Thursday, 12 May 2011

Childish play, perhaps

I watch them
The children of this now generation;
I watch them in their communal living room,
With their prepackaged trikes
Promoting consumer play;
WIth their attention-deficit psychoses
Pandering to their every whim
Not for them the billy cart
Made from planks of rough-hewn pine
And rescued pram wheels.
Not for them the glued
brown-paper kite with shards
Of pleated cloth and biting sisal.

I watch them with a fine melancoly.

15 comments:

Andrew said...

Kind of sad that they won't know these things, but I suppose we did not indulge in what our parents did. I have faith in little in this world, but I do have faith in young people. It is all too obvious where those of our age have gone wrong.

TheChieftess said...

Well said...

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

It is up to the adults of the world to guide the children and although I would encourage hammers and nails, paint and brushes, and necklaces made of clover I am glad to see the children out "doing something" rather than playing electronic games always...

Beautiful photos, my friend.

Bises,
Genie

Kay L. Davies said...

Yes, at least these children are outside, Julie. But it isn't just this generation. My nieces are over 30, but when they were under 10, I remember suggesting to them that they go outside to play. "Play with what?" they asked. "What can we do?"
Their father had his own construction company, but he didn't build go-carts for my nephews and nieces, and it never occurred to them to build such things themselves. My sister would probably have said, "Stop making that noise!" and "Don't make such a mess!" anyway.
I cherish my memories of building forts in trees, and play-houses out of firewood, with my brother and our friends. Everybody made their own kites and experimented with various materials to see which would leap aloft the fastest. I only ever had one bicycle. It was two generations old when I got it, and it was ugly, but I rode it everywhere.
I hope you are well today, my dear friend. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.
Luv — K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Julie said...

It struck me last Sunday as I watched all the families in the park, how like it was to Paris in this respect. The singular difference being that very few adults were sitting on a bench reading. Indeed, Paris is riddled with benches, whereas in Sydney they are few and far between. In comparison ... in comparison.

Stafford Ray said...

as a serial billy cart builder, later models with steering wheels and brakes, I watch kids open their presents and then play with a plastic toy for maybe an hour then look for the next one.
A goods billy cart took days to make... but I was priveleged, my dad had a shed!

J Bar said...

Thought provoking post once again.

Rae Walter said...

Thanks Julie. Thought provoking and questioning words about childhood and what has been lost.

Windsmoke. said...

At least these children are outside running around riding their bikes in the fresh air and not getting fat or obese as they would if stuck inside watching the giggle box or in front of a computer all day :-).

Virginia said...

I watch your eye. perfect.
V

Thérèse said...

Nothing is lost though. Just have a look at the small children who are found "sometimes" more attracted to the gift's wrap than to the gift itself. Just a matter of dis-learning and re-learning, nothing is lost.
Powerful pictures here!.

Joan Elizabeth said...

And what did the oldies tut-tut about when we were kids ... they've go bicycles when we have to ride to school on horses, they swim in that swanky new pool when we had to make do with a rope over the creek, they've got time to play when we were busy milking cows, they wear fancy shop bought clothes when we had to sew our own, they wear shoes when when we had the freedom of bare feet. I could go on. These kids are busy creating exciting things on their computers - games, stories, movies, international friends.

Me said...

You have the most bizarre quixotic view of Paris with an ambiguous version of Sydney.
They are incomparable! Chalk & Fromage...good title for a novella.
Parisians smoke,drink coffee and flaunt.Tourists sit on benches; simulating Simone De Beauvoir à la fois.
Times change...as in, sitting at a computer attending a blog.
Try surfing the sea,you have plenty of it.
Nothing is permanent.

Jilly said...

As always, wonderful photographs and words. It never occured to me that Sydney might have less benches than Paris. Here in Menton and across the border in Ventimiglia, there are benches everywhere - where the old men sit and put the world to rights, where mothers compare notes with other mothers, whilst their children play - benches for all us.

lizziviggi said...

I'm reminded of the documentary "Babies"-- have you seen it? There's a segment that alternates between the baby in Japan, spoiled and surrounded with various bright toys and crying her heart out with boredom, and a baby in Mongolia with nothing but a roll of toilet paper, as happy as all get-out.