Vicky sent me an email today. It was supposed to be a joke. It read:
If you are 30 or older you will think this is hilarious!!!!When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning ... uphill BOTH ways ... yadda, yadda, yadda
And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in he-ll I was going to lay a bunch of cra-p like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!
But now that...I'm over the ripe old age of thirty , I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a da--mn Utopia! And I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it!
1. When I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the da--mn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!
2. There was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter ... with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!
… and it went on and on like that. No MP3s meant you had to shoplift music if you wanted to steal it. No call waiting or caller ID – No PS3 – No stadium seating – No hundreds of tv channels – No Cartoon Network – No microwave ovens (which was, of course, historically incorrect) – Heaven Forfend!!!!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some irony… but something about the whole thing… it just wasn’t right. Maybe it’s because I was born prior to 1978 – you don’t want to know how prior – and, looking back, I know that things weren’t that bad. But, you know, that’s not it, either.
The fact of the matter is that anyone who says kids have it easy is just wrong. Completely wrong. I mean, just look at what they have to contend with! Prior to 1978, we didn't have AIDS. Not that I was having sex then but those who did partake could have sex without condoms. Anything they picked up could be cured with a shot or a cream – or, at least, it wouldn’t kill you! We didn't have global warming or $3.50/gallon gas. We could drive all we liked. We didn't have overfishing. We could eat all we liked. Maybe we felt guilty about tuna but we didn’t have to worry about all the toxins that now reside in fish – so many that women who are even thinking about getting pregnant need to steer clear! We didn't have to worry about Internet viruses or cell-phone cancer or death by plastic... let's face it. The under-30's don't have it that easy.
The world they are inheriting is hell in a shit storm and jokes like this minimize that. They make it okay for us to not care what happens to them, so we can leave the world just as much a mess as we like. You might be thinking that I should look into investing in a quality sense of humor but, please, don’t get me wrong. It’s not the under-30’s that I worry about so much. It’s the under-3’s and the under-2’s and those yet born.
Any child Vicky and I bring into the world will face a world far worse off than the one I came into and neither of us is absolved of guilt. None of us are. So… not funny.