Monday, January 17, 2011

Oblivious to the paradox of their uniform individuality

Someone told me that I often come across angry in this blog, I don't really see myself as an angry person but reading back through the posts I see where they are coming from. As to not break tradition I bring you The ITG's cynical thoughts about 'the youth of today' ... enjoy!

This morning I had the unfortunate, and thankfully rare, experience of travelling to work via public transport. At one of the stops a group of young people (I guess there would still be many out there who would look at my as a 'young person' but I certainly don't see myself that way anymore) got on an already overcrowded carriage and started doing what young people do... be annoying.

I couldn't help but notice them, I'm sure that was their intention, but one thing that struck me very quickly was they all looked the same. All the girls were in similar clothes, as were the boys. They had similar haircuts and accessories and sure as hell all had the same phone as they looked down at them constantly. I wondered at one stage if they were messaging each other.

I've been watching the TV show 'Mad Men' of late (which for those of you that don't know is about the people who work in an advertising agency in the 1960's) and I saw an episode the other day when a young person was talking about the sentiments of their generation. He said something along the lines of "we don't want to be told what to do, we want to experience things ourselves". I don't think the group of people I saw this morning could be any further from that sentiment. They had been told what clothes to wear, what shoes to buy, what phone to use and how to cut their hair.. maybe not directly but each bloody one of them was trying to portray how individual they were by looking and acting exactly like the person the person next to them. At first I thought of the film clip for Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' with row after row of faceless identical figures but then my mind wandered to Nathan Barley.

For those of you have haven't seen it, Nathan Barley is a TV show by Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker which originally aired in 2005, I guess if you had to label it somehow you'd have to say it was a sitcom. It's a comedy full of social commentary, I think its hilarious and one of my favourite shows of all time. Nathan Barley stars Julian Barrett (of Mighty Boosh fame). Barrett plays 'Dan Ashcroft' a cynical journalist who at times I can really relate to. In the first episode of Nathan Barley, Ashcroft's article 'the rise of the idiots' is read over the top of images which could have quite easily been replaced with the ones I saw this morning.

     "The idiots are self regarding consumer slaves, oblivious to the paradox of their uniform individuality. They sculpt their hair to casual perfection, they wear their waistbands below their balls. They babble into handheld twit machines about that cool email of  that woman being bombed by a wolf. Their cool friend made it, he's an idiot too. Welcome to the age of stupidity, hail the rise of the idiots"

If I didn't know any better I could have sworn that Morris/Brooker (which ever one of them wrote 'the rise of the idiots') was sitting there with me and had written it about this bunch. 

I guess at this point of the post I feel like I should be offering some advice, or some way of fixing this problem, a solution as seen through the eyes of the ITG, but to be completely honest I think all these people need to do is grow up. Grow up the same way I did, hopefully they can hold off longer than me!!

If anyone out there has a solution or just some thoughts feel free to let me know.

Cheers, The ITG.

p.s. welcome home doc!!!


  1. I agree with you ITG.

    However, From Banjo Pattersons The Man From Ironbark
    "There were some gilded youths that sat along the barber's wall.
    Their eyes were dull, their heads were flat, they had no brains at all"

  2. hehe. Thanks, ITG. My attempt at cynical comments:
    1. Were the youth of the 60s really any different? I'm pretty sure most of them were just copying their peers.
    2. Here's a solution: child labour. Just putting it out there.
    3. Given the chance, would you be 16 again?

  3. i really like the quote "Oblivious to the paradox of their uniform individuality...." f****n' morons! last bit was mine! I live in Germany and go to Berlin quite often (It is often the same in the UK). You have all these people wearing the black frames with no need for glasses, all dressed the same with "everything going on" looking apparently trendy, the majority being spoon fed by the bank of mummy and daddy and I cannot help but stare sometimes and chuckle. I have been asked what are you laughing at. My answer quite simply is you, you believe you are unique, you believe you are making a statement. Sorry to break it you love you're not. You are the same as every other dumb, dull, deluded, drippy prat. I am trying to convey my message without getting angry but there are so many conceited, vein, pretentious pricks out there and i wish I could reach them grab and shake them until they realise what a bunch of nobs they truly are. This sums it up Cheers APett

    1. You can't spell knob and you're mocking them?