Be accepting of older books, media


Christian Richey

Amber Nathan, Campus Current Editor-in-Chief, shares her perspective about being old-fashioned.

Amber Nathan , Editor-in-Chief

A lot of people call me old-fashioned. It’s an ongoing joke among my friends that I’m 42, not 19.

I guess you could call me “an old soul,” given my taste in music and literature. I prefer swing music to rap any day. I’d rather listen to Ella Fitzgerald than Ellie Goulding. And when it comes down to the hottest authors, well, let’s just say I often defer to literary icons like Harper Lee, who wrote “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and Arthur Conan Doyle, author of “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”

That might sound weird to you. But being old-fashioned isn’t always a bad thing.

I never had the latest technology as a kid. I grew up with a clunky Game Boy and an even clunkier VCR for entertainment. Instead of watching hair-raising thrillers and popular comedies, I watched vintage cartoons and slapstick movies. My best friends were Bugs Bunny and Wile E. Coyote. I knew actors like Lon Chaney Jr., who starred in the 1941 film “The Wolf Man,” and Bela Lugosi, who played Dracula in 1931, long before I ever heard of stars like Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez.

I loved Abbott and Costello, with their sarcasm and wit. I loved Larry, Curly and Moe and their crazy antics. I loved Tom and Jerry and their catastrophic cat-and-mouse games that so often ended in disaster. I even loved the kooky Munsters and their misadventures.

Eventually my family got Netflix, and I moved on from those older shows. I’m not saying I never watched the popular Disney Channel favorites. But I watched the classics first, and that influenced my personality and tastes greatly.

I can admit that sometimes being old-fashioned holds me back—I am less likely to accept new things than other people my age, who are always craving the latest and greatest. I’m far from tech-savvy; I act more like a baby boomer with my smartphone than a member of Generation Z. Modern fashion horrifies me, as do many of the ideologies of my peers.

Just the other day I caught myself using the word “youngsters” to describe people a year younger than me. I don’t know if it gets much worse than that.

But in other ways, being old-fashioned helps me. I develop good relationships with teachers and administrators who are older than I am. I make good impressions on my friends’ parents. I get along well with my own parents, because we have similar tastes in music and cartoons.

Being old-fashioned also helps me appreciate more than one generation of entertainment. I can still laugh at Abbott and Costello shorts while enjoying modern shows like “Gravity Falls.” And I can watch Tim Burton’s beautiful claymation movies while reminiscing about the choppy, clumsy movie monsters from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s who influenced modern animation. (Trust me, you really appreciate Jack Skellington more after you see the skeletons in “Jason and the Argonauts.” Look it up).

For those of you who aren’t old-fashioned, I encourage you to appreciate music and media from other eras. It paved the way to the modern entertainment you know and love today.
You certainly don’t have to be invested in it as much as I am, and you don’t have to act decades older than you are. But it doesn’t hurt to widen your horizons and put things in perspective.  So don’t be too quick to dismiss other generations.