Saturday, September 04, 2010

So Retro

My kids, I mean.

Daniel turned 12 in late August. As kind of an afterthought to other presents and activities, I asked him if there were any albums he'd been wanting (I had a $5 bonus credit lying around for MP3 downloads at Amazon). It took him about 30 seconds to decide that he really just had to have Green Day's 1994 major label debut, Dookie.

Liam, nine, is obsessed with obsolete video game systems (I think the most-used system he has is his Sega Dreamcast), computers (he has a stack of old Mac laptops, and an Amiga desktop that we haven't picked up a monitor or keyboard for yet) and operating systems (he wanted Windows 98 so badly -- something to do with an abandonware game that won't run on newer Windoze versions, I think -- that he found, downloaded and installed Virtualbox, then acquired an ISO somewhere and burned it so that he could run it as a virtual machine inside Windows 7, all without any adult intervention whatsoever; he's frustrated right now because the copy of OS/2 warp he found at a thrift store is on 3.5" floppies and he has no drive to read them).

Question for other parents out there: Is this normal?

My recollection is that I was 14 before I hit my first "retro" enthusiasm (Beatles fandom), and that it took a specific event (the murder of John Lennon) to trigger that that digression. I'm not saying that I was always "ooh, I must have the newest X," but when I try to think of things that were popular years before I was born and no longer au courant when I took them up as a kid, I draw a blank.

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