December 18, 2008

"We live in an amazing, amazing world, and it's wasted on the crappiest generation..."

(Trivia - When I first got on the net in 1999, I still had a rotary phone. Finally upgraded to touch-tone about two years later.)

Via Captain Capitalism

Posted by Kate at December 18, 2008 2:36 PM


Listening to the bit about people complaining about their flights, it's a good time to point this out:

Posted by: Hodge at December 18, 2008 3:03 PM

...ah, I miss the days when one just had to memorize 4 digit phone numbers only.

Posted by: tomax7 at December 18, 2008 3:10 PM

"We live in an amazing, amazing world, and it's wasted on the crappiest generation..."

He’s got it! Store clerks text messaging as they’re trying to “serve” you; the person at the next copy machine, who’s taken up all the counter space for two machines: one asks for a small amount for one’s own materials: no apology from this person, just, “Well YOU could have used a different copier”; Johnny says “F*** off” to the teacher (two days ago), who phones the parents: response, with no sense of irony at all--they have no sense of irony!--“You obviously said or did something to upset him.”

Yup, what a generation: spoiled brats in adult bodies. Be scared!

Posted by: lookout at December 18, 2008 3:15 PM

don't know who the gent is but he is bang on with his observations.

Posted by: Texas Canuck at December 18, 2008 3:21 PM

Last week I was going down the highway from Toronto to Buffalo in a van with a guy and his college student daughter at night.

She goes, "Dad! Oh my God! That whole building over there is on fire!!"

It was Stelco.

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle at December 18, 2008 3:24 PM

If a generation is "crappy", whose fault is it? The so-called "greatest generation" raised the most self indulgent one we're likely to see in some time, who in turn raised many of the muttonheads on example in this thread. So who screwed up? If it was the greatest generation, why were they such crappy parents? How did their parents screw up? etc., etc., ad infinitum - this is pointless.

Ideas shape "generations". Some ideas are crappier than others. We just need to disseminate the right ideas and the crappiness will subside.

Posted by: Occam's Carbuncle at December 18, 2008 3:38 PM

I like the story about the internet on the plane.

This being the season to be reflective and being old enough to have seen significant change and yet young enough to understand the speed to which you embrace things I agree with this guys sentiments. It is an amazing time.

Innovation continues everywhere, I recently had to go to Dr after an unfortunate Garage Door opener incident, don't ask. And now they have gauze that doesnt stick to the wound. Pretty amazing materials science going on.

And then I think back to may parents talking about the horses pulling the ice truck for the ice box...not a fridge but an ice box, my Dad remebering Rogers Batteryless (god bless the ROgers) This was in the 30's and you had to have a car battery in the house leaking acid on the floor to listen to the radio, then Ted sr invents a tube to use AC. That's only 70 years ago and now my kids flip back and forth between the TV and you tube to watch stuff they like.

Space Travel is commonplace, not an event anymore. Ensuring a premmie baby as young as 20 weeks (20 weeks) has a decent chance of making it. Incredible.

I don't think you need a depression to appreciate it, I think its attitude and knowledge. But all we get is how bad huanity has made this world, a culture of self loathing.

Too bad, we live in a time and in a place that is the envy of almost all who came before and almost all who exist now. Maybe we should learn to appreciate, defend and foster the values, traditions and systems that made these things possible.

Posted by: Stephen at December 18, 2008 3:40 PM

Ya, of course blame it ALL on my generation. It's not the like the baby boomers are responsible for forcing a whole bunch of socialized programs on our shoulders and massive amounts of debt. No, it's all our fault!

I'm going to spend the rest of my life working to pay off the debt you guys built up.

Posted by: Phil at December 18, 2008 3:44 PM

Phil, not only are you going to pay off our debt, you'll also pay for our health-care costs, our pensions and our funerals!

(Does any politician in this country realise the boomers are about to hit the shrinking younger population of this country with HUGE bills?)

Posted by: Erwin Gerrits at December 18, 2008 3:48 PM

His comment about how the world somehow owed something to this guy that he only discovered 5 minutes ago crystallizes the whole thing.

Never lose the wonder, people.

Posted by: mark peters at December 18, 2008 3:49 PM

Thing that bothers me most about the current generation, and all this stuff was present in my own generation as well, but the thing that bothers me most is the lack of respect. Yesterday I was driving through my neighbourhood and three teenagers were meandering down the middle of the street (where there were sidewalks). Nobody moved nobody attempted to get out of the way or even look behind where there was obviously a vehicle trying to get by. Its the me generation, everything is about me. Don't care that someone else might be trying to carry on an existance as well.

Posted by: CanuckInMI at December 18, 2008 3:49 PM

Stephen--couldn't agree more--this is a rather long quote from my book that, I think, expresses a similar sentiment.

At one time, we were a much more optimistic society, given to celebrating human achievement, and making positive predictions about the future. Our forebears had tamed the wilderness, and fought off oppressors in two wars. Medical research was developing vaccines and procedures to all but eliminate diseases that had previously killed millions. Scientists developed technology that provided us a lifestyle unimaginable as recently as the beginning of twentieth century.
Our cultural story was one of inner strength, self-reliance, and great individual and collective achievement—a story that emphasized human successes at overcoming personal, medical, and environmental hardship. There was a shared confidence that our social, political, and religious institutions would carry us successfully into the future—a confidence that we had the stuff necessary to make true Wilfred Laurier’s early twentieth-century assertion that “Canada… is only commencing…. Canada will fill the twentieth century.”
Early in the twenty-first century, most people would scoff at Laurier’s claim. Many see our political, social, and religious institutions as incapable of shaping the future. Conspiracy theories—concerned with the evil intentions of business, government, and religion to strip us of our rights, and control every aspect of our lives— abound. We have revised our story so it no longer celebrates human achievement, but emphasizes the environmental and social damage done as we’ve moved forward in history.

Posted by: Tom Olson at December 18, 2008 3:50 PM

Simple truths -- it's amazing how easily we forget how much more well off we are than much of the developed world.

Posted by: Richard Romano at December 18, 2008 3:52 PM

Remember having to beg for an internet account from the university because there were no other providers?

Remember having to buy an "internet directory" in order to find the various Gopher servers?

Remember the thrill of logging onto & viewing an over seas server for the first time and thinking "WOW! the world is getting very small!"?

Posted by: ChrisinMB at December 18, 2008 3:54 PM

Anyone hear that wants to degrade the current generation is IGNORANT! As ignorant as your parents were for not wanting you to listen to Elvis because it would corrupt society.

You guys are massively stereotyping a whole generation based on either your lack of understanding or interaction with that generation or your willingness to draw conclusions about a whole group from a few bad apples.

Out of curiosity, the young men and women serving in Afghanistan. Do you also consider them disrespectful and having a "me first" attitude?

Posted by: Phil at December 18, 2008 3:55 PM

Ultimately I suspect this all ends back in fascism. How? Entitlements. If this depression is really bad, people will demand governments bail them out, continuously voting themselves shiny new baubles from the public treasury (not my words), until one day the money's all gone, and generations have been grown who depend entirely on the public treasury to finance their lifestyles.

When those current muttonheads hit their late twenties and all the shiny new goodies stop rolling in (as they must after we basically treat the current level of wealth as an asset in liquidation, living off what our forebears built for us), when that happens, CHAOS. And who stops the chaos? Big Brother...

Posted by: bcf at December 18, 2008 3:59 PM

Phil, for the most part I agree..especially the young men and women in Aphganistan currently,,,it is more a commentary on society as awhole, and the older generation can appreciate the change...thats all

Posted by: Mr Lahey at December 18, 2008 4:02 PM

Phil, heh, what bothers me about the current generation is the HORRIBLE SPELLING! "hear" for "here" and don't get me starting on "there", "their" and "they're" or "your" and "you're". (sorry Kate)

Posted by: Erwin Gerrits at December 18, 2008 4:04 PM

"Out of curiosity, the young men and women serving in Afghanistan. Do you also consider them disrespectful and having a "me first" attitude?"

I think you've cherry picked the a few of the good ones. How many from the current generation actually respect what our soldiers in Afghanistan are doing? Yeah I thought not, they "respect the soldiers, but not their mission" and usually they have no idea how freedom is maintained.

Posted by: CanuckInMI at December 18, 2008 4:07 PM


Posted by: Indiana Homez at December 18, 2008 4:13 PM

Wow, who would have known that so many of you were self-righteous holier than thou types.

"My generation is so great. We're wonderful. This generation is so bad. They're terrible. I'm older than you therefore I can tell you how bad you are and get away with it. And btw, respect your elders you whipper snappers!"

Please, do tell me how the view is from your ivory towers. I'm just dying to know.

Posted by: Phil at December 18, 2008 4:16 PM

Put this clip on in the city square at noon every day. Do that until we all get it.

Posted by: Osumashi Kinyobe at December 18, 2008 4:17 PM

I've never seen this guy, is he a standup comedian? The piece was funny, but his idea of hardships he endured were actually luxuries to people a little older.

Dial telephones were a hardship? When I was small, our neighbours had no phone. Their son was being shipped to Cypress, and they came to our place to talk on our phone before he left. It was a crank phone, on a party line, so the whole community got to listen in. A friend of mine had the first private line in the community. His number was 1. Easy to remember.

I don't blame today's generation for any of it. They're just working with what's available. They need a little slack, times are going to get tough for a while. I have 3 boys who are just starting their adult lives. I don't plan on being a burden to them, or any other young person. No retirement to Florida for me. I'll keep plugging away, and helping them stay above water 'til I drop.

Some of this technology will dissappear, I think. There won't be enough money blowing around to sell it to everyone, so research will come to a standstill. Sort of like the space race.

Posted by: dp at December 18, 2008 4:18 PM

Best line was

"You're sitting in a CHAIR.........IN THE SKY !!!"

Posted by: Mr.g at December 18, 2008 4:27 PM

And dp misses the point by a country mile. Rotary phone service wasn't the point -- it was how far we've come that the rotary phone was an archaic beast already.

Research and development will never stop. You sound like that old urban legend about shutting down the patent office because everything has already been invented.

Every generation thinks the next generation is dumber and less respectful than the previous. It's horse crap.

Posted by: Yukon Gold at December 18, 2008 4:29 PM

This bit was linked about two months ago on the tips thread. Louis also had a sitcom, maybe it was called "Lucky Louis" I'm not sure. The show was very funny. Louis was on Leno plugging the show when he said that his daughter was an "a$$hole". Predictably the crowd was shocked and his retort was "what? You guys don't know her". Right there I new Louis was a hilarious, and I try to catch most of his stuff.

Posted by: Indiana Homez at December 18, 2008 4:30 PM

Loved it!!

Posted by: bob at December 18, 2008 4:30 PM

I didn't miss any point, because I wasn't trying to make a point. It was just a story.

That was the theme of my post. Every generation thinks they are superior to the last. It's a perpetual generation gap.

There is one constant in life, though. Yellow flesh potatoes are not fit to eat.

Posted by: dp at December 18, 2008 4:34 PM

The comedian is Louis C K. He recently had a show on HBO called Lucky Louie, but it was canceled after one year.
He hits the mark with his comments. Too funny!

Posted by: ridersrgr8 at December 18, 2008 4:34 PM


Dont take it personally, because it never is meant that way. I am not a boomer, missed it by a year or two, I am more a Gen X guy in attitude if not age.

The point is pretty simple, and pretty understandable. It is an amazing time. I recognized it when these things came along. Shoot I remember seeing videophones demonstrated in the 70' was spoken about breathlessly and there was a significant belief in the future.

There was some of the you guys trashed the planet, but not much. More of a comparing Live aid to Woodstock, one was indulgent the otehr tried to acheive an end. But even then it is all stereotypes.

Simple point is, any understanding of the context you are in should give people an appreciation that a lot has been acheived in a short time frame. the comedian is essentially saying maybe we need to take that away to have people appreciate it.

Innovation and advancement is considered such a norm today that to see it is to see the expected. Humans are geared to notice the exception not the rule, you notice the tiger not every tree. Maybe thats a good thing, if people expect innovation then that helps it happen, how many inventions died on the vine in the past because they didnt get embraced quickly enough.

The fear expressed hear, other than a lot of "get off my lawn", is that innovation and the systems that support them will be seperated. In other words innovation gets taken for granted and not that it is a product of certain conditions, economic, political and social.

Now get Off My Lawn You Whippersnapper :->

Posted by: Stephen at December 18, 2008 4:43 PM

I remember when we used crystal radios, when most people didn't own a car, when TV sets were on store windows, and that's where you went to watch the hockey game. When you owned one suit, when you darned your socks if they developed holes.
You didn't buy anything until you could afford it. When banks said no to loan applications more often than they said yes. And when you saved for years for a down payment on the house, and that rotary phone was the only one you owned. And when my children were born there was no Medicare. If it was tough, we didn't know it was tough. Happiness was a state of mind, not a material thing. And when taxes went up, the MSM took shots, today they cheer.
Progress. But I do love the Internet, jet planes and my Iphone.

Posted by: Ghost of Ed at December 18, 2008 4:47 PM

He clearly hasn't heard of the hope of the future - these fine young examples earning their "carbon neutral volunteer credits"!
Honestly, I wish I were only making this up. One question, though: why, when I see "mass volunteerism", do Jim Jones and Chairman Mao spring to mind?


Carbon Neutral Volunteers Launches Drive for First Carbon Neutral School in the World

Okemos, Michigan U.S (MMD Newswire) December 18, 2008 --
Carbon Neutral Volunteers (CNV) launched its drive to make Okemos High School, Michigan the first Carbon Neutral high school in the world. The initiative aspires to attain this goal through energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon offsets through mass volunteerism. Given the enormous challenge of global warming and climate change Dr. John Lanzetta, Ph.D, Principal; Okemos High School said "This program has been conceived by the students with a very ambitious and noble goal of making Okemos High School the first carbon neutral high school in the world."

Hemi Gandhi, Founder and President of developed the idea of Volunteer Carbon Credits(C) while working closely with Professor Brian S Thompson, Outreach & Engagement Senior Fellow of Michigan State University on his research in the field of sustainability and alternative energy...


Posted by: Truth Seeker at December 18, 2008 5:19 PM

@ Stephen,

Thanks for the post. I personally thought the skit was funny. I also see the point of it. It's the responses that are written that really grind my gears. A sort of smugness about oneself that really smacks of ignorance.

I know a lot of upstanding young Canadians and we should try and avoid characterizing them through stereotypes. The same goes for any group.

Posted by: Phil at December 18, 2008 5:20 PM

Ghost, you forgot that you walked to school up hill both ways!:-p

Posted by: Indiana Homez at December 18, 2008 5:32 PM

i'm not sure that gererations are good, bad or ugly. there are more boomers as a result of ww2. there are fewer in later generations because prosperity (believe it or not) prompts people to have fewer children. as an old guy i remember ice, coal and milk being delivered by horse drawn carts/vehicles. when i worked the most enjoyable part of the week were the four plus flights i had to take covering canada. i still get pissed off if i can't bring up sda in less than a minute.see.

Posted by: old white guy at December 18, 2008 5:38 PM

Heck, I still have an old black Nortel rotary phone. It's hilarious watching the neighborhood kids try to use it. In a pinch it's also heavy enough to use as weapon if anyone tries to break in.

Posted by: Kevin Jaeger at December 18, 2008 5:39 PM

Right on. But I really couldn't walk to school. Too much snow. I had to ski uphill both ways.

Posted by: Ghost of Ed at December 18, 2008 5:39 PM

Bjorn Lomberg talks about this concept in his book, "The Skepitcal Environmentalist". People think back and feel that things were better in the past.

How much nostalgia has there been for the 50's and so on?

He makes the very valid point that in every measurable way, life is not only better now, but incredibly so than even 50 years ago. Standard of living, life expectancy, convienence and the list goes on. If you never read anything else, read the first chapter of this book.

Posted by: AtlanticJim at December 18, 2008 5:40 PM

Fair enough, dp.

Posted by: Yukon Gold at December 18, 2008 5:46 PM

I'm a war baby, (WWII, that is), and it's my observation that young people are pretty much the same from generation to generation.

Posted by: Nemo2 at December 18, 2008 6:00 PM

My wandering into the distant past were not meant to be critical of the present. That's why I ended with my comments about the internet, jet planes and my Iphone. And I don't believe all of today's generation have it all wrong. I have grand children and they're all good kids with good values. And Phil makes an excellent point. I simply believe there were "good old days" and today there are "good new days." I love technology. If I see a new toy, I'll get it. But only if I can pay for it.

Posted by: Ghost of Ed at December 18, 2008 6:02 PM

" Its the me generation, everything is about me. Don't care that someone else might be trying to carry on an existance as well."

So very true. However, it's not just the younger generation that indulges in this behaviour. Some small things, but good examples .... Idiots that insist on having the store clerk check 30 lottery tickets when there is a perfectly good machine available for self-checking the tickets and a lineup a mile long of customers waiting to pay for something.

Lazy morons at a Tim Hortons drive-thru ordering a complete meal, changing their minds frequently while ordering, not having their money ready at the window and then, taking 5 minutes to stow their change and store their goodies.

Cretins tying up an ATM making numerous deposits, withdrawals, investments, bill payments and enquiries and then taking forever to put everything back in their purses rather than moving aside to let others use the machine.

Rockets scientists who insist and drying and detailing their vehicles in the car wash when the signs specifically state that doing so is prohibited.

Brain surgeons emptying their vehicle ashtrays in a parking lot and dumping their McDonald's bags at the same time.

The list of selfish, "me-first", fck everybody else activities is endless.

Posted by: biffjr. at December 18, 2008 6:06 PM

"I had to ski uphill both ways."

We couldn't go sleigh riding when I was a kid. We were so poor, the city turned off the gravity.

Posted by: wyatt salt at December 18, 2008 6:12 PM

Yeah, the creation of all these gadgets certainly increases the conveniences of life, but I think that to refer to them as "advanced" would require a lot of definition.

Charley Daniels had a song called "The Same Old Me."

"I ain't livin' in some New Age plan...
I'm gonna keep my guns
And have my fun
And call it just the way I see
Because it's a brand new world,
But I'm still the same old me. "

I would consider "advance" to be a population swelled with more intelligence, courage, patriotism, insight into human nature, a diminishment of the need for psychiatric attention, and some idea of just why in the heck we're spinning around down here on this 3rd rock from the sun.

Some contemporary thinkers have been discouraged by the realization that today many define themselves by the gadgets they own and the brand labels they wear. "The Gossip Girls" and "The Clique Girls" series are all about this. Training all the little munchkins to take their place as consumers trading up to more expensive brand labels.

So I'm all about an appreciation for the gadgets that make life more convenient, but I reserve the idea of "advancement" to some inner corollaries of development that work in coincidence with material possibilities.

(You know, when Kate brought down that last buck, she pretty much did it the old-fashioned way. And often the old-fashioned way builds character.)

Posted by: Greg in Dallas at December 18, 2008 6:13 PM

"Hemi Gandhi, Founder and President of developed the idea of Volunteer Carbon Credits(C) while working closely with Professor Brian S Thompson, Outreach & Engagement Senior Fellow of Michigan State University on his research in the field of sustainability and alternative energy...

Posted by: Truth Seeker at December 18, 2008 5:19 PM"

I just gots to know: Does a Hemi Gandhi have a smaller carbon footprint than a Wedge Gandhi?

Posted by: gordinkneehill at December 18, 2008 6:19 PM

Common courtesy seems to have faded. Nothing annoys me more when I hold a door open only to have somebody storm through it without an inkling of appreciation.
Remember when you could drive down the highway and see an oncoming vehicle flashing it's lights at you? You immediately slowed down because you knew that a speed trap was just up ahead.

Posted by: multirec at December 18, 2008 6:22 PM

Every generation has their share of crap and good.My wife,who is a boomer,couldn't tell you the difference between there,their,and they're if her life depended on it.But then she was brought up with that phonetic crap.On the other hand,give her a problem to solve using common dog,and I'll pit her against anybody here!(except maybe Kate.they seem to be of the same cloth,except different gens).
You know what they say...youth is wasted on the young!
And Phil...not to worry.The mud hut for your kids will be cheap to maintain when the eco-freaks get their way.Might be a problem making candles out of beeswax though,seeing as all petroleum production will be shut down..heh.

Posted by: Justthinkin at December 18, 2008 6:29 PM

The guy reminds me of Dennis Miller, one of the main reasons I watch O'Reilly regularly. He can be funny without having to be bleeped out, something you don't often find with stand-up comedians these days.
I remember when I was a kid we had board sidewalks, and we used to try to hop to school stepping only on new planks. I went to see "Passchendaele' recently and noticed that one of the scenes filmed in Calgary with concrete sidewalks had wheelchair ramps at the intersections, something I don't think they had in 1917 (or even 1945). I have mentioned this to several people who saw the movie and none of them noticed. I guess wheelchair ramps are another one of those things that everyone takes for granted.

Posted by: itlog98 at December 18, 2008 6:30 PM

Corrr. . . .we used to dream of living in a corridor.

Posted by: Imethisguy at December 18, 2008 6:37 PM

Fair enough, dp.

Posted by: Yukon Gold at December 18, 2008 5:46 PM

I actually don't mind yellow potatoes. I had a very obnoxious girlfriend, who insisted on eating nothing but, even after they had 6" sprouts on them. Unfortunately, your nic reminds me of her. You aren't "her", are you?

Posted by: dp at December 18, 2008 6:58 PM

The guy is half right. Its an astounding era to be sure. That people don't appreciate it is to be expected. Sure its generational to some degree, but its fundamentally human nature. People who don't have to struggle become indolent. I noticed this in a job I once had. I chiefly babysat a building all night. I had no stress, no challenges, with a good wage. It got to the point if I was asked to do extra jobs. I got mad with an attitude. All because it was effortless.

Humans need trials for their best traits to show. Other wise they go into idle mode. Which causes mass imbecility & ingratitude. You find the same thing in criminals who just throw their money away because it has no meaning, not being earned.

Its called dissolution for good reason. Don't worry though we will have plenty of adversity’s ahead.
The greatest Generation is called that because they overcame their illusions & won a long peace. Not because of obvious parenting flaws that developed in the popular culture of that time. Dr. Spock for one, No not the Alien. They won the struggle of the time by rejecting a naive view of their age, than fighting fore the right to survive as free beings. Now Its time for us to wake up to our challenge of the new century. Re-democratizing the world with true Liberties, holding down the Barbarians with the totalitarian horde in our own wigwam. If we don't the next generation may be called Heroic or Slaves.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at December 18, 2008 7:29 PM

I first saw that clip while sitting on a CHAIR in the SKY (had a crap, watched a movie and I was there). It had me LOLing and I still watch it again every now and then.

Posted by: PiperPaul at December 18, 2008 8:01 PM

"Humans need trials for their best traits to show. Other wise they go into idle mode."

Yes I think thats a very insightful post. I'm a Gen-Xer but my dad was actually part of that Generation that fought WWII. Although he didn't actually do battle he lived under German air raids night after night for about four years. That generation of folks learned not to waste anything, save whatever you can and never go into debt. And it was as a consequence of the environment they had to endure. Depression, war and rationing. My generation and those thereafter haven't had to sacrifice anything, and doesn't understand real hardship. Perhaps we will shortly.

Posted by: CanuckInMI at December 18, 2008 8:19 PM

Speaking of rotary phones, in the house where I grew up, we had a party line. This basically meant you literally had to wait until one of your neighbours got off the phone before you could use it. (and we were DAMN glad to have it!!) :)
Incidently, a party line also meant you had to be careful of someone listening in on YOUR conversation.

Posted by: tower at December 18, 2008 8:36 PM

I'm still deeply appreciative of indoor plumbing. Hot water at the turn of a knob! (I'm dead serious)

Posted by: Woodporter at December 18, 2008 8:38 PM

Oh yeah. Party lines. Rotary dial phones. My mum saved for hours over a wringer washer, hung the laundry out on the clothesline, brought them in stiff as a board. No snow blowers, lots of shovels though. One car per family (if you were lucky). One TV station from 1956 - 1969 then it doubled to two(black & white). The most jazzy gadget was a reel to reel tape recorder. You stood in long lines at banks to get cash, or deposit, no one talked, only whispers. Never locked a door until 1968. You paid your Doctor and Dentist cash. Your best friends were your dog and your bicycle.

Posted by: Sounder at December 18, 2008 8:59 PM

Dishwasher, washing machine, birth control pills!

The big problem I have with the upcoming generation is the fact that they don't read books.

Posted by: Nicola Timmerman at December 18, 2008 9:06 PM

Phil, I hear you. (And I've got Me Generation kids.) I've been in classrooms for over 50 years, as a student and teacher, and the difference in the attitude and behaviour of kids today is light years away from what it used to be. The idea of "respect" has, generally, gone the way of the Dodo.

I attribute this to the takeover—sometime in the '60s—of the anti-God squad. People could have kids—no stigma attached, and paid for by the more stable and productive members of society—at the whim of each individual (bye bye family: hello huge numbers of confused, angry, ENTITLED kids and guilty parents); man became the new god and was then, by governments, endowed with a myriad of rights, that said governments could then take away: no mention of responsibilities, though.

All of this stupidity was encoded in Trudeau's 1982 Charter and many UN declarations, including the rights of the child. (Hello, disenfranchised parents and teachers—a huge part of our problem). Everyone here should read the multitude of rights endowed on kids: e.g., a right to privacy, a right to religious belief, a right to freedom of association (“I can have any friends I want!”); a right to be respectfully listened to (after you’ve just told the teacher to f*** off?); a right to live in the same country as your parents (bye bye sound immigration policies), etc. This deeply subversive document, like Canada's own Charter—and the activist judges who have used it to recklessly socially engineer our poor country—are utopian.

When individual rights trump responsibility almost every time, it’s the irresponsible opportunists who benefit. Then standards drop—heck we’re no longer allowed to ENFORCE standards: that would be against some, usually, lowest common denominator person’s rights. Thus starts and continues the downward spiral. Generation X kids are the unfortunate “beneficiaries” of the lowering of standards and, often, like the proverbial frog in the pot of boiling water, are unaware of the lethal fallout.

Yes, it’s often not their fault that standards are so low, but many of them milk it. I believe in natural law: I’ve taught multitudes of “lowest common denominator” behaving kids. Given strict guidelines and lots of encouragement, they DO know how to behave: but watch them turn it off the minute they think they can . . . A society that functions on a daily basis on the false and destructive assumption that the lowest common denominator needs more leniency and coddling versus less structure and consequences—sounds a lot like Canada to me—is going to be in very serious trouble. Turn sows’ ears into silk purses? It ain’t gonna happen.)

Rampant consumerism has been part of the fallout. In the economic downturn, if that’s no longer an option, maybe other, less selfish values will reassert themselves. But, without even the IDEA of a self-sacrificing God—who’s been tossed out of our schools to make way for Gaia: now isn’t Mother Nature a benign force?!—who expects the same altruism (what?) of us, I don’t see that a positive change is very likely. (Let's think about it: when left to themselves, how do toddlers act when there are five of them and only two cookies?)

Kyrie eleison—but only a few of us seem to care about that anymore . . .

Posted by: lookout at December 18, 2008 9:10 PM

Whoops, in paragraph five, make that " . . . MORE structure and consequences. . ."

Posted by: lookout at December 18, 2008 9:14 PM

Indiana Homez wrote"This bit was linked about two months ago on the tips thread."

That was probably me (the timing's right, I was flying to attend my son's graduation). The clip Kate posted doesn't show the bit where he talks about his young daughter and the sun exploding. Here's the full clip (8:24) of Louis CK on Conan:

Posted by: PiperPaul at December 18, 2008 9:15 PM

This is very tangential to the main point, but for those of you who are "now capable of having seniors moments", you may take great delight in this video I put together of how a long distance call was made back in 1949:

The audio comes from a Dragnet episode. Way before my time, I found it utterly fascinating!

Posted by: Robert W. at December 18, 2008 9:29 PM

We still have rotary phone service. It drives the phone company nuts (because they claim it costs them more to service us) and confuses people who go to use our phones (they here the digipulse and think the phone is broken.) But I refuse to change over because it costs more to have touch tone service and it is not necessary. I press the * on my phone and it switches to touch tone mid-call so I can use automated phone systems just like everyone else. Or I can just wait on the line and get served first by a real person!

Had to laugh at the line about people with 0 in their number. Our business phone number has four 9's in it and my dh wondered if we should ask for another number when it was offered to us 10 years ago. I had to point out that most people won't notice the delay in calling our number because so few people have rotary service these days!

Posted by: CanadianKate at December 18, 2008 9:43 PM

I can't believe I just used the wrong 'here' in my last post. Geez, what a thread to make that mistake in!

Posted by: CanadianKate at December 18, 2008 9:46 PM

Stephen at 3:40

If it was a horse drawn ice-box and in Winnipeg, that was probably my grandfather. ca 1920.

hijack/off sorry Kate

Posted by: oatmealeatincanuck at December 18, 2008 10:05 PM

Phil, heh, what bothers me about the current generation is the HORRIBLE SPELLING! "hear" for "here" and don't get me starting on "there", "their" and "they're" or "your" and "you're". (sorry Kate)

Posted by: Erwin Gerrits at December 18, 2008 4:04 PM



damn good example of your own ignorance

I'm 61, and my spelling and grammar is pi$$ poor

I'll leave it up to you to figure out what the possible reason could be. I'll give you a hint, it ain't a lack of education, nor is it my smarts level!!

Posted by: GYM at December 18, 2008 10:38 PM

This evening, when I phoned a major communications provider, about a total loss of service for my aged parents, I was, once again, reminded of the almost total lack of AFFECT—emotional presence—in those to whom I spoke.

These people seem to be perfectly at ease, parroting the junk they’ve been given by their companies’ script writers. These, “I’ve sold my soul [which soul?] to the company” toadies are the perfect drones our public education system, in a secular—me first— society, has made them.

This non-thinking obeisance to the status quo and a total inability to connect with another’s point of view, either intellectually or emotionally, is on the rise, and lethal to an altruistic—how about an even functioning?—society. Trying to reason with one of these Charlie McCarthys—Charlie is a famous ventriloquist’s dummy—is an exercise in frustration: we both use the English language, but the deeper—emotional, spiritual—meaning, for them, is spinning around somewhere in space.

Kyrie eleison.

Posted by: lookout at December 18, 2008 10:41 PM

I too still have rotary service. Refuse to pay Bell the extra couple of bucks they STILL want for tone, after 45 years (on their digital and tone driven network). Technology has of course blown away the need to convert to tone. I need tone on a phone I push a button, or program a speed dial.

The most delicious irony: I'm surfing SDA at warp speed on the same line that my pulse dial phone is running on. I should get out the old rotary phone, a pencil, and reminisce, just for the hell of it...

As to rude kids, I think we've actually passed that phase a bit. The younger kids (oh, 12 and down) seem somewhat more courteous and polite. The older ones have generally grown up into rude adults, but then their parents are too. Their parent's parents were the last polite generation for a bit.

Posted by: Skip at December 18, 2008 10:45 PM

Lookout, you may be being too hard on the csr/kids. Nowadays their every word is monitored, recorded, reviewed for "quality assurance" There is pain to be felt for deviating from the "script"...

Posted by: Skip at December 18, 2008 10:49 PM

Skip, I'm not unsympathetic to what you say, however, I deal with the younger kids to whom you refer: many are extremely rude and some are little psychopaths.

Re the telephone "responders": tone of voice can make a huge difference. Most speak in a monotone, quite devoid of real emotion/communication. I don't think I'm being too hard on them. However, it seems to me that their deficient behaviour would be in the realm of "Forgive them, for they know not what they do".

Whatever the reason, this kind of behaviour does not build community.

Posted by: lookout at December 18, 2008 11:04 PM

Plus, Skip, "taking too much time" helping customers (you know, those people who give their money to the company in exchange for "service") is discouraged. It's become assembly line customer service, no doubt lorded over by some petty bean counter-type counting syllables uttered. Many CSRs read from a prepared script, but sometimes you can find a real gem who will go out of their way to resolve your problem.

What I find really annoying is having to listen to ads trying to sell me something while waiting on hold.

Posted by: PiperPaul at December 18, 2008 11:04 PM

Satori Kato (Japanese scientist) invented the "crappiest generation" in 1901. George Washington introduced it to Americans in 1910, Nestlé introduced it to the ROW on April 1, 1938 in Switzerland.

The sordid tale of instant gratification can be found here (wiki warning):

Posted by: ural at December 18, 2008 11:08 PM

When I was a boy in East Texas our community didn't have electricity, a reliable water supply, or indoor plumbing. The nearest phone was in town about 8 miles away, and it didn't have a dial. Most people didn't have a job, let alone a car. Doctor's made house calls and didn't charge much, but they also couldn't do much to cure the sick. My granddad had a radio powered by a huge battery. Aside from that luxury, our living style was about like the 1800's. The poorest people in Texas now are living better than the well-off folks were where I lived during the 1930's. Most people do not realize how lucky they are to be living now.

Posted by: James Williams at December 18, 2008 11:38 PM

I nominate Revnant Dream for the "wisdom of the week" award:

"Humans need trials for their best traits to show. Other wise they go into idle mode. Which causes mass imbecility & ingratitude."

Posted by: Tenebris at December 18, 2008 11:40 PM

Posted by: Imethisguy at December 18, 2008 6:37 PM


".....and when we got home, our mothers and fathers would slash us with bread knives and dance over our graves singin' hallelujah...."

Posted by: A. Cooper at December 18, 2008 11:42 PM

Finally, someone has uploaded the Graham Chapman ashes clip to YouTube:

"Monty Python Live at Aspen was a reunion show featuring all the surviving members of Monty Python. Graham Chapman was also allegedly in attendance as his "ashes" were brought out in an urn. The Pythons looked back at their work and received an award (AFI award). It also featured some memorable moments when..."

Posted by: PiperPaul at December 19, 2008 12:30 AM

We live in the age of instant gratification.
I am not an alarmist or anything but it strikes me that when a society stops using the tools that enforce a societies rules (Politeness, respect, self-sacrifice) that society soon ceases to exist.
This is the true threat to the western world and one that makes it vulnerable to many threats.
I often find myself agreeing in a way with Islam in that they view our culture as corrupt. We are. When I say we I am generalizing and really can anyone argue when the media only portrays the indolent garbage that passes for entertainment today? Just look at common T.V. programs or pop music. Mindless cradle to grave opiate that many people view as important. Seldom do people have a sense of perspective. Step back and imagine if you didn't have just one luxury like clean running water. We only need look at countries less fortunate than ours to see what that life is like.
All too often people just change the channel.

Posted by: Daryl H at December 19, 2008 12:51 AM

"People who don't have to struggle become indolent... Humans need trials for their best traits to show"

Insightful, and very well put, RD! I'm gonna bogart that one, from time to time. Hope you don't mind :)

at gmail d0t calm

Posted by: mhb at December 19, 2008 12:55 AM

Great rant.
I'm over 80 and get upset if the info I want doesn't appear on my screen in a nanosecond. There was a time it would have meant a 40 mile round trip, and a full day at the city library.
I'm glad I no longer have a washing machine with wringers and hang the washing out in zero temperatures. Remember the long drawers stiff as a board.
I'm glad I don't have to get up to change the TV channels.
I can't think of anything I would go back to, but feel very nostalgic about the kinder, gentler generation: good manners, civility and modesty to name just a few.

Posted by: gellen at December 19, 2008 1:05 AM

Posted by: Phil>

Long past your last comment Phil but I’ll agree with you anyway. The ills of today’s youth can be put squarely on the shoulders of the baby boomers and especially on the hippies in my opinion!

Actually having raised kids to and though University I can attest that they and the years of friends are generally far more responsible, for their health, the environment and such oddities as drinking and driving that my generation took for granted. This of course is probably a bit of a regional exception and not inclusive of the whole country, the inner cities for example.

That said, the growing indifference, the rising crime rates and the glorified gettoization of our cities is extremely troubling to people who remember a better time, when indeed things were simpler but they were also safer and more civil.

The importation of gansta getto subcultures into our mainstream has not at all helped. This again is a hippy “devil may care” philosophy coupled with a boomers desire to make money at all costs (yuppies = old greedy hippies). The mainstream ideologies today about multiculturalism and the “strengths through diversity” show a naive world view and an acceptance of dangerous philosophy’s and ideologies dumped on our doorsteps.

Add some legalized political correctness along with socialist bending of the will, and the passing generation has some misplaced views regarding why things aren’t as good as they were before. Blame the youth. Unfortunately for that cleansing of the soul things didn’t get this way overnight.

Posted by: Knight 99 at December 19, 2008 2:47 AM

Well said Lookout.

Posted by: Jema 54 at December 19, 2008 3:17 AM

Thanks, Jema 54.

Yes, instant gratification: when a critical mass of people over 18—legally considered adults—do not or cannot—because of deficient formation—take on the responsibilities of adulthood, including the proper formation of their own children, the downward spiral I mentioned earlier spins faster.

Root causes? Banning the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus from the public square in the West and the subsequent collapse of the natural family: mother, father, and child(ren).

WARNING: State Banned Ideas Ahead: Have others noted that nearly all the horrendous tragedies to befall the children in our societies have taken place in circumstances where the kids are not living with their own parents, but in some conglomeration of adults, including various unrelated boyfriends or “guardians”? Nature is a severe taskmaster: when we rattle our sabres in its face, we always lose out. The “any self-identified grouping is family” myth is turning around to bite us—especially our unfortunate kids. Are these kids likely to make good citizens? No, because they’ve not been properly socialized: manners, respect for others, perseverance, etc., are sadly lacking from their experience. (Although possessing more resources to hold on, even intact families are surrounded and bombarded by our barbaric 21st century culture, which becomes more pagan by the minute.)

Add to this toxic stew the “Entitlement Game” (Canadian and UN Charters. . . .) and society’s got one, big mess. Our kids—all of them—are being ENCOURAGED to be selfish—and aggressive about being selfish. gellen mentions “the kinder, gentler generation: good manners, civility and modesty to name just a few”. I remember those days. The raw materials to reclaim a “kinder, more responsible” society—stable families, high behavioural expectations, self-control, boundaries, discipline, now all proscribed by the state, which is busy stripping parents and teachers of their legitimate authority—just aren’t there anymore.

I have an image of Western souls and minds being dulled and tarnished, so, even though many have an inkling that their behaviour’s destructive to themselves and others, they simply do not have a vision of the best or the inner resources to get there. Western, state bureaucracies seem to like it this way: they are increasingly responsible for creating much of the mess and then demand more power and money to “fix” it.

Kyrie eleison.

Posted by: lookout at December 19, 2008 9:47 AM

Skip, lookout, PiperPaul:

I won't name the company since I'm still employed here but about ten years ago I worked with our call centre customer service department (a year or so on the phones, a couple years training/managing new hires) and I can attest to the 'deadening' effect idiotic corporate policies have on otherwise reasonable, decent people.

Granted, some are spoiled little SOB's who think the world owes them and treat customers (and probably everyone else in their lives) like crap, but many become lifeless automatons simply because they are given no incentive (indeed they are disincented) to provide good customer service. Spending extra time fixing major screw-ups (or simply going the extra mile) results in a visit from the boss asking why you're still on that call, instead of thanking or rewarding them for dealing with a challenging situation, customer, etc. Add in idiotic scripting and extremely hard to attain productivity and sales targets and you get extremely bitter, cynical employees who generally don't last more than a year or two. It's idiotic long term strategy, which I've explained in great detail many times to upper management.

Anyway, I'm not excusing the rude behaviour, but I've seen where a lot of it comes from.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. That said (and libertarianish person that I am aside), I've long said that all citizens in free market democracies, regardless of socio-economic status, should be obliged to serve in some sort of 'customer service' job for at least two years (along with mandatory military service).

A more polite, disciplined citizenry that knows the value of a dollar and isn't petrified of guns would provide innumerable benefits to society.

Posted by: Matt Hillier at December 19, 2008 9:54 AM

This guy is funny! He's also right. Here in Hamilton the Canadian Warplane Heritage periodically flies the -only- Lancaster bomber still airworthy in the Western Hemisphere. Huge frickin' thing, four twelve-cylinder Merlins roaring loud as Hell let out for noon, the most beautiful engine sound in the world. Times four.

This giant piece 'o history flies over the supermarket at maybe 800 feet, VRRRRRROOOOM! I'm pointing and yelling "WOOHOO! YEAH BABY!!!!"... and not one person looks up. Not one. Happens every single time.

Somebody fill me in here. Am I crazy, or is everybody else in this town an oblivious dork?

Posted by: The Phantom at December 19, 2008 10:10 AM

Matt Hillier, many thanks for that enlightening post. That the powers that be are good at churning out automatons is no surprise. It's the same in education, my field: the best are hounded and harassed. They get out if they can, leaving the field to the “zombies” or merely defeated.

This society—for the reasons I've posited above—is churning out people with numbed minds and spirits, who, in turn, numb the minds and spirits of those over whom they have power. The downward spiral . . .

This is the season of Advent, when Christians await, with great anticipation, the coming of the light. What a promise! But, in Canada today, Christians are being actively persecuted by the state. Talk about moral inversions.

Western societies are suffering from a spiritual malaise and the very path to sanity and health—reclaiming our Judeo-Christian roots, at a deep level—are not allowed by the state, which has embraced an enemy culture: “multiculturalism” to which no sane, integrated person can have any allegiance. Thus, our society is, literally, DISintegrating. The widespread listlessness we see does not provide for us either the impetus or strength to fight back. T.S. Eliot, poet and Christian prophet: “This is the way the world ends: Not with a bang but a whimper.”

Kyrie eleison.

Posted by: lookout at December 19, 2008 10:20 AM

Phantom, I think I've just described the "zombies" you describe: their personalities appear to be minus affect—emotional presence.

I wish I could be with you when one of those Lancasters—“L for Lanky"!—flew over. I'd be jumping up and down and cheering with you!!

I've got a "hot" personality in a cool age: a difficult fit. I think we're sinking into a spiritual ice age: the AGW scam is part and parcel of this. Ironic . . .

Posted by: lookout at December 19, 2008 10:30 AM

"I've got a "hot" personality in a cool age: a difficult fit. I think we're sinking into a spiritual ice age: the AGW scam is part and parcel of this. Ironic . . ."

Lol...nicely done lookout. And I agree with your well stated assessments and reasoning.

Posted by: Matt Hillier at December 19, 2008 11:06 AM

Thanks, Matt.

Posted by: lookout at December 19, 2008 11:14 AM

I have nearly driven off the road in the presence of that Lancaster, trying to get a better look and listen. No sound like it.
To have heard a hundred of them at once fly over...glorious if you were on the giving end, not so much otherwise.

Posted by: T. Robert Wolfram at December 19, 2008 12:52 PM

I was nearly off the road one time in Arizona, I got overflown by a Heinkel He 111.

Managed to pull over and bailed out to hear it. Two Merlins. I was like WTF?!! Turned out is was General Franco's personal ride. They have it at the Confederate Air Force, I went there and climbed all over it.

Lookout, take a drive to Hamilton Airport, go to where the silver jet fighter is standing on its tail. That's Canadian Warplane Heritage, you can go inside and drool on the airplanes all day long. Awesome.

CWH is the -only- place I donate money, because they fly that huge old bird over my house. Worth every penny.

Posted by: The Phantom at December 19, 2008 3:30 PM

nicola. yes people don't read and those who do seem to lack the ability to understand what they have read.

Posted by: old white guy at December 19, 2008 3:36 PM

I dont think it really changes

Posted by: horus at December 19, 2008 5:09 PM

We used to sleep on rusted springs, for years, because we couldn't afford a new mattress.

Posted by: puke at December 19, 2008 5:36 PM

Posted by: The Phantom at December 19, 2008 10:10 AM

Phantom, not everyone's a dork*. I'm in Oakville, and I make a beeline for the door whenever I hear the Lanc on flyby. The first time I saw it a few years ago I stood frozen in the middle of a shopping mall parking lot*, and it was only the impatient HONK of a driver that got me moving. I just turned to him & pointed upwards, and shrugged, "What ELSE would I be doing but watching that plane, man?"*. He wasn't impressed.

Too bad for him.

I usually grab my sons 11/13 to have a look (the 3yr old is still a bit young to figure it out), and I get a bit of interest from them. Heh, then again, I'm the local helicopter nut, and have been known to bomburst from hosting a dinner to the backyard whenever a chopper flies by at low altitude*... LOL

at gmail d0t calm
* maybe on 2nd thought, I'M the dork haha

Posted by: mhb at December 19, 2008 7:20 PM

Thank God, mhb. I thought I was the only one who did that.

We are not dorks. The ones who don't look up, THEY are dorks. ~:D

Posted by: The Phantom at December 19, 2008 7:28 PM

mhb,Phantom.You guys have to pay now!!! I still yearn to hear the sound of 4 Argus engines pounding away on take-oof!!! You want pure,unadulterated piston power! And it was check the gas,fill the oil on landing...heh

Posted by: Justthinkin at December 19, 2008 10:14 PM

With all the "I want it all and I want it now" going on maybe we need another depression for people to really appreciate the little things in life, the things that really matter. Hearth and home, warmth, food on the table, healthy children and happy living. A feeling of accomplishment because you've made a place in the world where you and yours are comfortable and safe.

Posted by: kelly at December 19, 2008 11:44 PM

Kelly: I don't know if I want a depression (could I make it?), but "I want it all and I want it now" attitude reminds me of that commercial with the perfect suburban family who wanted to watch movies, who wanted to talk with relatives in Vancouver and Moncton, who wanted a faster internet connection (WAY faster!!), and who wanted it ALL, for LESS!
G*d damn, they were annoying, not because they were exceptional, but because they were the presented as the NORM!

Posted by: tower at December 20, 2008 10:47 AM

BTW, when is the Lancaster scheduled to fly again?

Posted by: tower at December 20, 2008 10:50 AM

Was watching a documentary on MSNBC (I know, I know) about runaway kids. Street people. They were texting each other on cell phones.

Far cry from the Hobos of the 30s.

Posted by: Superfarmer at December 22, 2008 3:58 PM