By Adam Christensen, 2021 IndyBar Foundation President, Weston Foods US
In response to reader requests for a break from anything lawyerly or COVID-related, this week’s column features a selection from a conversation between the author and his 19-year-old self, living in April 2001. Any views expressed are those of the author (or his 2001 self) and are not representative of the views of any organization with which the author is affiliated…assuming those affiliations survive this publication.
2021 Adam: Hey, Adam. Thanks for skipping your between-class nap to make yourself available.
2001 Adam: Wazzzup?!
2021: Don’t…don’t do that.
2001: Is that not a thing anymore?
2021: God, no. That had a shorter shelf-life than incessantly quoting lines from Dave Chappelle’s Rick James sketch.
2001: Quoting the what from the who, now?
2001: So what’s it like in 2021, man? Is it like “Back to the Future II?”
2021: I wouldn’t say that.
2001: Did the Cubs win the World Series?
2021: Actually, yes!
2001: Do we have hover boards?
2021: Well, not quite like the ones in the movie, but hover boards were a thing for a minute.
2001: What about videophones and flying cars and self-tying shoes and wearing two neckties at the same time?
2021: Yes, no, not even close and who knows – professional fashion has been on a bit of a hiatus for the past year.
2021: Well, I hate to spoil it for you, but we’re coming out of bit of a rough patch. See, there was this global pandemic, and to limit spreading the infection, people have been quarantining at home. So, most folks have been wearing exclusively stretchy pants and hoodies since last spring. To the extent there’s a silver lining to this thing, it’s that I haven’t had to wear a suit in months.
2001: Okay…so, setting aside this terrifying pandemic you casually relegated to a conversation about fashion, is wearing a suit something we do in 2021? What are we, like, a senator or something?
2021: Let’s not aggrandize this exercise by using the royal “we,” please. I’m a donut lawyer!
2001: I didn’t know donuts needed lawyers.
2021: Everyone is entitled to competent legal representation – even sweet goods.
2001: So, suffice it to say, you’re not on track to run for president in 2040 like I’d planned.
2021: The presidency isn’t as hot a gig as it used to be. Look, it’s been a bit of a mixed bag since 2001. I’d rather not get into it. Let’s just say we’ve made some interesting choices and got some memorable Tweets.
2001: Tweets? So, your pandemic was the bird flu parte deux?!
2021: No, and stop casually inserting entry-level French into conversations. Our current pandemic was probably caused by bats or Florida. Tweets are short messages you can post on a social media site called Twitter. Idealistically, Twitter allows people to share multimedia news and opinions from original sources instantaneously and without being filtered through agenda-driven media outlets.
2001: Idealistically? What’s Twitter, then, realistically?
2021: The internet equivalent of putting a bunch of wet, feral cats in a box, giving it a good shake, then helping Russia rig an election.
2001: Seems like this “Twitter” smacks of hi-tech hubris, and, like Antigone, your age has fallen victim to the satisfaction of your own achievements, thus blinding you to the limitations of humanity’s role in the vast, ordered cosmos.
2021: There really is nothing more insufferable than a sophomore at a liberal arts college with half a semester of Greek Lit.
2001: Meh. Beats pre-med. So, does anything good come out of the next 20 years?
2021: Sure! Let’s see: the internet has expanded to make information and communication accessible to people all around the globe. Gay marriage is legal, and we’re making strides on civil rights, albeit slowly and sometimes painfully. Oh, and we’re refocusing our attention on climate change by pursuing renewable and cleaner energy sources for things like electric cars and public transportation.
2001: So, the internet isn’t a fountain spring for crazy conspiracy theories; we’re treating people of all races, ethnicities and gender and sexual identities equally and we’re putting science above party politics when it comes to policy-making! That sounds great!
2021: Yeah…umm…have you been reading Harry Potter?
2001: Hell yes! I can’t wait for the first movie to come out this fall.
2021: Yeah, so there are, like, three more books and seven more moves coming, so let’s focus our positive energy on that.
2001: Is Smirnoff Ice still a thing? I’ve been looking forward to trying one of those.
2021: Yup, but we call it White Claw now.
2001: Sweet. Can I borrow your ID?
2021: Sorry, I gotta go iron my work hoodie.