Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A picture I saw on /b/...

At first blush, it's pretty disrespectful; making duckface at the Vietnam Memorial?

But look at it a bit longer, and it kinda sums up the differences between the generation before mine and the generation after it. Some of those names on that wall weren't much older than her. They were compelled by their government to fight and die half the world away. She's... well, not.

Which means, in a sense, that the world has become a better place, I think. An inevitable aspect of better circumstances is a lack of understanding of the worse circumstances that preceded it. This is why the older generation is always like "Well in my day, we didn't have X, Y and Z..." and the younger generation blows them off. The young don't understand (unless they're in a job like mine, or at least paid attention in history class) and the old are frustrated that their sacrifices have created spoiled brats that can't relate to them. It's mutual incomprehensibility... a generation gap.

It's always been thus, and always shall it ever be. The girl in the photo will probably grow up and have children, and they'll have children, and maybe one day her grandkids will do whatever childish fad is popular at the feet of the Afghan War Memorial, a war where she remembers some of her friends' friends died, and she'll be on the other side. But I can't hate her; what she does is probably out of blithe ignorance, not malice or unconcern.

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