I picked up a novel last week at the library and turned, as I often do, to the back flap to learn about the author, whose name was unfamiliar to me. This was The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Merrill Block, which I read and liked (and although it may appear this blog is quickly sliding down into some morass of Alzheimer's-only commentary, it was pure coincidence that I pulled the book off the new fiction shelf) (although I suppose maybe not a coincidence that I read it). But jeez oh pete, he was born in 1982.
I was startled, but decided to read the book anyway -- it's not the first novel I've read by someone younger than me (although possibly the first by someone that much younger) -- and as I thought about it I figured I inevitably see actors and listen to musicians younger than myself. But there's still something embedded in my head that goes way back to I think the 3rd grade -- the sense that cool people are inevitably older than me. For so long, all musicians, novelists, and actors were older than me, that it came to seem inevitable.
And although I hear music on the radio from new young bands, I'm entrenched enough in my habits that most of what I still listen to is from people of my own generation or older: Robert Smith, Bono, Madonna. I just checked, and as I thought, John Digweed and Tiesto are about my age. Most of the contemporary fiction I read is from people around my own age or older.
I guess all that's getting ready to change...