Tuesday, December 21, 2004


From the article quoted by NewsIsGood.

"An adolescent culture can bring about self-esteem and a level of active sociability that is hard to find elsewhere. It is driven by passion, energy, curiosity, pleasure: qualities that I'd like to hang on to as my own age continues to blur."

Adolescent culture --> self-esteem?
Adolescent culture --> passion?

It seems this man was never a teenager. Adolescence is a climate of fear; It is in adolescence that teenagers start to come to terms with the world on its own terms, and struggle and suffer as they do so. The innocent curiosity of childhood is replaced with the learning of social boundaries, responsibilities and respect for others, which restrict teenagers and naturally make them reclusive, antisocial, apathetic, or a whole host of other such things depending on the teenager and the circumstances. Adolescence is a rite of passage into the adult world, one that we continue to get wrong consistently and purposefully to stoke the economic fires of consumerism.

"What critics might mistake for superficiality, or short attention spans, is perhaps a different kind of intelligence. Here memory is less important than the ability to find, absorb and move through vast amounts of information and stimulation."

Whimsically flicking from one web browser with Brittany Spears on it to another with free text messaging isn't an activity that moves me to claim to have discovered 'a different kind of intelligence'. Important is the kind of information young people spend their time 'absorbing' - the quantity of how much of this they are able to absorb is not necessarily something to celebrate.

"All these themes reveal a preference for personal influence over political impotence. And this preoccupation is not selfish but practical, because mostly the local is all they can hope to affect. "

The preoccupation is not selfish because they have rightly given up on politics? What is it then? Pudding?

I find the implication that the adolescent culture we live in is one of caring about one's immediate community completely laughable. The only social communities we recognise are those that stroke our egos. Oh, wait, that can't be true because our preoccupations aren't selfish due to the fact that politics... er.... whoops.


Blogger News is Good said...

I also find many problems with the article, as Atum has - but it does highlight how we have a certain conception of the 'teenager', of 'adolescence', and ultimately of humanity. As an oppressed, ruined thing that is not at all what we want it to be.

I quite like the articles 'affirmative' view of teenagers, and I am sure that it is true enough of some. Ones with the opportunities of intelligent parents and wide resources. Ones with the freedom to inquire. But nowhere near all.

7:11 AM  

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