I was talking to my nephew tonight. We got into a conversation about how you never know what and who to believe anymore. He said today’s world of information, anyone can say anything and almost no one will challenge it. Then it somehow becomes the truth, even though it’s not. I asked him what he meant specifically. He said he’s needed a new computer for more than a year. He has the money to spend on it and has done research. Yet he’s more confused now than ever. He said you can read yourself into a frenzy over what you need and don’t need. I agreed. I also realized that my nephew is a lot like me. When I was a kid, a lot of the other kids were getting stereo systems for their bedrooms. Stereos were a lot different back in the 70s. You didn’t have one system to run your stereo, television and phone all rolled into one. And it certainly didn’t pump music into every room. I had saved up some money and wanted to buy a stereo. My buddies Jim and Brian both had stereo systems. If I remember right, Brian got his first and it was state of the art. It had direct drive turntables. It had a bazillion watts. It played those plastic albums oh-so clear. I spent hours on the floor of Brian’s bedroom. I couldn’t believe how clear the music was. That is, until Jim got his system. He had even more watts. And bigger speakers with bigger sub woofers. Somehow his turntable was more state of the art than Brian’s. I had convinced myself that somehow Jim’s sounded better than Brian’s. I’m sure there was little to no proof of that. But the marketing campaign made me believe it. I waited six or eight months for new technology to happen. And it did. But I never bought. I knew in six months there would be more technology, so I waited again. Let me get you to the end of the story. I’m 48. I’ve never owned a stereo system. I warned my nephew that if he kept waiting, he’d be 48 before he owned a laptop computer. I told you that to tell you this. This same notion goes throughout the sports world. We see it a lot with equipment. Run with this shoe, don’t run with this shoe. Buy this bike, don’t buy that bike. Then we do the what’s old is new again routine. I tell you, the sports industry is more fucked up than a redheaded child in a trailer park. Great, now I’ll have all the gingers coming after my ass. Anything is better than the Catholics. I’ll take it. But I digress. The real deal is it all plays on our insecurities. And it shouldn’t. I’ve learned that I can bowl just as well with a rental ball and rental shoes. Before you chuck your old bike or old running shoes, think twice. You may need them again in about a year or two. By the way ladies, feel free to chuck your matching leotards, earrings and scrunchy socks. I’ve got a feeling those aren’t coming back. Everything else is fair game. If you think I’m full of crap, just remember Leo Fender created one of the most popular electric guitars in the 1950s. It’s virtually unchanged today. The safety bike, which we now call the bicycle, came around just before the turn of the last century. Again, virtually unchanged today.
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