If there is one sin the new generation of a given time have been accused of, it is irreverence. Rabindranath Tagore made his point in describing the nature of a twelve-thirteen year old in his famous short story Chuti (Holiday). No matter what stage of life we are at we have certainly heard of it from our seniors and now as we look to the new generation we find plenty of it.
It is a change in personal and social behaviour that many of us find hard to accept. But accept we must for that is the way of change. Accept it or step aside, so to say.
To one generation the very thought of looking at a parent while getting a bollocking was almost heresy. To another a simple factor of talking back to a senior was revolution. To yet another, the very thought of disobeying was the last straw. In today's age all of this and more symbolises the new generation -- irreverence at its height.
Against this background it isn't perhaps surprising that creative managers and agencies actually seek to exploit the theme of irreverence in pushing promotions through. For some it is aping a language, for others it is glorifying laziness and for another group it is actually ridiculing the elder generation and norms that have stood the test of time.
So it isn't a problem to depict a daredevil duo snatching someone else's soft drink and performing a ridiculously dangerous car driving stunt. Nor is it wrong to display the disheveled look as something to be proud of. And again, for the same soft drink company to ridicule an elder in trying to show adventurism in a new light. Or is it? For all the bravado it is this generation most at risk of losing most of their teeth due to an ingredient in soft drinks.
Ten years from now if the same irreverence targets the generation of today what will their thoughts be? Or is it the way of the world?
So there is a good probability that phrases such as 'wet blanket' in English and the Bengali version of 'wet cat' must stop being negative in meaning. This is to accommodate and promote the 'wet look' that an advertisement of one brand of hair gel would have us believe is 'very, very sexy'. And though they never say or show as much all gel and cream and no oil can and probably does lead to premature baldness.
And one of the newer brands of hard liquor went on a bizarre promotional in saying 'Tradition is the way it used to be' suggesting that everything about the past is outdated. It may be in terms of time but what about substance. For those creative minds perhaps a little nudging reminder that history is supposed to repeat itself. (The writer is a free lance journalist, veteran TV news caster and corporate executive)