Bump and Grind

Bump and Grind

7:30 pm Thursday evening, Phnom Penh. In the office, working late on a comic.
Srin and Santepheap & I are each doing our respective bits.

On the mix CD comes ‘Children of the Revolution’. And these kids, both born in the 1980s, are both grooving out to it. It was written in 1972, when Cambodia’s own revolution was heating up.

Marc Bolan’s classic tune has always had a place in my personal Cambodia soundtrack. The lyrics themselves can be interpreted many ways. It’s about teenage rebellion, and predicts dramatic change. Yet just how serious is it? It’s a pop protest song and a knowing parody of them at the same time.

And I’m thinking, these aren’t literally “Children of the Revolution”, but they’re post-revolutionary kids, who are a part of the baby boom following the ouster of the Khmer Rouge. They’re not products of the revolution, but affected by it.

The median age in Cambodia is19 to 20. The youth of today are often at odds with the traditional older generation, on just about any issue you can think of. They bear watching; some day, they’ll grow up to run the country.

And many of them are taking change into their own hands, directly. By digging wells, by giving schoolbooks, by doing workshops. Not for the benefit of some NGO, or for a corporate training program,or a bullet point on their CV. Most can’t be bothered to formalize their efforts, they’re frustrated with bureaucracy. They do it just because they can.

Maybe in another 10 years they’ll be politicking and driving black landcruisers. Maybe not. But for now, for the moment, I think the kids are alright.

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One Response to “Bump and Grind”

  1. earthsmoltencore says:

    Nice Scribble Quickdraw…

    You should check out the Australian film of the same name, starring Judy Davis, Sam Neill and Geoffrey Rush.. About Aussie Commies – ‘reds under the bed’…

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