Blog Trolls, Ageism & Switchfoot on Tour

kinnon —  December 13, 2006 — 5 Comments

Earlier in the week, a blog troll commented on my advanced age and apparent inability to engage in effective argument. I let the comment stand until he returned to the comments posing as me. As the email address in his original comment was fictitious – troll’s seem to have the courage of their convictions right up to being willing to actually stand behind their comments – I applied my troll rule to it and then IP banned him for the posing. (As he was commenting from a CrackBerry, I might have banned all comments from the RIM servers – an understandable mistake for someone as old as me.)

Old-Man-Stick-FigureThe attack on my age was interesting. In a recent consulting meeting, I was told by a thirty-something that few people my age were as technologically astute and blog aware as I was. It wasn’t said as a compliment – but rather as an attempt to shut down my argument that the net was the principal place for us to focus our communication energies. The thirty-something wanted us to focus our energies on the print medium as people my age were more comfortable with print than the interweb. I pointed him at a specific Monday Memo from Roy Williams that would challenge his opinion.

Like most people in their middle age (I’m 51), I don’t view myself as old (in spite of my occasional comment to the contrary). And I confess to being surprised when it is used against me. I appreciate what Doc Searls, in his post, Getting Restarted says about his age,

What’s different now is that I’m far more capable, energetic, optimistic and eager to change the world at 59 than I ever was at any earlier age. And I can’t imagine not feeling this way for the duration. Or I won’t. (What’s the upside to pessimism?)

I’m also sure my 20-year-old self (bad student, barely scraping through college, imagining no clear career opportunities, worrying about the sorry state of the world, heading toward an too-early and ill-considered marriage) would be gratified that this is where I am now, even if it took so damn long.

I have no sense that my ability to be a productive member of society has in anyway diminished. (However, I have displayed some curmudgeon-like tendencies that need to be brought into check.) Hopefully, the full bandwidth experience of my life, from incredible highs to incredible lows and everything in between will allow me to effectively contribute to both the Generous Web and the 3D world I live in.

LespaulMy age doesn’t seem to determine my preferences in music either. I’ve just asked two of my three teenagers whether I could join them for the Switchfoot concert in Toronto at the end of February. (The other child won’t be a teenager any longer when Switchfoot plays in Ottawa – where he’s going to school.) I’m a sucker for killer guitar sounds, great voices and catchy arrangements. (I’ll let you know what the teenagers say. If they let me join them, I’ll buy the tickets. If not, they’re on their own.)

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

5 responses to Blog Trolls, Ageism & Switchfoot on Tour

  1. from someone who has hit the 51 mark as well… we are not too old!
    My youngest son [19] went to Cornerstone this last summer… he came back & said to us… “we should go as a family next summer”

  2. Michael,
    Liam, Rylan and I did with another Dad and his son in the summer of 2004. It was a blast.

    2005 got blown away by our move back to Toronto from 10 months in the midwest and this past summer we’d just got back from Kenya.

    We are talking about doing it this coming year with all three kids (but not my wife, Imbi.) Perhaps we should talk!

  3. I like with Tom Peters writes at the beginning of Re-Imagine!
    “I’m 60 years old as I write. I’ve been doing my “thing” for well over a quarter of a century. I’ve achieved some degree of acclaim. At this point, I don’t have to write a book. My speaking and consulting gigs keep me busy to the breaking point and beyond. So why am I sitting inside, scrunched over a makeshift writing desk … on a gorgeous July day on Martha’s Vineyard … cranking our Book Number 11?
    Because I’m pissed off.
    I happen to believe that all innovation comes, not from market research or carefully crafted focus groups, but from pissed-off people. … ”
    Looks like your soul mate.

  4. That’s got to be the nicest thing anyone’s said to me all week.

    Thanks, Ed.

  5. You’re 51?


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