THE LOWDOWN: Take me back, I’m begging please
A little Latin for sweetness sake: “Damnosa quid non imminuit dies?” – What is there that corroding time does not damage? “Aetas parentum” – the times of our parents – “peior avis” – worse than that of our grandparents, “tulit nos nequiores” – bore us more wicked yet – “mox daturos progeniem vitiosorem” – who will soon bring forth a more hateful progeny.
Lord have mercy! The poet Horace was writing before the birth of Jesus. And way back then each generation felt that the “young people” who succeeded them were worse. If that were true, we would have ended up with some real vagabonds by now.
But it isn’t so. Change swings back and forth, sometimes towards the more liberal and licentious, sometimes back to the conservative and decent. We shouldn’t worry about it.
Or should we? Two things concern me here. We are obviously in a licentious, shoot to kill, material possession is everything, phase. But this one seems different. We have thrown away the Book, lost our moral compass. The pendulum has broken loose and we’re out of control.
Secondly, there is the notion that since change is inevitable, we should accept whatever changes are thrust upon us.
No way, say I. If a change is not for the better, take me back, I’m begging please, to something that worked.
We had, for instance, a telephone system of which we could be justly proud. It worked.
Now my phone hums. Whenever it rains, it hums so you can’t hear anything. They service the line and it works perfectly. Until the next rain falls. I no longer bother reporting it.
They’re good at phoning to tell you about disconnection for non-payment, though. “But I paid two days before it was due at the Post Office”. “Well you shouldn’t pay at the Post Office because they don’t send in the money on time”. “But isn’t the Post Office one of your designated . . .? Forget it”.
Don’t talk about this new Google Mail which I hate. And trust me, LIME, I don’t want the apps. I’d like to tell you what to do with the apps but the NATION editors would cut it out.
An inferior telephone system is small potatoes. How about living in a world where only one nation, the United States, apparently has “exceptionalism”. This means they have the God-given right to intervene in your country, to “take out” world leaders, to bomb you into submission, or to kill your citizens in your country. And nobody can say a damn. Scary stuff.
It gets scarier. Contrary to popular belief, the world is much less tolerant of different opinions than previously. For instance, Barack Obama is backing the homos. Nothing wrong with that. Except that Christians, Muslims, Rastafarians, and many African and Caribbean people will be bludgeoned into accepting Obama’s views. Don’t be surprised if your TV is soon awash with homo-related ads. Order now . . . .
Forget Obama. Let Putin put him in his place. Come nearer home. Have you seen any of those documentaries on Dodds Prison? Doesn’t it break your heart to see our talented youth locked up? Are these the “progeniem vitiosorem”, the more hateful progeny Horace talked about? The children of our generation? Couldn’t they have been sorted out before it came to this?
Blame the homes, schools, blocks, radio DJs, lawyers who represent drug sellers. We are collectively responsible. We have tolerated the dirty music, the violent films, the ZR culture. “I thought marijuana, motorcycles, quick money, hanging out on the block, was the way to go”, said one inmate serving a life sentence for murder, “it isn’t”. (Not his exact words.)
Take me back, I’m begging please. But there is no going back for this country.
However, some good news. Remember that tractor I wrote about last week? A disaster?
No way! In fact it could be the best thing for my marriage. I go late at night and stand naked in front of it doing all the latest provocative dances – twerking, jerking, six-thirty, you name it.
And why? Well my brother-in-law and I were discussing how to put some spark back into a marriage. And, according to him, therapists advise that, if you want your woman to be ravenously romantic, “you have to do something sexy to a tractor . . .”
So here I am!
• Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator.