Monday, October 21

Parents (And I) Just Don't (Sorta Maybe) Understand

Old-Young. That's what it is. Old-Young. I've recently discovered that I've fallen into this wedge, a category that could only be described as such. I'm toeing the line between immature twenty-something and overly worried forty-year-old; shoveling peanut butter while binge-watching cartoons after work while simultaneously worrying if our neighbors are bothered by the volume levels on the TV. Old brain, young heart, trapped between the two, not sure what to do.

Not to be all "I'm Not A Girl (Not Yet A Woman)", but I do feel as though I'm at that age where I'm fully teetering between social sectors. Frankly put, I understand enough adult references to converse with people who have fathered and mothered children, but also know just enough to chit-chat about Reddit threads with a rando teenager.

While I watch a ton of TV-G programming and know enough dermatological conditions to throw down with anyone ten years older or younger than myself, I can't help but feel myself moving towards the older end of the spectrum. You know — cereal for breakfast as a dietary horror, alcohol-free Saturday nights as standard, and someone being more likely to ask me to buy the season's hottest toy for their nephew than I am to receive it.

I didn't realize I was in this little age ditch until two things happened this past Saturday: I finally tuned in to one of this season's best TV shows, and I parked myself in front of Noah, the brilliant, can't-break-away 17-minute short film embedded above, shot entirely from the first-person perspective of a high schooler using his computer.

I wouldn't have thought anything of binge-watching Malin Akerman on Trophy Wife if it wasn't Noah's immersive, glimpse-of-youth storyline that helped me realize this issue. Seeing Malin so brilliantly straddle being too young to assimilate with other moms and way, way too out of touch with her newfound children made me realize I'm also about to slip into this gap, where your position as old and young are entirely subjective to those around you. It's watching Noah that made me realize I'm like the un-hot version of her — straddling the worlds of the freakishly technologically advanced youth and capital A adults — which is why I love both productions so god damn much.

That lil' film up there will give anyone over the age of 35 vertigo, but is so spectacularly telling of how the internet has affected such basic nuances of our daily lives and human relationships that it'll stick with you the next day. I know, I know, there are enough think pieces on this shit to make you want to slice your own melon head off, but I found myself way, way more emotionally invested in these 17 minutes of a stranger's life than most feature films, because of that gap, because of the jarringly realistic way that it's shot and because of everything it made me feel all at once from both an adult mindset and childlike wonder.

For being caught in the middle, this film pulled something unexpected out of me about teenage existence. I'm young enough to remember what it's like to be in high school and in love, to even still have those hand-scrawled notes in my personal possession. But, I'm also far enough removed where I now view those dalliances with a hazy scrim pulled in front, and a footnote of "there will be more to come" attached. The young part of me still remembers it, the older deems it insignificant, and I myself am torn between the two — making even the arrangement of the icons on his desktop illicit both a "Aww, that's so sweet" and "Alright, time to get over it" reaction.

No matter what it pulls out of you, this shit's brilliant, and also sorta kinda will make you itch to send a letter through the USPS. But, most of all, you'll forget you're watching someting staged, which is the most impressive thing a piece of art can do — transcend.

Take a view above, and be NSFW warned: there will be penises in it. Don't watch it if you are at work, near people who suspect that you do weird shit online, around children who have not taken high school health class yet, or fraternity brothers. (Those bros really don't know how to handle rogue movie penises.)

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