Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Everything was better when you were 12

This week’s “Tom The Dancing Bug” amused me greatly, and is probably more true than not:

Tom The Dancing Bug


Moving on up to the East Side (of GA 400)


Happy Birthday


  1. Oh, yes. This was great. 🙂

  2. Uh, no. That implies that all cultures are the same, which is only credible if you don’t look at any of them. To take an example, compare “Help!” (the movie) to “There’s Something About Mary” and then try to imagine something thirty years down the line that stands in the same relation to “TSAM” as “TSAM” does to “Help!” And then again, another thirty years on. There is a qualitative difference, and a point beyond which “subversively anarchic” can simply not go without being dragged back the other way.

    Of course there is an element of perception in the judgments people make, how could there not be? But that is not all there is to it, and that misstatement irritates me more than the joke amuses.

    Besides, as I recently discovered, progressive rock (which got born around the time I was twelve) is very much alive and well and still being produced in quantities. So there, and nyah.

    • Well, but that was kinda the whole point of the strip. I don’t think the artist was seriously promoting the idea that everything was better when you were a kid. He’s lampooning people who *do* insist that.

      • *sigh* Yes. I got that. I was disagreeing, to an extent. Obviously I slipped into Old High Martian without realising again. I’m doing that a lot these days. Must be old age. (Oh, I see what it is. The throwaway line I put in to round off the comment obscured the actual point I was making. Teach me to try to end on an up beat.)

        There are absolutes. There is such a thing as innocence, and there is a point beyond which it is lost. There will be a point where “surrealistic anarchy” cannot descend any more into grossness and pretend that it is still funny (at least not without bringing back the antiquated concept of the joke). And there are things that--even factoring in the rosy glow of sentimental nostalgia for the days when my asthma, eczema and hayfever weren’t being properly medicated and the other kids at school treated me like a freak--actually were better when I was younger.

        So, sorry, still not amused.

  3. They’ve got it wrong. That’s the golden age of SF.

    • 12

      It’s more accurate for me, anyway.

      At age 12 (1980-1) I was reading a lot of SF, especially older SF from the library and my dad’s old anthologies. (Thus my song Isaac, Arthur, Robert, and Ray.)

      However, at age 12 I was not that familiar with pop culture.

      I was only slightly familiar with early-’80s pop music (my sister listened to Top 40) and wouldn’t listen to much popular music until about 1983. In retrospect the early ’80s had some very good music, but, like any era, most of what was good wasn’t popular and vice versa. The mid-’80s is more “home” to me musically, but even there, what was “pop” required a lot of filtering to get to the good stuff.

      I did watch a lot of TV in 1980, but I don’t think of that TV as any sort of Golden Age (“Dukes of Hazzard”? “Facts of Life”?) Indeed, I think TV got better later in the 1980s.

      As for other aspects of pop culture-- movies, dress, styles, etc.-- I either was largely unaware of them or just didn’t think of them as being all that much better than what came before or since. I learned a lot of pop culture references late-- ’70s music through VH-1 in the ’90s, ’80s movies on videotape in the ’90s, ’90s rap in the ’00s-- so that might help account for my lack of nostalgia-based taste collapse. 🙂

  4. I’ve been trying to disabuse myself of that notion with great success, but it’s certainly a tempting one.

  5. Well, this could be a truism. 🙂 However, I find that a lot of people get “stuck” on the music that they were into around high school/college and just don’t ever move much further forward. Too bad.

    Let’s see, when I was twelve, I was into the Monkees, the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Still am. However, did move forward into Led Zep, the Ramones, Bauhaus, the Furs, Nirvana, Kate Bush, David Bowie, Queens of the Stone Age, the Decemberists, etc.

    For TV I was watching Star Trek and Dark Shadows. Still am. But I also moved along and watched Remington Steele, Quantum Leap, Highlander, Mystery!, Masterpiece Theatre, Doctor Who, Heroes, House, Blackadder, and so much more.

    Still reading SF. Check! But these days, more fantasy than SF. It’s a time thing. 🙂 But that wasn’t all I was reading then, and I am still reading a lot of everything. 🙂

  6. Hmmm. I wonder what my parents would have thought of the strip.

    Ann O. 🙂

  7. God, no. ::shudders:: I was twelve in the seventies. And believe me, with the exception of Star Wars? Pop culture sucked.

  8. Hope you’re having an excellent birthday!

  9. Happy Birthday! 🙂

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