Thursday, 25 March 2010

Must just be the colours and the kids

Kids these days don't half get my goat. Listening to Hot Chips and drinking pints of Meow Meow in their old skool Nike hi-tops and wanking on Chat Roulette. Get a job! Bring back National Service! The worst thing is (apart from their dewy skin, boundless optimism and technological fearlessness) is that I HAVE NO IDEA what these golden mythical people get up to any more. What music do they like? What words do they use? Do they still say 'ace'? What's cool and what makes them cringe? Sometimes being on the cusp of middle age feels like I 'm banging on a soundproofed perspex window like Dustin Hoffman in the Graduate (look it up, kids) while a Skins party goes on behind it full of girls with pert breasts and boys with emo sidesheds. I don't want to be at the party, but I would like to reject my invite knowing that - if I did go - I would recognize the tunes and understand what people are actually saying.

Not knowing what the young people get up to bothers me more than I can say, and probably more than it should. The moment I had a child popular culture slipped away from me like baby poo through my fingers. Now I'm finding that not only am I too old to get back on the horse, there is no horse any more - it's a digital viral 80s unicorn which whistles MGMT songs out of its neon arsecrack.

For inspiration on how to deal with this difficult transition between youth and middle age, I'm reading Generation A by Douglas Coupland, who manages to bypass the fact he's an old Canadian fart who watches the Simpsons all the time by making lots of references to Google and genetically modified corn. So er, hey kids, how about that Google? Quite a fast search engine you've got there...wait a minute, where are you going? Kids? Come back! I've got corn flakes! Awww...

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Come get your black bin bags

As I'm a neurotic, coming a cropper on public transport is something I think about a lot - one minute you're looking out of the window, thinking about chips, the next it's all carnage, black smoke and twisted metal. But the absolute worst thing would be to die amongst THE TOTAL FANNYBAWS who live between Glasgow and Edinburgh. I'm certain there must be some fine people living in Scotland's Central Belt - fabulous Falkirkians, creative Croylets, pantingly pretty Polmonters - but I'm sorry, in the stinky microcosm of the daily commuter train, you appear to be a right rum bunch.

Take Mrs Woman, a middle aged Gollum with frazzled dyed black hair, who was engaging a (mostly silent) man in the most inane pop culture conversation I've ever heard. 'I tell you what I do like,' she grandly announced.
(Hmm, dunno. Let me guess...Giotto's depiction of the Annunciation in his frescoes at Padua?)
'I like that Phoenix Nights.'
'It's so funny isn't it? Have you see Peter Kay's stand up? GARLIC BREAD? GARLIC BREAD? HA HAAAAA HAAAAA! That's what I'm like - 'is it bread?' 'No, it's GARLIC bread!'

Please, I begged the mysterious forces of the universe. Please don't let this train derail, sending my skull crashing against hers and our brains splattering against the purple Scotrail headrests. Please don't let a terrorist detonate his/her* rucksack at the very moment she starts singing 'Show Me The Way to Amarillo.' My life started flashing before me, my palms got sweaty, and when she began talking about how funny Max and Paddy were I actually thought I saw the fiery furnaces of hell itself - but it was only Grangemouth.

*Al Qaeda is an equal opportunities employer