Blindboy from the Rubber Bandits on last week’s Late Late Show
Frilly Keane writes:
Oh yeah. Inter 1983? Leaving Cert 1985? Then you’re My Generation. And we’d no doss year either. Transition Year ffs. We did our leaving cert 5 years after our Confirmation. Unless you were posh, and got to repeat.
I will give Blindbhoy the CAO form tho’. Ours was much easier to fill out. And the points. None of us managed points for +. And we never heard of Magaloof. But we all knew about sh1tty holiday jobs. Like veg picking, hotel cleaning, factory labouring —– Christ, Murphy’s Evergreen still haunts me.
My Generation know a lot about Corporal Punishment. D’ya know the spikey part of a biro cap? Did ya ever see that stick out of a 10 year old’s lip? Right Through. A smack of the Rolla will do that ya know. Do ya? The sheer thuggery of an Irish National School? But if you had, at least there was a first aid box handy, or some a Health & Safety Regulation lying around requiring a first aider to sort it.
My Generation got on planes too. An Ork return to Heathrow in April 1987 was One Hundred, and Thirty Six POUNDS and twenty two pee. That was two weeks wages. Unless you worked in Cashes. Then it was 2 n’ half.
We got the boat too. It was much cheaper, and you could hitch your way down to the terminal. £9.15 could have got ya on The Innisfallen to Swansea, a manky ferry that when it didn’t stink of Truckers’ sweat and industrial diesel, it ran with sick. And girls swamped in Parkas, sweating, with red eyes, green faces, bulging army slash school bags; crouched in corners with their faces to rumbling walls or thick windows if they got a seat. Sitting in the corridors pretending to be asleep if they didn’t.
These were the girls that were even too afraid to tell a friend. Too afraid of the sneering and mockery. Too afraid of the shame. Too afraid of their families. Too afraid of the nuns the priests and all grey buildings of statutory authority and assumed order. Too afraid of their employers. And some but still too many, too afraid of their teachers and classmates.
Your generation gets to be disgusted, disgusted that her baby would be labelled Illegitimate, and that girl would be classified as an unmarried mother by both generation’s Taxation System. But at least these girls got out.
My generation would all know a school pal who was sent to a Mother and Baby Home. What was the unforgivable Sex Before Marriage to my generation, is now being videoed by yours, on a phone. Liked and hashtagged. FFS.
My Generation learnt of AIDS as a disease spread by Durty Gay Men. And to don’t ever touch them. It’s catching. Did any of your generation be denied health care, a decent send off, and burial into their own family plot because of a virus infection? Did any of your generation be given medical advice by a religious order? Mine did.
My Generation did grow up tho’
We bought houses. In 1993/4 A purchase price of 28k (one bed workers cottage in D8), required almost 10k. In a time of zero first time buyers grants for 2nd hand, Stamp Duty and double digit interest rates. A time when if your wages were over 12.k per annum you were considered high rate earner. 65%. That’s why we all had Saturday jobs. I used to collect glasses in Bad Bobs. I don’t see Paddies doing that anymore.
The drive to Cork could take 6 hours but at least we didn’t need NCTs. I give your generation that crib. Nor did we suffer the pain of penalty points. So yeah, a Terrible infliction on you all. And the toll. Damn your generation and your tolls.
OK. I’m getting silly now. What’s p1ssed me off is that all your whinging and cribbing and finger pointing anti-neo liberal ranting is in the main, Financial.
My generation had nowhere near the opportunities. Our athletes didn’t have National Training Centres of Excellence or Olympic sized pools. My generation a mature student was your mam learning Spanish. My generation never had the ambition your generation has.
If it wasn’t bate out of us in schools it was crushed out of us by a society that was led by religious zealots, ruled by snobbery, and crippled by taxes and interest rates that your generation will never see the like of, and an inherent understanding that we were never good enough.
Look at Hollywood today. Paddies Ruling the Red Carpet. My generation Hollywood Paddies were the drunken cop, the pregnant mother of 12, or the crooked judge in the casting calls. Look at you? What global reception would Horse Outside have gotten in 1988? Naw’ mind local ffs. Peas or Beans was our lot. If you’d have asked me what an espresso was back then, I probably would has said its something my Nanna uses to clean her windows.
There was a time too, when my generation couldn’t afford a house, or have children. Do you really think corruption, jobs for the boys, banks robbery and secrecy is unique to your generation? What is unique is that your generation now get to complain about it on the telly.
I don’t begrudge you. I celebrate what your generation has added to my life. But I am the better for mine and vice versa. I saw The Clash. I was at the very first Sweat dance. I went to the US with a false passport and worked as a lifeguard in the American Coast Guard. Cork done the double.
My generation know how to write a letter, get a week out of a chicken, and what to do in a power cut. Your generation will most likely, never witness ten Irish Men starve themselves to death, or a Stardust, or another Ann Lovett.
So grow the fuck up
Repeal the 8th
Wrap yer plastic wrapper around that.
And shur’up about everything else.
Frilly Keane’s column will appear here every Friday. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane