Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The generation game

I don't wish to rain on anyone's parade; particularly if that anyone happens to be old. After all, raining on an old person's parade is simply mean - they're old, and its unlikely there'll be many more parades for them to enjoy.

Nor do I disagree with the sentiment of the (wholly overrated) documentary that lead to the 'Internet phenomenon' The Zimmers. It doesn't appear right to shove old people in ropey care homes once their economic worth has been expended. But the choice of My Generation to raise the issue of their plight is a touch ironic, no?

OK, the general sentiment of the song appears to fit nicely, but like all great art you have to understand it in context in which it was written. My Generation was written by a 21-year old Pete Townshend as a call to arms for a nation of youthful Mods. Look at the lyrics and my explanation of what they probably meant when they were written...

People try to put us down

We are disaffected and ignored section of society, and our views are belittled by the powers that be.

Just because we get around

We are being actively ignored by society because we are an increasingly powerful underground force.

...good so far...

Things they do look awful cold

They are the establishment, who by definition are the older generation. What this is saying is; old people are boring.

I hope I die before I get old

I'd rather die than be old and one of them.

Why don't you all fade away

I wish old people would die a quiet death.

And don't try to dig what we all say

Don't even try talking to me, I'm not interested.

I'm not trying to cause a big sensation

I don't want you to listen to me.

I'm just talkin' 'bout my generation

It's just people like me won't listen to you.

I could be reading this wrong , but isn't this song really about everything the Zimmers are protesting about?


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