Sometimes the Rock and Roll Librarian likes to channel his inner grumpy old man, shaking an imaginary cane at the Starbucks and reminding everyone that coffee should be drunk black, with the only acceptable accompaniment being a shot of brandy. In the old days, that and a couple of unfiltered “Export A” greens was a perfectly good breakfast, at least according to my Granddad and he lived to be well over 60.
Recently though, strange things have begun to creep into our cultural consciousness that remind us things are not as they used to be. Twerking? Instagraming your lunch? What the hell man. And who decided that we needed an updated version of Spiderman every two years until the end of time? Some stuff you shouldn't mess with and some stuff should not have been invented – I’m looking at you Auto Tune. Maybe we need to be more discerning about which daft ideas we allow to consume us as the flavor of the day. And hey you hipsters - stop buying up all the Goddamn vinyl – you’re driving up the price for the real collectors.
The following is basically a list of questionable stuff that has gone sideways since Seinfeld went off the air. Evidently, some of this will kill you now, but wouldn't have back in my day.
1. Paris Kardashian syndrome – This is a recent phenomenon where you can become a celebrity by having a daddy with lots of money. You don’t have to actually do anything except frequently post to your twitter account and make the odd sex tape.
2. Soy Exploitation – The soy bean was fine on its own for thousands of years as a staple in the Asian diet. It should never have become the main ingredient in…well everything, and especially should never appear in the same sentence as frappucino or latte.
3. Gluten Sensitivity – I’m pretty sure gluten sensitivity was invented by the food industry as a clever way of marketing to hypochondriacs. Gluten is a necessary part of life…like msg. No one actually knows what it does, except that when you take it away, it creates flavor sadness.
4. Water bottles – From the way people cart water bottles around these days, you would think humans had been pushed to the brink of extinction from being dangerously dehydrated all the time. Eight glasses a day? Tell that to the Masai warriors, who survive on one sip of sandy well-water each day while tracking antelope over marathon like distances.
5. Concussions – What has happened to sports? Kids are getting concussed these days from badminton birdies. Somehow as soon as they changed from the medically acceptable term of getting your bell rung to concussion, incident rates went up 2000 %. In my day we used to get a concussion, and…then. Okay… lost my train of thought
6. Vaccines that will kill you, or at least render you autistic – I have a vaccination scar on my arm. It kept me from getting polio, measles, scarlet fever, probably the plague and God knows what else. How did not getting vaccinated become a thing?
7. Every singer that sounds like they are perpetually auditioning for The Voice – Listen to some Joe Cocker and come back when you stop trying to sound like Rhianna. (That is a bad thing in case you are confused on where I stand)
8. Craft Brews Gone Berserk – Hops is one of the things that makes beer delicious when used in a judicious manner. Somewhere along the line, every craft brewer out there thought they needed to out-hop and out-weird everyone else. Super-Hoptastic Banana Peel Brew is not a good idea for a flavor.
9. Inability to Fail – How about a generation of kids who legally can’t fail a grade, be cut from a team or experience any other type of disappointment in life? This trend will keep the drug companies and therapists in business for years to come.
10. Names that have weird spellings but are really the same name. Allisa, Alyssa, Elisa, Alisha. Are you being a cool parent or are you just making life difficult for her teachers? Four variations of Alyssa in the same class? Go sit next to Ayden.