anyway.
What does make me feel old is blathering on about what it was like in my day. And I'm only one year older than Mick Jagger (Google him, then)
posted by jan murray at 6:26 PM on May 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


One of the things that makes me feel sadly old is seeing the sexy men of my youth turn into old geezers. Clint Eastwood, for example; my god he was a sexy devil. I still see it in his smile but I imagine a 20 year old girl looking at him now would just see a dried-up old grandpa.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:50 PM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm older than episode IV.

Boo hoo. I'm older than Star Trek.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:01 PM on May 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, I miss the fine and coarse adjustment knobs. At one time you had to actually have a little bit of skill to tune a television.

Agree wholeheartedly. Gone are the days where we had to sit just so, with our arm up in the air at a precise angle of 20.36 degrees, to get optimal reception. And make sure we've added that strip of aluminum foil to the antenna and that it is touching the wire hanger.


It's still like this in Australia for most people. I have RABBIT EARS ANTENNA ON MY TV. Even though they're connected to my digital set top box. RABBIT EARS ANTENNA. And 16 CHANNELS.

Righto. *deep breaths*

The list did make me feel old. Family Guy on the air for 12 years? LOTR? American Pie? Rugrats? Boy Meets World? damn.

What really makes me feel old is my little brother talking in L33TSPEAK in real life and getting most of his entertainment from YouTube videos. I can still barely remember a time before the Internet.

Also, the games of my childhood getting updated re-releases. Ocarina of Time can't be so old that it can now fit in a Gameboy, can it?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:22 PM on May 12, 2011


Jesus, I have NO IDEA WHO ANY OF THESE PEOPLE ARE WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:44 PM on May 12, 2011


The fact that I'M 30 makes me feel older than thinking about the age of the girl from Jurassic Park. Despite that, I EMBRACE being a child of the 1980s (who lived in a house that didn't emerge from the 1970s until the middle of this past decade), and wouldn't trade my memories and childhood in for the world.

Also, people telling me my memories are obsolete doesn't make me feel old, it just really pisses the hell out of me.
posted by Mael Oui at 9:24 PM on May 12, 2011


Incidentally, I remember the first time (in 2000) that I saw a toy that I had in the 1980s in an antique store labeled as 'vintage.' That's when I first felt like my life clock started to blink and I was being pushed to the end. You know, life clock? Logan's Run? Farrah Fawcett was in that. Doesn't ring a bell? Guess it was before you were born.
posted by Mael Oui at 9:38 PM on May 12, 2011


FFS LiB, enough with this "in Australia for most people". You have no idea what you are talking about. In my experience, rabbit ears = too cheap to get a proper antenna installed, not OMG I'M LIVING IN THE DARK AGES.
posted by Wantok at 11:22 PM on May 12, 2011


I don't need anything other than my knees and my eyes to make me feel old.

All these iPhones apps that have ridiculously tiny text and no way to change the size... did they not have a single person over 40 anywhere in their testing process?

But if we're talking about how long ago things were...

A few years ago I knew a geeky, scii-fi loving teenager, and it turned out that he had never in his life seen a single episode of any version of Star Trek. A moment of: "Oh... TNG finished that long ago that he wasn't even born then... wow!" Seems like yesterday that I was all excited that Trek was going to be revived and wondering how an older bald guy would do as Enterprise captain. ("It's Trek Jim, but not as we know it.")

And the other thing that often strikes me is that the era of my childhood is now as far away from the present as the Second World War was for me when I was a kid.

As for the things on that list... well most of them were never on my radar cos I was already too old for them when they came out.
posted by philipy at 12:21 AM on May 13, 2011


LiB, that's hysterical! It's been about 2 decades since I've seen anyone with rabbit ear antennas. And for the price of what you'd spend on coffee for the week, you can get a hundred channels on Foxtel. And most people do. You may be living in 1980 due to sheer miserliness but please don't assume to talk for the rest of the country. Thanks for the laugh though!
posted by Jubey at 2:19 AM on May 13, 2011


All I have to say is...Iomega Zip Disks.

I used to think they were soooooo handy, with their 50mb capacity.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 3:17 AM on May 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I never fully recovered from having to explain to a co-worker who Debbie Gibson was.

I have had to explain, on separate occasions, who Morrissey was. As well as Guns N' Roses.

I believe a strange, frightened whining noise emanated from me both times before I proceeded to explain--a noise I have never made before and have never made since.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 3:22 AM on May 13, 2011


I made a coworker feel old by explaining to him that the reason no one else laughed at his joke is they didn't know who Indiana Jones was. It's cool though, I've got five years on him. (Also, kids today? Some of them don't know who Indiana Jones is. Some of them have never seen Star Wars. Basically gotta fight 24/7 to keep your pop culture ephemera alive, if you think it's worth it.)
posted by Peztopiary at 4:17 AM on May 13, 2011


All I have to say is...Iomega Zip Disks.

ah, smooth Jaz drives ...

I was just talking to someone about how ridiculously ephemeral we knew they would be ... even at the time.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:48 AM on May 13, 2011


All these iPhones apps that have ridiculously tiny text and no way to change the size... did they not have a single person over 40 anywhere in their testing process?

Settings > General > Accessibility

You're welcome!
posted by entropicamericana at 8:54 AM on May 13, 2011


Settings > General > Accessibility

I couldn't find any such thing on my device, maybe cos it's an older model, and therefore not latest iOS.

Or perhaps it's there but just too darn small for my middle-aged eyes...

Thanks for the suggestion though.
posted by philipy at 9:38 AM on May 13, 2011


Settings > General > Accessibility

Eh, it's still pretty useless even if you have it. None of the UI stuff is bigger (since that would mean buttons and stuff couldn't fit properly), just the content of emails and things like that.
posted by smackfu at 9:44 AM on May 13, 2011


Some of them have never seen Star Wars.

Now this is strange, because I know my nieces and nephews play Star Wars in the playground at school. Not that they have actually seen the movies yet, but it seems to have become a part of kids' culture.

The same applies to Harry Potter and Spiderman. They're too little to have read the books, and the Spiderman movie was too scary for my nephew when it came on TV. But they still play being Harry and Hermione.
posted by philipy at 9:47 AM on May 13, 2011


just the content of emails and things like that

Tiny UI elements aren't ideal, but at least if you use an app often you tend figure out what and where they are.

The biggest pains for me are text-heavy apps and mobile versions of websites that have no ability to resize the content. For example there's an official app for the soccer team I support, and it gives a live text commentary during a game, but in a needlessly small font with no ability to resize. Perversely there are parts of the app (I think player bios and news stories and such) where you can resize the text, but not in that one area which is the main selling point of the app.

Another pain is the mobile theme that so many Wordpress sites throw up by default to an iPhone. The irony is that I could read most of those sites easily if I was able to zoom with Safari into the actual content column of the non-mobile site, but forcing me to the mobile theme version prevents that.

Actually I do wonder in all seriousness if the underlying reason why it goes that way is that UI designers and the people they test their designs on are generally so young that these issues never occur to them.
posted by philipy at 10:11 AM on May 13, 2011


A few years ago I knew a geeky, scii-fi loving teenager, and it turned out that he had never in his life seen a single episode of any version of Star Trek. A moment of: "Oh... TNG finished that long ago that he wasn't even born then... wow!" Seems like yesterday that I was all excited that Trek was going to be revived and wondering how an older bald guy would do as Enterprise captain. ("It's Trek Jim, but not as we know it.")

I think Geek Things have a shorter shelf life, if it's any consolation. I just amused myself a couple days ago by pulling up and comparing two FPP's -- one when the producers of Doctor Who announced David Tennant would take over as The Doctor ("God, who's that guy?" "He's so young," "Feh, looks like an emo hipster" "He won't hold a candle to Christopher Eccleston"), and one from when they announced Matt Smith would be taking over as The Doctor ("God, who's that guy?" "He's so young," "Feh, looks like an emo hipster" "He won't hold a candle to David Tennant").

Only four years' lapse separated the two threads. Maybe this is the same thing, where it only takes a few years for someone to be all, "Jean-Luc who?" So someone not knowing about him doesn't make you quite that old.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:15 AM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Regarding rabbit ears, if your renting, how do you get a proper antenna installed?
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:15 AM on May 13, 2011


when the producers of Doctor Who announced David Tennant

Yes, when that was announced I wondered about Tennant being too young. And then I happened to get Genesis of the Daleks on DVD, and lo and behold - Tom Baker looked so young in that!

But seeing The Doctor played by someone younger than me.... well, it's comparable to realizing that there are now some world leaders that are younger than me.

To quote Ninth Doctor: "That's not supposed to 'appen."
posted by philipy at 10:47 AM on May 13, 2011


Regarding rabbit ears, if your renting, how do you get a proper antenna installed?

One apartment building I lived in had a nice big antenna on the roof, with wiring going to all the apartment units. It was pretty great, especially since there were a lot of nearby stations. My current apartment doesn't have that, so I use a cheap rabbit ears antenna. I only get one network, the local public television affiliate.
posted by asperity at 11:44 AM on May 13, 2011


"Now I feel sad for the taco bell dog. Damn.
posted by roue at 10:04 AM on May 12"


No one should ever outlive a chihuahua.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:06 PM on May 13, 2011


The only thing this made me do was wikipedia JFK.

This comment makes me feel way older than anything on that list. You had to wiki JFK? Really?
posted by marsha56 at 7:32 PM on May 13, 2011


Clint Eastwood, for example; my god he was a sexy devil. I still see it in his smile but I imagine a 20 year old girl looking at him now would just see a dried-up old grandpa.

I dunno, I'm 20 now, and I remember a conversation I had with a few female friends a few years ago, after the Academy Awards where Eastwood delivered the speech for Enrico Morricone's lifetime achievement award (or something along those lines.) The consensus was that he was still sexy as all hell and we all felt vaguely creepy for thinking as much.

I do remember my dad remarking that Obama would be the first president who was younger than he was, but he thought that was cause for celebration.
posted by kagredon at 11:46 PM on May 14, 2011


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