Dear Young People


Fair is fair!  Last week, I wrote a piece called “Dear Old People” and put the boots to old buggers carrying on and on and on about “the good old days” and how super special they were. Now it’s time to put the shoe on the other foot and explain to this current generation that they’ve got nothing to be smug about (as if they could get any smugger!)  Here are a few things young people need to remember before they start shooting off their mouths about how uber-cool they are.

You didn’t invent sex, and from what I’ve seen recently on TV and in the movies, you’re not even doing it right.

And speaking of movies, when your largest contribution to cinematic history and Western culture is various super people beating the crap out of each other, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

You did, however, invent Twitter — the nastiest, meanest, pettiest, most judgemental, disrespectful form of communication in human history — and history will hold you accountable for that.

Angry Face emojis aren’t actually going to change the world.

And instead of just sitting around talking about saving the planet, you might try picking up those paper coffee cups and plastic water bottles you’ve been throwing all over the place.

Quit complaining!  God!  Spending half your life offended and the other half bitching about it has got to be a miserable existence.

When your biggest concern in life is celebrity gossip, you’ve got a serious hole in your soul.

“Brave” — you keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.

Zombies aren’t real — and neither are Disney princesses, Jedi knights or the MCU.  Talking about this stuff all the time is like debating what kind of cookies Santa Claus likes best.

A tattoo doesn’t mean you’re unique, spiritual or a badass.  It means that you have disposable income – just like everybody else west of the Vistula.

And BTW:

The entire world, from Baltimore to Borneo, is sick of hearing about your stupid student loan.  You borrowed thousands of dollars to study Post-modern Ventriloquism – what the hell did you expect?

Illustration: Luis Quiles

A Few Words About Swearing

swearingIt’s going to snow — again.  When I heard that, I had a few choice words to say about a certain rodent (Groundhog Day was Wednesday) Mother Nature and the poor Weather Girl who looks as if she was harnessed into her clothes (but that’s a different blog.)  I felt better — like — right now, and went about my business.  You see, that’s what swearing does — it makes us feel better.  Unfortunately, like most things the millennials have gotten their mitts on, in the 21st century, swearing is being ruined.

I’m old enough to remember when swearing was an art form, a verbal quest to find words that expressed the primitive soul that lurks inside all of us.  In those days, people generally didn’t swear in polite society.  Swearing was reserved for exasperation, frustration, anger, the end of the argument  – all the most primitive emotions.  People swore when the pudding boiled over, or the neighbour wouldn’t listen to reason, or the cat crapped on the carpet.  Swearing was reserved for those special times when ordinary words just didn’t cover it.  It released the tension, so we didn’t toss the pudding across the kitchen, punch the neighbour or kill the cat.  These words were forbidden, and so, with one broken taboo, we were badasses.  We stood toe-to-toe with life’s evil fortunes and refused to be bullied.  Then it was over.  We metaphorically washed our mouth out with soap and carried on.

Unfortunately, these days swearing is used as punctuation.  In the torrent of conversation, it’s splashed around like ketchup on a redneck’s breakfast.  It literally doesn’t mean anything anymore.  It’s lost its punch.  When you call your best friend a bad bitch on a daily basis, what do you call her when she actually is one?  And that’s why the millennials spend every waking hour offended.  They have no way to release the emotional pressure.  When I trip on the stairs and bang my shins, I release a torrent of invectives on everyone from the person who chose to live on the second floor (me) to the carpenter who built the offending structure.  Millennials can’t do that.  When life comes along and pees in their porridge, they just have to take it.  And it serves them right, the $%()#! bastards!


4 Ways To Find Truth – Plus 2 More


Truth is an elusive commodity.  We humans have been hunting it ever since Lucy and her girlfriends dropped out of the trees, in Ethiopia, mucho millennia ago.  Over those centuries (and certainly in the last 5,000 years of recorded history) it was generally agreed that there were only four ways to actually find truth.  Most of us learned this when we took Philosophy 101 in university (to punch up our grade point.)  However, here in the 21st century, our ever-expanding egos have outrun our ability to think rationally.  We now dismiss most of our society’s collective wisdom (including the search for truth) as the archaic ramblings of dead Europeans.  To that end — surprise! — the Millennials have added two new ways to find truth.


Using the modern analogy of the bus stop, let me demonstrate.

Let’s say we’re embarking on the great journey of life and need to know where to catch a bus (the bus being a clever metaphor for truth.)  Here are the four traditional ways to find the bus stop.

1 — The Authoritarian Path — Somebody tells you where the bus stops.
This is the simplest and most direct method, unless, of course, the authoritarian figure you choose is a jackass.  In that case, you’ll probably end up either praying for a bus, fighting with your neighbours to see who drives the bus, or being told that The Fearless Leader doesn’t like buses and you better learn how to walk.

2 — The Scientific Path — You experiment until you discover where the bus stops.
This is the most common method.  It involves standing at various places along various streets, waiting for a bus to a) show up, in the first place, b) stop, or, c) drive right by.  This will work — eventually.  Unfortunately, truth by trial and error normally results in a lot of error, and you can literally spend years waiting for a bus.  In most cases, by the time you do figure it out, collate all your data — test and retest — you’re too damn old to enjoy the bus ride.

3 — The Mathematical Path — You collect other people’s theories about where the bus stops.
Sometimes called The Peer Pressure Path, this method relies on finding out where other people wait for buses and standing there too.  Although this method does work, given the number of people in the world, how easily influenced they are and the vast number of buses available, the chances of you actually getting the bus you want are pretty slim.  Generally, you’ll spend most of your life riding around on somebody else’s bus.

4 — The Artistic Path — You intrinsically know where the bus stops.
This method consists of knowing in your soul that the bus always stops where the sign reads “Bus Stop.”  When this works, it is a thing of beauty.  However, the vast majority of people who claim to be artists can’t actually read.  Thus, they spend their days, wasting their time (and yours) waiting for the bus under Stop signs, No Parking signs and Directional markers.

In conclusion, the truth remains as elusive as ever.  However the Millennials may have solved the problem.

Here are the two new ways to find truth:

5 — The Social Media Path — You use technology to tell everybody where the bus stops.
This occurs when (even though you have absolutely no evidence to prove it) you type “There is a bus stop at 8th and Alma” into your computer.  You accompany this information with a cute kitten, a puppy or some boobs and send it into out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other social media you can think of.  Your “Friends” “Like” your post and “Share” it with their “Friends,” who, in turn, “Share” it with their “Friends” who … you get the idea.  Soon, somebody creates a website “Fans of the 8th Ave Bus Stop.”  Other websites follow and people begin podcasting, blogging and vlogging about the bus stop.  The mainstream media picks up the trend, and within the next 48-hour news cycle, there are 14 news reports, 3 documentaries, several celebrity interviews and an HBO drama in development.  Within days, so many people are aware of the Bus Stop at 8th and Alma that, even though it doesn’t exist, it becomes the truth.

6 — The Offended Path — You’re suddenly offended that the bus doesn’t stop exactly where you want it to.
This method works on the premise that you are not responsible for finding your own bus and that the bus company is systemically evil for not providing you with one.  What happens is you read somewhere that there’s this really cool bus stop at 8th and Alma.  You immediately start bitching and moaning, that you don’t have a bus stop, using buzzwords like “injustice,” ” inequality,” “corporate greed” and “social change.”  The mainstream media, already aware that the bus stop at 8th and Alma is trending, take up your cause.  (Victims are news.)  The bus company, scared skinny of negative publicity, don’t even try to explain that there isn’t actually a bus stop at 8th and Alma.  Instead, they reroute several other buses (inconveniencing hundreds of people) to put a bus stop in front of your house — so you’ll shut up.  Invariably, you’ve  raised so much awareness — and money — as a social activist you can afford to travel by taxi.  Truth and Justice are served.

Somebody once said, “The Truth will set you free.”  These days, I’m not so sure.