Thursday, December 03, 2009

No relation to anything: GET OFF MY LAWN YOU DAMNED KIDS!

The World is Going to Hell, and Always Has Been.

Nice bit here from commenter "Barefoot Bum" on PhysioProf's blog:

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

– Socrates (apocryphal)

I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint.

— Hesiod, Eighth Century B.C.E.

The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of
today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for
parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.”

– Peter the Hermit 1274 CE (apocryphal)

I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid.

– G. K. Chesterton

4 comments:

Daktari said...

I was yelled at recently by a kid for taking pictures in my own backyard.

You see, I live next to a park. And one day, I was taking pictures in my garden, when I was suprised by this little girl who asked me in a very accusatory tone why I was taking pictures of her. When I explained that I wasn't taking pictures of her, I was shooting in my garden, she loudly told me "it wasn't right" and "you should stop."

If the kid had shut up and moved on, I would have let it go. But, the kid continued to bitch and moan about my taking pictures in my own yard to the point I got fed up and told her that if she had a problem with my behavior, she should go home right now and get her mother and send her over to talk to me.

I did not explain to this precocious little snot that she was free to leave the park and the range of my camera lens at any time.

I didn't feel old for giving the "get off my lawn" talk. I felt attack and I was pissed as hell.

I don't blame the kids. I blame their fucking parents for telling them that the world should bow to their every whim.

J said...

Pois é (I suppose so/I can see your point), but, hasn't it always been thus?

Jon Stewart said one of the wisest things I've ever heard some years back -- for all the complaints of the death of civility, increasing sex and violence everywhere, etc. etc., isn't it something like "+100 point, -10 points" that, for example, blatant racism is pretty universally unacceptable in many places? I mean, sure, you can be crytpo-racist or sexist, or make plenty of implications, or be a conservative on Fox, but Jim Crow as an A-OK institution is gone, even if we are still dealing with what I think Al Sharpton has called "James Crow Jr., Esq."

And of course I heard someone else make the good point a bit back -- we're comparing things to days-gone-by in living memory (naturally). We're not comparing it to, say, the 1920s, which I still think count as the most violent times in US history. (And of course this goes a bit way beyond what we're talking about per se, but there's been artistic, journalistic and academic work in recent years to remind us and uncover the long history of lynching in the US, and how recently it was still commonplace. We're beyond THAT as an institution of that size--oh, it still happens, but it was a fucking US INSTITUTION for the longest time. I'll take snot nosed kids over that, I think.)

Daktari said...

The problem was not the snot-nosed kid per se, it was the thinly veiled accusation of pedophilia.

Which of course, I could address in a single discussion with a reasonable adult. However, had the kid gone home and said "some woman was taking pictures of me in the park and I told her it was wrong, but she wants you to come talk to her", I think might have created an unreasonable adult on her way to my yard.

Kids who don't know the power of accusation can be dangerous, but kids who do ARE dangerous, albeit not quite as dangerous as institution of lynching, but I'm just saying. One can make life a living hell and bankrupt people who have to defend themselves against ridiculous accusations and have to live in a world of perceived guilt even if they are found innocent. The other ends lives. Hardly comparable, but neither desirable.

J said...

Ah. I missed some key points of your original comment.

Nevertheless, while I agree with you totally on the annoyance and danger of accusation, I don't know that it has gotten *worse*. I'm very interested in how much of public perception of world-->hell:[handbasket] is because we *hear* about things more and how much is that some things actually do happen more. I suspect things are heavily weighted towards the former.

After all, kids making dangerous accusations is an old institution; it's a hoary example (and not a straightforward one) but I seem to recall something about witches in some place called Salem?