Gut Rumbles

May 12, 2006

old man

When I was a boy, with a head full of sparkling dreams, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I figured that I could DO IT, too, because all it took was hard work and dedication. And I was raised to believe that without hard work and dedication, you didn't DESERVE any success in life.

I wanted to be, (in order) a 1) Professional football player for the Baltimore Colts... 2) an Astronaut, preferably the first to walk on Mars, or 3) a Fireman, with a really cool hat.

THAT'S the sort of thinking a young man OUGHT to be doing when he has a head full of dreams and hasn't yet been kicked in the nuts by the ninja-foot of Life. I wanna PUKE when I hear young people today say, "I want to save the planet" or "I want to live on a government welfare check, have six chil'ren before I'm 24 and die in a drug-related, drive-by shooting in the ghetto, IF a drug overdose doesn't get me first."

Okay, maybe young people don't say that last part, but they're damn sure living it today. And the ones who want to save the planet are just as hopelessly delusional, with no hope of EVER having a clear thought. Combine the two and you have the apathetic leading the clueless, which is a grand formula for success today.

Maybe I'm just a bitter old man, but I miss my old dreams. When I was young, I relished possibilities and my dreams were full of them. Very few ever ended up being realized, but they gave me a target in life, something to WORK FOR, and when they WERE realized, the reward was great.

I'll tell you what's REALLY wrong with this country today: we discourage dreamers. We preach entitlement instead of hard work. We call success "life's lottery" instead of Survival of the Fittest. We promise a check in the mail instead of getting OUT of life exactly what you put INTO it. We glorify losers and punish achievers.

Awwww... fuggedaboudid. Ignore this post. I'm in a got-damn pissy mood. That happens to me sometimes when I don't sleep well.

I really miss my dreams.


amen, brother.

preach on from your electronic chair.

you might come by being a curmudgeon honestly but i'm ten years younger than you and i feel the same.

Posted by: richard on May 12, 2006 07:22 PM

From one "OM" to another, you happen to be right.

Posted by: Jim - PRS on May 12, 2006 08:15 PM

Well said, Rob. Damn well said.

Posted by: Richthofen on May 12, 2006 08:18 PM

When I was a young girl I wanted to be: 1) a ballerina, 2) a mother, 3) an actress, 4) a singer. I have to laugh now about my ballerina dreams. My father was lead singer and bass guitarist in a local country and western band throughout my growing up years. "The Driftwoods" was his longest running band but he was in many over the years. I fantasized about being up on stage singing with my Dad. That is where the singer dreams stemmed from.

Cindi (a proud mother)

Posted by: Cindi on May 12, 2006 09:01 PM

I wanted to be a ballerina, or a surgeon or some other sort of doctor. I was reading college textbooks on abnormal psychology in the 6th grade. I looked at radiology, nuclear medicine, psychology/psychiatry, pediatrics, pediatric oncology....Since I didn't have the bone structure for ballet, I followed a similar path into nursing...not wanting to commit 10 yrs of my life to a field I knew nothing about.

Bottom line is that "welfare" was always a "dirty word" and something to be ashamed of. Certainly nothing to consider spending a life on.

I think some people discourage dreamers because they are jealous. They never realized their dreams, and to watch someone else do it, and perhaps surpass them in life, is a hard thing to take. It's all in the motivation.

Posted by: BabsRN on May 12, 2006 10:21 PM

I always dreamed of being a pilot. I ended up as an aircraft mechanic for 20 years in the Air Force. Now I work in maintenance management in the civilian world.. After I turnd my first wrench on a jet I was hooked. Sure, I don't slip the surly bonds of my dreams, but when others do, I make damn sure it's done right. So I guess you could say I'm living an offshoot of my dream.
No complaints, no bitches.
I made myself the way I am, no one handed it to me.

Posted by: Dean on May 12, 2006 10:23 PM

Don't be so giving up on your dreams now. You're going to get those shoulders fixed, and then you're going to sail to Belize and learn to scuba dive, amongst other things you want. Still planning on recording your music, I hope?

Fiftysomething is no time to be thinking your dreaming days are past you.

Posted by: Desert Cat on May 12, 2006 10:51 PM

". . .without hard work and dedication, you didn't DESERVE any success in life."

"OLD MAN". **** FUCK THAT ! ! !

I'm 63. I came pretty close to my dreams. No regrets.
Even though my marriage of 41 years just broke up,
and the financial burden is "a bit stiff".
If I go tomorrow, it's been a great ride.

And, it ain't over 'til it's over. There is always golf. And women.
My girlfriend is just WONDERFUL.

Hell, my Dad shot his age at 80.
And he just died fighting all the way to the grave at 85.
I may make 85, but I've only shot one 79 in the last year.
But, the new driver I just bought is going to help. {:^)

Posted by: Dan Pursel on May 12, 2006 11:16 PM

It's great that you had such dreams and believe it or not you are a success in other fields because you were not afraid to dream. Like Dean's post, i just wanted to serve in the military. Did that for 22 years, also a wrench turner on the big bomber birds and got to fly as a crew chief on the B-47 and B-52. Now that' s telling my age. Retired years ago and built my home from the ground up without one contractor touching it. Became a volunteer firefighter (still am) and an Emergency Medical Tech. (EMT) for 8 years. The EMT instructor said he looked around the class the first night and picked out those (including me) that would drop out of the class. He stated that when he ask the first question during the second class i changed his mind with a challenge to the accuracy of his question, because he knew i'd already read the entire text book, You can do anything you set your mind to and apply yourself toward a goal.
Some young people are still working toward a dream (like the young volunteer's we have), but a large majority are after the 'freebies' of the government and the drugs. No life to look forward to only because that's what they choose to do.

Posted by: Scrapiron on May 12, 2006 11:18 PM


Life is nothing but a dream. And you are living it now. Be thankful for what you have done, are doing and are going to do. I, for
one, am thankful for your blog. It causes me to think. Whether I agree or not I always come back for more....dream on!

Live Hard...Die Old.....And Leave an Ugly Corpse!

Captain Harley

Posted by: Captain Harley on May 12, 2006 11:41 PM

Hey, Sweet Baby,

I wanted to be a writer, even when I was only eleven. I got my wish/prayer, to an extent.

Because of that, I have always taken pride in trying to communicate well in written form--even when I had to write boring-a** reports as a member of the military. And when someone said "hey, that's good," I felt happy for their liking.

It must be genetic. As you may remember, my biological father makes his living as a writer.

I guess that's why I think that you are 'The Man': your love of communicating well, whether you're doing it or someone else is.

Posted by: Juliette on May 12, 2006 11:42 PM

I mus b really screwed, I'm 54 and still dream!
Everyday is a dream. I've had terrible events in my life, and suffered greatly, yet some how...........I live free and I live loved and I can ask for no more!

Posted by: ken on May 13, 2006 12:02 AM

So what are your dreams NOW?

Posted by: livey on May 13, 2006 12:24 AM

To see my grand kids grow up and be happy.

Posted by: ken on May 13, 2006 01:04 AM

Well pissy or not..I loved this post. Reminds me of my Daddy......

Posted by: Sandy on May 13, 2006 01:32 AM

>> We glorify losers and punish achievers.>>

So true. Immediately made me think of rap stars and B-movie actors. So many look up to people who really don't contribute anything to society. I mean maybe someone wants to argue that their favorite musician or film director inspires them to achieve more in life. In that case, I suppose I have to revise my previous idea.

Dreams today center around American Idol and celebrity worship, adulation... and stuff that doesn't really benefit society.

I admire people who dream. It's really a streak of optimism that will take someone a little bit further and bring rewards... along with all the hard work and good timing of course.

Posted by: Vermont Neighbor on May 13, 2006 01:58 AM

"We preach entitlement instead of hard work."


We sure ain't living in a meritocracy, that's for sure...

Posted by: Lisa on May 13, 2006 09:09 AM

I think kids still dream today and I think wanting to save the planet is pretty damn good goal but I didn't have such lofty concerns as a kid. I wanted to be either a bare back rider in the circus, (a la the Disney movieToby Tyler). an international spy like Mata Hari or a stewardess. I've always loved adventure and have always wanted to travel.

Posted by: Libby on May 13, 2006 10:02 AM
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