First Words — 21 November 2014
Best not to ask for whom the cell tolls

On Tuesday afternoon, U2’s new album was just there, waiting for you. Like an IKEA catalogue. Or a jury summons. Or streptococcus. The latest inescapable unpleasantry for anyone who’s chosen to participate in our great digital society — more specifically, the 500 million human beings on this planet who use iTunes. – From “U2, Apple and rock-and-roll as dystopian junk mail,” by Chris Richards on The Washington Post’s Style Blog.

By Mark Gauert

Five hundred million human beings on this planet may get iTunes, but all of us get older. How will we react when life loads age onto our account?

Will it be an inescapable unpleasantry we didn’t ask for, like dystopian junk mail (another magazine?!?). Or a jury summons. Or a question on Jeopardy! about streptococcus or pop culture we used to know the answer to but now have to Google.

 Me: “I’ll take Rock Stars for $600, Alex, please.’’

 Alex: “He’s an Irish singer-songwriter, musician, venture capitalist, businessman and philanthropist best recognized as the frontman of the Dublin-based rock band U2.”

 Me“Bondo!”

 Alex: “No, sorry. We were, of course, looking for Bono.”

 Me: “Aggh, I knew I should have Googled it!”

 Alex: “You should also have phrased your answer in the form of a question.’’

I like U2 and Bondo, so I was happy when Apple loaded Songs of Innocence into iTunes on my cell phone. For those who were not happy, though – for those who had issues with a mega company choosing which artists should be on our playlists without our permission (come to think of it, that doesn’t sound very innocent) – Apple came up with a tool allowing users to remove the album from their account.

“It’s a gift from Apple,” said Guy Oseary, U2’s manager. “If someone doesn’t like the gift, they should delete it.”

Comedian Seth Meyers pounced.

“You just enter your birthday,” he deadpanned on Late Night, “and if you’re under 40 years old, it deletes the album.”

This is our second issue of PRIME, a special issue of City & Shore Magazineand we hope you’ll consider it a gift. It’s full of knowledge and wisdom, earned honestly, through expertise and experience. Health. Fitness. Finances. Real Estate. Travel. Inspiring people. Loss, recovery and rebirth. We heard from many readers that they enjoyed our debut issue in April, so we’re back with more.

We begin with a focus on feeling good about growing older. Is it really possible, for example, to be in the best shape of your life after 50? We speak with top athletic trainers who explain why it is possible and how to get there. We meet ’70s icon, fashion plate and role model Cheryl Ladd, now a 63-year-old grandmother of three who revels in her age and fitness level. We show how to design a home when you don’t want to downsize, dress chic for a wedding day later in life and earn up to $500 extra each month. We also tour five of South Florida’s hottest residential developments for active adults and discover restaurants where you can have an excellent meal – and hear yourself think.

There is no tool for removing age from the accounts of our lives. Enter as many birthdays as you can, but there’s no deleting it.

Look at it as an inescapable unpleasantry, or look at it as a gift.

We choose to download the latter.

mgauert@cityandshore.com

 

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