Would you believe it? The Rolling Stones are playing the du Arena in Abu Dhabi tonight!. Yes tonight! Friday 21st February 2014 – which should be about the same time the rest of Britain will be watching Holby City. Are they crazy? Haven’t they heard of IS? Who is doing their security I wonder? Pray to God it’s not the Hell’s Angels.
But, crazy or not, they’re still doing it, as this video attests:
So how will that go I wonder? Mick and the boys playing next door to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, in the same neighbourhood as Iran, Iraq and Syria, with Mick introducing himself as the Devil, while Keef, Charlie and Ronnie whip-up blitzkrieg and the bodies continue to stink.
Consumer capitalism dictates that, once basic needs such as food and shelter are met, new demands must be invented, so they can then be supplied. Otherwise production might not appear as a positive increase year-on-year. Squeezing mileage out of ageing goods slows the economy. Old is bad.
As a result, Britain is in a state of perpetual generational Cold War. The old fear the young, presuming them to be uncultivated vandals. The young despise the old, presuming them to be tedious Luddites.
From the word go, at the height of the cold war, youth culture was only ever the cleverest way of dividing and ruling and alienating working-class kids from their birthright and selling them a form of rebellion which came complete with all mod cons and built-in obsolescence.
Just think: all that pain, all that struggle, all that class war, suddenly sacrificed – one, two, three o’clock, four o’clock rock! – for a creed which added up to no more than ‘I’m young, you’re old, I hate you! Now buy me those trousers!’
BBC2 8.10-9.0 Brass Tacks Thanks for the Memory Radio Times 6 September 1978
Old people are increasingly treated as socially redundant and have little or no political clout. Maggie Kuhn, leader of the Grey Panther movement, explains why she believes in a militant approach to the rights of the elderly.
*No clips of this programme are available as the BBC wiped the tapes shortly after it was transmitted!
It is a peculiar feature of industrial society that the old are treated as socially redundant and Thanks for the Memory, this week’s Brass Tacks (8.10 BBC2), examines the implications.
For years pensioners have been fobbed-off by governments who have dispensed formal handouts like charity. But, because pensioners, by definition, are no longer part of the work-force they have little or no collective clout. Recently there have developed pockets of organised political action among the over-60s, but they have come to believe their best hope lies in the TUC whose annual conference this week will include a debate on early retirement with fixed benefits.