A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Generation Game

This poem is written from the perspective of someone trapped in the wrong generation. Although such people may occasionally become sages or prophets, they are far more likely to be considered mere freaks or geeks.

Generation Game

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness
Allen Ginsberg Howl

Talkin' 'bout my g-g-g-generation
The Who My Generation

Homeward bound, I wish I was homeward bound
Simon and Garfunkel Homeward Bound

I saw the best minds of my generation
Vanish from dreaming spires and reappear
On I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

I saw the best minds of my generation
Abandon academe and join a party
With pop stars, porn stars and the glitterati.

I saw the best minds of my generation
Dumb down the literary canon 
And worship Rihanna not Rhiannon.

I saw the best minds of my generation
Trade soundbite for soundbite, tweet for tweet,
Choose spam over redder meat.

I saw the best minds of my generation
Consider greed their goal and duty,
Give up on the search for truth and beauty.

I saw the best minds of my generation
Toss ancient wisdom down the drain,
Believing history just a pain.

I saw the best minds of my generation
Stay on the bank, not cross the gulf,
Whimper not howl like a timber wolf.

I saw the best minds of my generation
Stuck in the wasteland of despair
Wearing only designer underwear.

I saw the best minds of my generation
Mess up the genes of the human race
Then lose themselves in cyberspace.

I saw the best minds of my generation
Moan at the world’s abject condition
While climbing the ladder of ambition.

I saw the best minds of my generation
Humming a tune from The Magic Flute
While sharing a bed with a prostitute.

I saw the best minds of my generation
Chant with no trace of irony:
Fuck him, fuck her, fuck you, fuck me.

And as I waited vainly at the station
For a train to take me to my destination
I saw myself grow old and left behind —

Out of reach, out of turn and out of time, 
Out of synch, out of step and out of mind,
Out of phase, out of phrase and out of wine,
Out of breath, out of luck and out of line — 

Out of touch with my g-g-g-generation
Out of touch with my g-g-g-generation

The Generation Game is a British game show produced by the BBC in which four teams of two people from the same family, but different generations, competed to win prizes.

At the end of the show, one member (or in later series both members) of the victorious team watched prizes pass on a conveyor belt, and then won as many as could be recalled in a set time. A trademark of the show was that a cuddly toy was always among the prizes. This led to an affectionate joke: ‘Dinner service . . . fondue set . . . Cuddly toy! Cuddly toy!’, which is often quoted whenever the show is mentioned. The audience would shout out the names of the prizes, allowing the contestants to carry away large numbers of items.

WIKIPEDIA

6 comments:

John Pendrey said...

Brilliant. Thanks for saying it.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for reading, John.

Timecheck said...

Thanks, Robert. You always stimulate thought. This is something I've pondered on for forty or fifty years. My conclusion is that nature is awfully profligate with fine minds, not caring if many are unrecognized, wasted, neglected. Even today, huge numbers excluded by gender. My positive view is that when there is opportunity, the minds are there. For the individual born in the wrong time, this is little comfort.

donna baker said...

Hopefully, we'll see the pendulum swing before we go.

The Solitary Walker said...

Ralph, when talking of fine minds, I always think of Einstein who, apart from the science which I can barely understand, championed human rights, loved music and was interested in philosophies such as Buddhism, among many other things. He marvelled at the mystery as well as trying to figure some of it out.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for your visit, Donna.