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The Kill Your Parents Issue


The fact is, we did inherit the earth from our predecessors, and what a limp wristed, back sliding bunch of pussies they’re turning out to be.
Κείμενο Jeremy Elwood

Photo by the author

On a recent visit to Wellington, I had the misfortune of encountering a wall mural bearing the slogan ‘We did not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrowed it from our children.’ Damned if I didn’t almost drop my cancer stick and punch the nearest organic grocer. Here in New Zealand’s capital, it’s exactly that hippy bumper sticker mentality that makes the upcoming election such a lesson in middle class baby boomer guilt. The fact is, we did inherit the earth from our predecessors, and what a limp wristed, back sliding bunch of pussies they’re turning out to be. The rise of the green movement as a political force around the world proves that the brood which emerged during the second half of the twentieth century will be making our lives as bland as possible well into the twenty first. Not content to stay quietly smoking pot in their market gardens while keeping Birkenstock in business, these self proclaimed guardians of the earth are hell bent on denying us access to progress. New Zealand is justifiably proud of its nuclear free stance. But nuclear power and nuclear weapons aren’t the same thing. Don’t believe me? Ask Iran. Every time my electricity prices go up, or they play yet another news story about how the lights could go out any minute thanks to disruptions in supply, I can’t help but wonder; in a country with so much water, how can we fail to power a population roughly half that of Sydney? Couldn’t we fix the whole mess by plugging one little reactor into the grid somewhere? And before you mention Three Mile Island or Chernobyl, like the good little dreadlocked naysayer you are, can we please remember there are thousands of nuclear plants that haven’t had accidents? That coal and oil powered generators cause a hell of a lot more pollution, even without human error coming into the equation? Writing off nuclear energy because of two screw-ups is a like banning Stevie Wonder albums on the basis of “I Just Called To Say I Love You.” Everyone has bad days, okay? While we’re at it, why don’t you try powering something by burning your bicycles? Yeah, yeah, we’re running out of oil, large cars are burning a hole in the ozone layer, the world is warming up. Guess what? It’s your fault. My generation didn’t invent the Hummer! When I was growing up, you force fed me a diet of Dukes of Hazzard, The Cannonball Run and Knight Rider, and now you expect me to look to E.T. for my transport ideals? Finally, if you really believe that you’ve borrowed this planet from your children, then fine, but you can keep it. We don’t want it back, it’s broken. We don’t start wars, you do, and then you expect us to die in them. We didn’t invent greed, capitalism, corruption, the Big Mac or Celine Dion, and we don’t think about life beginning at forty, but about life ending at seventy. Best you let us try and build our very own planet, by our own rules. Then we can get on with the fun bit—fucking it all up for our own kids. JEREMY ELWOOD