4B - The Michigan Daily Weekend Magazine - Thursday, February 19, 1998
2 Weekend, etc. Column
The Michigan Daily Weekend
WHERE DID OUR YOUTH Go.
Pearl Jam plans tour;
Stone weds journalist
It finally hit me the other day.
I woke up after a full seven hours
of sleep, barely able to move. My legs
ached. My back was sore. I had this
unexplainable, nagging pain in my
left shoulder. There was a ringing
noise in my right ear.
I hadn't played any sports the night
before. The fatigue wasn't caused by
intense physical exertion or strain. I
didn't get to sleep late - last night's
bedtime was a conservative midnight.
I thought back to my days as a care-
free, sprightly freshman. Back in the
olden days, I thought, I would stay up
until 4 or 5 in the morning for no bet-
ter reason than to talk to a friend.
Then I'd wake up, bright and fresh
and rarin' to go the next day, and be
perfectly on time for class at 9. At 9
in the morning. Now I can barely
even wake up for class at noon.
Ah, I thought to myself wistfully,
the good ol' days ...
And then I realized it. The good ol'
days? Random pains? Exhaustion on
seven hours of sleep? There could
only be one answer.
I'm getting old.
The horror of the revelation shook
me so hard that I began to cry. At
least, I thought I did. I went to wipe
away the tears from my eyes but real-
ized my tear ducts were too old and
decrepit to produce liquid any more.
The only thing that fell from the cor-
ners of my eyes was yellow crust
from last night's ineffectual sleep.
That was when I really began to
wallow. Twenty-one years old, I cried
(or attempted to cry). Why, just yes-
terday, it seemed, I was 18. And the
day before that, 15. And the day
before that, 8. Ah, the third grade.
Now, those were the days.
What had happened? What had
I stroked the whiskers on my chin.
Could it be the facial hair?
Maybe I should take the
advice so many of my
female friends had given me
and shave the beast, I
thought. I've been told that '
people have beards to hide
some psychological scar
that occurred in their life.
I'm much more simple than #
that. I'm just trying to hide
No, I thought, it couldn't
be the goatee. After all, I've F
had that since I was a fresh-
man, when my steps still
possessed their youthful bounce.
It was something more. Something
deeper. Something that went beyond
even my mighty facial hair.
Something that went beyond wrinkles
in the corners of my eyes, aching
muscles and dried-up tear ducts.
Something that even went beyond the
utter doom of my impending hair
Now, all you faithful readers of my
humble column - including my
mother, that makes about, oh ... one
- are probably expecting me to say
Inside the Clarion Hotel
2900 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor, MI
something quirky or unusual.
Something mildly unusual or perhaps
even humorous in a childish, imma-
Sorry. It's official: I'm old.
No more quirks, no more surprises,
no more laughs. Just a broken down
old rocking chair, a bucket of tepid
water for my varicose-vein-
covered feet and a soiled,
week-old diaper for yours
In fact, I don't think I can
even muster up enough
energy to finish this thing.
Shooting pains travel down
to my fingertips with each
tap of the keyboard. My
eyes are straining to deci-
CHRIS pher words on a screen that's
FARAH just a foot and a half away
RAH'S from my face.
A.UCMT I'm cold and hungry, and
I want to go home.
Had enough of my whining yet?
I certainly have. You see, that's
what really distinguishes the old from
the young: complaining. Taking your-
self too seriously. Plain and simple.
The older I get, the more every-
thing around me gets more important
and more consequential. The more
people make more demands to realize
the seriousness of this, or the necessi-
ty of that.
And the more I get just plain sick of
A week ago, Ann Arbor was blessed
with some of the nicest weather l've
seen in February since I was born, 21
long years ago. Not only was it warm,
not only was the snow melting, but the
sun was shining. I could breathe the
air outdoors without worrying about
icicles forming on the ends of my
mustache (OK, so facial hair does
have some disadvantages).
You know how I took advantage of
it? I worked.
Hour after beautiful hour went by,
and I sat inside, staring at it through a
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window. Actually, I was lucky just to
have a window to stare out.
Most of the time, I was stuck in
some lecture hall or another, listening
to a generic old man with a beard
thicker than mine talk about things
that happened in a far-removed land
200 years before I was born.
As the birds chirped outside, I was
forced to take notes. Notes on some
speech that tried its hardest to fit the
word "socioeconomic" into every
other sentence, just so it could seem a
little more self-important or intellec-
And you know what? I put up with
I sat in that lecture hall, and I
thought about walking out. I thought
about standing up in the middle of
class, throwing my notebook into the
air and declaring in front of the whole
assembly, "Dammit, who cares about
what some dead people did a couple
centuries ago! It's an awesome day
outside, and we're young! Screw this
But did I say anything? Did I move
a muscle, aside from those wrapped
around my furiously scribbling pen?
Did I enjoy the beautiful weather?
No. I just sat there. Maybe I paused
for a second, but ultimately I just kept
on writing. Kept on listening to a
bunch of pseudo-intellectual drivel.
Kept on getting old.
Because even though a lot of us are
in our early 20s or late teens, we've
already resigned ourselves to an
elderly fate of worrying about stocks,
bonds and the future, and letting
some nurse change our bedpans when
we relieve our bladders of stale urine
in the middle of the night.
We get caught up in our studies,
our future careers and our relation-
ships. We spend our youth in worry
and anxiety before there's really ever
anything to worry about.
If you ever watch little kids play -
even those just starting grade school
- you'll realize that nothing we do is
really much more significant than that
with which they preoccupy them-
As we get older, we start families.
We have one of a number of jobs.
Maybe we work for a construction
company. Maybe we write for a paper.
Maybe we're lawyers or doctors or
Children play house. They build
with blocks or Tinker Toys. The gos-
sips become journalists, the arguing
brats become lawyers, the ones who
like sports become athletes.
When they get upset about some-
thing, as adults we tell them to relax.
Take it easy. It's no big deal.
Maybe we should start taking our
Save the bedpans, aching muscles
and stiff joints for when we're really
old and outdated. Like 26. Thirty, if
- Chris Farah can be reached over e-
mail at email@example.com. He'lli
respond when his aches and pains
stop acting up.
V If you aren't a member of the
esteemed Ten Fan Club, or if you
haven't been willing to shell out
hundreds of dollars for scalped tick-
ets, then you probably haven't had
the opportunity to see Pearl Jam
play live. But that might change
before too long, as the band has
announced details of an expansive
U.S. tour beginning June 20 in
Missoula, Mont. Playing at mostly
outdoor amphitheatres and colise-
ums, the 33-date "Yield" tour will
see the band traveling to virtually all
areas of the country as well as two
cities in Canada, making it Pearl
Jam's largest U.S. excursion since
1992's tour in support of the band's
debut album, "Ten." The band still
intends to avoid dealing with
Ticketmaster at all possible venues,
but it will have to acquiesce in cer-
tain larger cities to better accomo-
date the massive demand for tickets.
That demand has only showed signs
of increasing. After months of waiting
and speculation for the release of its
fifth album, "Yield" was finally
released Feb. 3. Soundscan reported
that it sold more than 350,000 copies
in its first week.
The "Yield" tour will first move
into the Midwest, stopping in the
Pacific Northwest and California
during July. Then, it's back to the
Midwest in August, hitting Montreal
and Toronto before finishing up on
the East Coast in mid-September.
The first official shows for the tour
will be in Maui, Hawaii on Feb. 20
and 21, followed by a tour of
Australia and New Zealand that will
last until the end of March. Pearl
Jam will play the Breslin Student
Events Center in East Lansing,
Mich. on Aug.18.
/ The Verve and All Saints were the
big winners at this year's Brit Awards,
held last week at the Docklands Arena
in London. The Verve took home
awards for best group, best album
("Urban Hymns"), and best producer
~ Wedding bells were ringing this
past weekend, albeit very quietly, for
"Basic Instinct" femme fatale Sharon
Stone. The Valentine's weekend brought
not only the release of her latest film,
"Sphere'" but also the hush-hush affair
at which Stone wed newspaper editor
/ Also in the nuptial news, Oscar
nominee Jack Nicholson is looking to
settle down after 60 years as a bachelor.
It is rumored that the golf-club-wielding
star of such crazy classics as "The
Shining" and "One Flew Over The
Cuckoo's Nest" will marry Rebecca
Broussard, the mother of Nicholson's
two children. A tip for Broussard: Any
trips to Colorado hideaways in the win-
ter might be ill-advised ideas.
/ As if one Leonardo DiCaprio
wasn't enough! "The Man in the Iron
Mask," the film version of Alexandre
Dumas' sequel to "The Three
Musketeers," is scheduled for release
in March. DiCaprio, fresh off his new-
found "Titanic" stardom, will play
both the youthful king of France and
his twin brother, Philippe. DiCaprio
dons frighteningly flowing hair for his
role as Louis XIV, asking the audience
to once again question not only his
sexuality, but his sex. Gerard
Depardieu, John Malkovich and
Jeremy Irons will co-star.
V Kevin Smith, the director of the
low-budget hit "Clerks," is testing
other waters. Like the heroes of
"Chasing Amy," which he also direct-
ed, Smith is the creator of two comic
books. "Jay and Silent Bob" chroni-
cles the adventures of the snide loiter-
er and his close-mouthed companion.
"Clerks" continues the exploits of the
main characters of the aforementioned
film. Smith has also done a stint with
Marvel's "Daredevil" series and plans
to assist in the production of DC's
"Green Arrow" later in the year.
- Compiled by Daily Music Editor
Brian Cohen and Daily Film Editor
Joshua Pederson. The Associated Press
and Entertainment Weekly contributed
to this report.
Top 10 movies
(for the weekend of Feb. 13 to
1. "Titanic," $27.5 million (nine
weeks in theaters)
2. "The Wedding Singer," $18.5 mil-
3. "Sphere," $15.2 million (1)
4. "Good Will Hunting," $8.2 mil-
5. "As Good as it Gets," $6.5 mil-
6. "The Borrowers," $4.8 million (1)
7. "Replacement Killers," $4.3 mil-
8. "Great Expectations," $3.4 mil-
9. "Blues Brothers 2000," $3.2 mil-
10. "Wag the Dog," $2.75 million (7)
Source: The Associated Press
Billboard Top 10
(top albums for the week ending
Feb. 15, 1997)
1. "Titanic" soundtrack (nine
weeks on chart)
2. Pearl Jam, "Yield" (1)
3. Celine Dion, "Let's Talk About
4. Spice Girls, "Spiceworld" (12)
5. Usher, "My Way" (21)
6. Matchbox 20, "Yourself Or
Someone Like You" (49)
7. Backstreet Boys, "Backstreet
8. Savage Garden, "Savage
9. Mase, "Harlem World" (15)
10. Will Smith, "Big Willie
Source: Billboard Magazine
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Pearl Jam will rock East Lansing's Breslin Center on Aug. 18.