Monday, April 17, 2006

The Next Generation

Every once in awhile something comes along to remind you that the next generation coming up really is different. I had one of those times this weekend.

I was pretty good most of the weekend - I did a lot of prep cooking, burned tons of music for friends, read the days away at the beach, and took it easy. Saturday was different. Joseph was in town, and I hadn't seen him since our tragic night in Mykonos. The Brazilians were having a party, and it looked like we had a sizeable group of guys going to represent. Saturday I had the devil in me, and I intended to cut loose.

This town wasn't cooperating. It rarely does. We started the night with dinner at Sumners. Joseph made a parmesan polenta, which was the perfect base for the rabbit I cooked. Everything was good, and close to midnight we started getting ready to hit the town ...

... and everybody but Joseph and I announced that they were going to bed. All night people were reminiscing about wild nights in Mykonos, Rio, Sydney, Fire Island, & on & on. But when it came time to pull it off here, everyone bailed.

So Joseph and I headed out to Aloha Towers - and found ourselves in a ghost town. The place was vacant. Later I learned that it had rained, and everyone left. Huhn. No problem, though. We headed downtown. It's changed, I told J. There's a new scene in Chinatown and it's going off; unexpected adventures happen, and even the mainland papers were talking about how hip we suddenly were.

Except that apparently downtown is only happening once a month. Saturday it was dead. Ke Kai's was empty, 39 had a cool dj but no one dancing, and Next Door had a local rap group that sounded like they had teleported in from 1985. We left when they tried to rhyme in the land of Kamehameha with in the name of Allah.

So we ended up in Waikiki after all. Angles was playing bad hip-hop, as was Fusions. I'm not sure what's going on here. I wouldn't mind if it was actually good music - and we did hear a bit of Outkast and a new LL Cool J - but for the most part the mixes were shit.

But still, we danced. And this kid came up to me and started grinding hard. I never even got his name. He was hella cute, and all of 21. So it was fun, and a nice ego boost, and by the second song the boy started getting seriously freaky ... and then his phone rang. And damn if he didn't take a text message on the dancefloor. He read the message, flipped the phone shut, kissed me goodbye, and headed to the door. And just like that, it was over. And when I looked around I realized that at least half the kids there were checking their messages while dancing.

It's one of those fracture lines that divide generations. For us it was hip hop, house music, and rolling: baby boomers never could understand any of it. Incessant texting marks the new crowd.

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