“40 Under 40” And Other Delightful Insults

Recently (ok, almost two months ago – I tend to hold onto unread emails for an outrageous amount of time) I received an email inviting me to “Get to Know the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018.” This, of course, filled me with Monday Malice.

This plethora of “30 under 30” and “40 under 40” lists has never bothered me until recently, and I’m not sure why that is. I’ve always felt like an old soul; in fact, in my thirties, “Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill” served as my parenting motto, which may explain how my kids turned out. By the way, the originator of this gem is murky; it may have been a midcentury adman, or not. If you have solid proof of who said this first, I’d love to know!

Minnesota and Alabama: they’re finally #1 in something, besides record cold and football

“50 Over 50” is not something we hear often; in fact, the first search result is a calculator that shows you the result of dividing 50 by 50. (If you don’t know the answer to that, then you can’t be reading this, because you’re either under the age of seven or you’re a goldfish.)

The calculator is followed by some annual awards that have to do with “the people over 50 who are BLAH BLAH BLAH” in…Minnesota and Alabama.

I’m not sure if I’m more irritated by the fact that either Minnesota or Alabama is #1 in anything; no offense to Minnesotans or Alabamans – no, wait. I AM offended. But not nearly as offended as I am by the bottom of the Page 1 results, a horrifying-looking ad for a website where I can meet – God help me – “singles near me” who also, presumably, are over 50. Maybe they’re also “dynamic” and “vibrant”, but I’ll never know; I refuse to click on the link because They Know Everything We Do and I just know that clicking on it will bring me a deluge of “targeted ads” for the next 50 years.

You’d think that the baby boomers would have locked up this “50 over 50” thing years ago. But wait – oh, that’s right! We’re the baby boomers, the people frantically trying to pretend that we’re not a day over 40. Ahhh… that’s it! They’re all using fake ID to submit their names to “40 under 40” lists.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel is in Canada…

Believe it or not, there IS a somewhat brighter side to this. There’s a Canadian organization that, in 2017, began bestowing “50 over 50” awards to people who started businesses when they were over 50.

Reading about the winners, I sank into a deep depression from which I may never recover. Their accomplishments are beyond breathtaking. My hero is Norman McDonald who, at the age of 60, started – wait for it – a “nano/microbrewery” (his two partners are both 30 years old, but still!). Can you say “aging hipster”? Is that a thing now? Maybe I can patent it.

… or Maybe in Video Games

Finally, here’s a fascinating organization, one that honors over-50 game designers: gameadvocacy.org. They’ve got a “50 over 50” list too.

Here’s my favorite part: “… various media outlets continue to exacerbate the problem by enthusiastically publishing their annual “30 Under 30” lists to double down on the value of youth and vision while seeming to ignore the benefits of experience and wisdom. The assertion is that highlighting veteran talent is just as positive and valuable to any industry as elevating emerging talent.” Yes! Yes! Yes!

Or… No! No! No! Game Advocacy even publishes a “50 over 50” list of their own, a list of “the top 50 veteran game creator nominations for 2018.” But wait – “veteran”? Who wrote this? A millennial?

In fact, I’m sure it was a millennial; the writer discusses how critical “veterans” are to gaming, and cites, among others (OMG) Mr. Miyogi and Yoda.

Wow. Thanks for THAT. And get off my lawn.

The moral of the story is… don’t give up! There’s still hope. And if you’re reading this and you’re 30, please contact me right away; I’ve got a great idea for a nano/microwinery. I’m sure it will work! Old age and treachery will overcome anything.⧉

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