Monday, May 25, 2009
Kids These Days!
I live in a neighborhood with a lot of hipster kids. Michael and Dolores (our landlady) love to get together and complain about them. Dolores is in her 70s and entitled, but Michael seems a little young to me for curmudgeonhood. He's only 35, not much older (in my eyes anyway) than the kids he complains about. When they get together, it's all about the clothes, the hair, the bicycles, the parties, the drinking, living 5 to an apartment, etc, etc, etc. Does any of this sound familiar? This could be my dad 40 years ago complaining about all the hippies in Lee Park in Dallas.
To my eyes, the hipsters are pretty tame. I've seen a lot in my 51 years: hippies, punks, dead-heads, metal heads, head bangers, new wavers, new agers, neo-hippies, goth, grunge, glitter, glam, and gay. Today's youth rebellion in comparison seems very bland and unthreatening to me. I don't see what all the fuss is about.
It seems to me that every new generation disappoints the ones that came before it. The earliest surviving text that I'm aware of that complains about how kids are no good these days and the whole world is going to hell in handbasket is the "Old Oligarch." He was complaining about that lazy shiftless good-for-nothing new generation coming of age in the Athens of Pericles. They were nothing like the real men of his day back during the reign of the Pesistratids, men not afraid of a good day's work who had respect for authority, not like today's kids wasting all their time hanging out down by the Agora; and the insolence! these kids walk right into the Pnyx like they own the place!...
And yet, somehow, civilization is still with us 2500 years later.
Who can blame the kids for wanting to say, "Piss off!" to us old codgers. We did the same thing when we were a disappointment to our elders.
Posted by Counterlight at Monday, May 25, 2009