Monday, May 03, 2004

Richard Neville and his GenX mates

While Geoff Honnor has already had a pretty good go at Richard "my Xer mates [and] their Harvey Norman home cinema[s]" Neville, I can't resist getting a few extra kicks in myself. After all, this topic is my home turf.

I must admit that I am getting a bit tired of pointing out that Neville's presumed source for his information on GenX's comparative affluence compared to boomers, the "Protocols of the Youngsters of Glebe" is a forgery - its contents are utter, unmitigated crap. My "home cinema", Mr Neville, consists of an ageing TV and VCR (from Big W, BTW), with my sound-system being a portable radio/CD player (a donation from an ex) and dodgy turntable (from the Op shop). As for "sleepwalk[ing] all the way to [my] next investment property" - yeah, right. It certainly is in my dreams - only - that I'll ever own even a modest first home in Melbourne.

Worse, Neville commits the unforgivable sin of projecting his own, boomer generation's greed onto GenX. Did it even occur to the washed-up little weasel that many of students protesting against the 25% increases to uni fees are doing so for future generations? (The fee increases only start from next year, by which time many of today's protesters will be out of there)? No? I thought not - boomers, on the other hand protest/ed only (i) for the immediate gratification, and/or (ii) out of 100% NIMBY-ism.

Which brings me on to "NIMBY" Neville - a resident of the chintz'n'leadlight-infested Blue Mountains. So there was no adult under 50 to protest at the effect on property values arising from a few film trucks parked on your street, eh Richard? (Property values are the only domestic issue those over 50 would ever protest about). Someone with eyes and ears might therefore reason that GenX can't afford to live in upmarket sylvan splendour, like you do.

P.S. Almost forgot to mention that Neville's alleged Harvey-Norman-home-cinema-owning Xer mates include (or, I suspect are completely co-extensive with) his daughter's boyfriends. If your daughter chooses to go out with a series of tossers, Richard, this does not an entire generation maketh. More scary and more damning still, though, is the fact that Neville is apparently around at the pads of the said daughter's boyfriends, sharing popcorn in front of the said home-cinemas. I don't which is worse - Dad Neville there beside the snuggled-up youing couple, or just Dad and daughter's boyfriend watching an, ahem, laddish movie together. E-wwwww!

Update 4 May 2004

Today's SMH brings an Op Ed in reply (boring - and worse, ending on a note of conciliation. Plus, 23 y.o.'s aren't even Xers under my calculations, and we are quite able to speak for ourselves, so fuck off with your Gens X and Y coalitionism, Amy Persson), and a flurry of letters, of which the lead one, by Con Nats, really says all that needs to be said.

"Traded in their bongs for Rolexes in the 1970s" - hole-in-one!

One more thing from the letters, though: self-loathing Xer Cathy Sherry again puts the boot in. I wonder where Dooralong is; obviously it must be within Australia's hitherto little-known zone of Vichy administration.

Further Update 4 May 2004

More letters today, and John Quiggin has chimed in too. As for my reservations on the politics of Gens X and Y coalitionism, they are nicely born out in a pro-HECS-increase Op Ed in today's Oz by Ari Sharp. Asssuming this is the same Ari Sharp of Hawthorn East who ran as candidate for Kooyong in the 20001 federal election (for the Democrats!), this would make the little turncoat commerce/arts student about 22 y.o.

Memo to Ari - and the claimed "silent majority" that implacably believe in the fairness of HECS increases - why don't you all just shut up and shell-out - and conversely, let those opposed to to the increases, in good conscience, to not pay. There wouldn't be a problem with "free riders" as a result, because it is almost certain that the extra revenue will be squandered anyway. Even you, Ari seem to anticipate as much when you say:

"To pay an increased proportion of the cost of our education under the reforms introduced by the Government is fair enough - especially if it will increase places and improve quality". (emphasis added)

"If"??? It's a short way, to the bottom of the political sludgepit, if you're a Gen Y who wants to get down on his knees and suck.

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