Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Riots? same as it ever was.

I find myself somewhat conflicted over the current spate of rioting that’s breaking out like unsightly zits all over this country. My natural left-leaning nature is being sorely tested by a sneaky little right wing side of me that is inflamed by certain aspects of modern society.
Whilst rioting itself is nothing new, in London or anywhere else, and will always be part and parcel of life in Britain (my favourites are the Luddite riots of the early 19th century. They smashed machines up, these current ones were organised on Blackberries. Go figure)
I can’t help feeling that what these youths need is a bloody good hiding. To quote Pink Floyd ‘a short, sharp shock’.
But how can I have such a violent lurch to the right? Am I, indeed, becoming more conservative as I get older?
The 20-something me would have delighted in the chaos and anarchy, but then what did he know?
Nothing, he was an idiot.
And that’s the main issue here, young people are stupid. I’m not talking about the remarkable kids that appear week after week on University Challenge, who are au fait with the laws of motion, the pelvic bone of the Amazonian tree frog and the periodic table, they are a different breed and we’ll need them later. They’ll probably be the ones in 30 or 40 years sitting on committees trying to work out what should be done about the rioters in New London smashing up hover car showrooms.
No, the problem we have is that to be young means to know better than everyone else, when actually you know the square root of fuck all.
And how the youth enjoy their ignorance, it’s a badge of honour to know nothing, but they still demand respect for doing so. See, I can feel a rant coming on. And that’s no good. Regardless of the feelings they evoke we need to look at the issues that have caused these riots.
Could it be that creating not only a society, but a entire civilisation, on consumer greed, envy, 24 hour advertising, bad credit and a scrabbling need to possess ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ to fill the empty voids in our lives that used to be filled by blindly following God and King and Country, might have been a bad model?
But that’s the dream we’ve been sold and as long as uneducated disenfranchised young people, whose own parents were the same, keep being told what they ‘deserve’ without being given any means of achieving it we’ll continue to reap what we sow.
How are your cuts to public services looking now Prime Minister?

Reading: The Wine-Dark Sea by the incomparable Patrick O'Brian
Listening to: Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 1 in G Major, amongst others

1 comment:

  1. You get there in the last few pars. Absolutely right. And spot on with your reading, too - Patrick O'Brian: linear narrative and simple, declarative sentences!