The West has had generational successions of moral panics about youth cults - teddy boys, mods and rockers, punk, rave.
Now finally we have a youth cult actually worth getting scared about - the Mujahi-James-Dean.
Most of what's been said about Paris is around aspects of Islam, assuming that that's the issue. In fact that nominal religious cause is all but irrelevant, it's all about the action. If there was no cartoon to offend these self-styled holy warriors, they'd be plotting murder about air strikes in Iraq or men in Soho holding hands. The wannabe Ministry of Sound bombers were upset about 'slags'.
These kids aren't reverent scholars, despite posturing as such. They are about deciding that if you can't make it as a rapper or a footballer, you can become a Jihadi. Leave behind a half read copy of Islam For Dummies when you go out in a blaze of glory.
They are about live fast, die young. They can spend 10 years as a pizza delivery boy or three days as the world's most wanted and get death-by-cop immortality via Sky News. A chance to play real life GTA while knowing it's the true path and, posthumously, you'll persuade the stupid world to agree. And, of course, if you'd given the Kouachi brothers a lottery jackpot, they wouldn't have donated it to orphans in Palestine, they'd have reverted to previous interests in five minutes and blown it on flash cars and bling.
For every 10,000 people proclaiming 'Je Suis Charlie' today there will be one thinking - burning inside with the thought - "Je Suis Amedy/Hayat/Cherif/Said'.
Such is the death cult's appeal to silly little boys -and increasingly girls - full of testosterone, self-righteousness and ego, that we've already seen the phenomenon of kids not even raised in the faith converting simply in order to join in the fun. Grow a beard, get some robes, get a gun, shoot a death video, shoot a Jew in a deli.
The call-to-slayer also talks to those prone to voices in their heads - the guy in Dijon who drove his car into a crowd of pedestrians two weeks ago while shouting 'Allahu Akbar' was the just latest in a line of schizophrenics who have watched too much Jihadi John on You Tube and it's tipped them over the edge.
And what can we do about it? If, in the distant days of no internet, Harold Wilson couldn't stop those quaint, parochial mods and rockers having Bank Holiday punch ups on the beach and Thatcher/Major couldn't stop ravers necking Es to repetitive beats, is it really conceivable that we can stop this? Unless we close the internet, we can't.
Columbine caused mass revulsion. That was 15 years ago. There have been dozens of US school shootings since.
This is going to be the same. Get used to it. Hug your children, be nicer to people, stop thinking arguing on Twitter makes a difference. Whether you're cross about Louise Mensch, Rupert Murdoch, Edward Snowden or the Muslim Council of Great Britain, the next killer in our midst could not care - he's busy watching the latest snuff video online over and over again, thinking it's the coolest thing he's ever seen.Suggest a correction