Age doesn’t necessarily define a person. Attitude does. In equal measure, complaints don’t teach us about our world. They teach us about ourselves. When you combine the two, you end up with a myriad of misleading indicators. Curmudgeon. Coot. Angry old man. These are just a few of the terms used to describe the 51 year old, ten years in the business writer typing these words. Coming from a decidedly old school, five decades plus in the making, one is often regarded as out of touch and far too crotchety. Part of the problem is the tired “cultural contradiction” cliche - you know…the one that usually starts out “Music was better in my day” or “Movies were better in my day.“Add in the appropriate medium and the standard miserable message and you’ve got someone who feels lost in a world that, at a previous point, they helped make and maintain.
After reading how James Cameron and George Lucas are pushing theater owners to covert to digital (and with it, 3D), I am reminded of my first big battle with technology. As an early adopter of VHS, I was shocked to see my friends going Beta. As they crowed about their superior image and relative cost, I bit my lip and bought copies of current movies for up to $90 a pop (I still have the original Easy Money, starring Rodney Dangerfield, that I paid $80 to own). My future father in law even came back from New York City with the just released VHS of Star Wars. At $120, it seemed like a bargain. As my VCR continued its late ‘70s/early ‘80s dominance of the market, the slaves to Sony finally succumbed. In this battle between prototypes, I was on the winning side. It’s been that way ever since…up until now, that is.