Tuesday, February 12, 2019


All my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday
- Paul McCartney, "Yesterday"
Je ne regrette rien
"Exeunt left"
 I still remember the stage instructions from my early childhood. My parents dragging me off to repertory rehearsals in the provincial city of Bathurst a hundred years ago. I think I will have it inscribed on my gravestone. Fitting, in so many meanings of the words.

Other memories from the past have started popping up at random. Is this an age thing?

I remember my brother telling me about the same phenomena. Sudden involuntary memories, long ago stored in some semi-forgotten neuron connections are triggered by a recent event. Oslo lunches at state schools circa 1955. My favorite Aunt Nell and my mother having tea and cakes in a house in Caulfield. My first lover crushing a wine glass at the Mayfair hotel near Melbourne University.

It's an age thing. Resulting from memory overflow perhaps. Not enough room for new memories? Or we are just not doing anything memorable anymore?

In hospital in New York psychologists give you a depression test. I think it's routine for people over a certain age. One of the questions is about whether you look back over your life and regret things you have done. It's best to say no as I am sure there's some sort of point system, and I dread being carted off  to Belleview. In any case I think it's probably a normal thing - to look back at old paths taken and to wonder why, and what if. I read somewhere that old age is all about living after the making of one's life. Like there's no future. Scary stuff.

An old friend told me the other day that she's started to involuntarily remember things she did in the past and to question why she did them. What if she's taken another path? "The road not taken" suddenly starts to mean something. As does Proust's "À la Recherche du Temps Perdu" - "Remembrance of Things Past". Book titles and phrases that I thought nothing of back in the day; When I had a life to be led stretching ahead of me.

And now on top of all those other "getting old" things my mother warned me about, we have the Millennials and their apologists.

Some of them have dreamed up something to be angry about. Apart from climate change, which of course is quite valid.  Baby boomers -  now called simply Boomers (said with a sneer) - have been warning and predicting climate change since the sixties.

And everywhere there was song and celebration
But some younger people think they have discovered it all by themselves,  and it, along with house prices,  is all the fault of Boomers. The Boomers were just  lucky according to some of these younger people. We just got whatever we have because of luck; we had everything for nothing. Cheap housing, free education, good wages. The hamburger with the lot.

All untrue of course for the majority of Boomers. But what I find extraordinary is the demand for "generational equality". There should, in the minds of some Millennials, be no legislation that gives preference to a particular age group. So governments must not give, say free tertiary education,  unless they know for sure that there will always be free tertiary education. That no future government will ever take it away. Otherwise, those people of university age who benefit from it, will have an advantage over future generations, should it ever be repealed. Such nonsenses and hatred are being directed our way, when we were, if anything, a generation proclaiming love, the end of war and the saving of the planet for future generations.

Thinking that this Boomer-hatred "generational equality" may be an Australian thing, I asked a born-in-America-American who actually reads newspapers, about it. She had not heard of it. So hopefully it is confined to Australia. But she gave me good advice on how to react. Just say "I see", or "Is that how you think?" and smile she suggested. I replied that could be taken as like the response "Whatever!" and so appear to be provocative. Oh well, replied my pragmatic friend tell them to go complain to their grandparents.

Which I shall do.


With pleasure.

And  love.