Mark Fraser: Day One Hundred and Twenty Six – The Things We Used To Like

Posted on May 6, 2011 by

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We get boring as we get older. As our hopes and aspirations change, those infantile dreams we had, like being an astronaut or a race car driver, change and become much less ambitious and arguably more attainable as we get older. For most people, anyway.

That’s not all that changes. The things kinds of things we liked when we were younger change radically as we grow older. In short, the cool shit we used to dig when we were younger is replaced by other things we think are of equal coolness, as we get older… Sort of.

But many of us just become boring.

The thought for this blog post struck me in the shower this morning when I realised how much of a boring bastard I had become. I’m not saying this happens to everyone – some of us still like a few of the things that we thought were awesome when we were younger.

Anyway, here are a few of the things I used to like when I was younger slung up against the things I like equally as much now.

Cars vs Guitars

I always wanted one of these.

I used to love cars when I was younger. Every car I seen on the street I could name from memory, both make and model. I used to want to be a mechanic, and I honestly couldn’t wait until I was old enough to get my licence.

Now I’m 25 and still can’t drive.

I’ve been playing guitar since I was sixteen. I’m still no where near as good as I SHOULD be given I’ve been playing for about 9 years, but my passion for guitar is what cancelled out my interest in cars. If I had the money to spend on a car of my choice, or a guitar of my choice I’d plump for the guitar right away.

A 1959 Les Paul Custom. Expensive and sexy.

Why does this make me boring? Well, cars go fast. Cars are flashy. You don’t need to be particularly talented to drive one fast on the roads (although you do, arguably, need to be particularly idiotic), whereas with guitars more effort is required for gratification. Having a guitar worth £50,000 (they do exist) is much less of a status symbol than a car of the similar value. Not that status is why I would own a car. Hell, I only play guitar to write songs, not to be a hedonistic lead player, so status isn’t something that motivates me.

So yes, cars – they were once cool to me, now they’re not. I just want guitars.

Action figures vs books

The lot

A horde of action figures I found in my loft recently.

I love books. I love reading. I’m awesome at reading. I don’t even need to be talented or even particularly active when I read.

Action figures were fun. I could get together with friends and having pretend fights. I had my heroes IN MY HANDS and could pretend to be them in some way.

I don’t need to explain this one to you – books are great, but my younger self would have played with a single action figure over reading a good book any time. Books are for old people, I’d say. Old people who are boring.

Raymond Chandler got me reading again.

Looks like I was right. Imagination is required with both these things, though. So I guess that’s why they’re linked.

Computer games vs Films

I owned an Amgia 1200, a Commodore 64, an SNES, a Master System, a Game Boy and finally an N64 in my youth. As I grew out of action figures I started to play more computers games and like pretty much all of my friends I loved computer games. I’m less enthusiastic about them now, however. I’m pretty much as “casual” gamer now.

As I entered my 20s I suddenly discovered a massive passion for films. It’s debatable as to which is pure escapism, but as I found my love for cinema grow I stopped playing video games. I’d rather spend my time watching The Big Lebowski or Brick for the 50th time than play something on the Xbox.

Sports vs Music

A Glaswegian religion.

I used to love football. Playing it, watching it, discussing it – everything. I also loved basketball, and I played it for my school when I was younger.

I stopped playing sports when I left school, but I’d stopped paying serious attention to sports when I discovered, and I mean really discovered, music. I still follow sports casually, but I’m not mad keen on it. Instead of pledging my undying allegience to a sports team, music took hold of me and I’ve not looked back ever since.

The first record I ever bought.

I’d rather go to a gig than goto Celtic park. I’d easily go to a band practice over watching a game and I’d rather listen to records of my favourite bands, singing along to every word than talk about football with my mates.

Maybe this isn’t THAT boring, I do, after all, still like sports. I still pay scant attention but music means so much more to me.

Pogs/Pokemon cards/Collectible stuff etc vs Clothes

Some pogs.

I collected shit like pogs, pokemon cards, football stickers etc. I think as we all leave childhood we stop doing this kind of thing and replace it with something else. For me the thing I started collection was, aside from guitars, clothes. Once I’d have given my left arm to have a complete set of pogs, now I’d just rather buy a new pair of trainers.

Shoes. Particularly Nike Hi-tops (I’m aware of the ethical issues around these, and the capitalist nature of my want of clothes) are the biggest collectible for me. I also like belts.

CLOTHES!

Yes this IS boring. Clothes aren’t that interesting – I’m not even a particularly fashionable guy. There was more joy to be found in completing a sticker album than buying new band t shirts.

A lot of the things we liked as kids were mere fleeting moments, fads or interests that consumed our short, sugar-filled attention spans. As we get older, no matter what we swap these interests for most of them are around to stay. Many of them may not be as flashy, as colourful or as imaginative as what we used to like, but y’know what? That’s fine.

It is perhaps fitting to end on a quote from the Bible here. I’m not a relgious person in the slightest. In fact, I was brought up a pretty strict catholic but as I discovered music and literature, philosophy and science I put religion to rest and became agnostic. “A quote from the Bible?!” I hear you cry? Well, it brings it full circle doesn’t it…

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” – 1 Corinthians 11:13

I also put religion away, as it was a childish thing to me.

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Posted in: Mark Fraser