Thursday, February 12, 2015

Don't let us get stupid

I have several nieces. I used to have just the one, then I got married and got two more. Then my brother decided to get into the niece making business. It's a weird thing to have some from blood and some from marriage. None of them asked for me to be their uncle. I am not particularly good at being an uncle. I'm kind of just there.

Oh yeah, that guy. I guess he's my uncle, or whatever. 

I would never admit this to her post adolescent (barely) face, but I am rather fond of my eldest niece (yes, yes, I am fond of all my nieces and nephews equally, you twat). I was lucky enough to inherit her through my marriage to TGB. I know what you're thinking, if she's related to TGB she must be awesome. I mostly agree.

Anyway, I've been thinking about her a lot the last 24 hours. She posted a meme that kind of annoyed me. It was along the lines of my generation is so different from my parents... blah, blah, blah.

I wanted to say something, but I thought, she's not REALLY your niece, you can't just say shit to her. Then I thought, she's a smart girl, she'll figure it out.

I dunno.

I wanted to tell her that her generation isn't so different from her parents' (my) generation. Down to how we thought we were different from our parents. We weren't.

I used to think I was born at a time of unparalleled technological advances - game consoles, computers in my elementary school, remote-fucking-controlled television. Then my dad reminded me that he grew up thinking the same thing because they had color tv, 8-tracks that made music portable, and automatic transmissions; all things his parents didn't have. Then I thought, yeah, but my generation is changing the world. We're fighting apartheid, AIDS, and Reagan. He reminded me that they fought to get out of Vietnam, eradicated diseases, and had to deal with Nixon's bullshit.

Yeah, but we're a smarter generation, I said.

Good. Then make this world better than how you found it, he said.

I wanted to tell her that her generation is exactly like ours when we were her age. Right down to thinking we were oh so different. I wanted to tell her that in twenty to thirty years when her kids are mostly grown they'll have the same sentiment about her generation that she has about her parents'.

But then I thought, she'll just tell me what I used to tell anyone older than me anything: shut the fuck up old man. Really not so very different after all.