Stay Cool Dad

Don’t tear it down by Simon Sharwood
January 27, 2007, 3:28 am
Filed under: Just listened to ...

We’re back. We’ve been busy. But hopefully there’ll be a lot to post about in the near future given that my son starts school in a day or three.

But it has been a very busy time, media-wise, since the last post.

But let’s start at the end, or at least at last night at the Marrickville Council Australia Day celebrations.

I was keen to go because it has been fun in the past, but also because a band I loved as a teenager called Spy vs. Spy was playing (turns out they’re big in Brazil, according to their site). When I was a teenager some mates of mine were in a band that were very heavily influenced by the Spys (the spelling still grates with me) and I saw them a few times in very sweaty dives.

I even own a weird artefact of theirs, a 3-inch CD of their single Hard Times. I’ve lugged that little disk around for years because I am a sucker for weird formats. Average song though …

Things went a bit pear-shaped with the kids, but the Spys were in form. They played tight recreations of their best-known stuff including what was probably their biggest hit ‘Don’t tear it down’ . It was odd hearing songs written by angry 20-somethings belted out by 40-somethings who said they only made it on stage with the aid of wheelchairs. It was odder still that I remembered almost every note. Gee you waste some synapses over a lifetime …

Anyway, I always feel weird  revisitng the past like this. I feel like I am wallowing and holding myself back. But this was FUN.

Or at least fun once. I don’t think I will be chasing them around or anything. And I’ll let my kids discover their own stuff rather than drag them off to hear the old stuff I liked.

Mind you, I already feel more distanced than ever from the music the kids like. Triple J’s Hot 100 was on yesterday. I heard a few minutes of it in the car and didn’t know any of the songs. Then I forgot to mention it at home – it means nothing to me any more. Between the fact I have little time in which to listen to radio and the fact I can no longer stand whiney dj-ing aimed at ‘youf’ I think I’m close to being cut off from pop. Which is sad. Now I have to work on keeping myself from trying to impose future versions of Billy Joel , or other artists that cross over from pop into adult rock, on my kids.

Perhaps that $10 copy of Ramones Mania I picked up over the holidays will help. Or perhaps the kids will think even the Ramones are passe …

But that’s a digression, because an experience or two over Christmas made me think that maybe mainstream pap that The Whole Family Can Enjoy is not 100% bad.

We generally prefer Pixar movies to other kids entertainment because the characters learn their lessons and grow instead of spouting finding themselves in moral conflic in which the superior set of beliefs is espoused early and often and triumphs over selfish nasty people.

But on Christmas Day the family watched the Disney animation Dinosaur.It’s full of sickly Disney sentimentality and loaded to the gills with Family Values. We’ve also watched a fair bit of LazyTown which is far from subtle and plenty of Charlie and Lola.

The latter is far closer to my taste than the other two. It has a beautiful aesthetic and a delightful storytelling style.

Funny thing is, the kids took good stuff away from the Disney stuff. Maybe more than from the other stuff we’ve shown them.

Their absolute favorite, though, remains PlaySchool, for which they clamour.

And I love it too, even if it has been around for even longer than Spy vs. Spy


1 Comment so far
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Hey, your eldest must have started school last week, as did mine. How’d he go? For us, the hardest day was definitely Monday, as after the weekend off there was the terrible realisation that kindergarten was going to be every week.

Our son Alec is definitely a new media generation – complains that we can’t watch live TV episodes of our choice anytime we want to, complains that the ad skip button on the PVR only skips one ad at a time instead of all of them, and wants to know why he can only watch clips on the internet and not a whole show. Sheesh!

Comment by alan jones

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