Richard Neville’s Nuttiness

There’s few things less attractive than a former enfant terrible who insists on clinging relentlessly to his former persona. OK, domestics in comment boxes comes close but Richard Neville’s latest diatribe in the SMH surely plumbs the depths. In a call-to-arms to Gen X’ers (who won’t be listening in droves), Neville resurrects a glorious past of youthful protest when students didn’t wear “branded chinos” (how many students wear branded chinos today?) and really cared about stuff. These young people today do not, it seems. He cites the recent brouhaha in NSW where a bunch of “Knows-Best” boomers stopped a Film Company from shooting in the Grose Valley, in the Blue Mountains, because it interfered with their perception of what’s appropriate and their view that they should decide what is. According to Richard, the only people under 50 who were present at said rally were kids playing on swings.

Instead of asking himself whether the branded chino wearers might have seen the protest as symptomatic of somewhat blinkered thinking, Neville comes to the – sadly inevitable – conclusion that they’ve all been seduced by…yes… Consumerism. Brilliant analysis.

Whenever I read him I’m reminded of that scene in “The Madness of King George” when the crazed monarch flees his retainers dressed in his nightgown. His much more youthful servants had to wrestle him to the ground to restrain him. I’d advise any Gen X’ers or Y’s who feel like having a go at tranquilising Richard to try an elephant sized dart first and work up from there.

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2024 years ago

What are chinos?

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2024 years ago

They’re American drill pants that were particularly popular about 30 years ago Sam – when Richard Neville was momentarily relevant.

2024 years ago

I’m thinking Mad Ludwig castling away on his imaginary Bavarian chessboard more than Geo 111.

Back then, and my birth certificate tells me I was there, Neville was pretty well regarded (acolytes aside) in much the light you paint him now.

Less chiaroscuro, more fauve … and the paint still wet.

2024 years ago

In the 60s. the bulk of the students [including ones I deemed to be off with the fairies nutters]were reasonably capable people who could play games for a while, then make up reasonably esay, for anything they had “missed”. What with less ability and a greater need for overseas trips, etc., many of the young people he criticises, simply can’t afford the sort of risks taken in those “differenet” 60s.
Unlike Neville though, I’m not saddened to find they aren’t up in the Blue Mountains with the geriatric sixties pixies.

2024 years ago

Ya mean, like Richard Walsh?

2024 years ago

Last refuge of the incompetent

Confirming my view that the generation game is, for journalists, the last refuge of the incompetent, Richard Neville lets off a spray on behalf of the Boomers against Gen X. A typical para Around the time US snipers were taking…