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God Damned Materialistic Young People Drive me to Drink

The problem with young people today is that they’re too materialistic.

In my day young people didn’t own goods and chattel – we were goods and chattel. Our parents owned us and any food, clothes or toys we received were simply on loan in exchange for our blind obedience and manual labor.

Prior to the age of 18 the only thing I owned was my name and even that was a hand me down from my father and subject to repossession if I stepped out of line.

But these young people today? They have an almost insatiable need to own everything they can lay their greedy little fingers on. They seem to view life as a contest to see who can acquire the most stuff in the shortest period of time and then die sitting atop the largest pile of useless crap.

I didn’t want fancy clothes and electronics when I was a lad – all I wanted was to avoid polio and to live to see adulthood. I had a single pair of pants from the time I was four until I was 13 and can still squeeze my wrinkly ass into a pair of 6X trousers if I damn well need to.

But nowadays young people think they’re entitled to 10 of everything. Televisions, hats, slacks, fingers – you name it. They stagger through the outlet malls like an army of credit card clutching zombies – arms outstretched, mouths agape, blindly pulling items off the shelves with no idea of what they actually want; just an all encompassing sense of need.

If I had ever told my old mom that I wanted a 2nd pair of sneakers she’d have hobbled me with a meat tenderizer and relieved me of my need for shoes entirely. And she’d have been correct to do so.

What these young people really “need” to purchase is a moral compass, half a brain and a lick of self-restraint. It’s a shame they don’t sell those particular items at Abercrombie and Fitch or every young person on the planet would be clamoring to get their hands on some. And let me tell you – there’s certainly a god damned need.

They’re too materialistic. That’s the problem with young people today.

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120 Comments leave one →
  1. 12:11 am

    Electronics?!?!?! When you were a kid?!?! The toaster was THE hi-tech electronic device to have…and you couldn’t even plug it into your car!

    • 2:25 am

      Many thanks more thananelectrician,

      You make it sound like a bad thing? Who the Hell needs to be toasting bread while they are driving. Is that the latest fad? Christ, what’s next? Making crepes and ironing your shorts while you’re careening down the highway? It’s bad enough that every moron out there has one eye on a GPS and the other on their damned blackberry without asking them to start spreading preserves on rye bread while they’re at it.

      (And I’ll have you know that we had a damned nice Emmerson 5 tube radio. I think you would have appreciated it, actually. Quality that was built to last.)

      All the best and thanks for visiting.

      Don

      • 1:15 am

        Well…you never know when you might need some toast, but it is much less dangerous than that deep fryer I have been riding around with lately.

  2. 12:12 am

    My childhood wasn’t quite as tough as yours, but if I asked my parents for a toy, they’d tell me to get a job.

    • 2:27 am

      Thank you Ahmondt,

      And they’d be right to do so. People appreciate things more if they have to work for them – not have them handed to them.

      Best regards,

      Don

  3. 12:13 am

    OMG…I’m the first to comment (probably due to V. Day. Anyhoo…Don you are so right. As a kid I was delighted to receive any gift and I certainly never expected it. (Well, maybe at Hanukkah and my birthday…at least one each.)

    • 12:13 am

      ahhh…two squeezed in before me.

    • 2:36 am

      Lovely to hear from you Jill,

      I certainly got a wee present on my birthday and at Christmas but I suspect they were partially used as incentives for continued hard work and obedience.

      And I certainly never had collections of shoes or hats or gadgets of any sort and didn’t dare throw anything out until it was broken beyond repair. Some of these kids today have rooms that look like factory outlet stores.

      Thanks for stopping in and happy valentine’s day.

      Don

  4. 12:16 am

    Dear Mr. Mills,

    While I normally agree with you 100%, this time I have to say that I know plenty of adults who are so materialistic they can drive me to drink as well. (As a matter of fact, I’m drinking right now!)

    Speaking of driving, I still remember when I told my 14 year old nephew that my husband and I had to go home because my husband had to work the next day and he needed to use the car. With a straight face and a tone of astonishment he said to me “YOU ONLY HAVE ONE CAR?!?”

    Times have changed. Perhaps not for the better!

    Another great post. And may I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.

    Mrs. King

    • 2:50 am

      Many thanks Mrs. King,

      You may well be right but most of the adults I know are seniors and it seems to me that most of us are busy trying to find ways to dispose of goods, not accumulate more. Of course, nobody wants and old family photo album unless you can load it onto a USB stick or has any use for a decent (albeit slightly shiny) navy suit from 1963.

      I find the car story quite amusing. Aggie and I spent a good part of our marriage without an automobile and never did manage to ever have more than one. Most of the families on our street were the same way. If Aggie needed the car during the day she’d drive me to work in the morning and come back to get me at night.

      Nowadays, I swear every house on the block has a minimum of 3 cars. Some have 4. Half of the time my street looks the parking lot at Walmart for Christ’s sake.

      Happy Valentine’s Day to you as well, Mrs. King. Please pass on my best regards to your husband.

      All the best,

      Don

  5. YellowRoses610 permalink
    12:20 am

    Dear Don,

    First off I would like to state that most are too materialistic.
    That said I do enjoy nice clothes, but being the only girl in the family, my mother liked to get me girly clothes, even though I often prefer pants. But I didn’t have way too many like most people my age.

    As for things I own, they are mostly books. My room is in the basement and the two walls the divide it from the rest of the basement are made of books shelves over flowing with books. I have expensive pens and writing materials, but most of these I bought with money from stories I sold to kids, forged essays for people in high school and good old fashioned allowance saving. Never had what you would call “A Real Job”.

    I also ended dup with my parents hand me down TVs and what not, and I have always either saved up computers or had a friend fix up broken ones they were going to throw away. I am, resourceful.
    I must admit I’m a bit of an art collector, though I manage to find cheap pieces and pieces friends make.

    So most of what I own are books, movies, herbs (not drugs, but legal herbs) and this computer. I of clothes of clothes and shoes, but I am a woman what do you expect.

    The worst I do is splurge on cigars in a addition to cigarettes, but dam nit I work hard writing other people’s papers.

    Oh and I splurge on Witch craft supplies. Yes I’m a Witch, no not the bag kind. ;)

    The white Witch of the blogs,
    Rose Willamson.

    Ps, I guess since most of my stuff was good educational material I’m alright?

    • 3:04 am

      Many thanks Rose,

      My beef isn’t with witches – I really don’t know enough about their shopping habits to make an informed comment. I’ve read enough to know that it’s important for witches to be well stocked in eye of newt, hair of dog, wombat innards etc., but I’d categorize those as “professional supplies” and not as an indication of gross materialism on their part.

      I’m also not talking about people who have a passion for something and enjoy collecting. I have a good number of books myself. I’m talking about the damned idiots who have a passion simply for acquiring things. Who are dissatisfied with their purchases the moment they leave the store and already “needing” the newer, fancier, slicker version of the product they haven’t even unwrapped yet. Honestly, I find the whole thing damned obscene.

      Now I’ve gone and gotten all worked up. I think that like Mrs. King, I need to go pour myself a drink. By the way, if you have any witchcraft spells that might be good for arthritis, please let me know. I’m willing to try just about anything at this point.

      All the best,

      Don

      • YellowRoses610 permalink
        3:12 am

        I’ll look into that.

        Also all those funny names are old slang names for plants. We don;t really use Animal parts. I’ll look up what sort of herbs might be able to help you.

      • Sedate Me permalink
        9:16 pm

        I’m talking about the damned idiots who have a passion simply for acquiring things. Who are dissatisfied with their purchases the moment they leave the store and already “needing” the newer, fancier, slicker version of the product they haven’t even unwrapped yet. Honestly, I find the whole thing damned obscene. -Mr Mills

        I couldn’t agree more, sir.

        They’re all a bunch of damn Buy-bots roaming around like zombies straight out of Plan Nine From Outer Space . Their brains have been sucked right out of their skull by advertising and replaced with some electronic device that forces them to shop themselves to death.

  6. 12:20 am

    You are such a good writer. THanks for posting this.

  7. YellowRoses610 permalink
    12:21 am

    *bad

  8. 12:42 am

    I remember when I was a kid half my Christmas presents were school essentials like bag, crayons, colored pencils. I had to collect bottles and take them to the deli to get the refund, which became my pocket money. No friggin “Mom’s Taxi”, I had to walk. Geez Mr Mills, bring back the good old days when there was no “pants on the ground!”

    • 3:17 am

      Many thanks Frigginloon.

      I hadn’t thought of it in decades but now that you mention it, I remember getting colored pencils every year at Christmas too. All my brothers got them as well.

      Thanks for visiting loon. I trust you’re keeping well.

      Don

  9. 2:08 am

    Dear Don,

    You sure can peg these kids. Yes, they are the “I must immediately have that and that and that…” generation. Another wise one once described them as having a particular affinity for bright, shiny objects. I find that description quite apt.

    Sad to say, but there is no such thing as a hand me down anymore. These kids wouldn’t be caught dead wearing used items or so they say. Now, if that item is labeled “vintage” in a fancy store, and so and so must be one upped then it is a whole different story.

    I must say that I truly relish the moment when I pick up my check from the local consignment shop for all those “gently used” unique items that they must have. I understand that some of those items fly off the shelves which is fine by me.

    Laughing all the way to the bank…with kindest regards,
    mcnorman

    • 2:09 am

      Forgot to tell you and everyone here Happy Saint Valentine’s Day.

    • 3:29 pm

      Many thanks McNorman,

      I suppose the notion of hand me downs is completely antiquated nowadays. With three boys in the Mills family, hand me downs were just a way of life. Most everything I wore had at least one prior owner. And it wasn’t just clothes.

      Now I’m going to have to give this “vintage” notion some thought. I’m sure I have a few ties for the 1950s-70s that would fall into that category and a little extra spending money might come in handy. My only hesitation is the notion that some assclown will being using them as belts or wearing them tied around their head like a scarf.

      All the best mcnorman and Happy Valentine’s Day to you as well.

      Don

  10. 2:11 am

    So right, Mr. Mills, so right.

    Young people want everything. Every vaccination for every disease, every innoculation, every immunization.

    Back in the day, a slug of whiskey was the prescribed cure for everything from the croup to gangrene. No one ever heard of anyone complaining of “carpal tunnel syndrome” when we were kids.

    • 5:43 pm

      Well said Bmj2k,

      My parents were firm believers in the liquor cabinet equals medicine cabinet school of home remedies. A slug of whiskey was always good for what ailed you and generally provided everyone with a decent nights sleep as well.

      All the best,

      Don

  11. ferxist permalink
    2:26 am

    I think you got something wrong there, sir.

    Even I admit to greed. It’s just that, speaking for myself, I don’t really want more than one of any object. I could just have that replaced by going to a store or something.

    And I also admit to that disease. Whenever something new comes out, the previous model of cellphone, PSP, DS, what have you becomes obsolete in around a month. (Look, I’m not in America, things don’t go out of style as fast.)

    Just came to me right now, but you could also post on that, or of this generation’s penchant for torrenting things off the web. Which is a crime in itself.

    Jonathan Ferxist

    • 5:51 pm

      Many thanks Jonathan,

      Good to hear from you lad.

      I admit that I don’t understand this need to have the latest and greatest. It seems to me that people should learn to be satisfied with what they have. Plus, in my experience, getting more “stuff” rarely makes people happy in the long term.

      And thank you for the suggestion on the “torrenting.” It’s a fine idea and I may just use it.

      Best regards,

      Don

  12. elizabeth3hersh permalink
    2:37 am

    You neglected to write that the single pair of pants you owned were not just any old pants. They were domestically designed and constructed and made to last a lifetime like everything else around that time. A time when even the lowly gas station pump was a lovely work of art (and today, fit for a museum). A time of polished chrome/wood/painted enamel, striking color and longevity. Beauty, design and aesthetics plummeted as manufacturing headed overseas, merchandise became cheaper and more abundant which of course fueled even more commerce and its evil progeny, materialism. Well done, Don.

    • 6:00 pm

      Thank you Elizabeth,

      You make many excellent points. Back in my day things were built to last and didn’t fall apart the first time you used them. My first set of kitchen appliances lasted 30 years and when we finally did part with them it had more to do with aesthetics than it did performance. I swear that every appliance I’ve owned since has either fallen apart in the first 6 months or just barely managed to hang on until a week after the warranty expires. They’re all bland-looking cheap crap constructed largely from plastic and the lowest grade steel available to man.

      And I do love those old gas pumps. They really were a work of art.

      Many thanks Elizabeth. All the best,

      Don

  13. 2:38 am

    absolutely spot on once again, don. i’m watching the olympics right now, and i’m thinking, two skate? two skis? and for each competitor? is that really necessary? just think, if each of them was satisfied with one each, twice as many people could compete. selfish little bastards!

    • 7:18 am

      too funny nonnie9999

    • 6:23 pm

      An excellent point Nonnie,

      I think that the Olympics would be a damned site more entertaining if they gave all the competitors a tin can, a length of twine and a roll of tin foil and forced them to construct their own equipment. We’d be rewarding cunning as well as physical skill.

      Not that I’d watch. Once they let those damned long haired pot smoking snowboarders into the games I swore off them for good. I expect skateboarding, busting rhymes and drive by shooting will part of the next summer Olympics.

      All the best,

      Don

      • 1:27 am

        they should have had the athletes carry and shovel in the snow instead of trucking it in. they could have made it another event (probably would have been more interesting than the biathlon).

        p.s. nursemyra, call me nonnie. we’re all family here. :wink:

  14. 2:45 am

    Don,

    once again you are spot on !

    just the other night the wife and I were watching a dreadful show the telly ( black and white ) called “hoarders “. watching this gross display of materialism caused my moustache to flair up !

    at present , my four boys share the complete edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1768) and a pair of shoes ( left and right ), I admit, to my shame , I am afraid to peek into my boy’s room for fear that once their belongings spill out into the open ,I might end up on next weeks show !

    If this keeps up, the tradesmen might be forced to use the front door !

    I tell you what old boy, we’ll meet for said drink ,you drive , I’ll pour.

    good to see you Donald …~David

    • 7:33 pm

      Many thanks David,

      Sounds like you’re spoiling those boys. I’d recommend that you consider limiting their access to the Encyclopaedia. While it can be a useful learning tool (and you’ve picked a fine year) access to too much information is never good for a young person. You don’t want to fill their heads with foolish notions or before you know it they’ll be asking for their own combs and monogrammed socks.

      As a first step, I’d remove the editions that cover the letters “P”, “V” and “S.” Those letters are especially dangerous for impressionable youngsters.

      All the best and good luck.

      Don

    • DJ Mills permalink
      6:51 pm

      That show hoarders is insane. But I’m almost able to understand and sympathize with most of them. The majority are older folks who have lived through hard times and explain that they are stocking up while they can. The show is simply showing what 40 years of doing so results in. What somebody is going to do with 20 rotten pumpkins, a cabinet full of spaghetti noodles from 1978 and a 30 years of the Hutchinson Herald is beyond me, but I understand the logic and thought process.

  15. The Celtic Queen permalink
    4:48 am

    Don I hear what you’re saying but it doesn’t just apply to kids.
    I know women who need the same pair of shoes in different colours. The same applies to bags,. dresses, the best phone, you name it. We are all too ‘materialistic’ to a point.
    However, you will be pleased to hear that last year I turned over a new leaf. I moved from a large house to a smaller 3 bedroom unit . I swore I would get rid of ‘STUFF’ which I did. I eBayed till the cows came home. I sent stuff off to charity shops, I gave stuff to friends. I had a garage sale and finally I have only what I need and not one item more. I’ve become a minimalist. I still have my old computer and heaven knows there are much better computers available out there but I will not yield to temptation. My home is uncluttered, clean and fresh now. I got rid on antiques that no longer fitted the new place and bought only what I really needed. The Salvation Army were happy to see me pull up in my wagon every day for about a week. So it’s never too late . I was brought up a bit like you were so maybe that was my problem. We had very little. When I got married I accumulated stuff but I’m out of that way of thinking now and I’m much happier with the new me too.

    By the way I love those old valve radios. They still sound awesome.

    • 7:36 pm

      Well done Celtic Queen,

      I find myself in a similar situation. While I never did develop much of an interest in accumulating “stuff” I still find myself with well more than I need. I’ve been getting rid of things that I no longer use (or never used) and feel much better for it.

      I still have an old valve radio in the basement. I have no idea how old it is but it belonged to my father. It takes a few minutes to warm up – and could do with a good dusting – but it still works and still sounds damned good too. It seems to be the one thing I am having trouble parting with.

      All the best,

      Don

  16. momromp permalink
    4:50 am

    Another winner of a post, sir. I’m relatively young, but there was a marked difference between me and the young people I taught in terms of understanding want vs. need. Everything is now an essential need. Not only that, everything is needed RIGHT NOW. Not only do the kiddies have a problem with greediness; they have a definite problem with patience.

    • 7:39 pm

      Absolutely true, momromp.

      Very well said. And sadly, there seems to be a parent always willing to give them everything they want. A shame and a poor lesson to teach as youngster as far as I’m concerned.

      All the best,

      Don

  17. Lily Fossil permalink
    5:30 am

    Dear Donald,

    I am much adverse to the wanton consumerism of today. It has become a disease in and of itself, largely fostered by the US via Hollywood, I suspect. These days I am not a consumer (apart from basic needs), in fact i don’t even like shopping and like Ms Celtic Queen, I have become a minimalist.

    It seems strange that you spend the first half of your life accumulating “stuff” and the next half trying to sort it all out to get rid of. At least some people do. I had an old Aunt who accumulated so much stuff, no-one could enter her house as it was jammed pack so full she had to rent another house (the one next door) and blow me down if she didn’t fill that house up to the gunnels too. Stuffed full of stuff,’twas.

    One good thing about young people hoarding stuff in their rooms is that there is a good possibility they will get stuck in there and won’t be able to get out and die in there like an ancient Egyptian.

    Lily

    • 7:43 pm

      Many thanks Lily,

      That would one fascinating archaeological dig wouldn’t it? The Tomb of Teeniecommon? Wearing “Bootylicious” sweatpants and surrounded by Ipods, bongs, ball caps and frozen pizzas. I can only imagine what future scientists would make of it.

      Hope you are well Lily.

      Warm regards,

      Don

  18. 6:51 am

    Don my dear friend . . . you have once again put your experienced finger on the pulse of what’s wrong with the world today, and it’s bigger than the both of us. They will most certainly die on a pile of useless crap — an overpriced coffin and commercialized after-life — with a piece of real estate that only a coffin and curious gopher could love. I’m gonna be fried and dumped back to where I came, which will still be spinning out of control. The only just reward is that — no matter how loud and spoiled they become — the little crappers are still gonna face death like you and me. HA! How novel . . . an even playing ground. Welcome to where you and I will be, Don. This is one discomfort the little fu*%ers can’t avoid.

    • 7:55 pm

      Many thanks Dan,

      I suspect they may already be looking for ways to purchase eternal life (provided that they can do it with no money down, no payments until 2014 and no interest).

      Good to hear from you Dan.

      All the best,

      Don

  19. 6:54 am

    All this year round materialism is ruining Christmas; that time of year when we are supposed to empty our wallets and indebt ourselves for years to come. My kids got jack this year for Christmas because they have 2 of everything. It used to be I didn’t know what to buy my parents since they had everything, but now my parents have new hobbies so they got gifts and my kids got a home cooked meal. No lie, I bought my son a ham for Christmas.

    • 7:59 pm

      Many thanks Yellowcat,

      I think that’s a very sensible approach to Christmas. Dare I ask how the lad responded to getting a ham? Personally, I’d be thrilled. Much better than the damned pair of bicycle shorts I received. What the Hell is that? Actually, now that I think of it, I’m going to have to write a post about how to buy an appropriate gift for an old man.

      All the best,

      Don

      • 12:40 am

        My son was thrilled with the ham. It was a spiral cut and glazed with brown sugar.

        Bicycle shorts? Who would do such a thing?

        • 1:19 pm

          Odd isn’t it?

          Especially when you consider that I haven’t owned a bicycle in over 60 years.

          Don

  20. 9:39 am

    There were only five things we had to have as kids in my neighborhood, a baseball glove, a baseball (between 7 of us) a basketball (between us), a football (between us), and eventually when we hit the big time, a bike (bought from our paper route money). If it was rainy, we could go to the library and get a book to read. I not sure these kids nowadays even know how to read unless its ‘R U redy 2 get hi H8er?’ They’ll learn the hard way that plastic and gold will not make them happy for long.

    • 8:10 pm

      Very well said, Scott.

      We had a few sling shots and a couple of kites kicking around as well but you’ve summed it up well. The other big bonus was that you never had to worry about breaking or losing a $300 iphone or scuffing a $200 pair of sneakers. The worst thing that could happen to us was someone hit the pall out of the park and we lost it in the woods. While the old dad might not be pleased, he’d generally get us a new one – if only to be rid of us.

      All the best and thanks for stopping in.

      Don

  21. 11:37 am

    There was one phrase we heard all the time in my house, “You’ll get nothing and like it.” They were right about the first part.

    • 8:11 pm

      Thanks Fundamental Jelly,

      And the other classic “You’ll eat what I damned well put in front of you and be grateful for it.”

      Best regards,

      Don

      • 12:47 am

        And of course “people are starving in (insert whatever country)!”

  22. robinaltman permalink
    1:51 pm

    I’d laugh at this post, but I’m too busy trying to get my kids off their computers so we can go to the gym where they have a personal trainer session scheduled. Somebody shoot me. Pretty please. . .

    • 8:14 pm

      Dr Altman!

      Personal Trainers? Tell those lads to drop by my house. I’ll be happy to give them a snow shovel and a decent work out. I won’t even charge them for it. And if they are really serious about getting into top physical condition I may even allow them to reshingle my roof.

      All the best,

      Don

  23. Laura permalink
    4:34 pm

    I have to laugh at the image of your ‘wrinkly ass’ in a pair of 6x’s… that I’d like to see, please… send photo to: delicate54flower@yahoo.com

    • 8:16 pm

      Many thanks Laura,

      I asked Hattie if she’d be willing to snap a few poloroids but she turned an odd shade of green and said she needed to go home early. Too much valentine’s day chocolate I expect. I’ll try her again later this week.

      All the best,

      Don

  24. 5:14 pm

    If Abercrombie and Fitch sold a Moral Compass, today’s damned kids wouldn’t know how to use it.

    They’d be too busy looking for the GPS Ap, and trying to figure out how to text each other with it.

    • 8:20 pm

      Good to hear from you Friar,

      I suppose you’re right. And they’d probably return it because it’s broken and only points in one direction.

      I keep forgetting that frivolous skills like actually knowing how to read a compass are no longer needed.

      All the best,

      Don

  25. 6:16 pm

    We are not too materialistic……the things we need now are for our own survival.

    If we do not get these things now..we will be left behind. Do not blame us lol blame development and technology.

    • Cecilia permalink
      8:03 pm

      I’m sorry CorveDaCosta, but we won’t die without an iPhone or a pair of running sneakers… food, water and shelter are the only things we reaaly need to survive.

      I know you wrote to Don, but I couldn’t resist.

      • 8:22 pm

        Thank you Corve,

        I think Cecilia summed up my sentiments. And I’ve never understood this notion of being left behind….behind what? Where exactly is everyone going anyway? Last time I checked all the damned young people were still standing at the corner of my street smoking and punching each other in the arms.

        Anyway, good to hear from you Corve. Now put your shirt back on, this is a family blog.

        All the best,

        Don

    • The Celtic Queen permalink
      7:29 am

      Left behind in what? You’ve come this far and you’ve survived. You just think that but I’m sure you’d survive too. I think there’s a lot to be said about K.I.S. I’m over all of this technology business.
      I have a computer, a phone, a big TV, a car, but not the best of the best and none will be replaced now till they “blow up” The car is 12 years old The big TV 9 years old, computer was second hand and my phone well, I lost the other one so got a free one from Telsta. I don’t need everything “right now”.

      My daughter teaches and she’s sick of trying to get the kids to get the right books. They have the best pairs of runners (trainers), the best phones, the best sunnies and mum or dad pick them up in the best cars but ask them to spend $40.00 for a book which they need and they cry poor. As we say in Australia, our priorities are all up shit creek.

  26. Cecilia permalink
    7:59 pm

    Yes, when I was an undergraduate student I wore my father’s pants because I had no money to buy a pair for me. And my mom’s jeans. My female friends used to look at my male pants in a particuraly curious way, and one day a girls said: “I really love these original pants of your… very alternative… loose, with pockets on the back, interesting material… great!”. I replied: “That’s because they’re my dad’s”. Her muteness was a mix of admiration for my courage to wear and say that and despise for my poverty. :D

    Young people are materialistic because most parents today don’t know the right way to grow theirs kids… they give everythig the kids want and obey every single “order” so that their babies won’t cry.

    Very funny post, Don.

    Grande abraço.

    • 8:26 pm

      Thank you Cecilia,

      Good on you for not backing away or making excuses for wearing your old dad’s trousers. You have a great deal of character, Cecilia, you really do.

      Obrigado compartilhando dessa história comigo.

      Best regards,

      Don

    • 8:10 am

      I bet you look gorgeous in your father’s trousers Cecilia, like a tomboy Audrey Hepburn

      • 5:17 pm

        At the risk of allegations of an “ism”, I second nursemyra’s comment!

      • Cecilia permalink
        3:46 pm

        Hey Nursemyra, thanks. I really think I should wear men’s panties again. Audrey Hepburn would be so proud of me… (laughs)

  27. 9:24 pm

    When our son hit 16 and started growing like it was an Olympic sport, he and my husband had role reversal. Dad started wearing son’s hand-me-ups.

    Good attitude you’ve got about material things. Your way keeps you mobile, fancy free, and loose. (Assuming you stay out of those 6X’s–even if they’re Husky sized.) Besides, there’s no way. . . !

    (I saw Waking Ned Devine! Dear gawd!)

    • 5:18 pm

      “hand-me-ups” what a concept!

      • The Celtic Queen permalink
        4:07 am

        I noticed a guy the other day and I thought that instantly lol. He had on a crazy black red and white long sleeve T shirt on. It looked like it had Transformers on the front. Still wearing old man pants so I assumed he’d grabbed it out of the washing basket. First up best dressed scenario, either that his son had outgrown it and handed it “UP”.

    • 1:16 pm

      Thank you very much Merrilymarylee,

      Hand me ups? A novel idea and that’s for sure. And it would certainly explain some of the ridiculous outfits I’ve seen down at the seniors centre as of late.

      What the Hell does “Franky says Relax” mean anyway?

      Many thanks for visiting,

      Don

  28. 1:22 am

    Ever noticed the amount of stuff damned young people have in their oversized SUVs? Some of them have more stuff in their backseat than I have in my house.

    • 1:20 pm

      Very true Gurdas,

      And some of those damned SUVs are as big as my house. I tend to give them plenty of room on the road. I like big cars but if I’m going to get hit by some nincompoop on a cell phone I’d prefer he be driving a Neon.

      All the best,

      Don

  29. 3:14 am

    You hit the nail on the head. However, you should do it with a designer nail and a signature hammer.

    • 1:22 pm

      Thank you wrjones,

      Designer nails? I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised. Many thanks for stopping in.

      Best regards,

      Don

  30. Susi Spice permalink
    4:03 am

    i am with friggin loon. I am part of the generation considered Gen Y and my sister part of what is called Gen X. A lot of my friends grew up just like me where getting a present was a big deal because it wasnt a given that you would ever get anything. I grew up with my birthday presents being things like new bed sheets, pyjamas, socks, school pencils, undies (underwear) and the like. When i got to the age of 13 years and 9 months i went on my own after school to the local grocery store and got myself an after school job so I could buy the stuff i wanted. I have learnt to appreciate the things you work for and learned to appreciate the value of working for what you want. i have met people along the way who were brought up in the same manner but instead of appreciating the value of hard work and earning your wants and desires they are now having children and teaching them that they can get whatever they want if they just cry and throw tantrums. Birthday presents need to be bigger and better each occassion (birthday, easter, christmas, ‘special days’). When I have asked them why they spoil these kids their response is usually “because i wasnt spoiled when i was growing up so now I am giogn to do watever it takes to make sure my child never needs to feel that they are left behind, left out or go without”.

    quite frightening to think that a large generation is being taught that others will buy things for you because they should.

    A friend of mine has a sister who lives in another state and when her parents call her to visit they ask “so when can we see you” and her reply is always “depends how much you gonna buy for me” and it is not a joke, she will only see her parents if they are willing to spend money on her, buying label clothing, shoes, jewellery… her parents laugh it off saying “i love her, she is so honest”… i dont know about you but i think they are little bit blind on that note.

    • The Celtic Queen permalink
      7:43 am

      I agree with you Susi. I think I said before I’m a twin and we didn’t have a lot growing up either. We were quite poor and my twin adopted that “we didn’t have it so they can” attitude. OMG her two daughters are the laziest God damned girls you could ever meet. One is a nurse and finished the day she finished the course. The other is well , nothing and has been on the dole 18 years already. She was going to be a “MODEL”. Two a penny in her day but did pole dancing for “EXERCISE”. She did work in a bar of some sort and was assured it was all above board. Yeah right! Still lives with mum and dad and always getting handouts. They used to say I was hard on my kids but like you they got jobs at 15 and never asked me for pocket money. They bought clothing, tickets to see bands, presents for friends and family , nothing too extravagant but learned the value of working for a $$$. I think tough love is the best love. Nothing for nothing.

      • Susi Spice permalink
        2:13 pm

        seems we are of a dying breed guys

    • 1:30 pm

      Many thanks Susi,

      A little bit blind? I’d be prepared to go a tad further than that. How about “out of their god damned minds.” And the girl sounds like a miserable piece of work too.

      I cringe at the notion of an entire generation of these overindulged, mollycoddled brats. I can only imagine what this country is going to be like in 20 years.

      Thank God I won’t be here to see it.

      Thanks very much Susi. Always a pleasure to hear from you.

      Best regards,

      Don

  31. DJ Mills permalink
    5:03 pm

    I never had anything growing up. And when I say that, I mean nothing. I felt lucky if I got more than a generic hot dog on piece of folded stale bread. All my clothes were handed down from my older brother, who’s clothes were down from our dad, and most of that came from his dad. In fact, I still have and wear my grandfathers old London Fog rain coat. It gets many, many compliments and is in better shape than any new crap Wal-Mart brand, despite the fact its nearly 50 years old. I had to work and hustle for everything. I had a neighborhood job every season of the year. Shoveling snow, shoveling mulch, mowing grass, and raking leaves. That was all before my first real job, which I got at the age of 12. I was a golf caddy. The minimum age was 13, but they let me slide. I got paid $10 cash for lugging golf clubs for 3 to 5 hours, plus a tip if I did a good job. I was damn proud of that job. I haven’t stopped working sense. So you ask what I did with this money? I gave most of it to my parents so we didn’t end up sleeping on a park bench. Sure, I kept $3 and borrowed my rich friends bike so I could ride it 5 miles across town for a soda and candy bar, but that’s the only thing I kept for myself. Any change I had got put in the bank. I make a decent living nowadays, but I still live a very humble life. I go out of my way to spoil my wife, but I only buy the minimum what I need for myself, and stick the rest in an interest bearing savings account. Then I see my old friends and co-workers spending $3,000 on a new TV because its 2 inches bigger than the one they already have. Then I saw this article, the latter half rendered me disgusted, ashamed and nearly speechless:

    http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1838306,00.html

    • 1:43 pm

      Many thanks D.J.

      An excellent essay, young man, and one that your peers would be wise to study.

      While it’s unfortunate that you had to struggle a bit as a lad, it’s clear you’ve used that experience well and learned from it. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders, D.J.

      Again, well done and thank you for sharing that.

      Best regards,

      Don

      p.s. I have a London Fog coat myself. I have no idea when I bought it but it was at least 30-40 years ago. Hang on to yours – if you care for them properly they’ll last forever.

      p.s.s. that time magazine photo gallery is too damned much. Unbelievable actually.

  32. 8:53 pm

    Mr Mills

    Where did you find out about Abercrombie and Fitch….I thought you did your shopping at the Five and Dime afterwards buying a bicarbonate with your brother York. Young folk are just paranoid they will not have enough is all. They need more commen sense i agree but that comes with age..but you already know that. Hope all is well with you…zman sends

    • 1:46 pm

      Nice to hear from you Zman,

      I’d love to do my damned shopping at the Five and Dime but they keep getting replaced with outlet malls stuffed to the rafters with ridiculous shops like Baby Gap, Abercrombie and Fitch and Urban Outfitters. I sure as Hell am not interested in buying 16 different styles of “low rider” jeans.

      All the best Zman,

      Don

  33. 9:14 pm

    Don,

    Havng seen enough episodes of ¨Sweet 16″ this past week to last a lifetime (what can I say, it`s the only thing on TV over here) I can say without question that you are 100% correct.

    Kids these days are just way too materialistic. No longer can they be happy just to have the regular iPhone, now they have to have the iPhone covered in Swarovski crystals with a matching Faberge egg carrying case. And a Lamborghini? Forget about it. Nowadays it has to be a Porsche Carrerra GT with Danicka Patrick behind the wheel, or they´re taking the bus.

    When will the materialism ever end, Don?

    When???

    ??

    (No rush, Don…just let me know whenever you get a chance)

    Like I always say, you are wiser than your years, Mr. Mills. And considering how many of them you currently have under your belt (the same one holding up your 6x pants, I might add), that´s saying a hell of a lot.

    …Too much, almost.

    Tu amiga,
    Bschooled

    • 2:49 pm

      Many thanks Bschooled,

      I have no idea what “Sweet 16’ is, am unfamiliar with swarovski crystals and haven’t a clue who or what a Danicka Patrick might be but I don’t like the sound of any of it. It’s sounds excessive, unnecessary and suspiciously Eastern European. A dangerous combination at the best of times.

      As to when it will end. My guess is that it will end when the seniors of this country finally rise up from their recliners, take to the streets and start doling out the serious cane-whacking that these young people so desperately need.

      I have it down for Thursday at 7 but it’s been rescheduled before so don’t hold me to it.

      Tu amiga back at you,

      Don

  34. 9:37 pm

    Dead on, Don.

    Kids want too much these days and I lay the blame solely on their slightly-older and only slightly-less materialistic parents.

    Why, I’m raising a batch of my own that have 4-5x the amount of stuff that I had growing up. I’m trying to give them the life I didn’t have growing up in a family with nine kids.

    First off, I only have three kids. I’m not sure if this actually “gives” them anything, but it does make things more manageable.

    After that, it boils down to whatever will entertain them for up to and including fifteen minutes.

    And that is the secret of good parenting. Feel free to pass this advice on with your usual wisdom, Don. Those trapped somewhere between the useless young people and the brusque, theiving touch of a live-in caretaker need all the help they can get.

    • 4:20 pm

      Many thanks CLT,

      Slightly older and slightly less materialistic parents are just another shade of young person to me so I’ll be happy to lay the blame there as well. As long as I can pin it on someone I’m happy.

      I still don’t believe that you need to give sprogs video games and fancy telephones in order to keep them manageable, though. My parents always said that nothing kept kids in line better than vigorous exercise, ample chorse and liberal doses of cough syrup.

      All the best, CLT, and good luck with those young ones.

      Don

  35. Clifton L. Tanager permalink
    10:22 pm

    Don -

    Damn straight on these spoiled children and their spoiled parents! In a world where too much is never enough, you’re a breath of non-spoiled fresh air.

    Back in my day, my parents stretched every penny to make sure we had almost enough to survive. In fact, it was a matter of pride with our household to see just how little we could get by on.

    “Keeping up with the Joneses” was much different in my day. Arlen and Edna Jones in particular were always lording their poverty over the rest of us, rubbing our noses in their self-denial and dirt flooring.

    Soon it became a dizzying spiral of oneupmanship with the hated Joneses. If they decided four kerosene lamps was one too many, we got rid of ours and traded down to candles or piles of phosphorous.

    If they felt the woolen blanket took too much of the subzero chill out of the air at night, we’d move our cots to the yard and sleep in the nude, having donated our burlap pajamas to the less-fortunate but better-off neighbors down the street.

    If they felt that the 4th grade was just “showing off,” our parents would yank us out of our respective classes and bludgeon us with 2×4′s until we “regressed” to a 2nd-grade education.

    Unfortunately, the only sibling to make it to college slipped into a coma. However, seventeen years later he awoke to find that he no longer remembered English, math or his first name. Take that, Arlen and Edna!

    These days I can still count my worldy possessions on one hand, or used to be able to. I found that 4 fingers and a thumb was a tad ostentatious and removed a couple in what was termed an “industrial accident.” Looks like I’ll need to do a little “interior decorating.”

    Take care, Don. Looking forward to your next post, which I shall be reading with my one remaining eye. (I decided I needed to keep the lamp.)

    • 2:29 pm

      You’re an original, Clifton.

      What a wonderful and stirring comment.

      I just wish there was some way that you could share this kind of decent common sense and gruesome life lesson with the young folks directly. I think every high school class in the country should get a visit from Clifton L. Tanager. Classical wisdom delivered by a frightening one-eyed former war hero with an unostentatious hand is exactly what these kids have been lacking for entirely too long.

      You’d be doing your country a service if you’d consider it.

      My sincere thanks. Clifton. Always a pleasure to have you visit.

      Don

  36. 10:42 pm

    Ohh, Don!

    You are so right in this post. But as many have previous mentioned: greed comes in all sizes and ages, not just the youngest generation. I have written an essay on the subject, but in Norwegian… I might translate it and put it on my blog sometime, but translated things are never the same…

    Anyway, about greed: if you see the movie WALL-E, you will see what might happen if we don’t stop. The people continue to use all the recourses on earth and polluting it so much that no life can exist on earth. And they just run away in a spaceship. After several generations in this spaceship the people only communicate with and/or through machines! They are all fat, have almost no bones left since they have stopped to move completely, and never look up from the TV-screen, even when they receive they standard nutrient shake. And the children are raised up by robots!

    And that is a scary thought!

    The only thing people should buy more is books. That will train the brain, and maybe the brain will start to function and do the things it was supposed to do: thinking….

    Hoping for a more “booky” future!

    1zzy

    PS: The trailer to the movie, it doesn’t show the things I mentioned:

    • 4:59 pm

      Many thanks 1zzy,

      If you do translate that post, please let me know, I’d be very interested in reading it.

      I haven’t seen the movie WALL-E. I generally don’t care for any animation that came later than “Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid” and have an unnatural fear of robots. Still, based on your review, I may just have to give it a try. It sounds like just kind of cautionary take I might enjoy.

      Thanks again for visiting, 1zzy. Always a treat to hear from you.

      Don

  37. Illwisherinattic permalink
    7:42 pm

    Kids these days have it too easy! I remember the old days of shoe shining for 8 hours straight before we even got to open the butter in our pockets we had for lunch. Of course it was mostly melted by then but by golly we licked that wrapper clean for our daily nourishment.

    And sports! Where do these pads and helmets come from? When we were real young men and women who had thrice the gall you see in kids today, they would just toss us onto the ice rink barefooted. If we stopped moving then our feet just froze down and there were no ice chippers to get us off. Talk about excercise. None of this new fangled running machines or stair masters. And if they caught us slacking off then just threw a fresh shark onto the ice. Oh it would squirm and bite and every so often get a tasty snack out of the slowest of us. Now they watch TV while on their bow flexes.

    Keep up the good writing Mr. Mills.

    • 5:01 pm

      Many thanks Illwisherinattic,

      Always nice to hear from someone with some damned common sense. A wonderful comment and I appreciate your sharing it with me.

      Best regards,

      Don

  38. 1:51 pm

    And they want every damn thing right now. Not tomorrow: right now. During the Summers of my youth, mom would kick me out of the house, shoes or no shoes, with a paper bag with a sandwich, an apple and maybe a bag of chips, and told not to return until dinner time. And that was after I did my chores, which better get done, or dad would whip my deserving butt. Try that today, and jail time awaits. This generation of wimps and whiners is going to be the death of this country yet.

    • 5:05 pm

      Jammer!

      Nice to hear from you, lad. I hope you’re keeping well. I was also raised with the dawn to dusk approach. Out at first light and you didn’t dare come back until you heard your old mom calling your name for dinner. (We did sometimes pop back in for lunch but that was generally just to run in, collect and sandwich and take it back outside).

      Thanks for visiting,

      Don

  39. Shafali permalink
    4:54 am

    Dear Mr. Mills,

    Your posts open the floodgates!

    You are absolutely right. The young are materialistic – but probably because they’ve got access to more “material”. I remember when I was a child, I had a metal pencil box that I used year after year, until I grew up and needed a bigger pencil box (As an artist, I still carry about four dozen pencils around – but now I need a barrel to transport them.) What I was saying was – the metal pencil box was strong and sturdy – it lasted me eight years and with each passing year, the box became more precious to me.

    Now, we’ve got pencil boxes made of plastic – they look pretty, but they are fragile. They are supposed to break so that new boxes are bought (on the cost of adding inorganic waste to the environment – but it ends up making the manufacturers rich!)

    So the question hidden behind the youth’s propensity to be materialistic is – what is the root cause?

    Running for cover as I await your caustic and crabby response!

    PS: Julia Roberts’ Caricature is up. Our New-Age Internet Service Provider has reneged on the promise that our connection could be transferred anywhere in the city – and so it could be a while before I’d be truly cyber-active again! Another problem with these young people is – They can’t keep their promises…Dammit!

    Warm Regards,
    Shafali

    • 8:52 pm

      Many thanks Shafali,

      You are absolutely right that things are not built to last anymore. It seems like we’ve gotten to the point where we absolutely expect that anything we buy will be faulty when purchased, broken beyond repair in 3 months and technically obsolete within 6 months. Sure, the manufacturers love it but they aren’t going to stop until we take a stand and say enough is enough.

      Lovely work on the Julia Roberts. I do hope your internet issues get sorted out shortly.

      All the best,

      Don

      Lovely work on the Julia Roberts Caricature.

      • Shafali permalink
        6:37 am

        Thanks:) Mr. Mills,

        I shall eagerly await your remarks on the custom-made Pierced Being Caricature. If you’d like a high-res image of the caricature (for the simple reason that your post inspired it,) let me know. I’ll send you a pdf document with the actual image included within.

        Looking forward to your next post.

        Warm Regards,
        Shafali

  40. Aunt Mary Gilchrist permalink
    2:25 pm

    Dear Mr. Mills,

    Although I agree that today’s youth are troubled, I agree with neither your tone nor you use of colourful language. You of all people should know that in our day if you went around using such terms as, well, “G.. d…” and “wrinkly a..” you’d be put in the circle with the nonbelievers.

    You need to mind your tongue and start giving the youth of today a good example to follow. As a veteran school teacher of some sixty-three years I don’t mind telling you that, had you shown up at Sir John Joseph Caldwell Public School with your vocabulary, you’d have been wearing the dunce cap for the entire school year and, were I your teacher, you’d have learned to use respectful language.

    Now as for the youth and their troubles; it seems to me it’s the watching of too much television and the eating of too much junk food that’s at the heart of it all. Why I was at the grocers just the other day and I counted no less that eight different kinds of chocolate biscuits alone – never mind every kind of sweet spread for bread including half a dozen sweet treacles. In my day there was but one – Lyell’s Golden syrup and it showed up on our breakfast table on Sunday and Easter morning before church.

    Put this together with the lotteries and you have a really troubled youth. And the government doesn’t give a tinker’s damn.

    • 8:42 pm

      Many thanks Aunt Mary Gilchrest,

      I apologize if you found my colorful language offensive. I can assure you that back when I was a lad I was much more careful with my words. If I had ever cursed in the classroom, my old teacher Mrs. Ingersoll would have caned me, whacked my knuckles with a ruler and then beaten me into unconsciousness with the Old Testament.

      It was only after I retired that I felt I had earned the right to say whatever the Hell I want in whatever form I see fit.

      As for the dunce cap, it likely would have been appropriate on a number of occasions but it generally tended to end up atop my classmate Art Spoy. He was an unusual lad – he used to eat his pencil when he got nervous and occasionally broke into song for no reason.

      Lovely to hear from you Aunt Mary. It’s always nice to hear from a senior, especially one with a healthy distaste for bad language and variety in chocolate biscuits.

      All the best,

      Don

  41. 5:59 pm

    Yep, young people are too materialistic. So are middle aged and old people nowadays, I’m afraid, as many other of your commenters have noted. What amazes me is that these kids are wandering through the malls with credit cards that their parents provided them, talking on phones that their parents pay for, etc. And the parents are working their fannies off trying to pay for all that without ever even considering exercising the most difficult to pronounce word in the English language: “NO.”

    I have far too much stuff, I admit. The problem is that Jim is no longer in the Navy and we are not getting moved from pillar to post every two years , an activity that will encourage you to consolidate your stuff. Now we are settled down and yesterday as I was vacuuming it occurred to me that moving would be an absolute nightmare at this point.

    • 10:49 pm

      Nice to hear from you healingmagichands,

      I was trying to think of how old I was when I got my first credit card. I know I was well into my late 20s, perhaps even early 30s. And I’m quite sure that the bills came directly to me. Thankfully, I never developed a taste for shopping or credit.

      I remember moving once (before I was married) and being able to get all of my worldly possessions into a small automobile. There is something to be said for a simple life.

      All the best,

      Don

  42. 7:50 pm

    If black is the new douchebag then 20 is the new asshole.

    • 8:40 pm

      I’m obviously going to need an updated Mirriam-Webster’s Blank is the New Blank. I’ve still got “folk rock duos” as the new black and “C.F. Cussler” as the new asshole.

      • 10:51 pm

        Ha! The Compact Oxford English Dictionary’s Blank is the new Blank lists “operatic steampunk” as the new black and “Chad Kroeger’s penis” as the new asshole.

    • 10:53 pm

      I never understand what the Hell you two are talking about but I can see I’m going to need to get me one of those dictionaries.

      I checked the post it note on the fridge and I still have “buying war bonds” is the new black and that “Spiro Agnew” as the new ass.

    • 1:13 am

      Ha! and double-ha!

      Don, you definitely need a new one. The post-war edition indicates that “shorting war bonds” is the new black. No change on the Agnew=ass, however.

      Alan – I think you may have a better edition. Those slackers down at Mirriam-Webster have “lo-fi” as the new black and Courtney Cobain as the new asshole. I think they may have gone out of business at some point…

      • 2:45 am

        I think it was when they hired Edna as a fact checker. She was the plucky gal who advised them that “Whitey” was the new black and “hip swiveling, jive-talking, smelly hippies” were the old assholes. She was right. But it cost her, and Mirriam-Webster, their livelihood.

  43. lianamerlo permalink
    8:15 pm

    After your hobbling reference, I imagine your mother to look like the spitting image of Kathy Bates.

  44. 3:08 pm

    My wardrode is 50% hand overs…and I love my clothes. I try to be thrifty and not get things to collect dust or will not be used all my life.

  45. devyani permalink
    1:17 pm

    mr. don,
    i m a teen too but what i think is dat elder people r solely responsible for making us seem and giving us dis name tag of being “insane”
    in the support of my given statement mister donald…..i would ask u a few things…..who r the ones manufacturing drugs? who r the ones making those music videos or lets say the so called channels which instill negative values in our youth….????who designs clothes which look horrible to u all???? who is responsible for launching ads which say dat “dis is what makes u cool”???everyone knows dat it cant be US….
    it is not the fault of tender minded n vulnerable youth here….it is the profit oriented elderlies..
    blaming the youth is not right….we where not born with these values….they r being instilled through our lifetime’s experiences which things like MEDIA give us n bombard us with exposure which believe me is very very tempting at this age

  46. 6:03 pm

    You are of course correct in all respects. I note, however, that our parents (and probably also yours) could and did say exactly the same things about us.

  47. Anonymous permalink
    5:09 am

    Dear Sir,
    I am also dismayed by all the many things that are required to occupy every waking second
    of every waking hour of everyone under 40. Now if any of this landfill actually worked as advertised, it might be worth a moment of my attention. I am so very frustrated with the idiotic advertising that accompanies these asinine accessories that promises 100% satisfaction, then small prints them to hell. Sorry about the swearing.
    I hope my little rant finds you well. Keep up the great writing.
    Sincerely,
    Ron Parker

  48. 3:46 pm

    Blame wild capitalism and planned obsolescence.

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