Tuesday, July 26, 2016
A brief respite from madness and mayhem: the generation gap and other thoughts.
It is with a broken heart that I sit down at my desk to write this column. The recent shocking shootings of citizens and vindictive murders of police officers in the USA has left me speechless. And the terrorist attack in Nice, France that killed and wounded hundreds… took me to my knees. These crimes are so heinous that it will take the Wisdom of Solomon to stop the madness. I am not Solomon.
Therefore, I am not going to pontificate about how to bring peace to the warring factions of our society. I am going to make an effort to lighten up your day as I empty my email inbox from thoughts that readers have sent me. They often bring a smile to my face and it’s good to take a moment and realize that life goes on when the world around us seems to be blowing up.
Let’s begin with a piece that someone sent me from a University in Wisconsin. Every year the school’s administration tries to give faculty a sense of the mindset of incoming students. Reading this you will understand the generation gap. There’s a reason we don’t understand today’s kids and they don’t understand us either:
“The students who are starting college this fall were born in 1998.
They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.
Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.
The CD was introduced 7 years before they were born.
They have always had an answering machine.
They have always had cable TV.
They cannot fathom not having a remote control.
Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
They can’t imagine what hard contact lenses are.
They don’t have a clue how to use a typewriter.
And movies? Well….
They never think about “Jaws” when they go swimming.
They don’t know who Mork was or where he came from.
They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who he is!
They never heard: “I’d walk a mile for a Camel” “Where’s the beef?” or “de plane, Boss…de plane.”
That’s today’s students. Now check out this 50-year span of word play contrasts for those who were students in the 1960s:
Maturity Changes Things
1966 Long Hair
2016 Longing for Hair!
1966 Acid Rock
2016 Acid Reflux!
1966 Moving to Calif. because it’s COOL!
2016 Moving to Arizona because it’s WARM!
1966 Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
2016 Trying NOT to look like Brando or Taylor!
1966 Seeds and stems
1966 Hoping for a BMW
2016 Hoping for a BMW!
1966 Going to a new-hip joint
2016 Receiving a new hip joint!
1966 Rolling Stones
2016 Kidney stones!
1966 Parents begging you to get your hair cut
2016 Children begging to get their heads shaved
1966 Passing the drivers’ test
2016 Passing the vision test
And finally, here are some quotes from well-known individuals who are a little closer in age to my generation. Some are amusing. Some are pithy but all are food for thought:
“America is the only country where a significant proportion of the population believes that professional wrestling is real but the moon landing was faked.” David Letterman
“I’ve been married to a communist and a Fascist and neither would take out the garbage.” Zsa Zsa Gabor
“Wood burns faster when you have to cut and chop it yourself.” Harrison Ford
“Lawyers believe a man is innocent until proven broke.” Robin Hall
“Having more money doesn’t make you happier. I have 50 million dollars but I’m just as happy as when I had 48 million.”
“As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind: every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.”
“We are here on earth to do good unto others. What the others are here for, I have no idea.” WH Auden (social poet)
I’m going to close by agreeing with the last quote. Good will must begin with us. Whoever we are, whatever our religion, we should be willing to apply the Golden Rule to all: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It may not save the world but it’s good Karma.
Keep smiling and may God help us all!
Betty Kaiser’s Chatterbox is about people, places, family, and other matters of the heart. Contact her at 942-1317 or via e-mail — firstname.lastname@example.org