Talking about my generation… Your generation…

The idea has been around forever in some form…

“My Generation” appeared on The Who’s debut album of the same name. It was released as a single on 5th November 1965, reaching No. 2 in the UK charts and 74 in the US. “My Generation” was recently named the 11th greatest song by Rolling Stone magazine on their list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

Well I almost am in THAT generation, commonly known as Boomers.

That’s American of course, and I prefer “War Baby” to “Silent Generation”! You see, I AM a War Baby!

That’s me front left. My Uncle in the back row is in RAAF uniform. It is before the end of the war. 

So I am not a Boomer. In fact I am also somewhat sceptical about the whole concept, as I noted on Facebok yesterday. Referring to Baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z labels: Necessary or nonsense? — a 2020 Conversation post I said:

Glad I found this as I have a blog post in mind. I think they are just a marketing tool and largely nonsense, as one who is too old even to be a Boomer! (War baby, me!)

First they do not work outside the bubble of our own culture. Second when you reflect that Boomer finds commonality between Pauline Hanson and Archie Roach, the anti-war protesters and the supporters of and participants in the Vietnam War, Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard….

You might conclude that astrological signs and phrenology are more convincing!

I was contemplating (this) blog post after watching this excellent video by a most talented young Australian organist and composer:

To me that is as much about him as an individual as it is about supposed characteristics of people born in the years that define Gen Z or Zoomers. Wikipedia offers extensive material but one summary version says “What is Generation Z age range? Gen Z: Gen Z is the newest generation, born between 1997 and 2012.”

Of course there are differences between generations.

But let’s see what happens when we go a comparatively short distance from our own culture — to Russia for example. The majority of those young Russian vloggers I have been discovering in recent months are “Generation Z” — though I suspect they would avoid that term as Z has acquired rather different meanings in the past year! Zack the Russian (just turned 21) instantly comes to mind, and he in turn has pointed to an even younger vlogger who in fact is a Year 9 student in a Moscow school!

As I said about that on Facebook:

Fascinating — and she is a Year 9 student! Like Leo Puglisi! Came to her via this Community note from Zack: Zack the Russian — 2 hours ago — “While I’m being absent on my own YouTube channel, Nastia Zik and me filmed a video discussing our experience of the school education in Russia. Check it out!”

Nastia Zik @NastiaZik 2.15K subscribers

Description

My name is Nastia. I live in Moscow, Russia. I am interested in politics, history, urban studies and literature, and I want to develop and learn new things together. I run an English-language channel, where I tell what’s going on in the world in simple and understandable ways

She treads a risky path in some of her posts, as in this one where she carefull avoids saying certain dangerous things but her attitude is as clear as a bell! A very remarkable young person. Both she and Zack seem to have in common a resistance to the propaganda whuch appears to shape the views of so many. Technology has given them access to worlds of ideas, which they seek out diligently. Both also seem to have strongly developed “crap detectors” — to borrow a phrase I recall from Neil Postman — a bit of a guru in my teaching days..

(Paper, Delivered at the National Convention for the Teachers of English [NCTE], November 28, 1969, Washington, D.C.)

With a title like this, I think I ought to dispense with the rhetorical amenities and come straight to the point. And I almost will. Almost, because I want to make two brief comments about the title. For those of you who do now know, it may be worth saying that the phrase, “crap-detecting,” originated with Mr. Ernest Hemingway who when asked if there were one quality needed, above all others, to be a good writer, replied, “Yes, a built-in, shock-proof, crap detector.” I am sure he was right…

Titus, the young Australian whose reflections on being Generation Z triggered this post, is another remarkable young person, albeit 9 years older than Nastia and from a different milieu which in his case includes Wollongong!

Here in Oz we do in fact have a bit of a parallel to Nastia in Leo Puglisi, who runs a news channel and news site at the age now of 15! He has been doing it for around three years though. See my May 2022 post Amazing Aussie teens have started a news channel — and score interviews with the leaders of the land!

Now our Prime Minister of course — that is Anthony Albanese, not Leo. After al Leo is too young to vote yet!

Yesterday was — I hope — a day that will shine brightly in Australia’s sometimes very sorry history

As this one did. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island friends are advised this post contains images and voices of people who have passed.

In Cronulla in 1967 I voted YES in that referendum. It was the first year that I had the vote too.

27 May 1967, Aboriginal activist Faith Bandler pictured at Sydney Town Hall where people were voting in a referendum on whether to give Aboriginal people the right to vote on…. A sweeping majority of Australians, more than 10-1, voted in favour of the referendum on Aboriginal franchise — the biggest ‘YES” vote in the history of Commonwealth referenda.
[Photo by George Lipman » Fairfax Archives]

I met her twenty years later at a Politics in the Pub night at the Harold Park Hotel in Sydney. Had quite a chat with her. Lovely person.

For many of us, especially me, 1988 brought revelation and reflection. I marched with these people on Australia Day 1988:

Promises were made that year, and while there was progress one major promise was not kept.

Another great moment. I missed this one, though I lived not far away!

Challenges upon challenges remained — but there was also progress.

I was in this crowd at The Block in Redfern in February 2008:

13 February 2008: just back from The Block in Redfern

At least 1,000 people stood in the pouring rain at Redfern’s famous Block and watched on the big screen as Kevin Rudd moved the motion of Apology. I would not have missed it for quids!

Next to me an Aboriginal woman in her thirties or forties, her tears blending with the rain.

Cheers and a standing ovation greeted Kevin Rudd’s speech.

We didn’t get to hear the middle section of Dr Nelson’s speech as at that point the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, was speaking to us live.

However, the symbolism near the end of Rudd and Nelson jointly presenting to the Speaker the gift from the Stolen Generations spoke to all our hearts.

Yes there have been problems and reverses since then — many disappointments, wrong paths taken, targets not attained. But there were many who dared to hope and to find ways to make the dream of reconciliation a reality. The great meeting at Uluru was one such rime.

And yesterday at the Garma Festival our Prime Minister spoke words of hope but also of a practicable plan. A great day.

“Do you support an alteration to the Constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?”

YES! YES! YES!

Exactly as I supported in 1967 in the first referendum I could vote in the proposition made there. As did almost every person in Australia! The Prime Minister did address the doubts of those who say they are tired of mere symbolism — which includes quite a few conservatives both “white” and Indigenous. Essentially he said walking and chewing gum at the same time is perfectly possible, that working towards a Voice to Parliament does not preclude reforms that have practical impacts on lives. In fact, a Voice would ensure that such practical reforms are more likely to be better targeted as a result of a Voice.

“Respectfully, purposefully we are seeking to secure support for the question and the associated provisions in time for a successful referendum, in this term of parliament.

“If not now, when.” Mr Albanese said.

The PM is also calling on the Opposition and the cross-bench to embrace the proposal and throw their support behind the government.

Let me share one comment that just appeared on ABC Online:

Weeping with relief and hope for this beloved Country. RESPECT 🖤💛❤️ and LOVE

– Margaret Healy

YES! YES! YES!

RIP Archie Roach 1956-2022

Time to get back to important matters — like footy tipping, which turns political…

I decided inspired madness was as good a method as any, so here are my tips for Round 12.

This guy is much more daring, even predicting scores!

It is a special round actually, honouring our First Australians. This is taken very seriously, nowhere more so than in South Sydney.

It is even more special now that we have a government that will implement the wonderful Uluru Statement from the Heart, led by a Prime Minister who is South Sydney through and through!

Consider our Prime Minister’s history too when it comes to the Rabbitohs. At the time when the club was on the brink of extinction the young Albanese defended it even in the Parliament. Read the background story.

We all know of ScoMo and Cronulla Sharks, and I will grant that he is a genuine fan. But he would be incapable of the passion and vision in this speech by one who would 23 years later bring him down and become Prime Minister of a grateful country.

And on the significance alluded to in that speech, and on what lies behind the Indigenous Round, see Anthony Albanese below, followed by another famous Australian speaking on our Indigenous TV Channel, NITV about last year’s Grand Final.

Sadly the Bunnies did not win that Grand Final, but Albo did eventually win the Prime Ministership!

And they didn’t win last week either. Here are my Round 11 tips.

Albanese was sworn in, I slept in, FB supplied this post…

I, Anthony Norman Albanese do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will well and truly serve the Commonwealth of Australia, her land and her people in the office of prime minister.


I meanwhile just managed to wake up this morning in time to turn on the TV to see this! The night before — Election Night — I had slept very little, but perhaps the election outcome was the balm my spirits needed and last night I slept like a baby — well an edging towards 80-year-old baby!

Then this morning on Facebook the memory elves threw up a clutch of pics that provide today’s nostalgic post.

May 2018: While they finish recarpeting, City Diggers is serving lunch upstairs. And I — getting old, my friends!
My grandfather Roy Hampton Christison, my grandmother Ada (nee Hunter) and my Uncle Roy Hampton Christison Jr. Wartime street photo.
My maternal great-grandmother, Sophia Jane (or Jean) Christison (nee Lillie 1858-1952) — colourisation worked well on this one. She was in her 90s and decorated this cake. And yes, I remember her.
Brat Neil in March 1949 gatecrashing my sister and her friends — the house on Auburn Street Sutherland behind us, L-R Connie Phipps, Jeanette (her 9th birthday this was), Gail Macnamara (her front yard), Deirde Hawke, All Auburn Street kids.