Sometimes it’s hard to be optimistic about the future when you’re talking to your kids.
Global warming, political instability, Ke$ha … it’s easy to think the years ahead are looking bleak.
Like most families, many of our conversations happen in the car, where the kids are trapped, with little hope of escape. And those conversations are fuelled by whatever’s being talked about on the radio. Note to self: try to get into the habit of listening to Radio National more frequently.
This morning, for example, I was flooded by waves of nostalgia and memories of hair mousse when the original (and by far the best) version of Do They Know It’s Christmas was played.
I could see the video in my mind’s eye, and as I navigated the school run I named every singer as they performed their lines: Paul Young, Boy George, George Michael, Simon Le Bon, Sting …
My kids, aged 13, 11 and 8 looked at me with expressions that said who the hell is Marilyn? And, who cares anyway?
I was about to launch into a predictable, boring and largely untrue rant about how life and pop music was great and is crap now. How Spandau Ballet were far superior in every way to One Direction and how Paloma Faith owes a lot to Bananarama.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Nissan Pathfinder. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
I stopped myself and we just listened to the song. I tried to think of how I could use my past to talk positively about their future.
I came up with this: I’ll talk about all the terrific things that are happening now, that I would never have believed possible in 1984. And there are heaps:1. Email. How good is email? I have a love/hate relationship with social media, but that whoosh still delights me. I love a paper letter and I do still send Christmas cards but how did we work without the ‘send’ button? The fax was kinda cool (I remember when the first machine arrived in the ad agency where I worked – the managing Director’s PA was the only person allowed to use it).
2. Digital music. Going directly to the song you wanted to hear is incredible to anyone who grew up rewinding tapes and trying to guess exactly where ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ started.
3. Mobile phones. Again, who would have thought? I remember my father saying they would never be truly portable because a keyboard can only shrink so much. Things like touchscreens or making a call while in the car via Bluetooth was unimaginable.