I have just turned 50 years old. In our youth-obsessed world, a world in which an entire generation has grown to adult-hood without learning how to tuck in a shirt, I am a codger, a coot, a crone, that is, if a male can be a crone, and I'm not sure he can.
Right now I am staying in a twelve-star hotel in the Caribbean. Years ago, it would have earned three-stars, but since everything today is over-praised and over-hyped, from politicians, to movies, to pregnant rock-stars' rehab facilities, to wars, they have to add a constellation or two to draw distinctions between facilities. So a nine star hotel means that the vermin in the room is very high class. Ten stars is hot and cold running sludge, and so it goes. Zagat's, by the way, is a great perpetrator of over-inflated ratings. I've seen filthy pizza parlors that get a 21 for food, and like the Borscht Belt wife joke, "My wife has served leftovers for 30 years; the original meal has never been found," the same can be said of many of Zagat's picks. They win praise because of proximity and experimenter bias. Not because of the quality of their victuals.
OK. Back to my fifteen-star hotel (it went up three stars while I was writing this) I don't know how to turn off the lights. I grew up in a world where up meant on and down meant off. It worked. Now there are buttons, switches and dimmers. None of which seem to respond to touch. I understand I am not cool--and at times I like things black and white, no grey areas. You know what? That's how I like my light switches. On and off. If I need to dim, I'll squint.