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The party is over

As a baby-boomer heading at breakneck speed toward my seventieth birthday (though still 3 years away) I have just recently come to the heartbreaking conclusion that it is all over for me. No, not life, but “the party” … the metaphorical party that sustained me for these last forty years on a roller-coaster of self-sustaining optimism so familiar to our generation. After the breakaway from the confining social and domestic clutches of our parent’s generation with the revolution of the sixties and seventies, freedom … true freedom from suffocating social mores and mind-numbing employment was at last within our reach. We were the pioneers of a punk-generation! Now, all those who are setting the pace with this new style social direction and political aspiration I cannot seem to “connect” with or admire that greatly. And all those I did have great respect for are either now dead, dying or out of the game. I feel like the passenger left on the station and the train has departed. And I just don’t know if I give a f#ck!

The sad realisation of my plight first came home to roost a while back, when I gifted to my son, who was trying his hand at amateur DJ-ing, my complete vinyl collection of LPs – this collection was a honed down ambrosia of the gods of music of my generation, yes, from The Who “Live at Leeds” to “Zappa/Zoot Allures” … the whole box and dice of every memory of drunken orgy and piss-up to dope-smoked amnesia of the seventies and beyond. Encased in that collection was the ghost of many wild parties, boozey card nights and general Sunday laid-back idylls of beer from the keg sprayed walls to nefarious smoke-infused curtains and collars, and after receiving this holy grail of my wasted (in every sense of the word) youth, he later informed me in disappointed tone that his girlfriend’s dad had almost exactly the same records … except his were in mint condition, having taped the record after purchase and used the tape for listening and put the LPs into cold-storage. WTF!

I reflected on this piece of proffered good sense information when the opening bars of Mott The Hoople’s “The Moon Upstairs” from their “Brain Capers” album suddenly sprung to mind and that night with “the mob” lined up in front of the decibel warping speakers and “air guitaring” the complete riot in a Southern Comfort roused bliss; ”We ain’t bleeding you, we’re feeding you … but you’re too f#ckin’ slow.” And then we’d get serious and put on Floyd’s ”Ummagumma” for a bit of intellectual discourse on Marx and communism! But the thing that really hurt, was not so much that the girl’s father was of that middle-class anal-retentive professional type who knew the price of everything etc etc, but that it was obvious that my son seemed to agree with his action. I could see the drugging threat of “common sense” creeping into his psyche. Always a very dangerous thing in the developing mind of the young.

Yes, the party was over. Gen Y is not inclined to follow their baby-boomer parents stumbling gait, neither down the hard-left political road, nor in personal revolution against the corporate work ethic. Theirs is more career orientated, more “market driven”, more style and consumerism, so there was little room for prolonged partying to oblivion. Not that we couldn’t do our job then at the same time, but there was more room for “forgiveness” after a particularly hard weekend … workmates more willing to “cover” for the necessary human foible of having a good time. And there was always the “sickie” when a particularly extreme case of “industrial diarrhoea” overcame one.

And let’s face it: at least to me, work always gave me the shits. I hated it, and all that social responsibility crap that surrounded it. Every effing day off to work, come home, fall asleep, then back to the job next morning. Bloody mind-numbing slavery. Moored, like so many similar craft, in a marina of lost souls.I would see the tradesmen come to work on the train dressed in clothes suitable for public display, only to don work overalls from their locker in the factory change-room to attend their work-benches and to do the reverse each night to make their way home on the public transport, day in day out. I couldn’t stand such pointless discipline, especially after it became obvious to our generation that the whole capital-based economy was nothing but a big fat con-job … bullshit from start to finish, and we were expected to go along with the con. But be on the receiving end!

So I left it behind, hopefully for it to rot in its own stench and decay. But I see now it has been resurrected and is enjoying another moment in the sun, and, apparently being feasted as the “saviour” of a new economy: technology/driven economy of automation and sterile efficiency … ”meet the new boss…” So I have been railing against what I saw then and what I still see as the dehumanising of personal ambition and type-casting of personality … bunging square pegs into round holes. God, I hate the lot of it! And then to see those gormless dupes in this gormless government talking their set pieces like a theatrical dummy on one of those kiddies shows from the sixties. Do you remember that act; “Chris and Terry (Terry was the dummy)” on the Channel Niners? Ah, that Chris chappy was the one ought to have hooked up with Glenys O’Brien – not Ernie Sigley. Shit, I feel like starting a one person revolution.

But that’s it. We’ve almost become irrelevant, save for our voting block. The party’s over, Vishnu’s juggernaut has moved on, crushing a new generation of suckers only too willing to throw themselves under the wheels of corporate capitalism. We started work at fourteen and finished at sixty five and damn if the bastards want us to carry on until seventy while they now party! Well, they can get stuffed! And even if us boomers have cried ourselves hoarse from screaming against the machine, one can hopefully see the rising generations picking up the baton and just now starting to take their situation seriously.

Now, at least I can get back to Zappa’s “Willy the Pimp”.


40 comments

  1. Karl Young

    Yes Joseph too many are prepared to outsource their thinking for a bible, corporation or celebrated guru instead using their own minds.It’s much easier that way.

  2. townsvilleblog

    I don’t have a mom, but thankfully I do have a Mum. I’m not a yank! I’m an Aussie.

  3. paul walter

    I remember a mate, a bit thick, looking at my copy of the Who’s Live at Leeds and saying , “what’s this, the Who live at Leeds (not London)?”

    He meant it. Took a few seconds to get past the shock.

    For me, the purple haze cleared just in time to reveal a recession and forbidding looking social security clerks.

    The ‘olds”; the “wrinklies”, had been right after all: It would all come to an end they said and so it did.

  4. Joseph Carli

    ” It would all come to an end they said and so it did.”…..it took that treasonous coup d’état of Fraser to do it though..and that moment there on the steps of Parliament House, when Kerr’s messenger read out the dismissal order, was the one time Gough didn’t exercise leadership when needed…He should have called for an immediate uprising there and then and sent the mob first to the High Court to drag Mason and Barwick out by the scruffs of their necks and hung them from under the Lake Burley Griffin bridge ..then gone to Yarralumla and done the same to Fraser, Withers and Kerr..and left their carcasses there to rot and drop piece by fetid, treasonous piece to the mud and mire at the bottom of the lake.
    THAT was where all this LNP / Murdoch / IPA shit started to go badly wrong.

  5. Harquebus

    Joseph Carli
    I’ve posted this link before but, just in case you haven’t seen it. I think that you will find it interesting.

    “Australia briefly became an independent state during the Whitlam years, 1972-75.”
    “On 11 November – the day Whitlam was to inform Parliament about the secret CIA presence in Australia – he was summoned by Kerr. Invoking archaic vice-regal “reserve powers”, Kerr sacked the democratically elected prime minister. The “Whitlam problem” was solved, and Australian politics never recovered, nor the nation its true independence.”
    http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-forgotten-coup-how-america-and-britain-crushed-the-government-of-their-ally-australia

  6. Joseph Carli

    Thanks for the thought, Harq’..but anyone with a pinch of nous would know that a drunken sot of a imperial pansy like Kerr and that political stage-door Johnny ; Fraser could not , would not try to pull such a move off on their own…we all know the truth behind the coup, AND the reasons…what we need is a obelisk cemented in front of the old parliament house with a list of the names chiseled deep in the marble of all those Liberal Party members and sympathisers who colluded to betray our nation on that day…and a ceremonious “Cursing of the names” day be held every year to remind the people of the cruel betrayal of our hopes and dreams on that day.

  7. paul walter

    Yes, He should have called for an immediate uprising, what the Dismissal was, was was a soft version of Chile a few years earlier.

    Poor old Harq..you are ancient also?

  8. diannaart

    What percentage of boomers are in the 1%?

    Some of us left the party very early, I suspect.

  9. stephengb2014

    diannaart,
    Er actually 1%

    😑

  10. diannaart

    stephen2014

    Rhetorical, mate, just rhetorical.

    I believe the BB’s are among history’s great sell-outs.

  11. David Bruce

    All is not lost! When you get to 72, your next 18 year cycle is called the Golden Age! Time slows down again and it feels like your first 18 years. Cold pressed virgin coconut oil will help maintain the grey matter, so as they say in Queensland, Grow Old Live Dangerously!

  12. Joseph Carli

    ” I believe the BB’s are among history’s great sell-outs.”…Most of those didn’t have to “sell out”, as they already had been born into the 1% !…or maybe got lucky with their suburban geography and had bought a property in what may once have been a cheap close to the city ‘burb that became expensive. I remember some fellows renting “dilapidated” terrace flats on Mosely St. at The Bay for a pittance that now would be worth millions!

  13. Maeve Carney

    Glad to read that I wasn’t the only person who taped the LP to preserve the vinyl. Although now my brother wishes he had done the same thing.

  14. stephengb2014

    Seems like a few B/Boomers on here.

    Me too 1947 a true b/boomer, I suspect Dad was a bit one eyed about something on his way home in late 1946.

    Seriously the party we are talking about is that period called the “Golden Age” from 1945/ 46 untill about 1973.
    It ended, in UK when Thatcher came to power 1979, in the USA when Reagan came to power 1981, and in Australia when Hawke came to power 1983. Thatcher and Reagan ushered in the age of the “free market”, not that it was ever a free market before, nor did it become a particularly “free market” after, it just just became much easier for the powerful to exploit the less powerful.

    Lets not misunderstand there is no organic market, the market is just a collection of trading places, regions, cities, countries, blocks.
    “An actual or nominal place where forces of demand and supply operate, and where buyers and sellers interact (directly or through intermediaries) to trade goods, services, or contracts or instruments, for money or barter.
    Markets include mechanisms or means for (1) determining price of the traded item, (2) communicating the price information, (3) facilitating deals and transactions, and (4) effecting distribution. The market for a particular item is made up of existing and potential customers who need it and have the ability and willingness to pay for it”.

    So what Thatcher and Reagan and Hawke did was in fact deregulate some aspects of trading and to satisfy some goal of a mythical “free market”. Obstentially the deregulation of the employment laws, and the regulation of employees for the sole benefit of the employers.

    Essentially taking the employer/employee relations environment back to pre WWII or even further to pre WWI. In Australia we are not there yet but in the USA (yes) the UK (getting there) and in Australia (well on its way).

    For the Golden Age, read Keynesian economics
    For the “free market” read Hayak, Milton Friedman, Arthur Laffer economics.

  15. helvityni

    We spent a week in Byron Bay, and of course had few dinners at the famed Beach Hotel listening to different bands play; one night it was free for all, ‘ free mic’, as they called it. The best was a couple Uruguayan immigrants,a father/son team playing guitar and father singing some lovely Spanish songs, in Spanish…. It was so good, I did not want them stop….

    The young blokes with their beers were watching Soccer or some other ball game on the big screen, the girls with their bottles of bubbly huddled around the tables heads bent over the iPhones giggling and comparing their pics…no one was paying any attention to the lovely (free) performance…

    What’s the matter with the kids today… No one got up to dance, oops, there was one: a little music loving four year old boy….

  16. Joseph Carli

    Maeve: ” Glad to read that I wasn’t the only person who taped the LP to preserve the vinyl. Although now my brother wishes he had done the same thing.”

    Ah..only the foolish in this temporary world hungrily hold on to a thing as a measure in dollar value of the product rather than the sentiment or memory contained – NOT within the economic structure of the thing-, but rather in the immeasurable beauty of recollection of what is associated with that item. A piece of torn cloth or ribbon of trite value can contain within it’s frayed threads a golden weave of tactile memories of what might once have been pure love.

    Is each of us but an idea,
    Of what we wish to be; a
    Face, body, wealthy King,
    Gold crown w/fat jewel ring?
    In the end I am but I,
    MY only jewel of mine own eye.

    https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/a-box-of-spoons/

  17. diannaart

    @ stephen2014

    Maybe I am over thinking, only you can help stephen:

    Did you mean 1% of the 1% percent? For example, Rupert Murdoch is not a BB and there are other elderly moguls still playing Monopoly. Therefore the BB percentage would be more like 80% of the 1%?

    @ Joseph

    People who taped all their LP’s were and are still anally retentive and to be avoided at all costs. I write this as someone who lost ALL her LP’s in the 90’s.

  18. Joseph Carli

    diannaart..sorry to hear that about the LP’s…I lost a few lent out to bastards who never returned them…bastards…I lost my Rory Gallagher “Live in Europe”..and Santana “Abraxus”…God ..that hurt!..But I can see you as a Joni Mitchell person…perhaps ripening into Lenny Cohen as you matured…?..

  19. Harquebus

    Damn. I thought I had every Rory Gallagher CD. Will be looking out for that one. I definitely do have every Johnny Winter though.

    All my records were stolen many years ago. Since then, I have built up a 60-70’s CD collection totaling about 300 of my nearly 400 CD’s.

    Someone asked. Yes, I am young baby boomer. I would be careful when using the term “ancient” though. I am the same age as Kaye Lee.

    Here’s something entertaining.

    Screamin Jay Hawkins – I Put A Spell On You
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orNpH6iyokI

  20. Glenn K

    ahhhhh……reminded me of Zappa’s “pojama people”……and I’m a tail end boomer: jumped into the corporate pit at 27yrs of age, made a pile of cash, then jumped out at 54yrs of age. Now retired with my family in the south of France. yee haa. 🙂

  21. johno

    I sold my LP’s, too hard to move shit around when you don’t know which country to live in. After 30 years between Oz and NZ, finally settled in Oz. Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley are a few I remember.

  22. Freetasman

    quote from: paul walter September 14, 2017 at 1:05 pm
    Yes, He should have called for an immediate uprising, what the Dismissal was, was was a soft version of Chile a few years earlier.

    Thank you Paul, coming from the south of South America that was my impression of what happens to Gough and until today I cannot believe how he lost the election to Fraser. The ignorant that voted for Fraser were to many back then and I wonder how many can see the truth now.

  23. Freetasman

    Thank you for the article Joe, I share your views, the only difference is that for this grumpy old man the party finished long time ago. Now, I just become an observer.

  24. Maeve Carney

    Joseph, never said I was preserving the dollar value 🙂 I now have 30 odd year old vinyls still good enough for modern hi tech speakers. Vinyl wears out and so do tapes but I wanted to be able to listen to my favourites for a lot longer than a couple of years, now my whole family does. When my bratlings were younger they were quite surprised to learn that you have to turn the vinyl over the get the other half of the playlist. The joys of parenting.

  25. Phil

    Good article – my vintage too. The Whitlam dismissal left an indelible mark in my youthful psyche. Still today I can usher fury at the treason of the conservative forces and their clandestine machinations. I know what it means to be radicalised.

    This line from Roger Waters resonates with me:

    “The memories of a man in old age are the deeds of a man in his prime”

    Free Four – Obscured By Clouds, 1972.

  26. nurses1968

    Freetasman I’m employed by a family of Goughophiles and much as it pains, almost sacrilege me to say it your “Yes, He should have called for an immediate uprising,” would most likely have been an abject failure.
    with the Yanks threatening to withdraw investments, a rabid Media, the G.G. and the simple fact that the populus had drank the LNP kool aid it would have been a shambles.
    Don’t forget Labor lost 30 seats in the December 1995 election and took an age to recover.
    Doesn’t mean I don’t think Gough was the best ever, but that’s the way it went

  27. nurses1968

    Joseph Carli “one can hopefully see the rising generations picking up the baton and just now starting to take their situation seriously.”
    It seems they are not
    “the ageing of the population means eighteen- to twenty-four-year-olds account for a smaller proportion of the roll (10.6 per cent) than in 2007 (11.3 per cent). Meanwhile, the seventy-plus group has grown from 13.2 to 15.1 per cent.

    There’s also the fact that last year’s record participation rate was accompanied by another quite dramatic development: the lowest “turnout” figure since the introduction of compulsory voting in 1924. Turnout as a proportion of a very healthy total roll dropped substantially, although as a percentage of eligible Australians it increased a little. A big chunk of those newly enrolled voters hadn’t bothered to vote.”
    http://insidestory.org.au/are-voters-moving-left/

  28. stephengb2014

    Diannaart

    Sorry I was being facetious

    😑

  29. Joseph Carli

    ” Jerry September 15, 2017 at 1:43 pm Edit

    Doctor Binoy Kampmark Qualifications”………….Yeah!…and?…what’s this got to do with me?

  30. Harquebus

    Joseph Carli
    Rory Gallagher’s Live in Europe CD is out of stock and I need to wait for the next production run, as is the case with the two La De Das CD’s that I am waiting on but, it is available on vinyl and only needs to be ordered in. Jus’ lettin’ uno.

  31. diannaart

    stepehn2014

    Sorry I was being facetious

    I thought I was over thinking your comment, but have been bitten by pedants in the past and simply did not want any getting all, well, pedantic.

    🙂

  32. Mick Yemm

    I also recorded my LPs to tape, specifically to preserve their quality, not value. It also made my music transportable, in the car etc. Alas I sold my 400 albums for $400 in the early 90’s, convinced to do so by my girlfriend, now wife, ostensibly to by a CD player, a decision I still regret.

  33. diannaart

    Joseph

    But I can see you as a Joni Mitchell person…perhaps ripening into Lenny Cohen as you matured…?..

    In a word, no.

    I started out as a very little girl loving garage band rock; The Loved Ones, The Easybeats… later, when I was 18 I bought my first motorbike and my first Leonard Cohen album, along with Deep Purple & Black Sabbath. I have replaced Leonard Cohen.

    As for later, I was married for a while which put my cultural exploits on hold for a while…

    Cultural pursuits picked up again when I started uni and then got into (this is just a sample) Nick Cave (Birthday Party & Bad Seeds), the Saints, Beasts of Bourbon, Australian “X”, Triffids, Nick Barker & Reptiles, Mudhoney, Beasty Boys, Nirvana – I was at uni, I did not look my age, I saw all the above mentioned acts live and I made up for time I lost in my youth and in my marriage 😛

    Most of my CD collection is from the late 80’s to mid 90’s – I still listen to alt radio such as Triple R and PBS.

    Then I became ill again… these days I listen to Classical, Jazz, Punk, Grunge, alt-country – whatever mood I am in there is music to suit my frame of mind.

    Yes I do like Joni Mitchell, Carli Simon, Janis Joplin and others of their vintage. I haven’t even got to Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Cat Power… there is so much more, my most recent purchase has been a Dan Sultan “Get out while You Can”.

    I expect to add more new music the older I get.

  34. Joseph Carli

    Diannaart…I tried to get into new music…I had two kids growing up and I tied..I really tried…but except for things like; “Pretty fly for a white guy” and a couple of others..it just didn’t pump out enough “grunt” to catch me..not that I am die-hard prog-rock..but bands like Floyd, Hawkwind, Free, Procol Harum etc..seem to have that certain timing and continuity of beat that suits my tempo of life…I like Joni’s writing, but not her voice..so I listen more to covers of her songs ..like Buffy St.Marie or Judy Collins..But then the gist of many of the bands that kicked off for my generation were a reflection of the radical mood of the times before corp-music got hold of them and the marketing and made the whole thing dirty..just like heavy drugs made the hippie trip dirty in the end..sad really…much like the politics of today…once at least there was a degree(I do say ; degree) of accountability for dishonesty, but now , with this LNP govt’ there seems to be absolutely none!..and all we write or all we rail against seems to be but a cry in the bloody wilderness..like our music..are the young even listening anymore?

  35. Freetasman

    Coming from the other side of the world my kind music and records was tangos, milongas and jazz

  36. Joseph Carli

    You see now, Freetee’..you’re talking music as culture, where I knew only “music” as solid , hard beat noise..You might be dancing to yours, we were only boozing and cavorting!!..much like this..:

    Talk about kombi vans…up in Darwin, in one of the groups I alternatively knocked about with…mostly tradies and such..working people..physical work, that is…they didn’t like to encourage intellectualism…I was once discovered harbouring a book : “Ecco Homo” by Nietzsche (ok!…so I liked to read?)..and for a while I was suspected of being a closet homosexual…alcoholism yes, cleverdicks no..but that was then…I’m one of those “clever dicks” now…or at least “I” think I am….stiff-cheddar for you!…

    One of us was a mechanic..an auto engineer actually..a real genius at his trade…he could build a street-racer from scratch, without plans, without consultation..and I tell you it would be sweet poetry to look at and go like the clappers!…”Potter” his name was…mad as a cut snake but…any conversation around him would rotate about things called ‘dissys’…or “edelbrocks” or “high-lift cams” and such-what..which was the better Ford V8 engine…: a “windsor” or a “cleverland” (I’m going from memory here!)…..but I liked the booze and the music…he had one of those quadrophonic record players that pumped out about 10,000 decibles…but hang on…I lied about book knowledge..he did own a complete set of Encyclopedia Brittanica…some fast talking salesman had talked him into buying it…I remember he had them stacked one on top of the other near the 8-ball table and he would sit his beer on them while he took his shot.

    I recall we were having a party one night in the block of flats and it was roaring…it was hammering the walls and shaking the stairwells, would NOT be surprised if it registered on the local Richter scale.. the booze was flowing as freely as the unfettered Zambesi !…and the then mayor of Darwin..; Tiger Brennan, lived upstairs…well, there came this hammering on the door, a couple of us opened it and there was Tiger..wearing nothing but a gross pair of undies and his familiar pith-helmet and puffing on a fat cigar…he didn’t say a word, just took the cigar out of his mouth, gave us a meaningful stare and made the motion with his fat fingers of turning a dial down..he then shoved…I mean shoved the cigar back into his lips and turned on his heels and trailed smoke back up the stairs.

    But where was I…Oh yes…Potter…he came back from a trip to Katherine one day…all his trips only took hours…you took your life into your hands just to go to the shop with him for a bar of soap…thankfully a rare trip!….came in, threw himself down on the setee with the simultaneous hiss of a can of VB.(green can) and to the mellifluous tones of Santana “Abraxas” related to us his road-rage event.

    It seems that one his way back from Katherine, getting near Pine Creek, he tried to overtake a Kombi van chock-full of hippies…he related that they must have been stoned or something as whenever he drew close enough, the kombi van would swerve into his path and force him to brake or swerve away…all the time the passengers were leaning out of the windows and waving a joint at him, singing or giving the peace sign and whatnot…Potter was NOT one of the “new-age” sympathisers…After what he described as an eon of this mucking about, he lost his cool and with deliberate calm, he slowly edged his souped up V8 ute w/ bull-bar into the back of the kombi and planted his foot till the speedo ran up to (his words) a ton (100 mph)!…”Then they were screamin’ ” he said “then they were singin’ “…though I doubt it got THAT fast, he wasn’t such a brute.. I do believe his story…I told you he was as mad as a cut snake!..and the kombi ended up running off the road into a broad wash of water and he continued on his way….mad bastard, crazy place, f#ckin’ wild times….bloody Darwin in the seventies.

  37. diannaart

    Joseph

    Re: Hawkwind and the like – to me they sound a bit tame and predictable. I don’t mean to sound like I am dissing you, I just got into a sound that, I believe, started in the 60s’ got lost during the prog rock stage and re-emerged in the late 70’s, through to the grungy 90’s, thank the rock gods!

    Now, we are experiencing a reinterpretation of so much, there are covers that are way better than the originals – OK this is now an oldie, but Jeff Buckley’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. In Australia, I believe the music scene has never been more slick sounding, solid and yet diverse, for example, the Melodious “Boy and Bear” , new soul sounds from established performers Vikka and LInda Bull, or the band “The Bamboos”. Paul Kelly is still amazing, then there are people like Courtney Barnett, or Tim Rogers’ continual reinvention through reforming bands, same to be said of Tex Perkins… it is a wonderful time..

  38. Keitha Granville

    I was moaning to my youngest only recently about the apathy of the younger generation and their lack of willingness to protest . I think it might be because they have to pay for uni / college, and they have to pass. I admit shamefully that I spent my first year at uni being a protester,a hippie and generally having fun.
    Have some vinyl left – Donovan, Beatles – yes, I love Joni Mitchell, Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger.
    Definitely a hippie.

    I am quite proud that the same youngest son is probably one too !

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