Derek Johnson Muses

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Age Without Distinction

Earlier this year, I was jarred a bit when I ran into an acquaintance from growing up who was three grades behind me. This person still appeared very young to me even though said person is now twenty-seven. I felt a gap between myself and this person that I don’t feel between myself and the college students at church, because it was a person I knew from growing up.

I am turning thirty in October, but I don’t freak out about my age, or really have any opinion on it. I feel like I should come up with something to write on the subject, such as what the last decade has meant to me, or what being older signifies to me, but honestly, I can’t think of anything. To me, time just passes the way it passes, which thankfully is out of my control.

I’m grateful for my years and have enjoyed my twenties, but I do wish I had a certain significance to become a thirty year-old man. When I’m at church, or hanging out with my gaming friends who are younger than me, it’s as if we are who we are, without distinction. Man, I can be nonobservant.

Perhaps it’s just the loss of family and community that offer clear distinction and roles to people instead of just a “be anything that you want to be” attitude. Maybe if I had married young and had two kids following me around I would feel differently, and I’d certainly have a lot more experience. I haven’t really done a lot in my life, except take the work that was right in front of me, and read and write a lot.

In What to Expect When No One’s Expecting, Jonathan V. Last writes about countries that have “youth bulges” of males (currently a problem in Iran), and how it causes political instability when the young men can’t find wives or work. (In a way, such countries go to war to keep the young men from rebelling against their own government.) I see this first hand in my own life, how being without a wife and children has taken its tool on me. I do blame the world (and feminism) for some of it, but even with those things, I’m still responsible for some of it, certainly for my attitude about it.

Even though I don’t feel it, I know my youth is slipping away. I hope on the day that I wake up and feel old, that I still know what to do to move  forward.

Fade to Grey...

Fade to Grey…

NBC: Don’t Repeat Friends on The Office

Life after Steve Carrell

(Part 1 on The Office‘s downfall)

NBC may have sunk sitcoms ten years ago by sticking bad multi-camera, hammed laugh-track show it could find behind Friends, but they never really broke out of their slump. Instead, they showed audiences looking appalled at the terrible jokes on the bad sitcoms and called that show The Office.
Now, NBC seems to be making the same mistake with The Office: leaving the show on the air after it has ceased to be funny. The only difference is with The Office that show is since it’s fearless leader, Steve Carrell, left a year, the creative hole in the show is obvious. Mindy Kailing and Rainn Wilson are bolting for their own shows (along with show runner Paul Liebestein, whose going to run Rainn Wilson’s Dwight-centric spinoff), evidence to the fact that cast knows the show isn’t good anymore.

And yet, NBC renewed the show for a full season, with no announced plans that this will be the last year for the show. Even earlier on this  year, the Peacock thought that they could just introduce some new characters, and the show would be fine.Perhaps they’re forgetting what got them into last place: keeping on good shows long past their peak. ABC, on the other hand, figured it out with Lost and Desperate Housewives: better to retire a year early than a year late. Viewers aren’t stupid, and if you have a young show that’s so-so and could go either way, they are more likely to give it a chance if your good shows are good. NBC only sees the prosperity in front of them.


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