Tuesday, 22 January 2008
Grumpy Old Men
I went to the pub last night. I don't go very often, and it was nice that quite a few people were in there who I hadn't seen for a while, so could catch up with them.
This came at a cost, though. I had too much Guinness, stopped at the Chinese for Beef Satay & Fried Rice on the way home, and wasn' t really up to watching the Aimilia repeat (having missed the main edition earlier).
Anyway, I was up in the night with indigestion. About the only time I ever turn on the UK television is when I can't sleep. They had a compilation of the "Grumpy Old Men" on. This is a programme where they have some 50+ celebrities bemoaning modern life in Britain. It's very entertaining. There is also a "Grumpy Old Women" series too.
The only thing is, I often find myself agreeing with them. I suppose I'm a GOM in training, though of course the "Old" bit is decades away. Here are some of my grumps:
Schoolchildren: They seem to be putting them into positions of "responsiblity" these days. There are policemen, managers, even Government Ministers, who look to me like they should still be at school.
Excessive Safety: Childrens' toys all require a screwdriver to get at the batteries. Plugs on table lamps all have 3 Amp fuses, so that half the time when the bulb blows you have to change the fuse as well. I'm sure people didn't die from 1.5V batteries or blown light bulbs when I was younger.
Beer: They must be putting something in it these days. I used to be able to stay out late, get up early for work the next day, no problem. Nowadays, I just can't.
Language: You can't be grumpy without moaning about aldulterations to our Mother Tongue. Generally I'm all for progress in this area, but I do find one or two Americanisms irritating. "meet with" instead of "meet", and "privacy" pronounced "pr-eye-vacy". Corporate speak is also getting a lot worse. We don't have libraries, we have "Knowledge Centres". We don't do training or courses, we "participate in learning and development events".
Cycles: In an attempt to pretend to be cycle-friendly they've painted useless pink areas all over our roads - in front of traffic lights, so-called "cycle paths". All of which reduces the space available to cars. Then they wonder why there's more congestion...
Television: I'm glad I rarely watch it. They've dumbed it all down so far that I suspect their target audience must be chimpanzees. How much further down the food chain can they go?
However, there was an outstanding triumph last night. I completed the Times Crossword, having only attempted it once in the last 3 months or so. And in less than an hour. At least my brain's not rotting as I slowly mature...