Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Soapbox - On Differences

"Bear with me gang.  It's philosophy time again!  I was having a discussion the other day with a professor pal of mine from U.C.L.A. about the so-called 'generation gap,' and I laid a few personal opinions on him that I'd like to share with you.

First, we're never gonna solve the generation gap till we stop seeking the wrong answers to the wrong questions.  Everyone yaps about young people being 'different' nowadays.  Forget it!  Human nature doesn't change.  It's the human condition that changes - it's the environment!  What's happened to us is, the world has been wildly changing, producing new sets of rules each time you blink your eye.  It's the social climate that's been changing, not you 'n me, Bunky!

Here, this'll show what I mean.  Say you've got two homes, a large country estate and a small city apartment.  You play your stereo full blast on your estate, but who cares?  No one can hear it.  You're not disturbing anyone.  But play it just as loud in your small apartment with the paper thin walls and your neighbors wanna clobber you!  You haven't changed.  You're the same yoyo in both places.  But the conditions are different!

The fact is, young people are the same as ever, the same noisy, scroungy, mangy, nutty, wonderful crazies they've always been - and adults are still the same grouchy, grunchy, goopy, hard-pressed and harassed heroes they've always been - and which you'll soon become!  Nothing's change but the labels.  Which leads to point #2 -

None of us is all that different from each other.  We all want essentially the same things outta life - a measure of security, some fun, some romance, friendship, and the respect of our contemporaries.  That goes for Indians, Chinese, Russians, Jews, Arabs, Catholics, Protestants, blacks, browns, whites, and green-skinned Hulks.  So why don't we all stop wasting time hating the 'other' guys.  Just look in the mirror, mister - that other guy is you!

Stan Lee, Stan's Soapbox, February 1980

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