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Saturday, October 27, 2012




There are lots of differences between older and younger generations.  The reasons behind some of these differences are obvious.  Many in my generation do not like computers and gadgets.  We get frustrated with things that are just second nature to the younger generation.  We see no reason to learn new ways to do things when the old ways have always served us well.  We tend to believe all the changes brought about by technology are causing us to lose important skills.

“Kids today, with all their keyboards, don’t know how to write in cursive (script or longhand in my day) anymore.  Soon it will be a lost art!"

Really, who cares? Why do we need to write in script when we have keyboards?  In my day the lost skill old people were afraid we would lose was Latin.  Everyone had to learn Latin. 

“Most of our words have Latin as their origin.”

“You can’t be a doctor or an engineer without learning Latin.”

“Latin may be a dead language, but it is important to learn.”

And so we learned Latin.

“Omnia Gaul es devisit en tres partes.”

“Veni, vidi, vici.”

Guess what, it was not important to learn Latin.  It was stupid to learn Latin.  Learning Latin was a waste of time.

Where am I going with this?  I’m not sure; I’m just noticing that the evolution of ideas in this day and age is moving at lightning speed and us old people get overwhelmed by it.

What prompted me to reflect on generational differences was my observation on nudity.

When I was a youth, there was no nudity in magazines, movies or TV.  If you got your hands on illicit naked pictures it was very exciting.  Today there is nudity in movies, TV, and magazines.  People walk on the beach practically naked where in the early nineteen hundreds (before my time) swim suits covered the whole body almost burka-like.  Nudity today is no big deal.


Young men today will not undress in gym locker rooms.  They do not shower together with other young men.  If they do shower at the gym, there are separate showers.  Old dudes do not have this hang up.  We grew up forced to shower after gym or sports practices.  The showers were open rooms with multiple showerheads.  There was group singing, and plenty of horseplay in these showers.  I know; gay right?   Except unless you were gay, we did not even know gay existed, so showering together was harmless.

In college, and no one wants to believe me on this, at our all men’s school, we had swimming as a PE course; everyone swam naked and thought nothing of it.  Swimsuits were not allowed!  I don’t recall anyone being embarrassed. I don’t recall any bullying, although we did all became quite proficient at making a “rat’s tail” out of a towel and inflecting welts on each other’s rear ends.

I find it ironic that in my younger days, when homosexuals were forced to hide their lifestyle, when most of us did not even know such a lifestyle existed, we participated innocently in what today would be considered gay activities and today when homosexuality is becoming an acceptable lifestyle (I know, we still have a ways to go) it is unacceptable for men to be naked in each other’s company.

A generation of men intolerant of homosexuals was comfortable in their nakedness with other men.  A younger generation that is more acceptant of the gay lifestyle finds it unacceptable to be naked around other men.

If you are waiting for my point, I’m not sure I have one.  Maybe it is just that generations are different, sometimes the reasons for the differences do not make any sense, and sometimes when you pass sixty your mind tends to wander a lot.

Tempus fugit!   



  1. Yes, dammit, of course you're right. Still, I miss my yellow pad and #2 pencil. And those National Geographics that showed native women au naturel. And the Pony Express. No, wait, that was a bit early for me, too.

    Feces Occureth!


  2. I took Latin at school. I remember my parents coming back from a parents evening, and being very upset because my Latin teacher, Miss Stevenson, had said that I was so bad at Latin that she didn't want me in her class.....Such a shame...I was useless at Latin, and it was a big let down to my Dad who also did Latin and was very good at it....Still what I did learn proved very useful in my learning of French which I did very well

    amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant

    caeser ad sum yam
    brutus et erat
    caeser sic in omnibus
    brutus sic in at

    I am thankful that my parents brought me and my sisters up to not be ashamed of the human body - but also not to gawk at it. My sisters and I also grew up in a world of communal showers and changing rooms.
    Now with my children, the bathroom door is never locked and they have also grown up to see the human body for what it is - the human body. I like to think that my boys are so used to seeing Mum naked that if a young girl were to lose her bikini top in the pool, they would be able to find it and rescue her rather than become incapacitated by the sight of boobs!

    It is so true that we live in a world that is meant to be more accepting, but in so many ways is making a return to the dark ages. Perhaps it is up to the people of my and your generation to try and put a stop to it all....Thats being said there are plenty of folks my age who think I am crazy to let anyone see me

  3. Perhaps we would be less ashamed of being seen naked if our skin fit better!

  4. Two years of H.S. Latin. Gives a good foundation for understanding all words. Lots of solid parenting gave me a good understanding for life. Every body needs a solid foundation. Bones and education for healthy life and mind.

    Omnia vincit amor.

    Now I've got to figure out how to get that weird cartoon out of my head. eeeeeeessssh!

  5. Those were the days when men were men and the sheep were nervous!.

  6. okay, i do have to admit i'm a little surprised in the swimming naked - even if it was a boys' school. :)

  7. I still remember the amo, amas, amat... but very little else of it. When I applied for university - it's lack didn't hold me back. In fact, I learnt far more Latin from doing genealogy than I ever did in school.

    We had communal changing rooms and showers - even though it was a co-educational boarding school. The boys and girls changing rooms were kept very separate though. Had they been mixed we would have been happy to gawk at the girls but very shy about ourselves.

  8. Attitudes sure have changed! I recall as a rugby player in the 1960s attending an after-match party at a married team-mate's home. By the end of the evening another team-mate and I had consumed such a volume of beer that quite rightly it was deemed risky for us to drive home. Our hostess directed us to a spare bedroom where we shared a single bed for the night - without any embarrassment nor any thought about the sleeping arrangement being a bit strange!