Why You Should Hate Old People, Part 1

You know what I hate more than anything else in the entire world? More than twerking, which I still don’t even know what that is, more than screamo, more than people who come to a complete stop when they turn or people who drink coffee at 9 PM. More than I hate vegetarians, more than I hate Ford Mustang fans, more than I hate baseball or UFC or clogged toilets or stubbed toes or being blind in one eye. The thing I hate more than everything else is old people.

I hate the way they talk. I hate the way they smell. I hate the way they stare, drool, walk, think, drive, get confused, shit themselves, complain about acid reflux, bitch about other generations, and dress. Matter of fact, the only thing I don’t hate that old people do is die of seizures. Has anyone ever seen Logan’s Run? The idea of that movie is so great that I could fill my spank bank with imaginings of how much fun it was to write that script.

I could list a million reasons why I despise old people, but a handful of things seem to make up the majority of why I hate them as much as I do, and they are things you probably hate about them to. Have you ever noticed how old people always bitch about the way the world is these days? That everything was so much better back when they were young; that cell phones, SUVs, and loud music have brought about the downfall of civilization. Now I may not be the first person to hate plenty of things about the world today, but correct me if I’m wrong: wasn’t segregation still legal in the era these people are referring to? Wasn’t the “good old days” the era of a global Communist menace, acceptable racial profiling, persecution of gays, one flavor of cola, restriction of birth control, cars that get 2 miles to the gallon, McCarthyism, and religious oppression? It sounds to me like you’d trade in your cell phone for some good ol’ fashioned lynch mobbing any day of the week, that putting a robot on Mars is not nearly as cool as being able to deny an unwed mother charity. Who wouldn’t want to exchange their iPod for a transistor radio? I betcha the Alabama 12 don’t consider those times the “golden years.”

Who the fuck are these people kidding? There’s no pleasing them, all they do is bitch and grumble because of some stupid modern convenience or another. The greatest atrocity to old people is modern technology. They say it makes us impersonal and detached. Keep in mind that the people who say this are always the people who have no fucking clue what they are talking about. Now I get it, a lot of these things came along fairly recently and you’ve already settled into your routines and it can be difficult to learn something new. But shit, I tried for two years in high school to learn Spanish and failed miserably, that doesn’t mean that the Spanish language is fucked up, it means I am. Its 2013, if you don’t know how to send an email or pay with a credit card, then fuck you. If you are too old to remember directions and refuse to learn how to use a GPS, then you have no right to cry about getting lost.

I was at a grocery store once and this old couple in front of me was struggling to use the PoS (point of sale) machine to pay for their stuff. After minutes of trying to understand what “cash back” was, they finally blundered through the process and on the way out the door, the old guy muttered something to the effect of “Every time I see one of those machines I just want to rip them off the wall.” Modern credit cards were invented in 1950, the first practical touch-screen point of sale system in 1986. It has been 27 years since then. You have had 27 years to learn how to use this fucking system. That’s longer than I’ve been alive, and you probably weren’t an old miserable shit when they came out. So what’s more likely the case here, that point of sale systems that almost a billion people a day use are buggy and stupid, or that you are an ignorant old useless blowhard who refuses to accept the intrusion of rudimentary technology into your life?

Whip out a smart phone around these people and you may as well have busted out a magic fucking wand. They are simply incapable of comprehending any of this shit, and they somehow turn it around on us and make it our fault for not doing it their way. Well fuck, sorry gramps, no matter how you slice it it’s easier to run a credit card at the cash register than it is to write a check, at least your card can’t get ripped off in the mail every time you buy something and you know if it was rejected right then and there. I know I would much prefer to write a letter to my relatives halfway around the world than to Skype them and see their face. Letter writing is just so personal, is it not? If you’re afraid of Android phones, don’t get one, but don’t bitch about it when the rest of the world moves to them and suddenly your carrier doesn’t support your old piece of shit pre-flip anymore. Get with the fucking times, it’s not like you wake up to the laws of physics being rewritten every week. Even though a cell phone has a camera and a datebook and a porn button on it doesn’t mean you still can’t press the fucking numbers and make a phone call on it. No the corner store doesn’t sell tape decks anymore, get an MP3 player or go fuck yourself. Email has been the exact same beast since it was invented; you’ve been using it for 20 years, stop acting like you need to relearn it every month. The antenna on your TV is broken? Try buying a TV that was made in the last 20 years, see if that doesn’t just do wonder for you. And if you don’t understand an automatic door, fuck you.

It is only made worse by those dipshit tech rag-mags who always warn about cyber-fraud and cyber-bullying and cyber-hacking and cyber-whatever. You can always tell when someone has no clue what they are talking about when they use the word “cyber” in front of another word, because the last time I checked, no one who knows DNS ever uses the word “cyber” for anything. Forbes, The New Your Times, Wired magazine, and countless other publications have done so much fearmongering when it comes to online security that old people are afraid to touch their thermostat, lest it become self-aware and assume remote access to their car to wreak havoc in densely-populated areas while donating their life savings to Libyan rebels. It is bad enough that most of the security advice people offer is bullshit (see my article on passwords for more on that), and it is only compounded by old people having no clue what an SSL, DDoS, or ISP is. That fear and confusion is never properly guided and old people end up doing stupid shit like not giving out their phone numbers to the drug store for coupons because they think that all anyone ever does with that information is sell it to someone else, causing them to yell at the cashier for no reason and hold up the line over stupid bullshit.

An even worse symptom to this sensationalist tech reporting is that it makes old people think that computers do things they can’t and then get mad when they don’t. Anyone who has ever worked in any computer-based support job can relate. Any neighborhood do-good who offers to fix grandma’s PC can relate. It aint any company’s fault that you don’t know how to use their product, and when you asininely spit that they should make their program easier to use, you assume that the rest of the world is as stupid as you are. 70 year olds have no business learning Dreamweaver anyway, and no cloud computing doesn’t involve actual clouds.

Bring any of this up to an old person of course and they flaunt their intransigence and flippantly dismiss the concept of learning something new. “I don’t have to,” they tell you, “the old way still works fine.” And in some cases that’s true, but most of the time the old way is either laughably obsolete to the point where it’s not even supported anymore (ever tried buying a domain name with a written check?) or laughably obsolete to the point where something else has improved upon it 500%. No, don’t mail a check to your power company, call the number and charge it that way. You don’t like those automated systems, those weird robots that seem to have replaced actual people on the other end of the phone? Maybe if you followed the instructions the scary robot voice told you to follow, you wouldn’t have so many fucking issues. I never understood why people automatically hate automated systems; they tell you EXACTLY what to say and EXACTLY what button to press. If you find a way to screw that up, how do you even get dressed in the morning? And if you call your cable company, you know, those warlocks who provide you with that mystic online-web-thingy you could never understand every time you can’t complete a Google search, you shouldn’t be Google searching anyway. You should be dying of Parkinson’s.

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