Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – The Kids Are Alright

July 13, 2011

The kids Are AlrightIt seems to me like every generation falls into the same trap. We swear up and down that we wont do it. No way man, I'm not gonna be that guy. Be eventually what we think is maturity sets in and we feel it is our god given right or perhaps it is our righteous duty and we give in to that feeling in the back of our heads that we’ve been suppressing for years. And then when we cant take it anymore and we explode and out come that odious phrase “...Kids these days.” Its the sad acknowledgment that we are slowly evolving (or maybe devolving) in to responsible adults or we are becoming our parents or maybe just maybe we aren’t as cool as we thought we were. There are of course a wide variety of reasons why this phrase finds its way passing our lips and into the ears of anybody who has the misfortune of being within shouting distance. Cause when you say say something like that you just don't mutter it under your breath you practically broadcast it to the heavens. Usually its the result of switching from your CD to Fm on your car stereo and hearing some over produced auto tuned tripe that passes for “Pop Music” or maybe its when you scan though the pages of  magazines and all the bands have names that are paragraphs long and look like ...well now I am starting to sound old, but you get the picture. But guess what as long as there has been music there has been crappy music to rail against and as long as one cool band has looked and dressed a certain way there have been a thousand of lame one that have tried to cop their style and ride their coattails in vain hopes of success. But that’s all stuff that’s out of our hands and stuff that every generation will have to contend with. So what really raises our ire is that we view ourselves as keepers of a legacy that is greater than ourselves. We are the spiritual descendants of individuals who took nothing for granted and wanted to do something big against complacency apathy and even injustice so it rightfully pisses us off when people just don't seem to care. We are true believers and we hope those that follow will be as well. If your under the age of 25 and your reading this your probably thinking “ Wow! What an old blowhard-just shut up and tell us about something stupid you did!” but I'm getting to my point just bear with me while I pontificate some more.

For me this entire year has seemed like one continuous non stop “Kids these days” moment, only with a lot of expletives thrown in every time. The reason being that this year I had the dubious pleasure of being the 12th grade counselor at my school. I say dubious because I’ve known this group of kids since they were in the 9th and its more or less my responsibility to make sure that as many of them as possible graduate. Anyway from day one I was blitzed with with multitudes of comments about how bad this class was and how lazy and apathetic they were. And after a while I bought into it and started making the comments myself. Now I love my job and I'm the eternal optimist. A teacher once called me an idealist as if it were a synonym for puppy killer. I like to think I can relate to my kids without acting like I'm trying to relate to them. I often tell them if 30 something me could meet 17 year old me I’d kick that 17 year old punks ass. But after a while it really did seem like these kids just didn’t give a damn and felt that the world owed them something- the attitude was that we should be grateful that they even bothered to show up and do the stupid assignments-well truth be told there were a lot of stupid assignments that 17 year old me chose not to do but that's ancient history, right? As the year wore on so did my frustrations, How much brow beating, chasing and cajoling did i have to do before these kids would finally get it Probably the same amount that my teachers had to do with me. Well I may have been a slacker but I’ve never been apathetic or entitled and that's what really killed me-until graduation day. Now having attended many graduations in my life I prepared myself for the interminable and the often  intolerable “this is not the end but really a beginning” speeches. Instead I was pleasantly gob smacked when one of the speakers fessed up for slacking and breaking some rules and thanked their parents and teachers for letting them get away with it because they remembered what it was like to be a confused anxious 17 year old. So yeah kids these days... but as long as some of em are checking out the Street Dogs, reading Kerouac- and starting bands I think we’ll be okay. Oh and teachers that kid falling asleep in the back of the class you just might be working with him in a few years-its not that he doesn’t care he just just doesn’t care right now.

-Daniel N-

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