Friday, May 14, 2010

For crying out loud

The Scream by Pants

I consider myself very lucky to be born Generation Jones. Not so lucky to have been born in the cautious-bordering-on-paranoically-insane country perhaps. But very lucky that I grew up and left before the microscopic obsession with what the young people are getting up to kicked in.

I have written about this subject many times before. Not, I hope, because I am repeating myself. Rather because there is always some new hysteria breaking out, the solution to which is increasing surveillance on the youth of the nation to keep them from harm's way. I'm just so glad to have pre-dated this creeping Polonius of a state to the point where I can honestly say I enjoyed being young, and most especially, its dangers.

Yesterday a Senate committee here in Australia made the remarkable discovery that loud music contributes to hearing loss. Well, I never! The sheer AC/DC of it!

'The committee found one in six Australians suffer from some degree of hearing loss and that number could be as high as one in four by 2050.'

Yep. That would be me, and let me tell you I don't regret a single decibel.

'The most common causes are ageing and extended exposure to loud

Can't do much about getting older, I'm afraid, as much as I would love to contribute to the betterment of the nation.

'It has recommended that warning signs be put in pubs and clubs where the music could be loud enough to cause hearing loss.'

Capital idea! Clearly there would be no other way of telling.

'In addition, it wants ear plugs to be handed out and a national hearing campaign targetted at young people.'

Oh yes, absolutely. Let's have blindfolds in the cinemas too. Actually, while we're on the subject of cinemas, I may be harder of hearing than all the posts in the rabbit-proof fence combined but I usually come out of the cinema with bleeding ears. I wouldn't say no to earplugs there. And by all means, do spend our dwindling health dollars on yet another pointless campaign that will rightly fall on, er, deaf ears. I'll be happy to forgo my hip replacement and be harangued about something I can't change instead. When you say 'target' I presume you mean those vile billboards you put up everywhere and ads on the 'non-commercial' ABC television station.

'The committee estimates hearing loss costs Australia more than $11 billion each year in health costs and lost wages.'

Eh? Lost wages? Do people really phone up and say, 'sorry, I'm not coming into work today, I'm not hearing very well?'

Ah yes, we Gen Jonesers got to enjoy our youth. When these poor sods bounce their grandkiddies on their knees, presuming OH&S regulations still allow such a precarious pursuit, what will they be telling them about Nan and Pop's adventures? We stayed indoors and watched internet porn with the sound down. Bypassing the Government's filtering systems was hardly challenging but it was a close as we got to real adventure...