TNC watches the above video of Andy Rooney admitting he knows very little about contemporary music and reflects:

What I do know is that, like Rooney, I couldn't name a Lady Gaga song if I heard one right now. But I also know that my son knows more of my music, then I know of his. He can recognize Nas, but I can't recognize, say, Drake. In other words, you'd do a lot better banking on my ignorance, than his.

Age, like all power constructs, (race, gender, class) encourages its own ignorance. To not know is a luxury of power. You don't have to know Their Eyes Were Watching God. But I damn sure better know The Scarlet Letter. (It's bad enough I'm slipping on Twain.) Age turns ignorance into a luxury, and worse, if you don't recognize it as a luxury you start to think everyone is as clueless as you. And of course you're clueless that any of this is even going on.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.