Quiz exposes alarming gap between me and Generation X | Simon Carter

The older I get, the more I feel the chasm widen between me and today’s youth.Perhaps I should have known better, but I never expected it to be this way.

Sunday, 24th November 2019, 8:00 pm
Bjorn Borg after defeating John McEnroe to win his fifth consecutive Wimbledon singles championship, July 5, 1980. (AP Photo/Adam Stoltman)

Perhaps I have unrealistic expectations about what the youngsters who fall into the category of Generation X should know.

I’m sorry, but topics they SHOULD know include Swedish tennis legends, American film actresses, Wet Wet Wet and spoon benders.

I’ll paint a picture and let you decide whether the problem is me, or whether today’s youth are as stupid as I’m starting to think.

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Last week, some of us at The News HQ played our daily ‘guess the age’ game based on celebrities’ birthdays.‘How old’s Goldie Hawn?’

A person born in 1999: ‘Who’s Goldie Hawn?’

‘She’s Kurt Russell’s partner. ‘Who’s Kurt Russell?’

Next question. ‘How’s old Bjork?’

1999 person: ‘What, the one from Abba?’

Me; ‘No, that’s Bjorn?Someone born in 1995 who wasn’t really listening: ‘How old’s Bjorn Borg?

1999 person: ‘Who’s Bjorn Borg?’

And on it went.

I put some of this on my Facebook feed and among the replies were ‘I had to explain to my office who Marti Pellow was the other week’ and ‘someone in my office had never heard of Manic Street Preachers.’

Surely not?

Me (to 1999 person): ‘Have you heard of Marti Pellow.’

Shrug. ‘No.’

‘Wet Wet Wet?’ Blank look. ‘You’ve heard of Manic Street Preachers?’


‘You’re joking?’

But as the previous day the same person had said they’d never heard of Uri Geller, I could see they weren’t.

The same day, I tried the same questions on my partner’s 22-year-old daughter.

She had never heard of Bjork, Goldie Hawn or Uri Geller either.

So perhaps it’s not today’s youth. Perhaps it’s me. And that worries me a damn sight more…

I can feel it in my fingers but, sorry, what on earth is Dance Monkey?

Okay, so today’s youth – or some of them – don’t know who Wet Wet Wet are.

So let’s reverse the questioning. Would I, a 50-year-old bloke with two teenagers, know who’s top of the UK singles chart?

As I write, it’s Tones & I with Dance Monkey. I’ve never heard of either the singer or the song.

If I’m down with anything, it’s not with the kids.

Lizzo, J Hus and Regard are also in the top 10. I’ve never heard of any of them either.

Today’s youngsters seemingly don’t know much about the world I grew up in, and I don’t know (much about) theirs either.

Has life ever been any different between young and old?

Ant and Dec ‘hysterical’? Don’t make me laugh…

Confession time: I watch ‘I’m A Celebrity’. Most evenings, in fact. Another confession: I really don’t know why.

The format is tired, some of the ‘celebrities’ anything but, and I can’t bear people complaining about eating bulls’ penises when they are being paid thousands to do so.

I also have no wish to pick an argument with a fellow News columnist, but I have to disagree with Cheryl Gibbs who last Friday wrote that Ant and Dec ‘have the nation in hysterics’ with their appalling one-liners.

I really cannot believe that is true. But if it is, if the majority of this country’s population finds two of the smuggest people on TV ‘hysterical’, no wonder we’re going to the dogs.