CSotD: Generation Gaps

I don’t know how things are working in Ireland, but the couple in this Graeme Keyes cartoon would have to die quickly if they were Americans. The soaring prices of housing have, indeed, barred many people from homeownership, though much of it is the massive chunk of change required for a down payment.

But I’d suggest that a retirement village that offers anything more than a bedpan and a scoop of instant mashed potatoes would quickly eat up that same amount of front money with monthly charges well over what you’ve been paying for rent.

Not that we don’t have low-income housing, but, around here, there’s about an eight-year waiting list, which pairs nicely with the requirement that, once you reach 73, you must withdraw 10 percent a year from your IRA, setting up a sort of Achilles-and-the-Tortoise race to see if you can get into an affordable place before your money … or your ticker … runs out.

For middleclass people in the retirement demographic, the only practical move is from the large house in which you raised your kids to a downsized bungalow. And then stay healthy.

However, there is help on the way, despite Ed Hall’s cynical take.

Gen Z doesn’t use Facebook, true. Nearly a dozen years ago, when I was mentoring middle-school journalists, I had to assign the group to check their email in case I had questions or needed their approval on a revision of their work. Most of them had email. They just never looked at it.

But Facebook had already skipped right over them in favor of Snapchat, which was shiny and new.

However, the notion that Gen Z’s don’t know Trump was belied in the 2020 and 2022 elections, in which the kids were a large factor in tossing him and many of his minions out of office.

One of my Gen Z granddaughters led a walkout at her middle school after the Parkland shootings; another successfully petitioned the school board to fire her high school principal for a conflict of interest in hiring, both were actively campaigning for candidates before they were 18 and could vote.

And a third successfully resisted the “college of your choice” mantra and, instead, took Voc Tech courses and is now happily employed at the Mayo Clinic.

The kids are more than just “all right.”

Granted, as seen in Daddy’s Home (Creators), they do have an annoying tendency to be on top of things.

Why should they listen to us? We don’t listen to us. While everyone is freaking out over the price of eggs, nobody has apparently remembered that we were supposed to be cutting cholesterol.

And our generation has joyfully leapt on the bacon bandwagon, ignoring the fat, sodium and nitrates that once dissuaded us from the stuff. Bacon and eggs should have killed us all.

We’ve slathered Gen Z in protective lotion any time they ventured out into the sunshine, or, as noted in Sherman’s Lagoon (AMS), at least some of them. But we were regularly sent out to soak up some Vitamin D despite the fact that Mommy put Bosco in our milk to make sure we got plenty anyway.

Vitamin D is good for you. Absorbing it through solar radiation, perhaps less so. And milk is full of fat and I don’t know what else, but it’s no longer in favor.

And both dairy and beef cattle had a tendency to fart, so there’s another reason to avoid milk and beef, though, as Arctic Circle (KFS) notes, you have to be cautious what you substitute, lest you stop being part of the solution and become part of the problem.

We went vegetarian for a time, many years ago, but I quickly found that the beanburgers that were supposed to take the place of meat did, indeed, induce methane.

The solution was to stop looking for substitutes and, as Betty (AMS) does, shift to a genuinely vegan diet.

I got a particular laff over this one because, during our short vegetarian stint, I tried sneaking across the road to the Burger Chef for a fix a few times and found that, once you stop eating hamburgers, they can put quite a load on your gut. Best to either cheat continuously, or not at all.

Not cheating at all can work. I had a college friend who ended up in the NBA and dropped meat from his diet. It certainly didn’t harm his game.

We caught up over a beer one night when he was in town and I told him we’d given up vegetarianism when then-wife got pregnant because her OB said the fetus needed the amino acids in meat for brain development.

He named two substitutes off the top of his head that provide the proper nutrients for the purpose, one of them being watercress and I forget the other. The point was that, despite the fact that he was a young, unmarried, childless guy, his body was the instrument of his art, so it made sense for him to know more about it than he absolutely had to.

Which is why I like it when I’m assigned a young doctor. Experience is good, unless it’s gone stale.

Which brings us to our

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Deflocked — AMS)

(Monty — AMS)

I don’t know that it’s a generational thing, but we do seem to be divided between people who never throw anything out and people who seem to think that, by the time you finish opening a can, whatever is inside has developed botulism and will kill you.

But I’ve learned a few things in my time, two of which apply to this juxtaposition.

One good rule is to throw out anything in the fridge if you can’t identify it, or if you would have to scrape off the mold to identify it. George Carlin was wrong that there is no blue food, but there is for sure no blue-green-fuzzy food.

Another is that, despite the apparent firm air-proofness of foil, mice can tell what is inside a ketchup packet. It may annoy you to have to bite the packet to get inside, but they don’t mind at all.

Okay, one more: If it’s January 30 and you haven’t kept your New Year’s Resolution yet, you need to do it right now.

Go clean out the fridge!

No fears, young Toby Bucket. When you are your Dad’s current age, cars may or may not have steering wheels, but they sure as hell won’t have radios. Or tape decks. Or Victrolas.

You’ll get by somehow.

7 thoughts on “CSotD: Generation Gaps

  1. It’s hard to imagine cars being without radios someday, but as the demographic of people who stare at their phones while driving takes over, I suppose it’s inevitable.

    It’s already impossible to find a decent CD-alarm clock; I just paid $90 for one that, right out of the box, wouldn’t play. It’s the feature that always seems to go out of order first and is a complaint of many of the models I checked out on line. I suppose I’ll just have to get used to waking up to the blatherings of the Morning Zoo Crew with weather and traffic together, or that old stand-by, the rude alarm noise that puts me in a foul mood for the whole day.

    The iPod is also passé, but at least I can still plug it into the car stereo. For the time being.

    It keeps me awake while driving.

  2. Well, Freddie Cannon sure can’t dance! Or do anything much, it seems. I guess he lip-syncs okay. I like the shots of the audience, who are all wearing the identical badge, and who seem to be members of some hypnotised religious order, or at least some group who enforce very conservative clothing and haircuts. This is altogether a spooky video, and a remnant of some mercifully forgotten moment in the late 50s. Unfortunately, the song itself took up permanent residence in my memory, and is still in there.

  3. The badges were only available to kids who went to Dick Clark’s pre-Bandstand show, which was sponsored by Beech-Nut, which explains why so many of them appear to have a chaw. The badge is supposed to spell out “It’s Flavorific!” Cannon did some fun pop songs, but perhaps better on vinyl than video. Nevertheless, Wikipedia reports “Freddy Cannon holds the record for most appearances, at 110.”

    Someone should string together a full-length compilation.

  4. Given how much digestion occurs in the first chambers of an ungulate’s digestive system, it could be argued* that a cow’s burps and farts are indistinguishable one from the other.

    * (I didn’t say intelligently argued.)

  5. Also from George Carlin’s refrigerator… Could be meat. Could be cake. It’s meatcake!

  6. This is one your best ever columns Mike! So many things to comment on. I once had a veg girlfriend, so I went veg, which my digestive system didn’t appreciate. One thing is I went off milk in coffee, so it’s been black ever since. Soy will provide all the amino acids you need, but it’s tasteless, so needs lots of flavoring. Same with tofu. Do you get ostrich over there? Rich, red meat, no cholesterol. I also eat blue-green-fuzzy food, called Danish blue.

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