Have you noticed that some older men dress without any care for how they look? They ‘dag’ around in untidy, unfashionable clothes that do nothing to flatter their figure or give them any sense of relevance to the image-conscious younger generation. No wonder there is a “generation gap”!
Have you seen the hair styles on some older men? They still think ‘short back and sides’ or a flourishing mane make them look good! And what about their colour choice? They completely ignore the latest colour trends, preferring to wear something from yesteryear that has been out of fashion since Noah was a boy.
Trendy Old Men
To help us understand why some men care little for their appearance let us take a look at those trendy old men who keep a ‘with it’ eye on what the younger generation want of them. Let’s consider those men who read the teen magazines, go to the latest fashion stores, buy the extra-expensive brand-label outfits, trash their wardrobe at the end of each season and wouldn’t be seen dead in anything they grew up to know and love.
Now, I don’t know any old men who fit that description, so I’m going to have a stab at guessing why anyone would care to take on that fashion lifestyle. My guess may be miles off the mark, but I’m silly enough to do my own ‘imagineering’ here and come up with assumptions which play right into my own perspectives. Are you OK with that? Bad luck if you’re not, because here I go.
Old men who live to look trendy wake up each morning deeply concerned for the approval of snotty nosed, cynical and foolish 13 year olds who hold them in contempt.
They cannot bear to think that those louts loitering around the milk bar would look at them without the utmost respect and admiration. These old men desperately need to know that they have value, and they know that the surest and soundest source of value is those kids who were in diapers just a few years ago, but who are now the target of mass-marketing exploitation.
You see, these men desperately need the approval of today’s youth in order to find meaning and value in their lives.
In fifty or sixty years on the planet, these trendy old men have found no reason to be satisfied within themselves, from their family, career, relationships, social roles, experience, wisdom and mature perspective on life. Instead they still hanker for the teen approval they did not get on the school playground four decades earlier.
Do you know why it’s so hard to find such men? They just don’t exist!
Anyone who has been around for any length of time at all can’t help but feel sorry for those young suckers who are dragged along by the nose (maybe even by the nose-ring) to be slaughtered on the altar of popular culture.
Those hip, disengaged, cynical youth who look contemptuously at the fat, bald, out of date buffoon who ignores them down the street, haven’t got a clue. They are full of pride in their independence, modernity, fashions and with-it-ness, and have no idea that all those older people around them have seen it all before. Many of them were victims of the same foolishness themselves, in a previous generation.
Trash and Burn
Each new generation is seduced into believing itself to be the latest and greatest. Fashion is a key to this impression. Those ‘daggy’ old people with their poor colour sense, dawky fashions, poor image, and out-of-date look seem inferior in the eyes of the fresh batch of youngsters. Even the older teens, who have not embraced the latest ‘with it’ styles are held in contempt by the new batch of pride slaves.
But very quickly the latest and greatest will be yesterday’s fashion. The world system works on ‘trash and burn’, ditching the newest thing, sending it into obsolescence, so a new group can drink the pride of truly ‘hip’ existence.
Old Fashion People
Underneath all those fashion labels, latest colours, cool outfits and trendy styles, are people. The humans are as old-fashioned as you can get. They are just as vulnerable to pride, shame, selfishness, insecurity, fear, foolishness, ignorance, deception, anger, exploitation, and all that kind of stuff, as every other generation. The exception proviso is that some generations did a better job of protecting their foolish youth through godly discipline, parental authority, strong restraints, godly wisdom and the like.
As each new batch of suckers grows up they quickly experience the trash and burn cycle that turns their latest and greatest heroes and fashions into has-been throw-away relics. They mostly end up slaves to sin and shame, victims of their emotions, pawns in other people’s games, and disillusioned and hurting people.
Eventually people get burned out by the continuum of new generations of arrogant idiots who think they have landed on the planet immune from their own humanity. People eventually give up on their empty pursuit for the world’s shallow acclaim.
Most people find their own meaning, insignificant as it may be. They get on with their own lives, doing their own thing, and distancing themselves from the ‘trendy’ set with their temporary superiority. Family, work, hobbies, friends and some set of familiar elements become their life and their source of satisfaction and meaning.
Eventually most people become immune to the scorn of callow youth who think they have something over their elders. Most people are even beyond feeling pity. Their only thought, if they care to give it a thought, is that the arrogant look on the young man’s face will end up being wiped away by life, in a few short years.
Most older people don’t even try to rescue the next batch of fools lining up to be fodder for the jaws of a voracious world system. As long as youth are baptised into pride there is little point in trying to sprinkle them with the holy water of wisdom.
Daggy Old Men
So the world fills up with daggy old men and women. The aging generation shakes off the worthless demands of an enslaving world, and settles down to making their own world, free from commercial exploitation.
We will never be spared the sight of fat, balding men and shameless women who wear what is comfortable to them, despite its clash with current trends. We will never be free from those who have seen it all before and who refuse to bow the knee to commercial manipulation, cultural exploitation and the demands of arrogant and foolish minds.
With any good fortune, we may even see some of the younger generation protected from the slavery their peers so readily fall prey to. But that will take a new generation of fathers who turn their hearts toward their children, and children who turn their hearts toward their parents.
Until that happens we will have to live with the curse of pride, arrogance, foolishness and cultural slavery.
“Lord, send along an Elijah who will turn those hearts, so generations can be saved.”