Saturday, September 15, 2012


Young People Now

Saul Steinberg with Aldo Buzzi, Reflections and Shadows, tr. John Shipley (New York: Random House, 2002), pp. 61-62:
The young people who are coming up now have preserved the behavior and habits of the nursery, the playroom, the kindergarten. Due to the mistaken influence of Freud, who taught that children shouldn't be given complexes, they've never been scolded; the people around them have shown them the utmost patience. Occasionally you hear of children being strangled: probably by mothers or fathers who have been patient too long and have ended by delivering the scolding all at once.

These young people have been fed nonstop, and have never lost the taste for eating at all times, first forced by their mothers, then by the schools with their free lunches, where they eat what they want and buy anything that's available, always surrounded by advertisements for things made especially for them: horrible sweets, pizzas, hamburgers, ice cream. On their way home from school they go on eating and drinking in the street: in one hand they hold a slice of pizza wrapped in paper, in the other an aluminum can with a straw sticking out of it, or even two or three straws so they can suck it up quicker. They pause at street corners to talk or look around. When they've finished their drink, they spread their fingers and the empty can falls on the ground. They don't even look at it, like cows letting their shit fall in a meadow. When they finish their pizza, they drop the paper in the same way, or even a piece of pizza they don't want. If you reprove them they look at you as if you were crazy. They don't understand. If you're unlucky, you may even run into one who'll kill you for making remarks that he's not used to hearing.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?