I’m a bit out of sorts today. It could be the cooler weather (and we all know how that messes with my mental health), but I think today I reached my tolerance for internet bullshit. Intershit. I know, I know, I’m a massive contributor of intershit, in fact this entire blog, all two hundred and nine posts worth, is basically bullshit. At least it would be revealed to be such if anyone cared to dissect each post, pull apart the words and reveal me for the self-absorbed, egocentric, contradictory, whinger that I guess I am. But this is my blog, isn’t it? I’m a forty-three year old, post menopausal, mother of two who has some shit to bull on about. I pay for this hosting, so I can bang on about whatever crap I like. Nobody forces you to read it. Every time I press publish, and clog up your feeds with my oh-so-fascinating links, you can choose to click or flick. Easy, right?
Well today I had one such link pop up in my feed. It’s an old article, from 2011 by Tim Napper featured on The Drum called “Snobs and Whingers: the new Australia”. Now before I go all ranty about Tim, I freely disclose two things: I have no idea of who Tim is, or what his M.O. is- for all I know, he might be a hilarious comedian, and his article was written to poke fun at the media and his own role in the development of the culture of entitlement in Australia. Or not. Apparently his piece was written in response to an article published in Crikey by a SEVENTEEN year old girl, bemoaning the lack of suitable macchiato vendors in Canberra. Yes, that’s right, seventeen. At seventeen I didn’t even know how to spell Macchiato (and I only know for sure now due to the wisdom of spell-check), let alone write things interesting enough to be published by some online mob. Because of course online didn’t even exist. Which is something I am forever grateful. As I’m sure most people my age are.
In an effort to appear thoroughly well researched (which clearly I’m not- I can’t even be bothered finding out the background), I have found you some of the writings from my Year 12 ‘Writer’s Workshop’ Assignment. I would love to say that the the pieces are clever, funny, insightful, or, at the very least, well written. Alas, I cannot. I got an A for the assignment, so I guess they were considered okay for the time, but oh.my.goodness. There is even a poetry collection entitled ‘A Solitary Cloud’, and yes, it is exactly what you are thinking. Of course you don’t want to read the whole thing, but I’d love to share with you a little snippet. Beware, it might take your breath away.
It is part of a poem called: I Like
I like to hear waves pounding/ Upon the naked sand,/ I like the smell of coffee/ And walking hand in hand./ I like the sound of silence/ And the feel of polished wood./ I like eating chocolates/ A lot more than I should./ I like to laugh until it hurts/ And songs by Jackson Browne,/ I like oil slicks and the colours they make/ Upon the wet, black ground./ I like freshly buttered popcorn/ And sleeping late in bed,/ I like the ticking of my Swatch,/ And books I haven’t read/ I like to plan the future/ To hope and pray to be,/ Happy until the end/ With someone who loves me.
Hmmm. I can neither confirm nor deny that it was inspired by a poem in a Dolly Magazine. Nor can I confirm nor deny that I had actually walked hand in hand much at all, lest my parents bust me. I had had pash-rash by then though, so I guess that’s something. The best things about my writing as a seventeen year old are: the dot matrix printing, on computer paper with the little holes at the side, the fact that I saw fit to reference my beloved Swatch and, the fact that no-one other than my teacher read it. Oh, and I’m proud of my spelling, from back in the day when there was contention over the use of colour/color.
My English teacher at the time suggested I should try and publish a few of my bits (not the poetry- strangely we never spoke of that again), just as I imagine the English teacher of the girl in Crikey did. Except the world is much smaller now, and publication is more widespread. And when you are in Year 12 and have a mind-numbing excursion to Canberra and you write something amusing and write it well, with proper sentences and all that stuff, you can get it published, and someone on the internet will go berserk, in fact be “filled with rage” about “just how pathetic we are”.
Even if Madison meant every word she said, and she is truly aghast at the lack of a long Mac in our Nation’s Capital, do we really care what kids are saying on Crikey? In fact, do we even listen to seventeen year olds (other than when they brush past me at the Surf Club at 11.58pm and say “Steady on old girl”) and what concerns them? Leave ’em alone to sort out their hormones and their music taste and of course their favourite coffee. There is plenty of time for them to get all indignant and petulant and socially responsible. And perhaps they’ll even cringe over something they wrote one day. The crazy part is, their writing won’t be stuffed in some bottom drawer somewhere, feeding the silverfish, if we keep this kind of superior youth-shaming up, and kids like Madison will be too scared to ever voice an opinion or write something that amuses them, purely for the joy of writing.
And that would be a shame.
Did you write any teenage poetry? Send me your worst. (I’ve got plenty more)
…From The Ashers xx