I think, sometimes, that you're very insular, you talk about what you see all the time, but where do you see these things? On the streets as you're walking about? That's not enough. Are you out in clubs and pubs, comedy venues, talking to people about politics, OTHER than your mates in the Chip??
I'm older than you. I remember adult life before the internet.
Am I insular? My student experiences, my experiences living & working most of my adult life in (what was) a cosmopolitan, arty, intellectually active & bohemian - not to mention Gaelic - part of a city of culture and of architecture, my extended family's varied circumstances all over Glasgow and Ayrshire, and the fact that I like to wander and blether with whomever wants to talk, wherever I may encounter them, because I'm interested in knowing how people work and why they think the way they do....
....plus the fact of having rock & rolled all over Scotland for much of that time, would lead me to believe that I can't really call myself insular.
I observe far, far more than what's going on in the Chip. But thanks to the fact that I remember life before the internet, I'm probably more insular now than I was. Too many people with too much trash to say, who I know
don't know what they're talking about.
The internet is polluting the discourse among people. I get very angry - and despairing. It's one of the reasons I went to the Chip and have stayed with the Chip: no neds, no brutes, decent, intelligent, stimulating conversation with (usually) hugely well informed & opinionated people, a lot of laughs, and no distractions (telly, muzak, puggies) therefrom. And an occasional glimpse of Artoo's lovely assistant Igor....
Civilised, intelligent discourse. It's a last bastion of what I used to love about the west end, and that is a rare beast these days.
That's one of the good things about social networking, it's getting total strangers to talk to each other about important issues, as well as the fluff of every day life.
Well that's fine if you like that sort of thing, but personally I prefer the pub. I prefer real relationships in real time.
It's also allowing too many people to inflict themselves and their witlessness, inarticulacy, illiteracy, rudeness, psychotic tendencies and glaring inadequacies on the world. People got their stuff to say, like theirs was all there is. It's a free for all, and all the good stuff gets lost or ignored - or worst of all, treated with as equal validity as the trash.
IF facebook had been around 40, 50, 60 years ago, it would have been used, it wasn't so other mediums such as newspapers, political cartoons and alternative magazines were the means of dissent.
You miss the fundamental difference between now and then. The people of the press were - and still are - being paid to give us the benefit of their opinion. The chaff had been sorted from the wheat before we bought the wheat, because that is what we were paying for.
And now look at us. The Herald is on its knees; a shadow of itself, and an insult to everyone who ever helped make it a great & worthy newspaper.
I'll bet many middle aged/older folks looked at the young people in the 50's, 60's etc just as you are doing now, thinking them worthless because their morals/beliefs/values/lifestyles are different.
Well I've had this one before, and I know what I think about it.
Prior to the internet era, and the ongoing demise of education in this country, older folks looking on the younger generation very probably did
think the youngsters were going to the dogs and that their culture was trash. But there's no two ways about it: THEY WERE WRONG.
The parents hated Elvis. They thought he would lead to the end of civilisation because he was young, sang blues and swiveled his hips. Well they were wrong. He was a good thing, and ultimately a harmless thing. I don't think anyone could argue otherwise.
The parents hated rock & roll. Again, end of the world scenarios. Again, they were wrong. Rock& roll was a natural evolution for the postwar generations; those rampaging hormones have to have an outlet somehow. Rock & roll brought about the new & necessary social phenomenon that "morals" and religion had suppressed: the teenager. Rock & roll was one of the best, most natural things humans have ever come up with. Anyone who thought it was a bad thing had not a leg to stand on.
The Beatles were a bunch of long haired yelling racketmakers, said the parents. Wrong again. The Beatles were inherently great, and were always going to be. The songs were the guarantee; they were works of genius. George Martin certainly thought so. No criticism of the Beatles by the parents, at the time the Beatles emerged, has stood up to any kind of scrutiny.
Led Zeppelin. End of the world, "screaming monkeys" etc etc again from the parents. Wrong again. Wholesome, harmless, sexy, tremendous showmanship, great music, classic and enduring albums.
The 70s. TOTP, and your uncle - your dad's big brother by about 5 years, say
- grudgingly admiring Slade and ELO and Blondie and Thin Lizzie and Dire Straits etc etc etc. All classic, brilliant songs and albums.
The 80s. Now your own da watching TOTP... and okay the music may have been crap, but it was
fun and it was still bands, and the kids in those bands were still in it for the same good reasons: to show off,play guitar, get on TOTP, meet girls. They were real bands with real musicians and there's no doubt they were serious about their music. No matter what my dad made of my subscription to Smash Hits and my Toyah Willcox hair and commandeering of the telly every Thursday evening, it was still all about the fun of pop music. I was devoted to the charts. It was good fun and it was wholesome.
Prior to the internet, what kids did for cultural kicks was good, worthy, wholesome and harmless. They had icons, there were people to look up to, there was fun, there were influences; there were many memorable, epoch-making, lifechanging experiences, shared and experienced by all. Personalities, telly moments, radio moments, ad campaigns.... shared by all, and acknowledged as shared by all.
Nothing will persuade me that the internet generation has anything that valid, positive, affirmatory or community minded going on in it. The internet doesn't bring together - it fragments.
The internet kids will NEVER produce another Bob Geldof, and they'll never create a phenomenon remotely resembling e.g. Live Aid. Live Aid was an astonishing cultural event in this country, a piece of true history, and it came about prior to internet, email or even mobile phones.
What kids do for kicks now is not good, or worthy, or wholesome or harmless. They don't know how to play, they access porn, they guzzle alcohol, they're fat, they wanna be famous, they can't read write spell or count properly, they don't play instruments, they don't care about what their music sounds like, they have Britney and Aguillera and Posh Spice and Jordan as "role models"; they avoid all physical exercise if they can.
Previous generations of parents were wholly
wrong about what they condemned among young folk. What they thought would corrupt them was in fact food - good food - for kids' souls. The terrible tragedy for the internet generations IMO is that this time, perents don't seem to be condemning the worst, most dangerous, most truly and provably insidious and evil influences that the youngsters have ever faced.
The computer holds the kids captive, and it is melting their brains so that at worst they are barely functioning as sentient human beings.
I don't fancy immersing myself in such a society... so maybe I am becoming insular.
Jaysus, is that the time. (What the hell just came over me!?) ....Here endeth the lesson!