Things I Don’t Understand

I’m reaching the age where I’m caught between geezers and kids these days. Here are some things I don’t understand.

1. Pokemon

My mother loved the Pokemon cartoon show and had a talking Pikachu. The kids at the summer camp I worked at (in 2007) were impressed I knew the likes of Psyduck and Jiggleypuff. Yet the show and games’ appeal continue to elude me. You just capture wild animals and make them fight for your amusement forever?

I like this meme though:

Two cats look at a handheld Nintendo device. The text reads: Let me show you my pokemans. My pokemans. Let me show you them."
From the good people at LolCat

A medieval style image with three people and a dragon. Caption says, "Mine pocket beasts. Permit me to display them before you."

2. Phone calls

What if an actual person picks up? What if no one picks up? Should I rehearse what I’m going to say one more time? Why can’t I program my cellphone to play a (fake) dial tone?

3. Calculus

I mean literally, what is calculus? I’m reading Wikipedia, and I’m already lost after two paragraphs. How is it related to trig? I took trig and barely made it through with a C. How was that getting me ready for calculus? Wikipedia says, “Calculus is also used to gain a more precise understanding of the nature of space, time, and motion.” The vastness of space and time freak me out, so I guess it’s no wonder that calculus is beyond me.

4. Early Bird Specials

Isn’t that just lunch? I mean, I’m typically eating breakfast at 2 p.m., so I don’t mean to judge.

5. SuperWhoLock (Supernatural/Dr. Who/BBC Sherlock)

Why does everyone like watching shows that make them sad? And I see this word a lot; is this meant to be a crossover, or just a declaration that one likes all of these shows?

Also, it was only recently that I realized there are three guys on Supernatural. I have the same problem with Game of Thrones: Oh, which dark haired, 20-something white guy is this?

6. Not having more female characters in everything.

I’m so tired of stories about dudes. Look, I know the Bechdel Test isn’t meant to be an end-all be-all indicator of quality, but why is it so hard to get two (or more!) female characters to talk about something non-love-interest-related in the same piece of media?

7. Likewise, not having more POC characters, queer characters, etc.

Sleepy Hollow is an awesome show. It’s funny and cheesy and scary. It stars a white guy as Ichabod Crane… and a black woman as his kick-ass partner (plus her equally cool sister), a black man as a police captain, an Asian-American man as another police officer-turned-demonic minion, and a Latino man as yet another police officer. The stories are compelling, engaging, complex, and reveal new voices, ones we often don’t get to here on prime time TV.

Right now, everyone kinda has a crush on Abbie, but who knows, there’s time for queer characters to show up (maybe Katrina?!).

Some of the cast members from Sleepy Hollow: John Cho, Orlando Jones, Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, and Lyndie Greenwood at PaleyFest
John Cho, Orlando Jones, Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, and Lyndie Greenwood at PaleyFest. Photo by Kevin Parry for Paley Center for Media. From Crave Online

8. Whistling, horns, and trumpets in songs

Songs from the ’80s often had harmonica or saxophone in them, which I really dislike. I wondered if people at the time disliked it or if everyone enjoyed that feature of the music or what. Well, now I know that most likely not everyone enjoyed it, because I dislike the current trend of whistling, horns, and trumpets.

(I actually like “Little Talks,” but that’s one offender.)

9. Facial hair

I prefer a clean-shaven face. Because his body belongs to him, my husband usually has facial hair. So scratchy.

10. CGI Movies

Why go to all the trouble if the female characters all have the same face, anyway? I miss the warmth of hand-drawn animation.

11. Driving video games

I can’t even handle a real car, never mind trying to remember which button does what on the controller.

12. MTV

I totally remember when they used to play music videos. Let’s go take it over!

13. Bergamot

It’s an orange commonly used in Earl Grey and Lady Grey tea. I love tea, but it tastes so weird.

14. Twitter

I use Twitter, don’t get me wrong. I’m just not really sure what I’m using it for or what I’m doing.

15. The word “selfie” (at least the media’s obsession with it)

Taking pictures of yourself/your friends by holding the camera at arm’s length. I went to high school in the ’90s, and we did that.

16. Tattoos you can’t see (because they are on your back, for example)

I mean, I get wanting to have a lot of skin for a large design. But if I’m paying that much money, I want to be able to see the tattoo without craning my neck in a mirror.

A calf tattoo of a red and blue medieval dragon, with medieval scrollwork.
Even turning my leg to the side is kind of a pain.

17. Internships and doing things for the exposure/experience

My landlord doesn’t accept “experience.”

18. Why the deli down the street changed its menu

It used to be so delicious. Now it’s like, yeah, cold ham sandwiches and one kind of cookie. I’ll just buy a container of Oscar Mayer.

19. The baby upstairs.

I’m not super friendly with the neighbors, but I always say hi. I haven’t noticed any signs of pregnancy or adoption: Chris hasn’t looked pregnant, no empty boxes for cribs or strollers. So why is there a baby constantly crying? Is it theirs? Does it belong to a visitor? Is it one of those dolls used in home ec classes?

20. People who don’t fact check

It takes two seconds to check Snopes or even Wikipedia (which I don’t allow my students to use, but I’m a hypocrite and use it all the time, and it’s generally reliable enough). I see weird, inaccurate stuff posted on Facebook and elsewhere by my older relatives as well as people my own age.


By Natasha

History. Hindi cinema. Hugging cats.

10 replies on “Things I Don’t Understand”

1) I was way into Pokemon back when there were only 150. Then they started adding tons more and I quickly lost interest.

2) I always wait til the phone starts ringing before I rehearse what I’ll say if they answer and what I’ll say if I get their voicemail.

3) I only got to geometry in high school and was barely awake during statistics in college

4) I’ve never actually participated in an early bird special

5) I do adore Supernatural and yes it could use more diversity. I love the sadness because I like the feels. Most of the shows I watch either make me happy, excite me or make me laugh. I wanna feel the whole range of emotions. Supernatural covers both sad and funny.

6) Supernatural is doing a spinoff about a werewolf family, unfortunately its a mostly white male cast as well, but wouldn’t it be awesome to see a Xena + Gabrielle type duo fighting demons?

7) I too adore Sleepy Hollow. And they all look so fetching in that pic! Ichabod looks weird as a normal person. Does that make sense?

8) I’m weird, I hate ska precisely because it combines rock and brass instruments. But I’m fine with it in other things.

9) Neat facial hair, fine. I have a problem with a lot of body hair. I want to be able to slide off him with my equally slightly-less-hairy body.

10) Don’t get me started on CGI…

11) I used to be obsessed with Crazy Taxi. And Mario Kart.

12) Every once in a blue moon MTV surprises me

13) I hate tea, but I will try this bergamot

14) I see no point in using Twitter as I’m not a public

15) I’ve always seen selfies as something for shiny happy pretty people. I am not a member of this clique.

16) Placement matters more to me than visibility. Plus its kinda hot having it a little secret.

17) Don’t get me started on internships…

18) I can’t remember the last time I stepped foot in a deli. I should rectify that.

19) Can’t. Deal. With the crying.

20) If I feel a friend can be reasoned with, I present opposing facts. If I know its a pointless battle, I ignore it. Maybe even unfollow said friend. Not worth the strain of eye rolling so hard.

I’m fairly certain that Calculus is a conspiracy made up to mess with over-achieving high school students.

I also firmly believe that 98% of the stuff I learned in Statistics was pulled out of someone’s ass. My envisioning of the process: Some researcher in a lab, “Crap, this data doesn’t prove my point! I could lose my funding! I know! I’m going to multiply things, and add things, and divide things, until things are so buried in operations that they’ll HAVE to believe me when I claim my study a success!”

SuperWhoLock is a crossover, yes. It comes with badly dubbed gif sets about the Winchester boys asking Sherlock for help, the Doctor bringing them back in time blablablbla
Some of the followers wanted to reign Hannibal in as well. Hannibal fans weren’t amused and charged. I was very amused. Tumblr, it’s a whole new world.

I’m glad I don’t follow anyone who’s into it.

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