Teenage Sonata

I have just heard an adenoidal melody on the radio ( ironically on the Old-Folks station ) that featured the phrase ” teenage sonata “.

Which leads one to speculate upon who would compose such a piece of music…a sonata-nosed kid, presumably…Here all week, Folks. Try the veal.

When did we start to be driven by the teenage years? I mean as a society – as a teenager you are always driven by a combination of lust, fear, and ignorance. When did the grown-ups decide to relinquish the torch of culture to this? And don’t start railing on the last American presidency for your answer. Save your bigotry for the current administration.

I remember the fuss made about teenagerie long before I entered it – the 50’s seemed to be obsessed with the various aspects; puerile songs, ill manners in school, street delinquency. If I had been more attuned, I would have probably picked up echoes of sex and pregnancy…but these topics were very well masked. In Western Australia they were sent away to state institutions or Brisbane. In Queensland they were sent to state institutions or Perth. I have no confirmation of an exchange-of-disgrace program between Sydney and Melbourne but I suspect there was. What Tasmania or the ACT did is anyone’s guess…

But back to teen-control. Fashions, music, foods, entertainment…all fell under the sway of the pimpled. Or they seemed to – in reality it was the industries that wished to profit that produced it. They either invented the gag or went along with it until it paid. Had it not done so – had there been no money spare for the teenager to squander, the advertisers would have still been speaking and selling to the adults.

Oddly enough, whatever my expectations before my entry into teenage years might have been, they were probably disappointed. I worked within a time and culture lag in the Canadian bush…and in an Australian capital city… and never took part in it. By the time I exited the teens I was training for a profession – had I been dumber I would have been training for combat. Had I been smarter I would have trained for a job in air conditioning or real estate sales.

Not gonna tell you what I would have trained for if I had met more girls…

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