By Hans Ebert

We’re living in very angry times, but, most of the time, we/them/us don’t even know where the anger is coming from and what caused it. Or do we, but is it easier to block it out? And are we even really living?

A friend says we’re only “surviving” and reduced to being “observers” of something going on many of us were never taught to understand. Life was, apparently, too good back in the day, because life was so much more simple.

There wasn’t everything and more there is today to cause so many distractions which often results in no focus nor a sense of priorities. It’s one global free-for-all that’s very much like a murder of crows in full flight.

Instead of The Clash Of The Titans what exists today is a huge chasm between different generations- baby boomers against millennials against the snowflake generation who are against everything that some of us built for ourselves and, we thought, them. It’s a clash between “our” world and “their” future with the former having no relevance to whatever lies ahead for them.

This is really the heart of the matter to what’s happening today in Hong Kong, once, the safest city in the world. It’s about protesters moving forward, but with no exit strategy, ironically, much like the government and its lost leader. But, for largely, the students, easily manipulated by those playing for much bigger stakes, and who see themselves as “freedom fighters”, maybe that’s the point- to make things up as they go hoping everything comes together and becomes whatever it turns out to be? It’s like the current debate and anger over climate change.

Though having had the subject discussed and warning signs sent out decades ago, the very sudden importance- and anger- placed on climate change, and the emergence of teenage activist Greta Thunberg shows one world having adopted split personalities. It’s like “The Three Faces Of Eve.” Maybe the world is going through a personality disorder? Maybe, the online fame game was always going to end up here…and wherever here is? Dante’s Inferno?

There are activists everywhere. They’re being produced faster than gremlins. And so are the causes they’re embracing. But who’s leading this Easter Parade? The Joker?

Greta Thunberg to world leaders: ‘How dare you – you have stolen my dreams and my childhood’ – THE GUARDIAN

With activists for every occasion, it’s like today’s leaderless younger generation having a new full-time gig. When all else fails, Be An Activist. Activists don’t get fired. They get fired up. Well, at least they get their followers fired up. All it takes is one tweet from someone like some washed up quasi celebrity trying to remain relevant.

It’s like the saying, Child Is Father To The Man. But this child has either been born kicking and screaming and angry or has become angry in what is an easily manipulative technology driven world. They’re angry and frustrated at their situation. What situation? Perhaps us adults and our generation have let them down? Badly. At least that’s what I have been told. And it hurts.

Whereas The Who once sang about “My Generation” and that “Teenage Wasteland”, these songs didn’t spill over into full scale constant rebellion and outright warfare. They remained songs that might have caused mild moral outrage, because this was “the thing” to be.

The Woodstock generation was hardly rebellious. It was Flower Power mixed with sex, drugs and Rock and Roll. There was Dr Martin Luther King Jr and the peaceful Civil Rights Movement to right thousands of years of wrong.

What happened at Kent State University and the protests against the Vietnam War were necessary to bring about change, reveal the profiteering in wars and those who started these wars in far off corners of the world and didn’t want them to end.

These, however, were problems “exclusive” to America just as everything Gandhi and Nelson Mandela fought for and against happened in their respective backyards. If it didn’t bother us, who cared?

Today? Today, there are those days when one thinks the entire world has been hijacked by the Children Of The Corn. Or have finally come face to face with Rosemary’s baby.

Who knows? No one does. Not really. And let’s not think there are going to be answers to any questions raised on social media.

Social media has dissipated into an online meeting of, often, the mindless with either warring opinions, or motivational sayings while being a scarily humourless world with relentless self-promotion, and which surely must have an adverse effect on finding the time to do anything else…including finding one’s self and being creative.

For example, has there been anything close to the creative explosion of the Sixties- that multi media explosion over fifty years before the term became supposedly an exacting science that has to include algorithms and hashtags and “social media experts” to provide “validity” to the bollocks they’re peddling?

Why the Beatles, Dylan, the Stones, David Bailey, The Swinging Sixties and pioneering filmmakers and the new thinkers in advertising happened was because they were given the freedom to create. It wasn’t being ALLOWED to create. These were people with something to say through their art and just getting on with whatever they had to say, see where it led, and, once there, enhancing their product and turning on the world. It really was a magical mystery tour.

It’s why and how the Beatles went from being a rough covers band playing at the Cavern to setting up home at Abbey Road Studios and creating and producing music without labels and which evolved into so much more- like indie films for their songs long before video killed the radio star. It’s how the record album became a creatively packaged gift to the world.

Everything- well, almost everything- inspired the creation of something else new.

Competition? Sure, there was competition, but it was also a chain reaction of creativity that helped create a global community.

A few nights ago while having dinner with a friend, music was playing in the background that one wouldn’t expect to hear in what was a five star steakhouse charging six star prices. The music was a strange hodgepodge of Boney M, Cher, Abba, the Beatles, Pink Floyd…

Having said this, was this old fashioned thinking on our part in thinking that the music loop didn’t “belong” in this venue?

Was it us creating rules where there should be no rules- something almost Orwellian and with us expecting everyone and everything having to fall into line?

Has this regimented thinking created what we’re facing today? A serious generation gap?

A student in Hong Kong and part of the pro democracy movement recently explained- and politely- how my generation had its chance to create its future. Now, it’s about his generation’s future and, what was MY future, is now part of THEIR past. It doesn’t work for them. Nothing they have inherited does.

Their’s is a leaderless generation with very few real life heroes. Look at those managing the world today. These are certainly not the days of Camelot. Hardly.

The Civil Rights movement led by Dr King has become a hashtag- #blacklivesmatter.

This led to #alllivesmatter” whereas somewhere in the midst of what is an ongoing online Hashtag Movement came #MeToo.

The result is that everyone seems trapped in an environment of fear brought about through having no time for anything else except to think what to be angry about, or seek out stress buttons while clutching at stress busters which read like hackneyed Hallmark greeting cards.

In the past couple of years, a culling process has begun in order for me to rid myself of those who have nothing to offer- not emotional support, zero creative input, no positive environment, no inspiration, no real love…

What the hell happened? Were we once all on smart pills? Are we now going through one of the world’s worst withdrawal systems?

Though hardly in any position to offer advice, what is working for me is getting rid of the negativity around me. Simplifying my life. Choosing a new path if the other road has somehow robbed me of my individuality and privacy and replaced this with everything and everyone that don’t matter.

Some of these changes might work for you. Maybe. But only you know what will work best for you.

It’s not going to happen waiting for that special something to happen. It’s back to actually making good things happen.

#protests #climatechange #hongkong #creativity #Life #generationgap