Ah, the good old days! There’s nothing like ‘em. Things seemed so much simpler back then. It was sunny and seventy-two degrees and, dressed in our fancies, we strolled along the Shop-A-Rama. Elephants were dancing and everyone behaved like ladies and gentlement. We drank out of the hose and we never had to lock the doors. Then the young punks came…
Young punks. They ruin everything! It seems like a naturally occurring phenomenon. Eventually, we reach an age where we’re old enough to romanticize the past and we scold the youth of today for tarnishing the beauty of what once was.
“They’re so disrespectful of their elders!”
“They terrorize Holly Drive and wear hats that say R.O.A.C.H. with crossbones!”
No matter the generation, the older folks have had the same complaints about youngsters since the dawn of civilization. The kids today, their crazy music and lack of ambition always seem to be to blame for society’s ills.
I found an article that illustrates this point. There are 15 different historical instances of such complaints about the young dating back as far as 20 BC, like #13:
In Book III of Odes, circa 20 BC, Horace wrote:
Our sires’ age was worse than our grandsires’. We, their sons, are more worthless than they; so in our turn we shall give the world a progeny yet more corrupt.
And #10 from 1843. Girls driving coal-carts!? Well, I never:
In a speech to the House of Commons on February 28, 1843, Anthony Ashley Cooper, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, ranted:
…a fearful multitude of untutored savages… [boys] with dogs at their heels and other evidence of dissolute habits…[girls who] drive coal-carts, ride astride upon horses, drink, swear, fight, smoke, whistle, and care for nobody…the morals of children are tenfold worse than formerly.
Check out the rest of the list at Mental Floss.