Monday, 8 March 2010

Our Future - Young Folks

I’ve been enjoying the sunshine and filling my lungs with freezing air.   Not sure that it’s done me much good, but there you are Mac Masher needs to be walked.
And it’s a busy News Blog this week. 
It’s not often that I bother picking up The Sun, but on Friday during a trip around a shop I happened to pick a copy up, just to flick through the pages, he says.  I’m glad I did, and not just because Amanda from Tunbridge Wells featured in seemingly 3D effect on page three – not that I noticed while reading their deep analysis of why Gordon is a moron.
Friday’s cartoon was a stunner, and basically making the point of my theme of the week, the alienation of Youth from the political process.  

My thoughts were first shifted this way on Wednesday evening where by accident I caught the end of a Programme on BBC 3 called Pre-Election Question Time. It was hosted by the chap who does the links on X-Factor, proving that first impressions can sometimes be completely wrong; very quick witted with a grasp of the issues, unless there was some production chappie shouting unseen into his ear.
This version of Question Time was aimed at young people, and the audience was made up of eighteen to twenty five year olds asking questions of a big panel of “experts”.  
What disturbed me was that while the audience was clearly quite intelligent, with an interest in “current affairs” over three quarters were clearly completely alienated from the political process. 
OK many of us older buggers like The Mashers don’t exactly feel at one with our decision makers and prefer to keep them at arms distance, or further, but most view the democratic process as being important, so much so that at least 65% – 70% will go out and vote come the named election day.
But you see age and experience has warped our view of the democratic process – hasn’t it? 
There was a time though where being a rather strange boy by modern standards, I was a starry eyed who believed that by being a part of the process, by being involved, one could influence the decisions of our Town’s Aldermen.  The idealism of Youth.
That idealism still burns a bit to day, which is why I was so disturbed by the complete lack of idealism amongst the gathered young people for the programme.  So what would these young people be like by the time they reach my age.
Even more frightening was that they appeared to have little grasp of the “political” issues affecting their lives, be it unemployment or student loans, and absolutely no idea as to how they could attempt to change the status quo. 
From my point of view this is a failing of our Education system, and poor History teaching in particular – sorry History teachers – but your failure to discuss in any detail the development of Working Class Movements, left and right, leads to a lack of understanding about what it is all about.
It was this that moved me to pop along to a meeting of Left Groupings in Rotherham on Thursday night.  I had been invited many times, but always had a really good reason for not going, but Thursday I changed priorities for a day.
I’m glad I did. 
Nine people around the table, seven well above the age of fifty or more.  Now that says a lot in itself.
No one under thirty.
But it was good to be amongst folks with similar ideals, and a desire to try to do something about it. 
It’s true, if folks like us sit back and do nothing and simply bemoan the lack of youth interest, then carry on as if nothing can be done, then quite simply we’re as guilty as the young people who simply vote with their feet.
Which is where the idea of a small music Festival with a theme geared towards issues affecting young people, was aired. 
Two dates for the Festival have been aired, May Bank Holiday or Spring Bank Holiday. 
It looks as if we will be heading towards the latter being 31st May as many people are already committed over the May Day Holiday.  A firm date will be announced soon – and we hope to able to use The Bridge Inn for the event.
The idea is to have a day of music, supplemented by Workshops / Discussion Groups, and the odd speaker, around the theme of Youth Issues.
Anyone wanting to be involved Email me at   All offers from artists or offering other skills will be much appreciated.
Thanks to those who have already responded.
Sharpe eyed Acoustic Rotherham watchers, will have noted a new advertisement on our pages, from Secprint.  We’re happy to introduce this service to our friends, especially as Brian the proprietor, and his family has been a supporter of Acoustic Rotherham events. 
It’s quite an inventive service, offering the opportunity to create your artwork online or simply complete with your own for a quick turnaround print service at a reasonable price.  Click through on the ad and take a look at the site.
Five, yes five new Reviews to the pages of Acoustic Rotherham from our writer David Kidman have been put up.  Jude Cowan’s, Doodlebug Alley; jiva’s Best Friends; The Troubadors Stolen Time; Tina McKevitt and Matt Hegarty’s  Dew Drop on the Barley; and Chris Milner’s Four Fields Meet; get the Kidman ears.
If you want your CD reviewed by David or listed on the CD Shop page then email or go to the site pages.
In the CD Shop itself in the Free Demo Download area you’ll find a couple of tracks from South Yorkshire’s base out in Australia, John McCullagh, including, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to learn, the studio version of “Dance on The Grave of Mrs Thatcher”.   Rather apt I thought, for a week in which we learnt of the death of Michael Foot. 
We hope that as many of you as is possible will turn out on the 13th March for The Mashers and Friends evening at The Bridge Inn Rotherham.  It promises to be a super evening, with our special friends Tina and Matt along with Phillip Hartley all joining in.   We’re throwing in a few extra Irish songs and the last half hour or so will be given over to a full on sing song, so bring your voices.  
It all starts at around 8:30pm.
HAITI APPEAL EVENING  - date correction
Whoops – a classic Dickieism – got the day and date wrong in my mailing on Friday.  It’s at the Riverside on Tuesday 30th March.  A super evening of music, from all of the above + the magical Paul Pearson.
 And that I think is that for another week.
Have fun folks and if you can help with the Festival in any way please get in touch.

No comments:

Post a Comment