Saturday Ruminations

50% of older people smile at everything. Even walking down the street alone, they're smiling. It's as if they're hearing divine music played on angelic violins (which at their age they may be.) Either that or age has just addled their brains. The other 50% of old people smile at nothing. If they're well fed, they're cross. If the sun is shining, they're cross. If the rain has stopped and there's a beautiful rainbow arcing over the horizon, they scowl. If their granddaughter is giggling in their lap, they look sour and annoyed.
I wonder which type of older person I will be, if a miracle happens and I get that far? Though I think I know. I'm already bitter and twisted, and I'm only 41.

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Why do groups of young people standing outside late-opening corner shops look so threatening? Because you know that walking past them you'll have to run a gauntlet of abuse and mockery, at the least. And we read so many stories of kids stabbing you when you stand up to them.
I'd like to be a rebel, really.
I'd love to be a liberal.
But you know when this problem started? When corporal punishment was removed from schools. You still had dumb-ass thuggery then, but knowing your head teacher might beat the living daylights out of you if you got caught doing something you shouldn't did tend to make all but the most habitual miscreants behave themselves. We used to tell stories about how vicious our headmaster was. There was a huge amount of fear in those stories we exchanged, and a lot of admiration too. Kids respect a psycho.

You know what encouraged the development of the ASBO culture?
Fucking sentimental idealistic snobby middle-class liberals telling you you can't hit your own children. "Don't shout at your child, you'll traumatise him. Put him on the naughty step for five minutes instead. Incentivise good behaviour."

Couple that with an intellectually empty and morally and spiritually bankrupt social system in which education is seen as a vocational tool only, and learning to make a MAN (or a woman, obviously) rather than an IT consultant or a Human Resources assistant, or a lathe operator, is a notion scorned even by the people who are running the country, and you've got a generation of brainless, alienated zombies running around with a hollowness in their hearts and a screaming fear at the back of their minds that they are too inarticulate to identify, and no way of controlling their environment other than through the language of dumb-ass jabber and destruction.

Britain in 2006, in other words.

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Anyone over thirty years old using the word "bling" when they mean jewellery.