The other day I was driving and I saw a kid (middle schooler) wearing an Outkast shirt, with the Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik album cover art. The first thought that came through my mind was, What does this kid know about Outkast? That album was released in 1994 — more than ten years before this child was even born.
I personally owned and wore my Outkast brand jean shorts, back when jean shorts were acceptable to wear in public — also many years before that same kid was even born.
It took a few minutes for me to realize that I was just being a silly grinch. Why do we have to think that way? I remember when I was in high school and I started listening to more Classic Rock. Today, I own Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Rush t-shirts — although I have seen Rush live twice. I’m just like that kid, but a future version of him. I’m sure many older people have seen me wearing my old band shirts and thought, What does this kid know about [INSERT OLD BAND NAME HERE].
Pretty much every human likes The Beatles and that’s fine, even though half of them are no longer living — and haven’t been for some time now. Music lasts forever. I recently started listening to a lot of Sam Cooke. That’s music from sixty years ago — the early 1960s.
I know plenty of parents who try to push their music, movies and shows onto their children. I try to push the stuff I like onto my nephews too. Also, I’m a fan of new music. Last year, my most listened to album was most likely Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR — while running.
So why is it that any random young kid who likes a band you like is seen as a punk or poser? Maybe that kid has a cool parent (or aunt or uncle) who got them into Outkast. Maybe that kid went out and discovered these artists on their own. How much music did you discover on your own, and with the help of your friends or family members?
*But also maybe that kid is a little punk, because many of them are, but at least they have good taste in one area.
So, from now on when you see a child wearing a shirt featuring an old band, movie, game or anything that you’re a fan of maybe you should just give them a thumbs up, a high five, or a “Cool Shirt, kid,” or whatever it is they’re saying these days.
Another option is just to not get annoyed with them and say something like, That kid knows what’s up, in your own head so you don’t come off as a creepy old boomer to this little kid.
Either way, let’s all stop being jerks in real life and on the internet.