Like most of Betoota’s Gen-X men, Ben Chairsilver (49) is fairly quiet.

Unlike the cranky millennialls and constantly outraged baby boomers. He keeps his opinions to himself, and doesn’t ask for much.

With a Gen-X wife (Amanda, 48) and a Gen-X job (TV cameraman) – Ben just gets on with life and tries his best to keep his now late-teen kids out of prison.

Because, he knows it’s a lot easier to go to prison nowadays.

You know, with the CCTV cameras and digital footprint shit.

His undocumented pre-internet memories come back to him from time to time, and he wonders what life would have been like if there was an eft-pos transaction and 4G tower signal accurately mapping his every movement in the 1990s.

But there is no greater juxtaposition between his long forgotten past and the brave new world than when he heads into a local shopping centre to upgrade his electrical goods.

“Look at this shit” he mutters.

“All of it’s brand spanking new and marked up to whatever price they name. It’s especially not worth the cost because it’ll probably be outdated in a few months with a newer model”

Ben’s criticisms of late-stage capitalism and the accelerated consumerism of the 2020s is another common occurence. It’s an experience that takes him back to a time when he was able to buy a relatively new TV in cash from a bloke who was selling unmarked household items out of a van in the car park behind his local pub.

“Yeah. It was all hot. But once it was in your living room it made no difference” he says.

“There was no phone numbers, no receipts. Just a bloke with faded tattoos drinking near the pool tables who’d meet me out the back when I nodded at him”

Ben is of course talking about the late 1990s heroin boom, when suburban home burglaries would take place in any given street on any given day.

“They’d even offer a thief’s guarantee.” he says.

“If the TV or stereo stopped working in the first two months, they’d go and ‘get’ you another”

“Couldn’t do that nowadays. That kind of entrepreneurialism is now heavily frowned upon”

“Plus these flat screens have probably got a GPS signal in them for all I know. TVs don’t fall off the back of a truck anymore”

“I spose with this new youth crime wave I could probably get my hands on a questionably-acquired family car if I really went looking for it. But it’d have to be older than 2016 when they started putting computers into ’em.”

“Anyway never mind. How much for the 50 inch?”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here