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What do you do when your cool gets old?

Do you do what Napoleon Dynamite’s Uncle Rico did….? Keep replaying old video tapes trying to relive the ‘glory days’!

For the first time I started feeling old.  I try to stay trendy in what I wear but when I went to my closet the other day and all my stuff was out of style.  The light went on…your cool is getting old.

I was the guy growing up that knew everything about every alternative band. I was the front man (singer) in several bands growing up and a college DJ when college radio was ‘radio free america’.  So much of my worth was tied up in being cool in that way at that time.  Here is excerpt from one those bands…

The other day I got off phone with Ian Mackay (of Minor Threat) who I called to thank. More than 30 yrs ago he gave me a ride home from 9:30 club after a Double O & Government Issue show in DC. I was 15 yrs old, from out of town and alone. A drunk guy was threatening to slit my throat because I  was ignoring him out of fear while I tried frantically to call a taxi. No answer. I saw Ian MacKay, knowing him from Minor Threat, I ran down to the green room to ask him for ride to my Georgetown hotel. Thankfully, He gave me a ride because  “That’s what punks do, right?” He told me. We talked about how Henry Rollins (Black Flag) stays at same hotel he took me too & how he just was there picking him up last week. For old timers, that was a cool little interaction! But Ha! No one but a small old punk contingency would know or appreciate that convo.

LCD SoundSystem capture the tension of your cool getting old in the satirist song “I’m losing my edge”

I’m losing my edge

To the kids coming up from behind

I’m losing my edge 

To the kids from London and France…

how many of you know every good band member of every great band from 1962 to 1977

How is it that everyone you know is now more important than everyone I know

I’m losing my edge

It is so funny because it is so blatantly captures what older guys can feel when all you got is cool.

Or the honest commentary of Michael Stipe of R.E.M. about trying to keep up..

That’s me in the spotlight

Losing my religion

Trying to keep up with you

& I don’t know if I can do it

Oh no, I’ve said too much

I haven’t said enough

Whats my point ?

Don’t base your life on something that doesn’t last across the different decades of your life. 

Jesus provides life that is true Life (capital L) that can pass from one generation to the next into the next and will be for every generation to come.

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. (John 1:4 NIV)

God saved me from basing my life on being cool. Jesus provided a path of dignity to getting old by focusing on him and his love for me regardless if I embarrass my wife or kids in how dumb I look or how dumb my jokes are. I get my identity in being loved as a son by God. All I get to do, see, say, experience is a bonus and all my eggs aren’t in the cool basket that will not last. Because of God I have a family to call my own who knows I’m not cool. Because of God I have deep friendships that are based on real things and not cool or shallow stuff. Because of God I plan to live my life out of purpose and not shallow material things that don’t last. God have offered me SO much more than my pre-Christian life where I only valued  “being cooler than the next guy.” I was drinking from the wrong water hose and was always left thirsty trying to keep up on the latest trendy thing. As I have gotten older I see  keeping up is clearly a losing game. Now I have rivers of life coming from within me that has washed away the need to be cool any more & keep up. Thank you Jesus

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Script has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” Jesus <John 7:37>

About the Author

I am a fierce Jesus follower, husband of 1 beautiful wife , father of 4 amazing people & a restless creative. Former hardcore punk singer, youth pastor, busker, drug counselor, train hopper, long boarder, exotic fruit farmer, missionary, hitchhiker & Seminarian. Current blogger, podcaster, and corporate cubicle farm dweller in marketing.

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Betty - last year Reply

Your blogs are wonderful and Dad and I rejoice to see your growth .

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