Generation Gap

Friday 14 November 2003

Youth 100 years ago: then

Youth today: now

In case those URLs are dead at some future point when you read this, I'll elaborate briefly. The first URL gives a glimpse of 100+ year old U.S. veteran survivors of World War One - and there are less than 200 of them left. When they were young adults, they volunteered to serve their country in its time of need, because it was simply the right thing to do. They didn't need to be told. This was before the government manipulated things and got us into wars we maybe shouldn't have been involved with. Anyway, I was pleased to read about these guys' memories and fruitful post-war lives. The second URL discusses a shooting early this week in Buckhead, Atlanta's "premiere" dining and nightlife district. Let me tell you a personal story about Buckhead: when I turned 21 more than a decade ago, I used to go there every weekend, and in fact did so until the late 1990s. Sure, it had an abundance of drunken fools and such - I was often one of them - but it was all in fun. Never once, in dozens of trips during and after college, did I ever fear for my or my friends' life or safety. Not once. That has all changed. The area has attracted stupid, uncaring, conflict-seeking people as well as violence. It's practically a gangland. I wouldn't go there now. I wouldn't want anyone I care about to go there now. It's just not safe.

What a difference a hundred years makes in America's youth.

(As a footnote, let me assure you that if I had the power, I would exterminate all evildoers, including the ones that cruise Buckhead looking for trouble, as if they were vermin. Since I can't and won't do this, I instead read Garth Ennis' Punisher series.)