Scorn for the young: just as foolish now as in the past | Street Jazz

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Scorn for the young: just as foolish now as in the past

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 2:01 PM

In yet another example of the lack of originality we so often see on Facebook, there are various memes purporting the show the difference between the rugged young men who enlist in the armed services, and the sorts of young men who, well, may become “community organizers” at some point in their future. It is a sure bet that those who post such memes are unaware that its origin for their posts lies in a short 1943 documentary film, “Youth in Crisis.”

“Youth in “Crisis” begins with men eagerly signing up for the draft - along with the inevitable images of teenagers getting up to all sorts of unmanly activities:

Drinking.

Rioting in the streets.

Smoking.

Dancing.

Oh, the humanity . . .

To be fair, during the Vietnam War, I saw a smiler version of this on a program on American Forces Network in Germany, which featured a yo-yo slinging young man who was, like, into peace, man.

Give AFN their due, though; we also had “All in the Family” and the famous documentary “The Selling of the pentagon” available to us on TV.

I bring these examples up merely to make a point, and that would be this:

Adults - whether actually mature or not - have regarded all too many young as the enemy of all that is decent in America. I wonder if it surprise any of those who like to mock the young understand that this has been going on for about a hundred years now?

There is an excellent book (and thanks to Kyle Kellams for recommending it to me), “The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How it Changed America,” written by David Hajdou, all about America’s obsession with what has been influencing our young, be it comics, music or hair and clothing styles.

As the writer himself puts it:

“The panic over comic books falls somewhere between the Red Scare and the frenzy over UFO sightings among the pathologies of postwar America. Like Communism, it looked to much of America during the late 1940s, comics were an old problem that seemed changed, darkened, growing out of control. Like flying saucers, at the same time, comics were wild stuff with the garish aura of pulp fantasy. Comic books were a peril from within, however, rather than one from a foreign country or another planet. The line dividing the comics’ advocates and opponents was generational, rather than geographic. While many of the actions to curtail comics were attempts to protect the young, they were also efforts to protect the culture at large from the young.”

Protecting our culture from the young.

We haven’t learned a damn thing, have we? We all swear to be smarter, more tolerant than those who came before us, and yet we give in to the same terrors, and, just as folks just a few generations removed from us, attempt to force the young to conform either through ridicule, rage or by outright banning of certain styles of clothing.

I have no great hopes that the young people of today won’t be just as stupid as our generation has been where it comes to reacting to the younger generation.

But it has to stop somewhere.

******

Today’s Soundtrack

We are bidding time return today, with John Barry’s soundtrack to “Somewhere in Time.”

There is a literary joke above; I hope you got it.

*****

Now on YouTube: Arkansas Rising

My conversation with members of Arkansas Rising, discussing the controversial Diamond Pipeline.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzFF-7bKJ0o


"On the Air with Richard S. Drake" celebrates 26 years on the air in 2017.

****

Quote of the Day

We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don’t know anything and can’t read. - Mark Twain

rsdrake@cox.net

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