Before we plunge into a round of indictment and wringing accusations down upon the heads of the younger generation let’s take a moment or two to consider whether that’s what is really meant by the UK’s child. After all, in the days of empire we laid claim to a whole mess of land masses and insisted on making them our very own. Is America the rebellious teenager who, in their very act of trying to go their own way, have ended up rather more like their parents than they had intended? Am I labouring this metaphor far too much already?
Obviously, this is complete nonsense. But it’s also worth remembering that we’re all one human race or whatever sickening way you feel like framing it. As such, if children on our own little island are getting up to something or other in particular, it’s highly likely that such an activity is captivating the sprogs of another set of shores entirely. We’re hardly all that original as a people so ideas tend to hold sway once they’ve initially caught on.
So, teens are sending each other filth. This really isn’t anything new whatever you might think. Not that I have anything to report from my time spent languishing between the ages of thirteen and twenty (I’m a lady, I’d never descend to anything so uncouth. It has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that no one was interested. Can we get off the subject please). As it’s so wont to do, technology is enabling this variety of discourse like never before.
Of course, once you hit the magical age of eighteen, everything becomes absolutely fine. You can swan off to war, run for election under the banner of putting things to rights (it might actually be twenty one but I’m making a point so there) but running everything into the ground when you get there and send whatever suggestively nasty messages you like. Well, it’s good to have goals isn’t it? Shame this whole thing is so difficult to police really.
Given the current state of play, all you need to do is to leave a completely normal average person alone in a room for five minutes or even less if you feel the need to prove and point and you’re feeling especially daring. By the time you come back to them, they’ll have found something or other to work themselves into a blind rage over. It doesn’t even have to be anything real, the inside of their own head will be more than enough to have them seeing red. That and the fact that you’ve had the nerve to label them as merely average.
Outside of such controlled settings rage can often need some variety of spur. More often that not it’s a change of some description to the current status quo. The very moment someone gets wind of a shifting tide is the instance they’re already sharpening their arguments and getting ready to tear someone’s head off. It’s just the way it goes. And once they’re there it’s incredibly difficult to talk them down with even the most reasonable and logical of persuasive efforts.
For example, it was suggested by some telly exec that rather than depending on airing a soap opera crammed with dysfunctional relationships and outlandish incidents they think about putting together a slightly different slice of programming. One that might daringly attempt to portray some moderately together women making good decisions in their love lives and career trajectories. Cue mindless panic and fury the likes of which you’re unlikely to survive.
How dare channels tell us what to watch? How could they so warp and subvert what I can only assume to be (I’ve never watched Coronation Street and can’t help but feel that my life is fuller without it. Oh dear, I might have ticked someone off with such a controversial statement) simply fabulous exploits? The nerve. Now repeat four or five Christmas adverts ad nauseam and help us load up the car with unnecessary tat. Tis the season. Almost.
I’m not sure how sympathetic my generation will manage to be in future. Sure, no one likes the thought of little old dears shivering away in the increasingly chilly onslaughts brought about the gift that keeps on giving in climate change. And yeah, it must suck to be confronted with the news that you’ll have to keep on working beyond the point that you were previously promised. How you will ever be able to cope with the knowledge that you’ve been well and truly shafted by the people at the top?
I can picture it now. The minute you were able, well before you left full-time education for good, you plunged headfirst into the workforce. Maybe you jaunted off to university (thanks to grants and a total lack of fees that was a perfectly justifiable thing to do to further your prospects in life) or perhaps you kept working away at the coalface of whatever profession you found yourself in. Throughout that time you were only too happy to surrender that portion of your earnings demanded by the government in the form of taxes.
You may very well have pictured those funds going towards the cheery miracle of the National health service or possibly towards the schools your children attended or even to resurfacing and maintaining roads. Probably not straight into the pockets of bankers and the like but surely even such evil seeming enterprises are for the overall good of the economy? You watched those ahead of you happily retiring and skipping off into years of well earned leisure time doing crosswords and expensive foreign excursions.
All that time you planned out precisely what you were going to do in that time. Only to be confronted with this particular little slice of harsh truth. I really wouldn’t waste too much time worrying about it all though – the deep freeze is coming. Whether that turns out to be a hastily triggered ice age only the hardiest of us will survive or an icy scourge that will see off a swathe of scrounging elders under the false impression that they deserve to be able to afford to keep their abodes toasty warm even in the height of summer. What goes around comes around I expect.
I mean, I know she’s in a stunningly inappropriate position to take up this particular mantle but she made a promise to someone very important to her and when she means them, boy does she stick to a pledge. Of course they mean next to nothing to her when she’s spouting platitudes to mollify a gullible public but when Theresa doesn’t haver her fingers tightly crossed behind her back she is one hell of a trustworthy lady.
Then again, when you think about it another way, as the British Prime Minister Mrs May is is currently doing a job that offers her manifest opportunities to wreak havoc on the West in ways that have never been seen before. Perhaps she knew before this weekend that Fidel was shuffling off the mortal coil. The moment she realised what was to come she set events in motion so that she could launch her leadership bid amidst the surly winds of change. Forcing through Brexit is just one of the ways she’ll bring western civilisation to its knees.
Right about now you might be ever so slightly confused. You’re sufficiently out of the loop that you believed that Theresa May and Fidel Castro never actually met. Had you heard of the relationship at all you leapt straight towards the notion that it was a romantic encounter. Perhaps you imagined some feverish liaison that came to a sticky end (bad choice of words, please stop picturing it, dunk your head in bleach whilst whistling the national anthem and let’s get on with our lives).
It was really more of a mentorship than anything else. Castro was surprisingly willing to take the English white lady under his wing. He could well have been taking the long view and he’d certainly be correct to have done so since Theresa is making good on her vow to scourge the west like never before now he’s gone.
Somewhat surprisingly, it’s a hell of a lot easier than you might think to spend money you don’t actually have. Even if you’re looking to do so for genuinely benevolent reasons. At a certain point in time I imagine I may well submit and decide that I really ought to get a credit card. Simply in order to improve my credit score of course. In order to secure one of those excellent crippling loans I’m yet to take out. I have to mould myself into an upstanding member of society who can definitely be trusted with vast sums of money. In the way that bankers are and next to no one else is.
However it might be that you somehow manage to start, it’s a slippery slope from thereon in. You begin by convincing yourself that you deserve a thing, be it luxury holidays to far flung corners of the globe, handbags with other people’s names on that ludicrously inflate the price for no readily discernible reason or the latest item of technological wizardry. Once you hold it in your arms or experience it for yourself it’s a wonderful feeling. And then the shine disappears, you become bored with it or merely return to earth with something of an almighty thud. That’s when you set about questing for your next high.
And commence spirals. Now that you’ve become an unstoppable monster of the commercial world someone is quite definitely going to have to put a halt to such destructive behaviour. Possibly by cutting up your plastic passes to unparalleled wealth or buying up the stock before you can lay your grubby mitts on it. They might even go old school by chaining you up in the basement until the retail urge has passed you by. I’ve definitely never considered doing such a thing to you. Or drawn up detailed plans for such an endeavour.
Maybe this isn’t the right time for me to start thinking about asking for a pay rise. After all, I’m doing pretty much fine compared to an overwhelming number of my generation. But, you know, money is nice. For things. Let’s back up for a minute though, this isn’t really about me or the woes of assorted distressed millennials coping with the after effects of a decision they never made with far reaching consequences no one properly expected.
This particular little gem of a scenario comes courtesy of our former Prime Minister. Like many folk in this butt crack of a year, he has sat watching from the side lines with increasingly horror as events unfold. Of course, he’s fairly safe and secure in a lucrative after dinner speech career. Or at least that’s what the satirists have led me to believe.
Matters have progressed to the point where poor old Tony is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it any more. He’s determined to wade right back into politics, seize errant leaders by the scruffs of their necks and shake them until they see some manner of sense. By which he probably means viewing things from his own unique perspective. For sure, he’ll regard this as some brave act of political heroism, others may well see it as unwarranted meddling.
I’m not entirely sure where I come down in terms of this spectrum. Blair swept to power while I was still under five and curiously uninterested in the current political scene. However, I’m relatively sure that once you’ve had your go with the best toys you’re supposed to let the other girls and boys have a turn. Sticking your nose in just because things are descending into the bleak levels of murky effluence storm isn’t completely fair. Plus, he’s having a go at Corbyn so the disgruntled twenty somethings really aren’t going to be happy with the development.
I’ve seen it asked online why aren’t we angrier? An elected official was murdered by a white supremacist and on the barest of margins we’re plunging into crippling debt thanks to the European exit (bearing in mind of course that had the result gone the other way to that same degree the opposition vowed not to accept it and that it wouldn’t be enough to let the matter rest).
I’ve seen more than one argument that the losers in both the American election and the British referendum are being too gracious in defeat. I’m not entirely certain that’s the case (well mannered riot anyone?) but the other side were guns ablaze about how they wouldn’t take a loss lying down. So we arrive at that old chestnut, is bad behaviour justified simply because you’re convinced that ‘they’ would have done the same thing or worse if placed into a set of circumstances matching yours?
Probably not, there is something to be said for conducting yourself with a certain level of grace. The world may crumble around you, populations descend into chaos and everything might become more than a little bit messed up but you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you behaved like a freaking lady (or gentleman if that happens to be your persuasion).
I’m starting to feel more and more convinced that anger might be the way to get things done. Kicking back against the system, the changes you don’t like happening in the world. Wait a minute, yep, acting like that is essentially what landed us in this mess in the first place. So there’s definitely got to be a better solution. Learned discourse with plenty of fact checking? Eruditely convincing others that your position is the correct one? Literally anything else than spouting off about it on the internet? Who knows? I really should probably start donating to some worthy causes for starters.