Saturday, December 17, 2005

Troublesome Youths

What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with crazy ideas. What is to become of them?
I'm sure I first read this quotation on another blog but I can't for the life of me remember who's it was, I'm afraid. The point is that these aren't the words of an old Tory grandee or your dad but those of Plato speaking the the 4th Century BC (probably). It seems that those pesky youths have been causing trouble for really quite a while.

Nevertheless, it can be awfully difficult to resist adopting the "it wasn't like that in my day" attitude.* Yesterday, I happened to find myself at a shopping centre just after the nearby school (for 12 - 18 year old, I think) had disgorged it's pupils for the day. What really got me was the way some of them were dressed. Before I describe what I mean, it should be borne in mind that it was snowing at the time and already getting dark.

So, I'll chose just one example. One girl (around 16 probably) was wearing black 3/4 length trousers with strappy high heel shoes in the style of Sarah Jessica Parker. As I walked past, I noticed particularly that her exposed lower extremities were just starting to suggest they were about to turn blue. It really was very cold. She also wore a black puffy jacket with a furry collar. Under that, she had on one of those strappy tops which are so popular these days. (I know this because we ended up in the same shop and she had her jacket off). The pièce de résistance were the dark glasses though. She was, quite undeniably, wearing reallt quite dark sunglasses. Utter madness, I thought. It wasn't like that in my day.

Today, I read this.
Jennifer Lopez and Pete Doherty walked into a north-east school yesterday to raise money for charity. They were joined by about 200 other famous names, including US President George Bush, Darth Vader and Snow White, as pupils and staff at Westhill Academy dressed up as their favourite celebrities in aid of Sue Ryder Care.
There's also a photo in the paper. I saw Jennifer Lopez. Obviously.

There's probably a lesson here somewhere.

* Of course, the fact that people have been saying it for hundreds of years doesn't necessarily preclude the possibility that it is true today. I actually believe there are serious new problems with the "youth of today", including, probably over-generously, people my own age (me included). That's not for this post though.

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