Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church
July 4, 2008
From Generation to Generation
This week’s e-gram is going to save every one a lot of time because no one is going to understand the entire thing. Those of you under 35 years of age (maybe under 25!) will read and understand the first half of what I write. You can then quit at the mid point because you won’t know what I am talking about after that.
Those of you over 50 will have little idea what I am talking about at first, but you will understand the latter half.
FIRST HALF (Over-50-folks, go pour another cup from Mr. Coffee on the kitchen counter and read the sports page for a minute. You won’t understand any of this.)
Lately I have been listening to my IPod. I have a Nano, second generation. It has 4 gigs and so I have it packed. I realize to all of you under 35’s this is an ancient Nano but it was a gift from my daughter who bought it from a 70-year- old woman who won it in a raffle and couldn’t figure out if it was a transistor radio (ask your parents what that is) or hearing aid and was glad to unload it for $50. I got it for Christmas and was quite delighted. Yes, I realize it does not support video as the new Nanos do, but it holds a sentimental value since it was a gift from Laura. Besides I only listen to it in the car and when kayaking, and in those moments I am not that interested in watching the latest episodes of “How I Met Your Mother.” (Explain that reference to your parents, please. Come to think of it, you may need your parents to explain to you what a kayak is since your generation is too busy watching liquid crystal diode flat panel TVs in your media room rather than enjoying the great outdoors.)
I have an IBook G4, which means that I have an Apple Laptop and with its MacWindows software it gets so complex that my online banking is not supported by some banks and even though I try to go paperless I cannot. But I do have a boatload (another reference that you may have to ask your parents about, sorry) of songs on my Apple Computer and thus on my IPod Nano.
I was driving the other morning with my IPod in the car. Even though I have a new car, I have a low-end Corolla and the in-dash CD player does not have a simple cord sticking out of it for an MP3 player (translate this term to your parents, kids). That’s a bummer. The dealer told me I could either upgrade to a more expensive in-dash player with MP3 capability or go to an audio store and for $150 have someone yank the deck out of the dash, put on a 17 cent wire into the back of the CD unit and re-install. I could then plug my MP3 unit (IPod Nano) into the car sound system. I opted for purchasing a transmitter that plugs into the power source (your parents and I still call it the “cigarette lighter.”)So I am driving down Riverside the other morning with the IPod on “Shuffle” and I noted that when I was listening to Rachel Bagby (Neither you NOR your parents know who I am talking about now.) that she was #32 of 347 songs on the IPod. And I thought to myself. That’s amazing, 347 songs on a thing that is about the size of a pack of Chicklets! (ask your parents, they know exactly what I am talking about here.)
SECOND HALF (All of you under-35-people can now go to Starbucks and text your friends since you won’t understand anything I am talking from this point onward. This next section is for the over-50s crowd.)
Many years ago I moved to Zambia to teach. I left the United States and moved to Africa for three years. But, being only 23 at the time, I could not bear to not have MY music, so I took about 75 record albums (please explain this reference to your kids). To save space and weight I took the cardboard album covers off and kept the records in their paper sleeves. I was bummed about not having the record album pictures, art and liner notes as I consider them an essential part of the entire record-album-experience.
Nevertheless I put 75 albums in a canvas carry-on bag and hopped on the plane in New York and flew to London. In London we had way too much luggage to lug around for a week before flying on to Africa so we put 2/3s of the luggage in a room in Heathrow Airport. We just put it in a room. No attendant giving us a claim check. No militia standing by. No door on the room I seem to recall. (Just try and explain to your kids a world in which an international airport was NOT a restricted, regulated near-war-like zone.) At the end of the week we walked into the room, retrieved our luggage and the precious 75 record albums and flew to Africa.
Frankly it was a pain, literally and figuratively. I think I wrenched my back with everything and then we get to Zambia and my stereo would not play on the cycles that the country was wired for. It’s complicated to explain but the albums were an awful lot to lug around the world. They sat in the house there for a year until I got a little European record player, which had no stereo capabilities. By then I was so starved for my music that I was quite delighted to play them on mono. (Explain that word to the kids, please.)
I thought of that record-carrying-journey the other day when I glanced at my IPod in the car and realized that I had 347 songs (isn’t that the equivalent of about 30 record albums?) in that little Apple IPod. If I purchased a Touch (ask your kids) I could download about 3000 songs into a 32 gig unit…that’s over 250 albums in a device the size of a cigarette pack. (Hopefully your kids don’t understand what size that is.) Anyway, in something the size of a pack of cigarettes, I could take over 3 times the number of record albums that I lugged to Africa 30 years ago.
All of this is hard to understand between generations. What I am painfully and joyfully aware of each week when I preach is that I am trying to tell different generations about the same thing, i.e. the life of Jesus and the example He gives to us. But, I am struggling to explain it to people with different sets of references, and differing ways of looking at and experiencing the world by these different generations.
Many will say “Jesus is the same now and forever.” I disagree. Jesus is not the same because we are not the same. The challenge in all this is to bridge the generations with references that are understood by all.
But wait, many of you reading this, fall into the ages between 35-50. “What about us?” you ask. You just might understand all of what I have just written…or you may understand none of it. You folks are a perfect illustration of the dilemma I face each week with my cultural references. Here is what you do though…every time I mentioned an “IPod” or a “record player” just substitute “8-track player” and you pretty much get the idea of this e-gram.
These are the sorts of things I am confronted with each week from the pulpit. I am delighted too.Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing