Hello you

25 05 2010

So, I’ve started a blog. This much you know.

There’s been a few things recently that I’ve wanted to share with the excellent Twitter folk, that 140 characters simply wouldn’t allow, so this is my solution. I hope it’s okay and that you like it.

The thing that made me want to start it today is that over the weekend I was quoted in an IoS article about Generation X’s mid-life crisis.

I have no issue at all with the article or the journalist concerned. It’s super. However, when I was asked on Friday afternoon whether I might be able to rustle something up, what I emailed her was a little longer.

So here is the unexpurgated text of my reply:

GenX’s are now middle-aged, so if ever they were going to have a mid-life crisis, it’s now. Wikipedia, suggests a mid-life crisis is a period of dramatic self-doubt caused by the passing of youth and the imminence of old age. So the question then is what did our generation promise ourselves that we haven’t achieved?

To my mind, British GenX’s are defined by Thatcher. If you were born in 61, your first vote would have been in 79 – the year she took power. I was born in ’79 and knew only Tory rule until ’97 when the political land slid. The Britain I understand was forged in the fires of Conservatism, of greed being good. That notion undid society, or at least the vision our forebears had of being of a community. Instead, those following the mantra believed accruing personal wealth was Gods own work. Mammon’s, possibly.
The election of 97 was GenX’s great revolt. They told us, “Things can only get better” and we believed them. Better, to me isn’t ignoring the largest political demonstration in British history or eroding civil liberties on a scale not seen post-Watt Tyler. Better is not bailing out banks, then being too scared to ask for the money back. The point, I think for GenX’s is that we hoped things really would get better – maybe we were too young, too naive, to understand why it would mostly remain the same. We were all so disappointed that our attitude now is born of hopelessness. The “They’re-all-the-same”‘s of the last election isn’t borne out of manifesto analysis, but from the sense that it doesn’t matter what’s said, once the keys to Number Ten are within reach, any pre-vote platitudes/promises give way to opportunism and self-benefit.

GenX’s are, I think, unsurprised that we’re unable to do anything about the environment or social mobility. We know that whilst the good guys take their time trying to fix the messes, the bad guys are making more money than Croesus – and using that money to stop the changes that harm their bottom lines. It’s not about them being good, or right. It’s about them being rich. Remember that Greed is Good.

So, in a nutshell, I don’t know that GenX is having a mid-life crisis as much as we’ve had it proven to us by sell-out rock stars, sell-out politicians and sell-out heroes, that deep-down, everyone’s an arsehole. We know that if we were in charge, we’d be just as bad, possibly (probably?) even worse. We have no hope for our betters, or ourselves.

Rather than fighting for the change we don’t believe in, we buy another DVD – “God, Hotel Rwanda, so powerful. Something should really have been done. More Chablis?” – go to another football match – where dispossessed millionaires owned by foreign billionaires kick a ball to squeeze £50 a head from factory hands and office workers – , buy homes in other countries – where our inability to fully converse helps shield us from the mutual despair -, take the cheering drugs – both the state sanctioned-and-taxed sort and the sort supplied to us by a chain of violence and slavery- and hope nobody realises that we are no longer citizens, merely consumers.

In short, we kill time until it’s our turn to fuck off.

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24 responses

25 05 2010
Vicus Scurra

For those of us born in 1951 we had the beautiful spectacle of our peers electing Thatcher, only 10 years after Woodstock. So I have to claim the right to be more disillusioned than you.

25 05 2010
Kelvin

good choice on going wordpress. i was going to suggest it but my phone twitter thongo was being a plonker…….

anyways. hapy bloggings. 🙂

oh may be worth making sure you have some security on comments, they can get spammed very easily….. and its a nightmare !!

25 05 2010
Jeffw

Welcome to the blogosphere !

Good title by the way, I’m more of blogspot aficionado (the templates are very easy to modify to one’s taste) but your wordpress seams very nice.

I am very glad to be able to read you here, as the quote in the article was most definitely shorten… good, efficient, straight to the point but really short (one sentence ?!)
Good luck with the blog.

25 05 2010
Brett

Very well put. It’s all true what you wrote, the cynicism, feelings of betrayal and righteous indignation, but (and call me an old softy if you will, which is a bit rude since you don’t know me from a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys (Happy Towel Day!)), I like to think that deep down, somewhere beneath the slowly expanding middle age spread and last night’s take away pizza (‘cos we were too busy watching f*#king cooking shows to actually cook), somewhere almost forgotten, that spark still exists, that feeling of potential for humanity, that maybe we were right the first time and we’re not all a bunch of cynical, greedy arseholes and that maybe, just maybe it wouldn’t take all that much to raise us up and inspire us all over again. Stranger things have happened. Look at Avatar: James Cameron made a shithouse 6 hour long D-grade soap opera about a sinking boat, and yet people STILL paid money to see his next movie. Go figure.

25 05 2010
MrsW

Nah you’re a Majorette 🙂 Growing up under Thatcher was having your your Art and Music lessons cancelled and being too scared to leave school as there was nothing to go to, employment wise or tertiary education wise. Having said that John Major did most of the dirty work in the end.

Were you scared at the thought of a Conservative government? I mean really sick to the pit scared? I was. I am.

25 05 2010
Rufus Hound

Yes, I know what you mean. I suppose I’m hopeful. Yes, a conservative government fills those with a sense of humanity/charity with fear, but i like the idea that in conjunction with a Lib Dem influence, something good could come out of it all. I’m really thinking here about civil liberties. However, the wedge may have already shown us it’s thin end.

26 05 2010
MrsW

It’s hard to be hopeful when we’re all running around like headless chickens analysing the inevitable spending cuts whilst Pinky & Perky collude to screw with the constitution (such as it is). One day I think I’m in Opposite Land (here Scotland have your fossil fuel levy – eh thanks?) the next day even my 13yo can recognise dictatorial stirrings. I think I might be scared for a bit longer!

I take your point about Lib/Dem influence, I guess being born in 1979 consigns the shaky governments of the 1970s to history for you 🙂 but back then there was a sense that the job better be well done or else. If there’s anything that gives me hope it’s that the threat of Tweedle-Nick jumping ship will encourage Tweedle-Dave to do this job well…. or else.

17 03 2011
Jason Dolman

Your hopes were dashed Clegg held us down while Tories kicked the shit out of us! lol @jason_sheffield

25 05 2010
Annie

Brilliantly written! Can’t say more than that. Bravo!

25 05 2010
Janie

During the three years I was at Uni at the end of the 1980’s, I watched with awe as Chinese students protested in Tiananmen Square, the Berlin Wall came a tumbling down and Nelson Mandela was released. There was a feeing of optimism and hope that the old order was changing – but perhaps all students of what ever era think that. I do know, it was never achieved by my generation in the UK. I don’t know where the malaise came from, perhaps we swapped faith in the system and the potential of change for The X Factor, Big Brother and Facebook.

25 05 2010
Rubybelle

I think Mrs W just about said everything I thought. Very nice piece Mr Hound

25 05 2010
@kellysrevenge

Hi, thanks for your thoughts – I am sure that they will resonate with quite a few mid-lifers. However, it ain’t over ’til the shit house gos up in flames! There’s still some time to get a few kicks and buy a pair f leather trousers isn’t there??????? 🙂

25 05 2010
Gareth

Wow! I really enjoyed reading this. I am in what is termed the “Wasted Generation” in that as a University graduate, I now have to wade straight into the real world where last year’s graduate’s and the Unemployed are, all trying to squeeze into the jobs that have survived and are surviving the economic downturn. This could technically be a beginning of life crisis.

25 05 2010
wimblin

It was interesting. I certainly felt that change for the better was on the cards when momentous things started happening and for some, eventually it did. Things go round in cycles and we will have boom again where greed is considered good once more. I’m watching the current govt. with baited breath. I feel hopeful for the things they are starting to do, they just need to keep the momentum going.

25 05 2010
Theandydunn

Fuckin’ A…

26 05 2010
wizwaz

I agree, but can you imagine how monumental it would be to have Diane as leader of the opposition. I’ve joined the LP just in case she makes it through so I can vote. Good stance on civil liberties, proper “concern” rather than feigned oh-how-terrible-but-I’m-driven-by-money-and-power-and-have-both-so-fuck-you posturing of most elected reps. I’m blinding myself to her faults just because I want to feel invigorated & optimistic. (as a “benefit scrounger”, chronically ill, single mum so-and-so, I feel pretty bleak & afraid at the moment, otherwise)

26 05 2010
ChrisE

Born 1974 here. Read your blog and was outraged! Outraged because I could not disagree with any of it. A sad but very accurate appraisal of this country and the state it is in.

The problem is that we have gone so far down the path of despair that any attempt at extracation will result in county crushing pain and potentially even greater ruin.

I know emergency action is a good option but perhaps if for once the government were proactive and put a structure for the future in place we wouldn’t spend another five years lurching from pillar to post.

This election proved that we are gonna get screwed no matter what. What we get is the choice of who bends us over.

25 06 2010
Pauline

My 8 year old son is loving Hounded. He has set up a Sky+ record and watches them over and over again. Slight problem today, he was on the computer and asked how to spell Rufus, when I asked why he said he was on Youtube looking you up! Quickly jumped in to vet what he was looking at, as he is not really ready for your comedy yet! Thankfully he was looking up your sports relief dance!

Did make me chuckle!

All the best.
Pauline & Rhys

14 02 2011
Matty

I know this is totally off subject but I think you’re a stunning bloke Rufus; only just stumbled across your blog and I can’t wait till you became a bit more of a regular poster; I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for your posts. Anywho hope all is good!

11 03 2011
fowlesp

Excellent post. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one mad bitter, twisted and angy by the past 20+ years

Not so much “Generation-X”, more of “Generation Bend-over-and-Take-it” right up to the point where charity includes the “standard network operator charges”

1 04 2011
anthony humphreys

Rufus, what up dog??/ I think your a Genius, but, this has to be said! As funny as Argumental is, do you not feel the title really means “Are you Mental”! argueing about stuff nobody cares about and really “Brigstock” is never gonna compete with you you when your shaking your money maker lol, He doesn’t look like the kind of person to be able to tackle an arguement, let alone flaunt his tackle. Rufus keep doing what your doing and you perform best when your with, yours and kerry katona’s love child “Mr Keith Melon”!!!!!!

1 05 2011
bobnob

Nice story,however some generationxers need to remember how godawful the 70`s were. 3 day week,power cuts,rubbish in the streets,need I say more.

30 06 2011
Oh Cheers

I’ve seen you live a few times, Rufus, and I’ve not (as yet) seen you perform any material coming close to the views expressed here in these thoughts. Have I missed something?

Great letter by the way.

4 07 2013
brightonsauce

Hi Rufus,

Re: comedy

How do you react to negative comments on blogs and such? Because – you expose and tickle, sometimes thickoes and fellas take offence.

What’s your thoughts on this? Do you (did you) get random bigots striking you down when you play whimsy, or is it worse at the top?

Mat

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