We recently met the elderly badger, Jack Jakes. He runs the local repair shop. He’s also a key player in the fourth episode of Sunnyville Stories, “Don’t Answer Me”. (At the time of this writing, I’m still waiting for Ka-Blam to finish the printing and listing of that comic.) What’s gotten him so down is a falling out with his nephew, Roger. So why don’t we meet Roger Jakes?
Roger Jakes is the nephew of Jack Jakes. His father was Jack’s younger brother. Roger showed an aptitude from a young age about being very tech-savvy. He was not only good with tools, but was also handy with many electronics. He loved video games and pocket calculators. Roger also learned how to work a computer and studied various computer languages like Basic, Pascal, and Fortran.
Roger also spent a lot of time with his uncle Jack and aunt Betty. Since they had no children of their own, they showered him with much affection. Roger frequently helped out in the fix-it shop and aided in repairing the townspeople’s appliances.
Sadly, things went downhill soon afterwards. While in college, Roger’s aunt Betty died and Mr. Jakes was deeply hurt by her death. To make matters worse, Roger’s own parents perished in a horrendous car crash. Soon, the uncle and the nephew were all that each other had. But it soon got worse.
Roger and Mr. Jakes had VERY different ideas due to their ages. Mr. Jakes tended to distrust newer technology and liked to do things the tried-and-true method. In other words, he avoided newer tools. Roger was the other way. He was computer savvy and liked inventing. (BTW, check out the poster in Roger’s room. Space Paranoids is a reference to the 1982 movie Tron.)
This is what eventually led to the falling out between Roger and his uncle. Each one insisted that their way (old vs. new) was right and the other was wrong. Fights broke out daily and then the two went their ways. Roger moved away to live in Solton. At the start of episode 4, he is living there and doing various jobs for money.
The clash between the older and the younger is not the only theme here. It’s also of how the older generation (namely the parents) tend to distrust new technology. It’s a motif I plan to repeat throughout Sunnyville Stories and definitely something you’ll see more of in future stories.
Adult distrust of new technology is hardly anything new. Growing up as a late Generation-Xer, I was among the first generation to grow up with access to personal technology such as cable TV, video games, personal computers, pocket calculators, compact cassettes, compact discs, etc. It’s more defined these days by adults who are upset with today’s kids having access to the Internet, social media (like Facebook and MySpace), cell phones, texting, and so on.
It stems from fears that a lot of these newer technologies are harmful or even deadly, rallying around the popular “the children will be corrupted” doctrine. We’ll be seeing quite a bit of this in the future.
That does it for this week’s entry. Subscribe via email or RSS feed if you haven’t already. I’d like to hear your comments too. How do you like my work? Have you ever had major disputes with your family? What do you think about distrust of new technology?