Tag Archives: generations

Awareness in a World Where Your Insignificance is Expected

It has been a common complaint that “this generation” acts with entitlement. I use quotation marks, because no one really has a good grip on the generational time frames and I often make up my personalized group called “The Natest Generation.” Oh, sure, people can make up time spans just as easy, but until there is some real consensus I’m keeping my own. Thank you.

With this stock complaint is the sub-complaint that everything should be handed to us, we need an award for everything we do, and everything should be the paradigm of convenience. That goes along with the alternate complaint that we want to be mail-clerk CEOs, because working 30-40 years for that kind of power is ridiculously long, right?

Regardless that I’m personally an example to the contrary (apparently, I’m everyone’s “exception to the rule”), there might be some merit to those statements but in a not-so-derogatory manner. It’s quite possibly an unconscious act of defiance. The younger generations are unwittingly trying to make themselves stand out. A meta-understanding of self-awareness, if you will.

If we are to sit and review history in the last 2,000 years, we should notice something. How many people are remembered over that course of time? A few, all things considered. There are more forgotten, many, many, many more. How many of them were peaceful, law-abiding, good-natured, well-behaved folk? Even fewer, yes? In fact, people who touted the virtues of non-violence such as Jesus of Nazareth and Mahatma Gandhi were a big thorn in someone else’s side. Whenever I see a bumper sticker that says “well-behaved women rarely make history,” its de facto ignorance of the male perspective smacks of deception. Do you not realize how many “good little boys” have been forgotten in time? Simply put, historical figures were assholes to somebody.

Now that we’ve established it generally takes bratty behavior to be memorable, we should look at the underlying expectations of the last 2,000 years. If it wasn’t feudalism, it was slavery, and then strict social class delineations that were imposed by a handful of people who had power and wealth, whether it was royalty, slave owners, or an overbearing political structure. Society has relied on the majority of people being marginalized through one philosophy or another. The cogs of the machine must be properly installed for the press to operate.

Now, let’s take a look at today. We have a world that’s populated with 7.12 billion people. That, in and of itself, is overwhelming competition for identity. The Earth is settled for the most part. There are no “new worlds” anymore, and I don’t see a SeaQuest attitude about the oceans or a Star Trek attitude about the stars. Just ask the budget-weary NASA. Shocking philosophies such as nihilism and existentialism have become old hat. Culture and art have already gone through multiple phases. Music is recycling melodies and styles from decades ago. This is the perfect storm for another dark age. Anyone who doesn’t want to be treated like a serf has to act differently somehow.

Maybe we’re just all trying to live the happiest life we can, because there is  little in the way of circumstantial developments to be memorable about? What, should we start another war or something?

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The Music Box

A worn music box lay on the table in front of Lacy. It was another “gift” from her mother, Candy, or rather something else she wanted to get out of her attic. Lacy ran her thumbs along side the top corner of the box and flipped the top open to hear a slow, sentimental version of “Daisy Bell.” It was unusual in it spun a couple on a tandem bike. “At least it’s fitting,” she said as she stared at its red velvet interior.

Being that music boxes have lost their novelty for most living generations, she quickly grew tired of the antique. It was her grandmother Daisy’s, and was obviously more meaningful to her than any other relative. Candy obviously thought it a proper heirloom to remind her daughter of the sweet, little, old lady who used to make terrible green bean casserole at Thanksgiving.

In her growing boredom, she oddly thought of Silence of the Lambs, in which Jody Foster’s character discovers pictures in the lining of a murdered girl’s music box. Amusement came over her as she gingerly tugged at the lining inside the box: nothing. “That was pointless,” she said and shut the lid. Picking up the reasonably weighty object, she spun around to put it in her attic.


The sound wasn’t too audible, nor was Lacy sure if it came from the box or if she had popped a joint in her body. She shook the box vigorously to hear the uneven thunks of the box. That didn’t make any sense. She began to carefully rotate the box in all directions, to see if she could find anything out of the ordinary. At first, nothing stood out, but on second glance a small clue presented itself. The brackets holding the bottom were slightly larger than they should be, and it wouldn’t take much energy to slide out the bottom. Lacy found a screwdriver in the kitchen and removed the back two brackets with ease. Sure enough, the bottom slid out and a neat deck of photos fell squarely on the table.

“Grandma!” Lucy was in a state of genuine shock but nothing she couldn’t truly handle. She thumbed through the black and white series of photos to reveal a story of a young woman in an ornate outfit. Feathers and the whole bit. She was laughing with a bunch of suited men. Nana was a showgirl, and possibly more, as the photos became racier as she flipped through them.

The last photo depicted a very naked woman being doused with champagne. The man pouring the drink could easily be mistaken as a young version of her grandfather. The message “first night” was elegantly written on the back.

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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