Bardiness

"..a bardy view!"

The Baby Boomers…….

 

beatles

If you were born between 1946 and 1964 then you are officially a “baby boomer”.

You’re as old as 70 and as young as 52 – assuming you’re reading this in 2016.

Baby Boomer is the term used for the generation born during the 18 years after WWII, which by all accounts changed the world and has become responsible for all the ills of society.

The first batch of boomers heralded the age of the teenager and the swinging sixties. A sixteen year old born in 1946 would have sailed through the austere 1950’s, would have abandoned Bill Hailey and the Comets, Frank Sinatra and the balladeer crooners, rejected their parents hand-me-downs, and embraced 1962 with pop music and liberation. Cliff Richard and the Shadows were the face of the young and around the corner loomed the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Even Elvis was getting old hat.

Their parents by contrast were the generation which suffered in the depressing thirties, and then went off to war.

Indeed their parents before them would have gone through the First World War, and they certainly would have had no concept of being a teenager – they would have left school at 12 or 14 and then went to work – there was no room for anything else.

By 1966 our hero or heroine – the subject of this post and first born boomer – would be 20 years old, fashion conscious, sexually liberated, rocking to Mick Jagger or rebelling along with Bob Dylan. Later he or she would have a good job, money in the pocket, and an access to university long denied from the forebears.

Their peers would have their minds and horizons broadened and take to the streets to protest about the Vietnam war, join CND and march to “Ban the Bomb”. They were the “have it all” generation. If they didn’t get great jobs, they would still get good jobs – jobs which they could secure for 35 years and retire comfortably.

Such was their opportunity; they bought houses, raised families, and became more affluent than any generation gone before. They went through a period of relative peace (in the UK at least), did not fight any wars, and were not conscripted for national service, and even the threat of nuclear Armageddon and cold war politics fazed them not.

Our twenty-year old pot-smoking hippy (who danced at Woodstock), became either a bog-standard pillar of the establishment or found his way into the echelons of society –  and if he didn’t become a captain of industry he took a seat in Parliament responsible for the very society he had fun to reject.

The mantra of Roger Daltry and the Who – Hope I die before I get old – was just a juvenile distraction.

Our first baby boomer has retired now. He has even escaped the austerity cuts and his pension is secure. His life was one of incredible social change and privilege which saw a National Health Service, a welfare state, security, peace and financial wealth.

But is he happy? He has seen the erosion of values, the erosion of community, the destruction of the nuclear family – all factors which held his parents and grandparents together.

Our sixties teenage angry young man now complains about the lack of values, waxes lyrically with nostalgia and regrets sentimentally about his parents generation – moans about the state of the nation, deplores the loss of standards, and castigates the young with their disrespect and irreverence for authority.

He wants to bring back hanging and flogging, he wants to incarcerate them, he wants to punish them with the full force of the law.

In 1966 he didn’t want to know about 1945 – he didn’t want to know about the hardships his parents suffered. What he wanted was a comfortable life.

Well he got it – so the best thing he can do now is stop being a hypocrite, and stop bloody moaning.

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March 21, 2016 Posted by | Culture, Current Affairs, Education, General, History, United Kingdom | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

World Cup 2010 – The End of Football As We Know It!

Unfortunately, this is the World Cup which changed the game. No longer will we be able to get riled and angry blaming "the Ref". No longer can we have arguments in the pub about dubious decisions. No longer can the referee's decision be final.

After today, the glorious game will be monitored by technological micro chips, and if it happens at FIFA, it will happen at UEFA and eventually football associations around the world.

Congratulations to Spain, but just prior to their goal, there where two decisions which could have affected it.

When Maradona's Hand of God gave Argentina the divine intervention, England suffered in 1986. Then, for all the huff and bluster, it was regarded as dubious sportsmanship, nay gamesmanship and the name of the game.

In the South African World Cup, England again was the victim of a poor decision in their match with Germany. Could these events have changed England's mental and physical performance in both these games? Who knows.

Holland were superb in the 70's but never won the tournament. They took it well each time they made it to the finals, and that small country was big enough to handle it. As they will now. The Netherlands is unique in Europe. It is the most charming country, and I for one feel utmost pain at their defeat.

England were on the top of their game in 1970. As Champions they had the greatest collection of players in the world. However, a win on home soil at Wembley and then to play in the oppressive heat of Mexico demanded physical fitness and acclimatisation which most players were not used to, and they didn't play for teams overseas either.

On top of that the respected captain Bobby Moore was arrested for stealing some bracelet or other. Clearly innocent, it was an event that he and the players needed to rise to. How that would have been treated by 24 hour news media today I dread to think. No doubt the BBC and Sky would have catapulted their journalists all and sundry to dig the dirt.

Fortunately, that facility wasn't available back then. I'd like to think that Alf Ramsey would have shoved his opinions up where the sun doesn't shine (Fabbio take note).

But let's remember the greatest ever football match – that one in Mexico between England and Brazil. Sadly, if the micro-chip existed then, perhaps we wouldn't remember at all.

I remember the game, Brazil won 1-0 and I remember Moore swapping shirts with Pele. (Tomorrow, at some point, a lawyer will seek a ruling on health and safety, implying that his client caught an itch, which may interfere with his future performance or potential modelling career because of a rash. The days of shirt swapping will soon be over!)

Joking aside the problems are obvious. The flow of the game will be interrupted in the future. The heat and passion will be removed. The referee and his linesmen will not have ultimate authority, but usurped by the micro-chip – in the ball, in the net, and God knows elsewhere.

Big Brother has arrived in the great game. Fans may think this a step forward, but they do not realise the loss of human interaction. Football has almost become a non-contact sport, and what would be the point of defenders giving their all if their tackle can be instantly replayed. Ok for the pundits and followers, but for the referee his whistle would just be a passage of hot air.

The money is so huge, the international prestige and showcase so massive, that there is no room for error.

American team sports are clinical affairs dictated by sponsors and advertising. Today Wimbledon uses the technology to ensure a ball in or out. The likes of McEnroe, Borg, Connors, Năstase etc could not have been as entertaining with the electronic all powerful spy. And as for the women – I'd rather watch Yvonne Goolagong over the William sisters any day.

The new Centre Court roof was a reaction to the British weather (or was it the prospect of Cliff Richard singing again?) yet it planted a carbuncle on the stadium, and surely it is a lousy investment that will rarely be used? The summers are getting drier according to the climate change bods. (Yeah – its Cliff's fault!)

In tennis, human officials have been replaced by the micro-chip, and the game has suffered. When was the last great Wimbledon tournament?

Rugby has it's sin bin, but it is a contact sport and the referee must be respected. He has a link in his earpiece to a third referee when he needs it.  Cricket still maintains its umpire authority except when a wicket is in dispute.

Football (and by the way FIFA stands for Federation of International Football Associations for anyone thinking that the game is called "soccer" – It's not FISA) is different. This World Cup has created a knee-jerk reaction, fuelled mainly by media pundits because England had a goal disqualified.

Sepp Blatter (the FIFA bigwig) after much soul searching (about 48 hours) concluded that goal-line technology must be implemented – something he has rejected for years. But the power of the dollar is paramount. The money is too great. Football must enter the techno, clinical world of absolute accuracy.

This World Cup was not the greatest, but it meant alot for South Africa. Whilst they and the Spanish will dance into the night, and for many nights to come, a wake will be held elsewhere -  because the truth is football died in 2010 and it will never be the same again.

 

July 12, 2010 Posted by | Cricket, Culture, Current Affairs, Football, General, London, Politics, Sport, Tennis, United Kingdom | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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