The Young and Old: Can We Bridge the Gap?
It's not cheap; it hurts and it can go wrong!
The Secret Language of Youth
Just skimming the surface of a huge dilemma.
From the standpoint of the under 25’s, people can do things that make them appear old. Many older folk, such as celebrities and those who want to hang on to their youth out of insecurity or for any other reason, study books on what not to do if you don’t wish to appear as old as you are, apart from the obvious of staying fit and employing good grooming.
Some of the things that appear in self-help books and their ilk will surprise many middle-aged and older people who have been doing them all the time without giving it a thought…no wonder they seem to have lost the ability to communicate with their children and their friends.
One of the obvious problems of course is that language, especially slang, is in a constant state of flux and nothing dates a person more than using yesterday’s hip sayings (like “hip” for example). Many manage to stay with us, like “cool,” and others like hip may make a comeback one day, but if we want to maintain a dialogue between us and the brats, we must stay well away from words and sayings like this until we see them on the lips of our darling teens.
Careful with the slang in vogue. Some are really ordinary words, or have become lingua franca, and you are OK (the best known of all) with them. Such as super, great, brilliant, fantastic, unreal, it rocks - you will think of many more.
But sayings that belong to Them: phat, fierce, dope, fit, wicked, dude, bite me, (a US import), etc., sound bloody ridiculous on your cracked lips with your smoker’s growl. And that’s just the very tip of the iceberg, look on your kid’s face book page to think they are using Etruscan!
Emailing. Not to anyone under 25, they all text, twitter, face book and the rest. You earnest, well constructed electronic letter may get erased unread and will not be answered.
Dancing. I haven’t been in a coon’s age, but I hear people don’t dance in the “missionary position” any more. In keeping with the casual, anything goes, sexuality of the decade, kids now dance in the “spoon” position, and pair off; dance alone, change partners as the urge takes them. Blokes getting a boner by rubbing up against a girl’s pert cheeks (me, for sure) are required to insouciantly move a bit apart so they are not known as Brad the Uncool Impaler. In rock concerts, though, the girls at the front often undulate and stimulate the guy to their rear, (so they can pretend it’s Robbie), and it may well go further than that. (If you’re the stimulatee, be cool, brother, leave the moves to her).
You and dad attempting to impress them with your version of the lambada will go down like a lead balloon for embarrassing them in front of their friends. Of course, you can’t win here as they will shriek in horror if you grab mum by the tits and arrange her capacious bumbazina on your, ahem, your lunch-box. If you go dancing, never go where the kids are.
Does the single mum or dad, or mature person “hook-up?” Hell, no, as they say in Tennessee. In fact, you are not even sure what it means and a teen won’t want - or be able- to explain. Hooking-up doesn’t mean for sex - unless it does. It’s a terrible phrase anyway, isn’t it? (can’t complain, though, that’s being old). Kids can hook-up at the park, at the cine, at the arcade and then decide whether and with whom to …hook-up. Get it?
Most kids today have few taboos over sex. At age 16, if they aren’t having intercourse, their friends are, and they are expecting to soon. And younger, of course. But 16 makes it legal so that’s the common admitted-to age. And they don’t beat about the bush yakking about “making love, or even “having sex,” they will tell each other they were intimate, or that they had a shag or a fuck. Might even confess on good old facebook. If you are too strict about it, they will do it anyway and just keep everything away from you, so you might as well be complicit and hand out the condoms or pay for contraceptive implants; you’ll sleep better.
Speaking of the magic word, it’s common currency everywhere today. You hear it on the movies, TV, read it in papers. I’m sure Darwin or Freud would explain it as the key to you letting another know you are a sexually aware Homo sapiens - and perhaps a sexually ripe one, too. Amazing, really, it was absolutely taboo over much of the last two centuries. The only word that remains on the forbidden list is the slang for vagina, although the many for the penis are usually acceptable. Go figure! I can’t.
Tattoos and Body Piercing are here to stay until the vogue passes. And by then the damage will have been done and we shall see a whole lot of middle aged adults covered in tattoos in the most inaccessible places and their faces dotted with healed-over piercing holes. Use any means possible to stop extremes of these awful arts taking over your kid’s bodies and faces - especially your daughter. For sure, a huge heart with the current lover’s name in a banner underneath and the lip and tongue metal abominations, not to mention those stapled into the unmentionables, will not be cool in 10 or 20 years time. If you can stop her now, you will be doing a huge service. But, by jiminy, you will seem older than Methuselah and she will hate you with every fibre of her bonding soul…for now.
Do you hate most rap music as much as I do…those disgusting, violent lyrics!? Well, careful, it’s like denying the bible to the pope to many of today’s youngsters. Say nothing; block up your ears and remember when you loved Bill Hailey or, heaven forbid, Cliff Richard. (But there’s a chap, or chasp, who knows how to stay young).
Nothing makes you seem old or more out of it to kids who intend to live disease-free for ever than talking about your - or even, their, health problems. Kids throw off colds and flu like a dog shakes water out of its coat. You have whaaaat? Liver flukes? Ughhh! Yet they can bring themselves to the point of death to be ill enough to be picked up early from school! Yes, Jay, you know what I mean! Amazing how you are always ok in time to go out that night.
Another trend hard to accept by this macho, hetro male is the trend towards girls - women - actually snogging each other in public! You even see it on the Oscar’s. I mean, what’s it all about? Are they saying they don’t really need us now they have sexual aids and each other to kiss? These aren’t lesbians, now, straight girls madly tongue-ing one another like Xavier Hollander (Deep throat): it’s a wonder they don‘t get burns from their tongue studs striking sparks! But it’s all old hat to today’s swinging (old word) teenagers and young adults.
As an old fart and a bloke to boot, I don’t feel really qualified to write on this subject but have made a stab at it based on watching two ladies go from babes to teens. So sad to watch the future Olympians and concert musicians we had hopes for, find that boys, booze, facebook and fags are the road better travelled by. I have only scratched the surface; many books have gone further, but their authors get more than 1 penny a click on adsense!