That's what Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey were telling us back in 1965. But were they right? Though looking at the lyrics of the Who song doesn't seem to indicate a heartfelt cry to the integrity of the younger members of the population, to my mind (and, I would hazard, to most people who have heard it) it always symbolized this. Clearly, the kids they were speaking of were not those kids (such as me) who were born in that year, or even those kids who were up to 10 years older than that. No, they were talking about their generation - if you will - their contemporaries. Pete was born in 1945, some six years earlier than Gordon Brown, so Gordy would have been 14 (against Townshend's 20) when the song came out. It is conceivable then that the Who were referring to Old Clunking Fist in their anthem to not-so-doomed youth. In which case they were most definitely and emphatically wrong in saying that these people were in any way 'alright'.
I mean, look where the generation above us (and I mean no disrespect to my parents, who were and are frugal, honest and hard working people) has got us. A world of alienation, violence and uncertainty for the many, a stinking cess pool of discarded detritus and extinguished species, a world where 'celebrities' make stands against world poverty and callow youths are paid up to £120,000 a week to kick a ball around and drive enormous 4x4s while wearing watches worth tens of thousands of pounds. On the subject of Armageddon, I stood in the queue at Waitrose the other day and watched as those around me fed the scanners with their President butter and Duchy Originals, and I wondered what will happen when it all dries up. When the great teat of the 24/7 artics stops pumping its manna milk into the maws of the retail cathedrals. Not wishing to set myself apart, I realised that most of the people in the store wouldn't stand a chance if it came down to a physical contest for the scant resources available. Their jobs in internet publishing or media management wouldn't stand them in good stead when faced with a gang of crack-starved street rats in a fight over a mildewed potato or a siphoned litre of unleaded.
But I digress. My point, I suppose, is that this future lark isn't all it was cracked up to be. These kids who were 'alright' have dumped us right in it and no mistake.