Attila the Mum

Is it just me or do people become more right wing in their political outlook as the get older?  My mother seems to be turning into Norman Tebbit!  Perhaps what actually happens is that we start to consider life from our own perspective more as we are exposed less and less to people who are different from us.  We move in a world of our own creation with people we choose to share time and space with.

I had great pleasure in telling Attila the Mum that it was all her generation’s fault.  All that love and peace and stuff.  Now her Baby Boomer generation are reacting against all that with ASBOs and blaming their gen X kids for their lack of ‘parental responsibility’.

There seems to be a great rush to demonise young people, as though they are aliens who are beamed into our communities at night.  Kids roam the streets while adults stay inside their homes watching TV and complain that kids have nothing to do.

Perhaps this is because adults have forgotten that all the activities they enjoyed as kids were run by volunteers.  People like them who gave up their time to pass on skills and knowledge to young people and to spend time with them?  It’s just a thought…

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5 Responses to Attila the Mum

  1. JohnO says:

    Kinda ties in with your ‘commitment’ entry. It’s not just church that has trouble getting commitment – a lot of organisations that rely on volunteers are struggling. Perhaps our consumerist outlook has narrowed to the point that we (well, some) don’t realise that someone has to produce that which we consume – whether that’s material goods, services, entertainment, whatever. Maybe everything should have a direct cost to pay for people to ‘do’ things.

  2. pmk says:

    Sorry I have no useful, serious comment, I’m too busy laughing at the thought of your mum turning into Norm!!!!

  3. Rose says:

    Hi SWRYV, I couldn’t follow some of your commentary here, some of it is uniquely British, I don’t know who Norm is or what an ASBO is, but it isn’t just you, in my experience people do become more right wing or conservative as they age. I felt as a “baby boomer” I had to respond.
    I had this conversation a lot during our recent mid – term elections in the US. I am exposed daily to people with a broad spectrum of ages and backgrounds. In the majority of cases, older people tend to be more conservative in their outlook in general, but especially in politics. They are attracted to old fashioned values platforms and are threatened by forward thinkers advocating for change.
    I think it has to do with fear. When we are young we have no concept of a day when our strength and faculties will decline. We can’t imagine a day that our bodies or our minds will not allow us to do exactly what we want to do. Or that the world will change and the ways that we have grown up with and become comfortable with will change and we not only won’t be making the rules, we won’t understand how to play the game. Unless we actively resist it, we become hidebound. Perception is reality for everyone.
    Young people are just that, young, dynamic and ever changing. At my son’s school recently I was in a group of students and realized that I literally could not understand what they were talking about – like they were speaking a different language. It was a bit intimidating, but they were happy to explain to the “old lady” what they were saying. I have to say I felt like the caveman on ‘Saturday Night Live’ who is transported to modern times and keep saying “your world frightens and confuses me”.
    Older people in general have always looked down on younger people and seen them as alien. I read a quote one time about “young people today and their horrid taste in music”, it was written about Beethoven.
    It’s perpetual, so, give your Mum a break and know that unless you are careful, one day you will be seen by your sons as “Attila the Dad”!

  4. Stewart says:

    I’m sure they think that already!

    I think young people reinvent culture and sometimes as grown ups we struggle with that because it’s different. If we didn’t the oldies radio, sorry ‘classic rock’, stations would be out of business!

    What concerns me more is that some people seem to go beyond ‘that’s too loud’ or ‘what a racket’ to something much more about dismissing the value of new expressions of art or even begin blaming people for their circumstances when many of those circumstances are created for them by the prevailing political climate and social and economic factors.

    It’s that ‘poor people are just lazy’ attitude. I’m sure that some are, but on the whole poverty is much more complex than that. What concerns me is that a shift towards a black and white view of the world eliminates that complexity. It also leaves us open to people who would like power to pin the blame for society’s problems to specific groups. Young people, poor people, black people, white people, immigrants, muslims, jews… will all be blamed because I like my middle class life thank you very much and you ain’t going to take it away from me.

  5. Rose says:

    Hmmm. What I love about this blog is that it is a wonderful way for people to express their ideas and learn about other cultures. In your way you are doing your part to broaden the world view.

    I consider musical “oldies” and “classic rock” to be two different genres! Oldies being 50s and earlier, Classic being my time 🙂

    As for the rest, I find it fascinating how things are viewed in our different countries. We have a huge problem with homelessness here. Rather than being viewed as lazy, the homeless are looked at as being drug addicted, dangerous, and crazy. We do not, as a society, take very good care of our poor or our elderly. That task is left to the individual, with little support, and the line between poverty and homelessness is very fine. We simply don’t have the social programs in place that you do to take care of our citizens. I’m sure if we did, we would have the attitude that you describe about pinning society’s problems on specific groups.

    We are a nation of immigrants, of mixed religions, ages, economic status – so who do we blame for the problems of our society? Why, the rest of the world, of course!

    Maybe we all just need someone to blame.

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