Thursday, 7 October 2010


The youth of today. Perfect in every measure, in the eyes of their parents. Educated to the max and ne’er a want to be denied. Bliss.


The same could, no doubt, be said of the youth of my day. We were educated often beyond that which our parents had been. Needs met, fed’ and watered. Entertained for free by television and the infant home computing industry. But today’s youth have one subtle difference. They are afflicted with narcissism, an affliction which, had my studies in media been allowed to continue, could probably be attributed to social media.


It seems to me, as I walk about the educational establishment where I work, that the youth of today have this ability, or belief, that as long as they do not acknowledge your existence you do not exist and therefore their lives can continue unhindered by such inconveniences.


I should elaborate. I have noticed a phenomenon during my travels around the corridors, where youths sit, legs out stretched, oblivious to anyone else’s existence. It’s as if they believe that if they don’t acknowledge or notice you, you will simply pass through their legs with your trolley and life will continue to allow them to remain as they were undisturbed. Indeed, such is not limited to youths sat legs outstretched. Nay, for it has also been noticed that the youth of today also behave this way when they themselves are walking through the corridors too. They should not make way for you unless they acknowledge you, rather than by denying your existence you should pass straight through them ethereally else step aside yourself for their majesty and self importance out weighs any stature or presence you may hold yourself.


This does not just apply to lowly trolley pushing IT technicians, this also applies to members of teaching staff, other students and even disabled people in wheelchairs. Moreover, the same tactic is used by the youth crossing roads. As long as the car is not seen, it does not exist and will either stop or pass through you like a dose of senna. This only adds to the woe for future generations.


However, take comfort. For although will you cease to exist in your old age unless acknowledged by others, you can be sure of a perfect haircut, outstanding beauty treatment, stunning photography and advice on the holiday of your dreams. For, it seems, the most popular courses remain photography, art, music, tourism and beauty treatment.


Those that know me will probably recall a similar cry of woe from me when I worked in a Yorkshire sixth form college. There the most popular courses were tourism, media and photography. I recall feeling horrified at the realisation that instead of the doctors, nurses and care workers to look after me in my frailty; instead of the pharmacists, accountants and legal people to ensure my health, wealth and freedoms, today’s youth were going to flood the employment market with out of work photographers, beauticians and air hostesses. No engineers to fix the bridges and roads and no mathematicians to count the stars. Just beautiful hair styles, perfectly designed web pages and well performed music.


Still, it will take my mind off the disgruntled Polish male nurse force feeding me puréed parsnips in between commode visits eh?