Dr. Strangelove … Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Following
Maybe this is a symptom of my ⅓-life crisis. Turning 33.33 and realizing I’ve only got 60, maybe 70 good years ahead of me. Things that used to get stuck in my craw now floss out with ease — and not because I’ve got a bone to pick. What used to make my blood boil becomes cool as a cucumber under an electric blanket with a mug of chamomile tea. Blow a fuse? I’ve got a circuit breaker for that now. By way of example:
Snapchat. Slate technology writer Will Oremus, who is both a year younger than I and a technology writer for slate.com, asks, “Is Snapchat Really Confusing, or Am I Just Old?” Hard to say. Here’s how the app works: You take a picture or video, possibly on purpose; you send it, without realizing you’ve sent it, to whomever you just sent it to; they view it or don’t view it and then it disappears forever or it doesn’t.
Aw, snap — I love it. Snapchat makes me feel young, except when the camera is facing me and it makes me feel old. The ephemerality is liberating. Pictures can be a little out of focus; videos can have narration of you being yelled at for taking a video. You can superimpose text or scribbles to punctuate your moment of fuzzy, noisy brilliance. And then the moment is shared. And then the moment is gone.
Kidz Bop. My kids are backseat DJs now — DJ Judah Maccabbee and DJ Lady Bird. They spin Kidz Bop. What is Kidz Bop, you ask? Lucky for you, kidzbop.com anticipates all five of your frequently asked questions: “Kidz Bop records kid-friendly versions of today’s biggest pop music hits,” releasing four albums per year — mostly recently “Kidz Bop 28” (pre-order “Kidz Bop 29” today) — all of which feature the Kidz Bop Kids, who perform live in 25 cities every year.
Kidz Bop versions of all your favorite unavoidable songs feature lyrics that are marginally clearer and tamer sung by children who are not your children: In “All About That Bass,” no[tably more] treble, “Boys they like a little more booty to hold at night … You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll” becomes “Don’t let it keep you at home in your room at night … You know I won’t be no stick figure fake plastic Barbie doll.” Still a little racy for my tastes.
Dad Bod. Before the term Dad Bod (“a nice balance between a beer gut and working out … not an overweight guy, but it isn’t one with washboard abs, either”) took the Internet by storm this spring, I was coming to terms with my own. With each passing bikini season, there’s been just a little bit more of me to love. While I did not carry my children, I now carry my children. And it’s about all the exercise I can handle, unless eating their leftover chicken fingers counts as exercise.
The day I learned about Dad Bod (and, yes, acknowledged it is inherently unfair to all the diverse and beautiful Mom Bods out there) was the best day of my life — other than the days I met the people who earned me dad status in the first place.
Lifeguards. Is there a more inherently judgmental group than lifeguards? Their job is literally — and I mean “literally” in the literal sense of the term — to look down on you from on high. From behind their judgy Ray Bans. Their tanned, toned tummies, their whistles and Walkie Talkies, their absolute aquatic authority. Hope someone snapchatted them this Dad Bod because I won’t be no stick figure fake plastic Barbie doll.
By: Ben Falik