Well to start off I don't want to sound hypocritical; I'm 22 years old so not much older than the age group i'm talking about, but lifestyle-wise a whole world away...
I wanted to talk about the attitudes of teenagers/young adults, especially in the wake of the London riots which happened on my front doorstep. A lot of middle class middle age angry men and women were interviewed on the news saying what a disgrace it was, how shameful, where are the parents of these hooligans? it's all just mindless violence, how dare they?!
It angered me because yes, it is all mindless violence and no I in no way condone it, but I think they're totally missing the point. The kids don't feel ashamed because they don't feel anything- gonna get arrested? oh well sh*t happens. Gonna get beaten up? Yeah the whole world hates me anyway. And hye I can go get me a telly cos I haven't got any money to buy one.
If you've got nothing to lose you can do anything you want and it doesn't matter. These kids went to a school where they weren't heard by their teachers and formed tight bonds with their classmates which become gangs and the only thing they have to look out for is each other. There aren't any jobs unless you have a handful of degrees and university fees are so expensive they can't afford to go. They live on the dole (government granted money for the unemployed) which is a massive pain the arse- people think living on the dole is for dossers who want to be lazy. I have a few friends on dole money and let me tell you it is not easy to survive on and you basically sign your soul to the government, it's a massive drain on your psyche and once your on it it is very hard to claw your way back out.
I want to reiterate (spelling?) I in NO WAY CONDONE THE RIOTS. I live in Enfield North London and this sh*t was scary, that massive warehouse fire was down my road. I'm just probing into why they happened.
Then on the flipside it's totally different; spoilt kids who make their parents do EVERYTHING for them. I saw a lot of this going on when I went to university. I come from a council estate (social housing/projects etc) raised by just my mum on her own and from 11 I was cleaning up the house, cooking myself dinners when mum worked late and generally just helping out, not abandoned to myself far from it, just learning to be independant. At university most of the students came from more affluent backgrounds and whoah, what a culture shock. I saw one girl scream at her mother for packing her clothes wrong. Another guy let his parents carry all his stuff to his dorm room while he played his nintendo, and they all lived on chips from the canteen because none of them knew how to cook (one screwed up a pot noodle- how do you do that?!)
These kids aren't out on the streets rioting, but I think they are just as big a problem. They expect to get rich and famous and waited on for nothing, and in my eye that's just as dangerous an attitude as 'i've got nothing to live for'; both are unproductive.
phew, rant over. I'm not pigeonholing everyone here or trying to start a class war; I'm working class but went to university and have a steady job and my middle class friend works really hard for next to nothing and is now moving into social housing, there's always excpetions. But this has been on the news a lot and I needed to vent! What about you, is it like this where you live? Do you disagree, please do say so. i'm all ears