Take that, millennials, your culture is already old

Millennials will recognize their time has passed when they realize their own children know Emma Watson better as Belle than as Hermione

RED DEER, Alta. Feb. 22, 2017 /Troy Media/ – My university days go back to a time when almost all classes were taught by real, tenured professors, with real PhDs, and not sessional instructors working for the hourly wages of a fast-food cook while completing their doctorates.

We were expected to disagree with our instructors in class – let’s say it was in the interests of critical thought and the discovery of truth.

I recall my favourite political science professor at one point declaiming against the music of our time. He suggested that in 30 years nobody would remember Three Dog Night, for instance, but that Beethoven would live forever. Let the protests begin.

Well, with CBC 2 radio playing Beethoven in the background in my living room I can claim today that my prof was wrong. See? There’s Three Dog Night, right there in Wikipedia.

This was brought to mind by the release of a trailer for the new live-action movie Beauty and the Beast. Could that be Emma Watson – our little Hermione from Hogwarts – as Belle? Well, haven’t we grown up.

I’m going to suggest – obviously without having seen the movie with my grandkids yet – that by the end of this year Watson will be more famous worldwide for her performance as Belle than as the precocious witch in the earth-shaking Harry Potter movie series.

This is how time flies. When we first met Hermione on the big screen, the majority of the soon-to-be lifetime fans of Belle were not yet born. Not only that, but many of them may well need to wait a couple of years before being old enough to appreciate the action in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

The inaugural Potter book that inspired the movie series is now 20 years old. We have the book series, scattered among family, and we will need to gather it all back for the next generation to enjoy – when they’re old enough.

But they will be mighty surprised when we locate the movies and they see Hermione being about their age, frizzy hair and all, doing magic. “Is that Belle?” they will say. Not the other way around.

They will know Watson from her dancing with Beast, not for trading barbs with Ron Weasley.

Generations X and Y, and millennials will learn a lesson I was warned of – but did not really learn – way back when, from my political science prof: your time will end.

Harry Potter may well live for generations yet, but not the millions of youngsters who may have had their first ‘big reader’ experience with the Potter books. His image, engraved digitally on millions of DVDs, will not age, except in the 10 years it took to get from The Philosopher’s Stone to The Deathly Hallows.

We baby boomers are often accused of not moving aside to give space to our future leaders. Not me. I’m quite comfortable bequeathing them full control of the world. I fully believe they will do a more equitable, sustainable and compassionate job of it than we have.

I got old the evening I realized the NHL players I watched on the screen were just … kids.

My kids will realize their age when they recognize that their own children know Watson better as Belle than as Hermione.

How about that, millennials? How does that feel?

Greg Neiman is a freelance editor, columnist and blogger living in Red Deer, Alta. Greg is included in Troy Media’s Unlimited Access subscription plan.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by all Troy Media columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of Troy Media.

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