26 September, 2006

The youth... wasted?

They say that the youth is wasted on the young. This implies that, should the more mature generations had their time again then they would spend it more wisely.

But what is wisely spent youth? And why are the older generations trying to hi-jack it and ruin it for all of us?

I use 'us' very flippantly as someone under 25, but I no longer really class myself as the 'yoof', and yet it still peeves me to see older people clinging on to the fragile rock face that is 'yoof culture'.

For example the BBC are running a story at the minute that the Arctic Monkeys have become a integral part of UK politics since the start of this conference season. Their reason? Because, embarrassingly, Ming Campbell misjudged the fact that his party has one of the highest student followings to mean he had to be 'down wit da kids' and know about this band.

And why not? the Monkeys (of the Arctic kind, not the ones he remembers) are symbolic, in a way, of the young voters he clearly wants and needs. They began on MySpace, they are almost offensively youthful and they are cool.

But the sad thing is that he is not the first and will no doubt ever be the last politician to latch on to the 'latest' musical or cool, hip offering of the day. But why do they do it? Is it for the 'kids'? Hell no, if the kids were that easily swayed then more of them would be voting.

No, it is for the parents, to show that Ming, and all the others that are planning on mentioning the Arctic Monkey and their ilk in their upcoming speeches, can really provide understanding for the offspring of the voters.

And who can really blame the politicians for trying? After all, they want to show an army of shifting voters that they care for the kids.

Well for a start I can. I don't really get worked up over much but when I see people commenting on things that are in no way relevant to their area of expertise. It irritates me.

It looks as false as it is.

So the youth may be wasted on the young, but for Pete's sake if you are going to comment on it, DON'T unless you know what you are talking about. The young famously never listen, and these days the young are vocal to a wider and more influential audience through social mediums.

After all if you are going to waste your time trying to relate to a group of people who don't want you relating to them, but want to see you doing your job properly. Then surely that means that not only youth is wasted, but political life is wasted on the politicians too?


Anonymous said...

Very pedantic point but...

the arctic monkeys didnt begin on my space at all, indeed it would seem they were oblivious to the whole thing:

'The other day someone said to us, "I looked at your profile on Myspace." I said, "I don't even know what Myspace is." [When we went number one in England] we were on the news and radio about how Myspace has helped us. But that's just the perfect example of someone who doesn't know what the fuck they're talking about. We actually had no idea what [Myspace] was.'


Maybe that says more about today's youth?

Alex Pullin said...

My bad, good spot.

However my argument remains the same, and they have become (even if it is mistakenly) synonymous with MySpace, which may be one of the reasons that Ming singled them out (as well as thir fame, youth and catchy northern sound he claims to be so keen on).

Anonymous said...

When it comes to politicians, I would vote for anyone that could make me passionate about their cause. The problem at the moment is that, as students, we're only reached out to during local elections where they crave our votes before ignoring any issue we might have for the next four years.

Samantha Wilcox said...

Does this not strike anyone as similar to the new labour of 1997 latching onto the 'brit-pop' vibe that was spreading around Britain? At the end of the day we youth are a huge untapped market of voting potential and anything politicians can do to relate to us and encourage us to vote all the better. Having said that I do agree with you Alex, it is so blatantly embarassing and conjures up images of your aunty at christmas with her 'yes I do like those big black peas...'(B.E.P.s in case you wondered!) It seems the work of a PR rep that couldn't quite be bothered to find out what would get us voting and instead tries to get the politicians 'relating' to us. Idiotic, wrong and as Richard says a blatantly just trying to gain votes without focusing on issues that matter to us!

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