It's a sad and sorry state of affairs when your prejudices get a nudge, and you start to realise that you've been just a tad moronic for far too many years.
I was driving home last night, being stunned by the politness and courtesy of Auckland's drivers, when I happened to glance at some strangely alien bright lights. Hoping to see a Spielberg-like spacecraft hovering on my left, I was momentarily disappointed to find that it was, in fact, a large netball complex. This complex is actually just a 500 or so metres away from my home, so I had seen it before. What I hadn't noticed before was the facility being actually used. And here it was: maybe eighteen or so netball clourts, crammed with Young People, all jumping about and keeping fit and being active. The fact that it was a filthy night, with a fitful cold rain and dismal wind, didn't seem to faze these Young People. I pressed the button that lowered the passenger window, and I heard something almost too appalling to report: the sounds of young people being cheerful, happy, and communicative. I hastily raised the window. The rain, you know. Being a careful driver - and noting that the road was very busy - I shut my gaped mouth, and continued driving. Actually, I'd started to drool, which is not a good look.
Disclaimer: I wasn't drooling at the sight of all those fit young women's bodies. Drooling is simply a result of one's jaw hitting the floor. Or, in this case, my lap.
No more than a hundred metres later, I again glanced to my left. Now I was driving past some rugby fields. Once again, Young People. dashing hither, running thither, passing and tackling and jogging and being disgustingly healthy. This was too much for a tired brain to cope with.
Where, I asked myself, are the iPods, the X Box things, the Playstations and the pallid complections? Where are the slack-jawed couch potatoes? Or course, there was one, behind the steering wheel of my car, but I was sure he didn't count. After all, he wasn't a Young Person. This whole past week has been a confusing one: first, I spend a day tutoring young People in the fine art of writing, and they're all keen-eyed and adventurous, and well-educated, curious, and disgustingly enthusiastic. And yes, damn their eyes, they're respectful and polite. Now I see hordes of Young People running around, being physical and enegaging in exercise, and playing games that don't require really really quick thumbs.
Now that I've actually seen, with my own baby blues, Young People doing all those things I've said they didn't do, I'm just going to have to re-think my prejudices. That's painful, and annoying. I might try beer instead, and try and convince myself that it's all been a rather nasty dream.
Speaking of dreams, and writing: never let it be said that American television writers can't come up with a new and untried idea. Who would have thought of making a season finale (Bones) a dream sequence? Gosh, and lawks a'mighty, I never saw that before. It just seemed to build on the final House episode, which was a psychotic dream-like fit. Stunning in its originality.
I've often seen the appearance of guest "stars' as being the death knell of a TV series. Once the writers and producers start relying on the appreance of, say, Gwyneth Paltrow (who I wouldn't turn away from my dinner table) instead of actual ideas, you know the show's buggered.
Dream sequences are another sure cloaked figure of Doom. Pity. I've enjoyed Bones, and House.