Let’s start with The Flintstones.
I had no idea that The Flintstones had reached the ripe old age of 50. What, I ask myself, might’ve been 50 in 1960 and part of the cultural landscape in the same way? Or is this a new phenomenon because of the Age of Television so that we can expect to be eventually reminded of the 50th anniversaries of The Jetsons, Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, Scooby-doo, Josie and the Pussycats et al.?
I only have a fairly vague recollection of The Flintstones. Fred liked to say “Yabba dabba doo” when he was excited; Barney’s laugh was his catch phrase; and the opening lyrics were only partially intelligible. Back then, I would’ve been unaware that it was an animated sitcom, and these days, with The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park, I’m not sure an animated sitcom would quite work unless it had satirical overtones. I don’t think The Flintstones took pot-shots at the US government because of Vietnam.
Meanwhile, according to recent news, I’m too late for my mid-life crisis. I should’ve had it by the middle of last year, but now I’m too old. On the other hand, it claims that the unhappiest people in British society are 35- to 44-year-olds. That’s not the same thing as a mid-life crisis, which I’ve always taken to be that point in time when middle-aged people finally realise their progress in life has come to a halt.
Perhaps this is why I look round for new things to keep me amused so that although in other aspects of my life, progress may have ceased, there’s something to divert my attention. Probably, my definition of a mid-life crisis should be revised to say that it’s when middle-aged people realise their progress at work has come to a halt. If that’s so, then they need to remind themselves that their jobs aren’t their lives.
On the other hand, there was the question about earning £100,000 just recently, and whether it was worth it. My feeling is that for that sort of money, employers would believe that you ought to be doing your job all day, every day, and the government would believe it ought to tax you at a similar rate. Not worth the grief. I’d be happy if I knew that regardless of its relevance to my job, my PhD would ensure a higher salary, although I’d also like to be paid on the same scale as subject teachers in our programme. EFL teachers ultimately get paid less regardless of our qualifications and experience.
My salary at the moment? Adequate, but all things considered, could be better.