Friday, February 23, 2007

23 Skidoo

I'm a little upset about this new Jim Carrey psycho thriller The Number 23, which was released today -- February 23rd: my birthday. I don't know much about the movie except what I see in the trailers -- innocent man driven to madness maybe murder through the significance and persistence of the number 23 in his life. The reason it bothers me is that the number 23 has been a significant and persistent part of my life, but not in a murderous mayhem sort of way. It's always been just kind of around: My birthday, for starters. A randomly assigned cab driver number at one point. Phone numbers. Addresses that added up to it. I see it all the time while glancing up at street signs. It will catch my eye on license plates and delight me in gate numbers at airports. I don't consider it a lucky number. More of a comfort number. It's like finding blazes on tree trunks marking a long overgrown trail through the woods. It helps me believe I'm where I'm supposed to be and stop second-guessing my choices. I never bet on it or use it on lotto tickets. It has to happen naturally. I'm not particularly superstitious, but on this one issue I suppose I am. We all are to some degree, aren't we? When a black cat crosses your path don't you feel some little stab of dread? Just a tiny one? Well, seeing the number 23 is the opposite of that for me. And I don't like it being the basis for a psycho thriller. It seems....I dunno...unlucky.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Last Generation

I was listening to a marketing presentation the other day and was struck by a demographic breakdown of America. It had us sorted into Seniors (born before 1946) Boomers (46-64) Generation X (65-81) Generation Y (82-99) and Generation Z (2000 - present). For one thing, this means that I have 4 of the 5 generations under my roof. I'm a boomer, my wife is a Gen X, my oldest is a Y and my youngest two are Z's. Okay, that's fine. But what I want to know is where do we go after Z? Is the next generation going to be the messianic sounding Generation A? Or does no one expect there will be a next generation? There's something very dark and pessimistic about this. Especially if you've seen the film Children of Men.
Do marketers know something we don't? Should we just spend all our money now? Do I still have to lay off the trans fats?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

El Norte

Sylvia, a family friend from Mexico City, arrived in Vermont for a nice long visit about six hours ahead of the worst New England snowstorm in two years. Yesterday, as the snow blew sideways past our house for sixteen solid hours, she padded around with a pained smile on her lips and horror in her eyes -- the kind of expression one might pose were your host's septic system to violently fail. Today the sun is shining and the field looks like the February shot on a Vermont calendar or maybe a Windham Hill album cover. They don't have that in Mexico City. Then again, they don't have frostbite either, I suppose.

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