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December 02, 2013



Being of a similar age, this got me thinking about Chris Tavare, a much maligned player (or so it seems as I approach 50).

"He announced himself in just his second test, scoring 42 in five hours against the West Indies... Since that Caribbean attack featured Holding, Roberts, Garner and Croft there’s a mad bloody-mindedness to exposing yourself to terror for so long for so few runs."



You're right. He was a much more fluent batsman for Kent than he was for England. Scoring slowly is better than not scoring at all - a fact some modern batsmen could learn. (When you get past 50 you'll turn into Fred Trueman too).


Yes, I saw him for Kent. In my excitement about Tavare (not a common phrase), I forgot to say I liked the post and congrats on surviving to 50.

Churm Rincewind

Certainly age determines outlook. But I think only partially, at least in the way you describe. For example, I can't see that it's a "defining characteristic" of your generation that popular culture matters. Every generation thinks that, and takes it for granted that its own youthful experience of popular culture is in some way uniquely important, revealing, and insightful. Well, it's not.

What age does bring, I believe, is a "been there, done that" scepticism to life in general. There was a time when the only important issue, according to activists, was nuclear proliferation (remember CND?). We got bored with that one, and decided that the overwhelming problems were all environmental (remember how we all wanted to save the rainforests?). Now global warming has taken centre stage as the biggest threat to our planet. Oh really? What happened to the rainforests? No-one much cares about that any more.

I leave to to others to judge whether age brings perspective or cynicism. A bit of both, I suspect.


Churm, I have to disagree. If you read ancient texts on Roman Emperors, there's plenty on how depraved and brutal they were. Pre WW2 historians generally thought these were exaggerations - they were quasi British gents after all. Post WW2 historians tended to think "yup, they were probably that bad."

No comment on which were right - just the influence of their formative years.


Nice follow on to your earlier post "Stagnation: all in the mind?"

Happy Birthday, you curmudgeonly old git, not that it is your fault!


"we are apt to misunderstand each other."

This is a sure sign of aging. A young man wants to challenge the old farts; he cares little about misunderstandings among generations.

Happy birthday!


Congrats on the milestone.

I think you can layer on other issues beyond recession.
Different generations experience different abundances and shortages.
It's really hard to understand the impact of that.


One thing that defines us a lot is: did we live through the age of 'Thatcherism' and it's Neo-liberalism which was once called the 'bourgeios counter revolution'. That gives us perspective -as that right wing Conservatism shattered the social democratic model & Keynesian model; it showed there was a class war led by the rich & wealthy and in its wake was to come less welfare, less respect for public servants, more inequality, high unemployment etc., But also and so important but least acknowledged the triumph of their hegemony througth the right wing tabloids which worshipped Thatcherism and helped win four Tory elections. It left us bitter.

Alan Peakall

As another of the mid nineteen sixties birth cohort, my own candidate for the list of our defining formative experiences would be that of arriving at adolescence to encounter an adult establishment that was in the process of embarking on its own generational civil war as the 68ers started their long march through the institutions.

I can clearly recall from my own school days the way in which we would feign social reaction for the benefit of our younger English teacher and gritty proletarianism for her older counterpart.


Yeah - recognise a fair bit of that. Two quibbles:

a) You're not too old to have absorbed American spelling conventions. Offense? Offence...

b) The Smiths were and are deeply evil and the deference shown to the crypto-fascist Morrisey by people our age is one of the things that makes me think the kids are alright. (Although entirely in agreement over Debbie Harry, obviously.)

The tattoos thing is interesting. Bikers, military and criminals had tattoos when we were lads. The extent to which it's almost entirely a celeb-inspired thing under-estimated?


Oh, and happy belated birthday, btw. x

Churm Rincewind

Luke, that's exactly my point. The older you get, the more you live through different sets of consensus. At one time the Roman Emperors were thought to be essentially good chaps, at another they were considered depraved and brutal.

If you're old enough to have lived through both (equally convincing) sets of opinions, you tend to be sceptical of both.

Churm Rincewind

Oh, and Shuggy, there is no point to be made about tattoos apart from noting that at one time they did indeed have meaning by way of various maritime/criminal/etc connotations, but now they don't. They're simply part of fashion - the supermarket of signs.

A similar example would, I guess, be earrings for men. At one time they were a sure and intended indication of homosexuality. Now they're not.

But none of this "means" anything except that habits change.

Nick Rowe

Chris: "But I'm trying to get at something here - that we're not just products of our genes and/or class, but also of our age."

Hang on. There's age, and cohort. And a big multicolinearity problem distinguishing the two. I think you are talking about cohort.

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