Back In My Day Children Were Polite To Their Oppressors

By: Victor Zeidler

By: Victor Zeidler

When you live to 80 years old, it’s a given that you’ve seen a lot things. Over the course of my eight decades on this earth, I’ve experienced enough to fill up the pages of a long book with remarkable adventures and amazing journeys. But as I enter my twilight years, I can’t help but look around at the people I’m going to leave behind and be incredibly disappointed. Quite frankly, I see the children being raised today and notice not an ounce of respect for their oppressors.

Now, I understand that I may sound like an old kook regaling his stories of walking uphill both ways to school through three feet of snow, but I mean it when I say that kids these days just march to a different drummer. In fact, I don’t even think they have drummers anymore on the chained line like they did when I was a young worker. Nowadays it’s nothing but iPods in their satchels and headphones in their ears while working the mines. Sometimes I wonder if they can even hear the crack of whip over that singer Kanye blasting in their ears.

If you don’t believe me that the times are a changin’, all you have to do is head on over to one of your local silver mines and see for yourself. I took a trip last week to my old stomping grounds, and I saw several children miners skateboarding to the dig. Can you believe that?! Skateboarding like it’s some fun get together and not a hallowed ground of backbreaking work. One 8-year old immigrant servant was even wearing his pileus backwards like some punk rocker, and all of the kids wore their iron belt so low around their waste you’d think they were going to fall right to the kids’ ankles with every swing of the hammer.

But the most troubling part about youngsters is the way they treat their overlords. It almost pains me to write this, but I swear to you I overheard kids calling their masters by their first name. Their first name! When I was a young boy, making eye contact with your line chief got you three days in the hole with no food or water and nothing but your own thoughts to keep the demons away. But these kids are just running around all willy nilly asking Boris or Vladimir for water or a break like they’re not even a little bit terrified for their own life. The lack of fear is truly saddening.

Honestly, I blame the parenting. I’m of the opinion that it’s the parents’ responsibility to instill a level of respect and undying servitude in their children before sending them off to the mines at age 5. It’s what my parents did for me and their parents for them. And I’d like to think that I kept that tradition alive by making sure that the souls of my children were broken before they left the shack for good. Hear me when I say that it’s not the job of the mine drivers to raise our kids.

I suppose the ramblings of a worried old man won’t amount to more than a hill of beans in this crazy world, but I’m proud to say that after seeing 27 of my childhood friends die at the hands of my authoritarian dictators, I know a thing or two about treating people with respect. My only hope is that today’s tormentors start laying down the law like they used to and whip these softy children into the hard-nosed slaves they were born to be.

If they don’t, then may God help us all.


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