Saturday, 16 October 2010

Friday 15th October 2010: More Satire - Ageism 2010

I had just finished my last blog, a fairly rambling irritation at the way people identify with the Chilean Miners, as I turned on 4oD; where I saw an advert for a new texting service by O2. It's called Why Do, and it's aimed at people who want to understand Youth Culture. I went to the website, where an email-based tryout of the service can be accessed and asked the following question:

Why do young people still care about life? Why would you bother with anything since the times of prosperity are in the past and your only use is bankrolling the pensions of babyboomers?

A slightly cynical question perhaps, but I'm curious what the answering machine will send back. Ageism is current, though. In Britain, the tuition fees will be doubled, so students will be in debt for successive generations. And it is true that the babyboomers have had a great innings, and continue to do so (and with their luck, will be living to at least 139); most of them have decided to eat up their children's inheritances as well. But in doing so, they pass the check to their children and grandchildren, who are out of jobs, cannot buy any homes below 1 million (if they at least want to live anywhere with more than one wall standing). Meanwhile the young only concern themselves with drugs, alcohol, material gain and social standing (though it needs to be said: in very different social groups). So any ageism, that derides the young as wastrels and shallow enforces the babyboomers' sense of entitlement and pre-empts any pity that they might feel towards successive generations. So in that respect, this texting service would be good, wouldn't it?

To be honest, the answers given are quite sweet and openhearted and mainly reminding the people asking the questions that one day, they had been young too, and evil in exactly the same way. That is indeed true. Though the old may not accept this. I have a theory about all the squares in the sixties and seventies who did not make a lot of noise then but have now, at 55+, become the vocal majority; while those who went mad on dope and peace in those days are now either dead or have turned square as well (however geometrically unlikely that may be).

The future is either killing off the fortunate old, or have the young work off their debts for generations. I think it will be the second, since they're the majority. Life used to be good, though, and in centuries come, people will their spend nights around the fire in disused accountancy firms, telling each other stories about mythical saviours singing songs of -yes we can- and the smell of fresh cash before the elders decided to be wise and take away the corrupting influence of accursed money and hide in their châteaus with it; before being told to shut up and fling another copy of the Da Vinci Code in the fire.

But I'm only twenty-two, so what do I know. Nothing, that's what. Now where are those drugs?

Reading list: nothing much else, but I did enjoy a documentary on BBC Four about Zeppelin bombings during World War One called The First Blitz. So find it, if you care (which after 519 words of patronisation, you might not, to be honest).
Love you all! Bye!

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