Monday, August 17th, 2009...5:33 am

#141: Don’t Mind The Gap

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A new study by the Pew Research Group says that, while there’s not that much conflict between the generations, older and younger Americans are very different from each other.  Nearly 80% of those surveyed believe there’s a major Generation Gap now, 20 points higher than said so in the 1970s.

According to the research:

— 87% think older and younger people are very or somewhat different in how they use technology.

— 86% say the generations have different tastes in music. (Despite what Doc Weasel, see comments on post #145, believes.)

— 80% think older and younger people have different work ethics and moral values.

— 78% say the generations show different levels of respect.

— 74% think they have different political views.

— 70% think they have different racial attitudes and 68% see the generations as having varying religious beliefs.

— Fewer than 6% see the generations as being very similar in their attitudes toward any of these major issues.

So…..bigger differences between the generations than ever before, yet less conflict?  What gives?

According a special How Not To Act Old poll of my own brain, I’ve concluded:

— Younger people are conflict-averse and socially conscious and passive aggressive, and so in denial of the anger and loathing they feel toward the older generation.

— Older people, heavily investing in remaining cool and staying close to their kids, repress their dismay over the yawning gap and deny their rage at being marginalized.

— Younger people, unable to find paying jobs and trapped in their parents’ houses, and older people, terrified of getting fired by their 30-something bosses, are loathe to call each other ignorant sluts.

Parents and kids spend more time together and have more fun doing so than they did in the past, everyone agrees.  So what do they do that bridges the chasm of their differences?

Listen to The Beatles, which rank as one of the favorite musical groups of every single age category surveyed by Pew.  In September, everyone from granny to junior can join in playing The Beatles: Rock Band, a new video game that lets you impersonate your favorite Beatle. I dibs Paul or Ringo, I don’t care which, as long as they’re alive. Wait a minute: Ringo’s alive, right?

And if you’re not up to faux-performing your favorite Beatles songs, here, for your intergenerational listening pleasure, is a performance of Eleanor Rigby by one of my favorite young groups, The Sketches, which also does wonderful strings arrangements of its own music.

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