Posted in Lancient History

Youts


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"I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words…  When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly [disrespectful] and impatient with restraint."  Hesiod

"The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for
authority, they show disrespect to their elders…. They no longer
rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their
legs, and are tyrants over their teachers."  Socrates

                                    
"The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have
no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all
restraint. They talk as if they alone knew everything and what passes
for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for girls, they are
forward, immodest and unwomanly in speech, behaviour and dress."  Peter the Hermit, A.D. 1274

Whether by good fortune or bad luck, I found myself on television regularly between the ages of eleven and twenty.  At least once a year, (and for a couple of years, every month or so) I was either giving an interview about my volunteer work (the most interesting to Walker Raley, who was later accused of attempting to murder his wife), appearing in a broadcast or a PSA, or something.  And I want you to know that I said some mind-blowingly ignorant things.  Mind-blowingly ignorant.

I thank God there was no internet when I was doing my teenaged bloviating.  Listen, it’s out there somewhere and if you can find it, bully for you, but I gave an interview and talked about body image and I said such moronic, stupid, just egregiously dumb things that I would have been the laughingstock of Jezebel.com and you would probably be linking the clip to your Facebook pages with captions like, "WTF?!  Is she high?!"  (I wasn’t.  I was just full of myself.)  Worse, when I knew the camera was coming in close and profile, I was giving 3/4 Serious Actress face, like I was Olivier doing Hamlet.  So embarrassing.  If I could go back in time and talk to myself, I would land five minutes before this interview took place.

There is another interview out there with me talking about style, sniffing over it not being my fault if people wanted to stare.  I cringe, people, cringe thinking about that.  Teenagers are rotten to begin with.  Teenagers who have been led to believe they are special are worse.  Precocious teenagers who have been led to believe they are special, and who are given a platform for their not yet fully formed ideologies are insufferable.  Take my word for it that they can hardly stand themselves.

Miley Cyrus.  Lord have mercy.  That child…  When she’s not taking cell phone pictures of herself, posing in a bedsheet, getting tattooed, or running around in her underwear, she is frequently giving good soundbite in the form of ridiculous, moronic, teenaged commentary.  I shudder and quake, thanking my lucky stars that my parents were never interested in hitching their wagon to me and driving me to Hollywood (or Disney studios, though that nearly happened by accident, just like the rest of my "career" did) because every word out of that little girl’s overly-glossed mouth sounds like an echo from my youth.  Had there been cell phones, had Annie Leibovitz been interested, had I been allowed, I would have made Miley Cyrus look like Dakota Fanning.

Every generation thinks the next one is heading for hell in a handbasket.  I think it’s because we are so humiliated by our own youthful doings that we block them from memory.  We only remember studying, doing our homework, and the occasional gaffe.  Or maybe the hormones driving us as teens burn away our memory of ourselves.  Whatever, it’s a kindness that we can’t remember, but it means an endless, repeated loop from recorded history to now, adults howling and gnashing their teeth over teens and tweens.

My personal favorite comes from William Shakespeare:   I would there were no age between ten and three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest; for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the anciently, stealing, fighting.
                                                                              

He’s right, you know. 


 

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Author:

Happy. That about covers it.

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