The Youth, the dreaded Youth. Pissing on our chrysanthemums, loitering with menace, eating crisps with their mouths open, thinking for themselves.
Disrespectful, anti-social, lacking in discipline… ‘Bring back national service’ etc. etc. and more such yapping. When this dreaded youth took to the London streets back in the summer of 2011, wreaking havoc in their communities, sewing fear into the petal flower populace, stealing snazzies, and generally being dicks, they were condemned by the government (the up-standing Conservatives, naturally) as a disgrace who would be swiftly and severely dealt with. And, they really fucking were.
Yet this same government (and the others) tells us that we must invade and fight wars in other countries. They have dropped bombs and launched missiles into *cough* communities that have mutilated and killed countless human beings over the last 12 years in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, and – fingers crossed, cos we love the blood – Syria. They have obliterated hospitals, schools, sewage plants, water works, power stations… all manner of vital infrastructure, as well as countless homes.
I mean, I know they are just brown people and all, but doesn’t it all seem a tad – I don’t know – HYPOCRITICAL?! They / we have blown the limbs and features from women and children, staining the ruins of their desecrated homes with the blood and organs of their elderly, burning terrified bodies into pathetic, twisted shrivel, and wiped out entire families in ‘unfortunate incidents’ that are ‘deeply regretted’, because, God, who would have thought that dropping bombs on towns and cities could kill innocent people? These are our leaders. This is their example. Go figure.
As children we are told that violence never solves anything. When I punched the kid across the road for breaking the play sword my Dad had crafted from an old cupboard door (it was amazing, crafted and painted to look just like the one Kevin Costner killed the Sheriff of Nottingham with in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), I was grounded for the weekend. But the adults are hypocrites. Maybe some of the kids out there are as bad as we are told, but it’s not like they’re gate-crashing our utopia. These kids are our creations, and they reflect – with a precision accuracy that our military would be proud of – the very values and attitudes imprisoned in our pontificated values, and in the rotten actions of our supposed leaders.
When our leaders are mass murderers and war-mongers; when we create television programs, movies and games saturated in violence; when we neglect to educate our children in the values of compassion and kindness in favour of becoming obedient workers; when we feed them processed junks corrupted with chemicals and profit; when we pollute the water that they drink, the air that they breath, and the land that they play on; and when the greed and apathy of their parent and grandparent generations have destroyed the economy and with it their future, leaving them without the opportunity to follow their dreams and lead meaningful lives… then what the fuck is it that we expect these kids to be like?
We can no more complain about the youth of today than we can complain that we are fat and rotting when all we eat is rubbish. The youth are our creations… the arrows flung from our bows. That they land at our feet for us to fall on, is not their doing. They are the natural produce of a society that we have created and allowed. They are our responsibility, and if we want them to change then it is for us to change first.