Getting old

If I ever hear anyone praising graffiti, or even attempting to defend graffiti in any way, I shall strike them down, you hear me?


Yes, yes, I know what you are going to say. I agree that the very action of proposing an argument about getting old within the pages of a young, lusty go-ahead organ such as Incendiary is hardly one to fill you the reader with any confidence. But, frankly, I don't care. Pray, go elsewhere for your narcissistic kicks.


I don't care because my patience with the foibles of youth has run out. I am sick and tired of the pressure - admittedly a self-imposed one – of appearing to be young and sappy. I am tired and weary of re-adopting long lost youthful attitudes in conversation, (all that disgusting ingenue); of playing the stupid, vacuous and inanely regimental social games that Yoof is expected to play. After all why constantly lie to oneself and one's peers?

It's not the process of getting old that I particularly care about. As Uncle Monty famously said, there is no true beauty without decay. Indeed I now welcome the grumpy eccentricities that are the privilege of the older members of society. I like and admire the older (or dead) Bohemian crew such as Peter Ackroyd, Holger Czuckay, and Francis Bacon. They are my new mentors in matters of taste, learning and dress sense, if nothing else. Think about it, who would you want to look like and act like if a choice was given twixt Pete Doherty (or Sid Vicious, they are interchangeable) and Peter Ackroyd? I would hope that you would all choose Mr Ackroyd.


And another thing, whilst we're at it. I cannot deny any longer that terrible sense of utter boredom enveloping me when I have to stand and politely listen to truculent,(why always truculent, why?), half baked, juvenile rubbish spouted by young bands or trend hounds, or, most reprehensibly, by people old enough to know better. If I ever hear anyone praising graffiti, or even attempting to defend graffiti in any way, I shall strike them down, you hear me? (I can usually tell when someone is going to do this because the offender will cough irritably and make faces, rudely interrupting my monologue.)


It's all so bloody Cromwellian, trying to live in a perma-new society, ever fresh, ever eager, ever revolutionary and sharp, and questing, and thrusting, and spunky, and strident. And boring. Youth is always in love with itself, in whatever aspect; new technologies, (that one, incidentally, will all break down very soon, leaving an appalling nothingness in the wake; mark my words on this) or new ideas, or new music. I accept there is nothing wrong with that, after all life and living has to constantly reinvent itself; but never forget (oh ye oldies who should know better) that youth's narcissism is woefully 2-D.


Let me give you an example before I go and get my slippers. You will talk to a brick wall when you patiently try to explain to some bum fluff shaver that Bloc Party's guitarist plays in a manner reminiscent of Robin Guthrie or Alan Gill. Mr Bum fluff does not care. Youth's argument in these matters is that Bloc Party is new and exciting and very much all about now. So there. Suck on that grandad.



Words: Richard Foster