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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Opinion >  Editorial

Editorial: Their history wasn’t taped with cassette recorders

Graduation is a time of reflection, but it can be difficult for Old School thinkers to plug into the mindset of 18-year-olds – and vice-versa.

For grads, there’s always been the Web and e-mail. Text-messaging is the norm.

It’s not just your “war stories” about pay phones, rabbit ears and Johnny Carson that seem foreign; so are your tales about Pac-Man, Pong and Asteroids.

“Star Trek,” “Batman” and “Mission: Impossible” were TV series? LOL!

And, please, no more ancient history lessons about Tiananmen Square or the Soviet Union. Until recently, they had known only presidents named Bush and Clinton. Monica Lewinsky? They were 7.

Beloit College in Wisconsin assembles an annual Mindset List to help older people understand budding adults, or as Joe Pesci said in “My Cousin Vinny,” today’s Utes.

What’s that? The movie came out when they were learning how to walk? Sorry. It can be so hard to find common cultural references when you realize that the creator of “The Muppets,” Jim Henson, died before they were born or that Harry Potter and Bart Simpson could be their classmates.

Oh, there’s more. X-rated movies have always been NC-17, and Mario, Luigi and Yoshi have always been running around inside their Game Boys.

Caller ID and Starbucks have always been available.

They’ve never heard, “Want me to check under the hood?” They’ve always heard, “Don’t have a cow, man!”

The Berlin Wall has always been down. The Hubble Space Telescope has always been up.

Clarence Thomas has always been on the Supreme Court. Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore have always been political provocateurs.

There’s always been hip-hop and grunge. Global warming has always been debated. Chris Gregoire has always held a statewide office. Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson have always been major leaguers.

Hoopfest and the Centennial Trail? Always. The Crescent department store? Never.

Kevin Coe has always been in jail. Nelson Mandela has always been free.

Ryan White, who was a national poster child for AIDS, has always been dead. Same with Sammy Davis Jr. and Freddy Krueger.

So will they be upset with us writing about them in a newspaper editorial? Only if they see it, and there’s not much chance of that.

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