Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Most patient generation ever?

some of you will be old enough to remember the mods and rockers and the tensions between them, and between them and society. Others will have read Stanley Cohen's research and his term "moral panic" and been aware of the rather exaggerated claims of the media at the time (riots? hmm) - but there certainly was antipathy. The other day enjoying the Goodwood Revival meeting I was a bit surprised to see the mods and rockers shown here, all riding original equipment (the Revival is like that), but all together with no anomosity at all. One of the fishermen on the boat moored next to mine was / is a mod, he is a very nice chap. I asked him about this and he said "we go to all the events together these days, we're all great friends now - we are far too old to be kicking off these days".

Which led me to think about the chain of teddy boys, mods n rockers, hippies, punk, etc etc. and to wonder where are the protest youth cultures of today? Are today's children now so mature that they have already reached the point the mods and rockers took decades to get to ("too old to be kicking off") - I don't think so, or is it that they no longer clash with the older generations because unlike the previous generations they don't occupy the same space as old folk (previously the beachess, cinema, etc). Perhaps they are away in online social spaces, or texting, where they don't rub shoulders with old folk, maybe? Or are they just amazingly patient...

But as we force them through factory schools reminiscent of the mods and rockers own era back so many years ago, and load them with fees for doing what the nation needs, how long honestly do we think that will patience last. And what next?

1 comment:

mvallance1234 said...

How nostalgic. I have been to a number of bike rallies and seen some gorgeous old British bikes ridden by 'ex Hells Angels now respectable family men'.
I think today's youth worry more than previous generations about their futures .. how to get into university, where are all the jobs, why does it cost so much money just to be out of the house (eg. lack of free community centres, social meeting place being the shopping centre)? This pent up frustration leads to binge drinking and violence by some (enough though to be a great concern) when released. Others turn to the extremes of knife crime. I think the youth are much more worried about life ahead than say the bikers, mods, the youth who called themselves punks, etc. Yet Britain is not broken (as Cons keep claiming). The youth persevere and so will the next lot..with new fashions and music and trends to release the tensions. Their patience is as long as adolescence .. then it's the next generation. Those who lack patience and will demand reform in education are those mature students who want access to education once more .. a better experience than their first ;-)