The often-lamented loss of youth among those of us over a certain age is never brought home with such sledgehammer vigour as when a celebrity from your own tender years passes away.
Only when someone burdened with as many tomorrows ahead of them as you’ve had yesterdays suddenly pipes up with a “Who?” do the enraged and creaking bones within really begin to tremble as you get smacked full in the face by their youthful impudence.
Take a conversation from the Coin Rivet office recently as news of the great Aretha Franklin’s impending passing began to sweep across the world.
“Oh no,” I sighed, remembering all those years of teenage angst locked away in my room listening to her music on my record player (with vinyl 45s and the 33rpm albums, of course), before adding: “I don’t think Aretha Franklin will be with us much longer.”
The impact of age…
I was quite surprised to discover my personal sledgehammer was, at that moment, being unwittingly wielded by one of our very youthful social media gurus, next to whom I sit most days.
Imagine my sadness at her crushing response…
…”Well, just looking at her Twitter profile, she hasn’t tweeted since 2015.”
We haven’t spoken much about it since. I think 46-year-old me is still trying to process the meaning behind the observation that Aretha Franklin stopped tweeting three years ago. If you cease to tweet, do you indeed cease to exist? If I suddenly canned my Twitter account, would I effectively become dead to anyone under the age of 23?
The ‘BA Baracus approach’
Curiously, that very same conversation swiftly moved on to our delightful workmate’s sister who was, at the time, enjoying a visit to the UK from her native far-flung land. She was terrified of flying so, therefore, was consigned to a less-than-speedy mode of transport.
“Good Lord,” I proclaimed. “That’s inconvenient. Can you not take the A-Team approach with BA Baracus and lace her milk with knock-out drugs before bundling her aboard an aircraft?”
A gulping look of blank horror faced me. It was something south of “have you gone utterly mad?” yet decidedly north of “what the hell are you talking about?”.
The tragedy, for me, was that it wasn’t a horrified expression questioning the policy of drugging her dear sibling and effectively smuggling her on a flight into London as she groggily rouses in a different time zone. No. It was more of a puzzled “A-Team? What is the A-Team, and is BA Baracus a rapper or a DJ?”.
Then it dawned…
The curious thing about the fabulously-amusing confusion is that the point of it all didn’t really dawn on me until this morning.
Yes, we may as well have been speaking different languages while discussing Aretha Franklin and the A-Team, but that same day we had been charting out where we were going with coverage of crypto wallets, the mass frailty of ICOs, mining, blockchain sequencing, the future of alt coins, and the complexities of how Bitcoin can progress into the future with a need for wider acceptance and a berth amid the fiat-centric worldwide thinking. Age didn’t once cast its unforgiving shadow across those conversations.
Odd that neither of us raised an eyebrow or wondered just what the hell the other was banging on about during much of the work discussion.
So, maybe this cryptocurrency and blockchain malarkey isn’t quite as complex as some would have us believe? More importantly, it clearly doesn’t matter if you need the Royal Engineers to help bridge the age gap in this industry – the language and understanding is still the same.