Friday 20 July 2012

The Kids Are All Right

Yeah, we were cool. Melvyn Hayes cool...

The first day of the summer holidays and the clouds clearly part of the same education system have packed in too for six weeks. They’re sitting there resting about the mountains to our south and with the kids out the sprouts too have been playing. Because that’s what sprouts do.
On a popular social network site this week I saw the same message a number of times as people I know shared it over from other friends I know, and again, and so forth. It mocked the current culture for children not taking risks and never playing outside. One of those that shared it with me then blathered on about his Xbox. Because in our day we crossed bomb sites and navigated the Limpopo, fought albino crododiles, and solved devilish mysteries before enjoying a slap up feed. Or at least we played outside a lot, and contrary to received wisdom so too do kids today. Kids are still kids. They still get muddy and don’t carry Tec9s. They have imagination, and verve, and believe me – far too much courage. Teenage girls still hang around bus stops and if teenage boys spend all day in their rooms with the curtains drawn they’re only telling you that they’re playing console games. There are doubtless still tearaways hoiking cars, but then so too did my late brother.
If we put down the young then we become our parents. And we’re not. My parents were bang on the right age to have seen Zeppelin, a lot, in their twenties – they didn’t. They went to cheese and wine dances and watched the news, and shouted at me to turn the bloody music down.
Grumpy old people now were probably grumpy middle-aged people then.
So don’t belittle the young, who have a lot of fun – just like we did. And don’t sneer at teenagers for being a bunch of wankers; because (without the comforting cotton wool of selective memory) so were we.
I’m being called. The sprouts want the jelly they made earlier in the tent they put up in the garden. Which is also a space ship, and a tunnel, and there are dinosaurs.
And it’s the summer holidays.
Lucky, lucky bastards.

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