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Friday 30 May 2003

The decline of today's youth [muz]

I am well aware that I am perhaps the least qualified member of crosshatch EED to be complaining about the yoof of today, but seeing as no-one else has, I think I'll bitch about it anyway.
For those who haven't seen it, this story typifies what I am referring to. For those too slack to click a link, allow me to summarise: two nine year old girls were arrested by Surrey police for throwing rocks and other miscellaneous projectiles off of a footbridge over the M25. This is obviously quite worrisome to motorists - an impact with a stone at a relative velocity of 70mph or more is not going to do a car any good at all; not to mention what could happen to the driver. The girls in question were later released; their age made them immune to any punitive action the police might have otherwise taken.
This evening, as I was returning from the local sales establishment having purchased various stimulating beverages containing dubiously high amounts of caffeine and taurine, I observed two children, around 11 or 12, standing on the roof of the multi-storey car park near my halls complex. They were randomly bombarding passing cars and pedestrians with rocks, bricks, empty bottles, whatever they had to hand. I considered calling the local police station, but by the time I'd found their number, the hoodlums had disappeared.
Several times, when returning from a night out in Coventry or nearby Leamington, flatmates of mine have been set upon by groups of local youths ranging from 12 to 18. There have been no serious incidents, but one can only wonder how long it will be before this changes. Another indicator of this decline is the fact that the UK has the highest rate of teen pregnancies in Western Europe.
As mentioned earlier, being one of the younger members of EED, I am perhaps not best placed to address the causes of this decline, or what can be done to address it; I have no frame of reference with which to compare today's behaviour and culture. I will leave these questions to my more wise and experienced clanmates. What is the answer? Instituting a curfew? Bringing back corporal punishment? National service? Censoring television and radio? Whatever the case, I think all would agree that something needs to be done soon. This state of affairs is unacceptable.


  1. Its always been like that. Kids threw rocks off of bridges when I was a lad ;)
    Talking of gangs. I just saw a group of about 10 black kids(16 ish) attacking a white man (35 ish) with metal rods and what looked like a police's nightstick jobbie. I would have helped if I hadn't been on the other side of the main road and a massive pussy when it comes to getting killed/badly maimed. The guy walked away with a bad cut above his eye so I guess he was lucky they gave up so easily.

  2. If I was on my bike and that had happened, they'd have been jamie buldger case #2.. Straight to jail, no questions asked. I'd have thrown them off the bridge myself, that'll learn em.

  3. Beat the living shit out of them, or failing that, give them something to do with their spare time.
    As a kid almost all green space near me was built on as I was growing up. Renting the sports hall for 5-a-side cost over £2 a head when pocket money was around 50p / week. Just what exactly are kids meant to do?

  4. I once read a really interesting article about this that basically stripped this feeling down to the bones and systematically proved that nothing has really ever been different. No matter what era you examine, there's a range of 10-18yr olds from the most economically deprived backgrounds who have a quality of life of animals and oddly enough behave like them too. It perpetuates generation to generation and was the same in the 80's, the 70's, the 60's and just the same back and back through into Victorian times when, people feel 'oh well that was street urchins'. And that kind of comment just shows how most people have a funny appreciation of history. We think of it as understandable in Victorian times but somehow think that it wasn't present in the 30's, 40's and 50's. It actually was - street urchins are exactly what this lot are and haven't changed in economic background, violence of attack (same stuff's been happening for years), or prospects. Which are none. Despite decades of trying, all practical socialist experiments have failed miserably and your left with a phenomenon of every society - an underclass whose life is 'nasty brutish and short'. A phrase coined by Thomas Hobbs in 1651......

  5. It's ALWAYS been that way, the idea of declining youth and yobs has been inherent in society since society BECAME society. There have always been teh bullies who will prey on the weak, and there are always the misguided who try to act like the bullies, it's the submergerd animalistic tendancies within the human race. Going right back to animals, why would a lion pick on an elephant is it can pick on a zebra?Why would 9 year old kids who have been taught that they can do what they want and have had no morals and discpline instilled in the from an early age attack a middle aged man if they can throw rocks on his car from a great height?
    You can't bring back corporal punishment, be realistic about the issue. Even when we had corporal punishment it didn't stop crime! Infact, back when we used the death penalty the rates of crime were worse than they are today!You also can't realistically bring in a curfew, those days are over, there will always be idiots, get used to it.Just be impressed that out of a population of around 10 million there have only been 2 idiot kids recently.

  6. Why does the general community seem to have a problem with calling the Police?
    In the case of an in-progress (serious?) assault on a member of the public, phoning 999 is a very valid option if you can't/won't make a positive change on the situation yourself.
    In the case of kids and rocks, you can deal with it yourself (they're kids, you're an adult for God's sake!) or you pop down the Cop Shop on your way home - right?
    I'm really not having a pop here, I really am not; you've got me going here (yay for Blogs!) and I find it beyond belief the number of adults that "walk on by" if you get what I mean ;(
    ...then they post on their community forum a few days later ranting and raving about the state of the nation. It's human nature (as Am says) but a personal bugbear of mine that individuals don't shoulder responsibility.
    I really genuinely can't stand it.
    Why, when there's an imminent fight on the bus, am I the only one that doesn't pretend it isn't happening, and the one who stands up and defuses it?
    This country...(TM)

  7. Dead right. After one of our EED pissups, I was headed home on the tube and a bit drunk. Fair few people on there. Some gang of kids piles in and starts slapping some 50-something year old woman about the chops. I was flabbergasted that it would happen at all but actually first had a go at the people in the carriage who just decided to stare at their feet during the entire episode.
    One good smack round the ear of one of them and they were off. I think people must feel intimidated because they can't call 999 on the tube?

  8. Its fairly easy to see why. Half the population is women, they cant fight. Then we got the men, count out the too old and too young and we got a little more than half left. Hey, thats the EED agespan! How many in this clan feels they have the experience to take on 3-4 violent 17 year olds, and win it? The worst case scenario here is after all knives. I wouldnt recommend it. But the younger ones... I blame women. If you get caught slapping a kid around for throwing rocks at cars your ass is grass. You just cant grab a kid by the ear and drag them home anymore. Pfffff.And Jay... you complain about kids dropping some stones onto the freeway when you at the same time fly 200kg at atleast 100mph among people. You are them! :)

  9. I know what you're saying. The thing is, there's a lot of adults on this tube. It only takes a couple of them to stand up. I had a similar thing happen on a train once where I didn't notice what was going on until some guy stood up to some punks on the train. They were giving it back but then another guy stood up and I walked over too to back them up. Nothing happened, they fucked off. That was unusual and probably because it was night and most of the men had been drinking or something but it's a good example of how it OUGHT to work...

  10. The whole "not my problem" culture is certainly to blame for a lot of stuff - and whatever about the existence of a peasant underclass in the past (which certainly was the case), the behaviour of kids and teenagers nowadays is, in some extent at least, probably down to the fact that most adults WON'T say anything to them, and will turn a blind eye, which would not have been the case in the past.
    I've intervened in situations like the ones Mat describes a couple of times since moving over here. I can't not do so, it's just part of my nature - I mean, you make a judgement on a situation, obviously, and sometimes you'll walk on by because it's just not worth being stabbed for, but a lot of the time a clip around the ear, as Mat says, will make the offending brats fuck off. Hell, very often a "what the fuck do you think you're playing at" will have the same effect, because it surprises people so much that you're prepared to intervene at all...
    As to Muz' original post... The last few lines sound like you've been reading the Daily Mail a bit too much, pal. What's censoring the telly going to do for bored youths whose folks haven't taught them act like normal human beings, eh? How is national service going to help nine year olds? (Plus, I think the USA kind of proves that spending a spell in the military doesn't automagically make you into an upstanding member of society, as does my own experience of the behaviour of squaddies off the Aldershot base around this area.) Corporal punishment for children was hideously abused by those charged with dispensing it, and there's little reason to believe that it'd be any different now. The curfew idea has some legs, and the ASBO system seems to be producing some results, but it's hardly a universal panacea.
    No, I'm sorry - the problem is a more deep-rooted social one than that, and as the guys say, it goes back millenia. Which isn't to say that we shouldn't look for ways to contain it, or control it, or look at ways it has grown and taken root in modern society - such as the tendancy for chavlike parents to hand off responsibility for the raising of their unwanted offspring to the state and media, while simultaneously impeding every effort of the school system to educate them.
    Ultimately, though, you want to make society a better place? Then start being prepared to stand up to the shit that makes it wrong. Think of it as karma - if you don't stand up for that person getting mugged by the gang of 14 year olds today, then nobody will stand up for you next week.

  11. As the old saying goes 'it takes a village to raise a child' - and we're fresh out of villages nowadays. :/

  12. I have never heard of that saying. Old indeed it may be!

  13. Perhaps the correct one is that it takes a village to raise an idiot :)

  14. When I was younger I used to shoot at people waiting at a bus stop from my mates bedroom window with an air rifle. One day I shot a guy in the leg who was running to catch a bus - it was amazing because as this guy flew forward unable to stop but also unable to use one of his legs it all went slow motion like when William Dafoe got shot in Platoon. An incredible sight that I will never forget....

  15. Haha. When I was a kid of about 19 or 20, drunken blackfellas bricked my bedroom window. I happened to be lying in bed at the time. I heard a commotion outside and unlocked the rifle box in the wardrobe and extracted a .22 Anshutz with a scope, only to be confronted by this fella who had climbed up onto my window ledge and was trying to get through the hole. I stared at him in horror as he cut his hands trying to remove large shards of glass from the window, about the same look of horror he provided when he looked into the room and saw the rifle pointing at him. 30 seconds of stand off, which I'll never forget, and he legged it.
    There was a point to this, I think. Ah yes. So now with a sizable hole in my window, for the next week or so I would point the rifle out and shoot the wine flaggons the blackfellas were drinking out of from the park opposite. I remember one gin holding a flagon up and watching the wine pour out of the holes on either side of it, penny slowly dropping as she equated the crack with the result before dropping it and legging it for cover.
    Not big or clever, I fully admit with the benefit of hindsight. Especially how that rifle's scope was fixed on with electrical tape...