The Power of Youth

I had a thought today about the power that youth as a concept has over our culture. Time was, it was the older folk who had the power and were looked up to. Now, even the older, more powerful seem to worship and pursue youth–and while some of them might always have done so, I think it’s a sensibility that really pervades our culture. It’s hard to escape, really.

It occurred to me that the reason for this worship might point to more than just marketing and an accelerated culture that youth are generally more adapted to internalize and use–though both these factors certainly help. But I also wondered whether our worship of youth also has to do with the changing structure of our society. In the past, we all had roles, based on class and on parentage–indeed, for much of our history, those class boundaries were fixed and our trades were determined by the family into which we were born.

Now, it’s different, at least in the West. We’re told we can do anything we want–be anyone we want to be. It’s vast choice. And as we get older, we begin to second guess our choices–but when we change tracks, we have less time to grow into our new careers. It is only the young who have the unlimited potential, with no doors yet closed. I suspect part of what we worship, then, is actually that potential. All doors are open, and sometimes that in itself presents a conflict–how is one to choose?–but the choice is there. You get older, fail a little, or fail to succeed as spectacularly as you had dreamed. Maybe you decide to change tracks. And there are the young folk, for whom this is a first career. And while you (by which I mean I) don’t regret past choices, you (by which I mean I) do sort of wish for that blank slate.

I don’t actually worship youth. I am reconciled to bidding my unlined face goodbye. I am glad of the life I’ve lived, the losses I’ve suffered and the joys I’ve been blessed with. But I can see how this memory of that potential, of that vast array of choices, can seem compelling when we’ve made our choices and they haven’t turned out to be quite what we hoped. Similarly, I can see how that would add a further sheen to our cultural worship of youth.

And in celebration of my ageing self–and the fact that it was the contemplation of that youth, slipping away slowly but surely, I’ll illustrate this post with a pic of me from last night, at a gig we went to in TO.

The 501 Queen

Heading home late tonight from trial advocacy–too late for the express bus. So, it is back to the 501 streetcar again. It feels almost legendary now that I don’t have to take it regularly anymore. And it has been very decorous today–it was more or less on time, not overfilled, and no totally flamboyant personalities. The worst we had was an artsy gal who was talking about struggling to create work that was more “for the public” and not so much for… Didn’t hear. The elite, perhaps? The true visionaries and artists? Sometimes, some forms of art feel a little “Emperor’s New Clothes” to me, I have to admit. No-one wants to admit that the emperor is naked.

At any rate, she was on her phone. She also spoke a bit of Italian because she was taking a course. Alas, her accent made it difficult at first to realize she was speaking Italian, which is normally easy to recognize and to understand a little, too.

Soo sleepy, suddenly. The streetcar must be lulling me to with its old, familiar rhythms. Heh.

The Southernmost Point

On Key West, we took a stroll down to the southernmost point of the US. Apparently, there was a long line for photos, but I didn’t realize this until after I’d snapped these shots… That’s why that other woman is in the shot, it turned out–it was actually their rightful turn to snap the shots. We usurped that. I felt bad, but it *did* end up saving some time.

Home, sweet home (for now)

This is a pic of the ship that we call “home”–at least for the next few days… It isn’t as big as the ones we’ve been on with Princess, but it is plenty spacious and very lovely and art deco inside. Most elegant indeed!

Alas, the shot doesn’t fully encompass its true splendour and grandeur, but I’m sure you get the idea.

For Dexter Fans…

Two pics of the container yards outside of Miami–unless there are more than one of these in the city limits, this is where baby Dexter and his brother witnessed their mother’s murder and where the seeds were planted for them to become the men they became. I couldn’t resist the “arty” shot with the sun, but hopefully the other shot is a little clearer.

An Evening of Broadway

In all, I think it went well. This was a show that Tom and Anwyn’s brother Gareth organized–with the help of a legion of volunteers. We had a good showing and made a bit of profit out of it as well, which is always a good thing! Plus, it was an invaluable learning experience wrt what to do–and what not to do–in putting together something like this. Anwyn, the band, and a couple of special guests, were all great! So many of the songs brought back memories of my younger  days, when I was an ardent fan of the musical genre. It was also lovely to see the younger kids there–girls mostly, with stars in their eyes as they watched Anwyn perform!

Alice in Wonderland @ Queen Subway

I really loved the way they incorporated the Queen Subway tiles into the display of the poster itself. Northbound featured the White Queen and southbound featured the Red Queen. Clevah!

I love Tim Burton–and visuals go a long way for me, at least with regard to his work. I’m generally willing to forgive much, because I love his creative vision.

It will be a nice mid-semester escape from the madness of the 1L experience of running madly to stay in place while finding myself slipping inexorably behind. Though, in some ways, my encounters with the law are a bit of an Alice in Wonderland experience in themselves. While it’s never quite “off with her head” (since we don’t have the death penalty–though I sometimes have the uncomfortable sense that I’m on the verge of losing *my* head), some of the judgments do seem rather arbitrary, and decided based on some peculiar and well-concealed motives. You sometimes really do have to read between the lines to figure out why the case law suddenly takes some unexpected and inexplicable turn. And indeed, you could say that I’m wandering through the world of Easements, Covenants, Negligence and Federal Enclaves with an Alice-like bemusement at the wonders and the mysteries of it all.

But the often-puzzling and generally fascinating Wonderland of Law isn’t nearly as pretty as the Wonderland born of a collaboration between the likes of Lewis Carroll and Tim Burton will be–of that I am certain!

Sent from my iPod, so please pardon any typos!