Sunday 23 September 2012

There is a light that never goes out

Weekends are always packed in our family with my zumba class, the boys going to rhymetime and football and all of us going swimming. Fitting in anything extra requires logistics that would make the MOD proud. We did, however, manage to find a space in the schedule to attend an open day for a school this weekend. My boy loved everything about it and yelled like a banshee when we moved him from one fun filled room to another as he realised that all of it was geared toward keeping him occupied.

A bit of tutoring with Daddy
As neither Hubbie nor I went to an independent school it was a whole new experience and refreshing to meet teachers who can spell, use grammar and don't dress like I did in my second year at university. I'm not sure why we received a free teddy bear and a big helium filled balloon to take away with us, but I think that is designed to distract from the sting of the fees they charge. I did find myself picturing my son in a school with small class sizes, a swimming pool onsite and an interactive whiteboard in every classroom - including the nursery ones. 

Of course the point of an open day is to show the school in the best possible light and to sell it to potential parents. The main concern I have is whether considering a fee paying school for our son is a sign that we have entirely lost touch with our idealistic notions and rewritten our own history. From being an activist about everything at university to waking up one day middle aged is a salutary lesson.

However, I do console myself that at least I recognise that I'm not a fearless upstart any more. Imagine living with the massive denial that the former frontman of the Smiths labours under. Morrissey has never been a bundle of laughs. Witness the cheerless titles the Queen is Dead, Girlfriend in a Coma and Meat is Murder, as opposed to Vicar in a Tutu and Shoplifters of the World Unite which I thought demonstrated how the Smiths were funny and their lyrics amusing, but now I'm not so sure.

Hand on glove and plant in back pocket

There was a time when Morrissey was the angry young man and poster child for sullen and disaffected youth with his precocious commentary on modern life and all it's failings. Now he's an older man he still deigns to make controversial pronouncements from his cosy ex-pat life in LA where he thinks his teenage rants are still relevant.

Out of loyalty we still listen to his rants, but he's less a national treasure and more a Victor Meldrew figure with a cooler following (my father-in-law thinks One Foot in the Grave is hilarious, but he has no idea who the Smiths were). People of my generation still think Mozzer is like a cool uncle who used to take us to festivals and is now vaguely embarrassing, but we're still loyal to him out of respect for what he once was to us. Anti-establishment and so very clever.

I'm not saying I'm going to get rid of my weird and wonderful music, or give my tour t shirts to charity as a sign that I've grown up. After all I've still got my original Doc Marten boots to show my son when he thinks he's the first teenager to be rebellious and/or misunderstood. 

What I am saying is that when it's his turn he's going to have to go some to find a style of music and a political viewpoint that we find completely disagreeable. If he wanders into the house with a long floppy fringe and a canvas bag with Nine inch Nails written on it in felt tip I will smile knowingly to myself - I just won't let on to him.