Maybe there are clues here why 'we' don't exactly connect with
the 20 and unders: this is an adaptation of what one college does each year to
give to all staff a sense of the mindset of this year's incoming freshman.
Here is this year's list:
(1) The people who are starting college this autumn 2002 across UK were born in 1984.
(2) They have no meaningful recollection of the Thatcher era, probably have not heard of the Iron Lady and her handbag.
(3) They were pre-teens when the Persian Gulf War was waged.
(4) Black Monday, 1987 is as significant to them as the Great Depression.
(5) There has been only one Pope.
(6) They were 9 when the Soviet Union broke apart and do not remember the Cold War.
(7) They are too young to remember the Miner's Strike of 1984 and the poll tax riots.
(8) Tianamen Square means nothing to them.
(9) Atari predates them, as do vinyl albums.
(10) The expression "You sound like a broken record" means nothing to them. They have never owned a record player.
(11) They have likely never played Pac Man..
(12) They may have never heard of an 8 track.
(13) The Compact Disc was introduced one year before they were born.
(14) As far as they know, second class stamps have always cost about 19 p.
(15) They have always had an answering machine.
(16) Most have never seen a TV set with only 4 channels, nor have they seen a black and white TV.
(17) There have always been VCRs, but they have no idea what BETA was.
(18) They cannot fathom not having a remote control.
(19) They can't remember Seb Coe and Steve Ovett winning gold in Moscow in 1980.
(20) They were born the year after Walkmen were introduced by Sony.
(21) MUFC have always been football champions to them not the 26 year gap between winning one.
Alex Ferguson has always been manager of MUFC and Matt Busby might have as well lived before the Second world war.
(22) They have no idea that a British woman policeman was shot dead from the Iraqi embassy in London.
(23) They have always cooked everything in the microwave.
(24) They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.
(25) The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as W.W.I, W.W.II and the Boer War.
(26) They have no idea that we sent a force to retake the Falklands.
(27) They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.
(28) They don't remember a time that Blue Peter was only on two days a week.
(29) They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. was.
(30) The Titanic was found? They thought we always knew.
(31) Michael Jackson has always been white.
(32) Kansas, Chicago, Boston, America, and Alabama are places, not rock bands (can't think of a UK version of this but I am sure you can)
(33) McDonalds never came in styrofoam containers.
(34) They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.
(35) There has always been e-mail.
(36) Eastenders has always been more popular than Coronation Street.
(37) Friends is the only programme for cool teens to watch while the Fonz might as well have been Queen Victoria's husband.
(38) The only Mrs Simpson they know is Bart's mother. Not the wife of the British king who abdicated.
You can make up your own list and it goes on and on. Never mind how you differ from your parents. The point is - to me - that culture matters more than we imagine.
Now that you feel old enough, pass this on to the other old fogies. But don't send it back to me, I feel old enough already.