THE BLOG

'You Don't Know You're Born' and Other Tales of the Hopeless Youth of Today

14/01/2014 11:08 GMT | Updated 13/03/2014 09:59 GMT

We are in crisis. We are going to be less wealthy than our parents. We are all materialistic. We will not be able to buy a house. We are all lost and confused. We are too lazy to rebel. We are all wasting our time at university (save Oxbridge). We want it all without working for it. This is our legacy, as told to us by the grownups. Thanks for the liberation.

We are the 'youth of today' and we have no clue, apparently.

Well, we had best take a good look at ourselves and see what our advice our professional mentors have to offer. I have been looking extensively over the last few months at what is out there. This is the digital age! A whole new world of opportunity for everyone to have their say. We are the hopeless and we desperately need guidance. Help us, O wise ones.

Any helpful sound bites? Ones that we will chase down with ecstasy and a pint of vodka because they make us feel so shit about ourselves? Yes, please see following Q&A with [insert student magazine here] where you offer us some (5 max.) really good HiNtzn'TiPz! The ones that do their very best to deter anyone from attempting to get their foot in the door, including:

• Don't try and talk to people because you'll piss them off...but it's very important to network.

• Don't try and do something different because it won't be commercially viable... but don't give us something that we've heard before.

• Don't go to university to study your craft...but you can only get work experience if it is a course requirement.

• WORK EXPERIENCE IS ESSENTIAL. No, sorry, we don't have time for that.

That was really helpful and good and stuff, I'm going to tweet that and whatever. What else do we have? Oh, yes. Let's look at one of the, 'how I got started' interviews.

"I wrote to my local paper, bombarding them with articles and think-pieces until the editor relented and gave me a shot. From there they moved from paper to paper, their articles moving from Rolling Stone to the New Yorker."

How wonderfully improbable for my generation! Most of these stories have now been optioned by Paramount only to have Katherine Heigl drop out at the last minute, every time; chain smoking tease.

So what can we do? Who knows, let's go out and get drunk. Channel 4 is making a show about the club toilets? Sign the release and stick that on your résumé. Why not? It's telly isn't it? You're never going to get anything that good on there without 10 years of brownnosing under your belt. There's always cock-sucking, I suppose. But times have changed! I guess they have. You'll probably need to do much weirder shit than that now; 50 shades darker of brown and blowing.

So it's our luck that we've been born into circumstances completely out of our control; a product of an environment created by our elders, like every other generation. But still, the people who bore us into this world are looking at us and saying, "It doesn't look good for you, you're all too dumb to help yourselves out of this mess." You mean your mess? "We had the punks and..." Cue miscellaneous 'back in my day' and 'when I was your age' tedious musings from the 'You Don't Know You Were Born' anthology, 2013 limited edition hardback; cover art by The Daily Mail Message Board Collective.

The difference is, after the war, the only way to go was up. Now, almost everybody can be classed as 'middle class', there are fewer job prospects and less disposable cash to buy all those lovely 'things' that validate our existence and make us feel good enough to be alive. If this is the case and we're all so incapable of anything, why haven't you sorted this out for us?

The world's a very different and connected place now, the old tried and tested methods from 'the day' aren't going to work for us. Massive changes, like the tech revolution, have happened so quickly in a short space of time that no one knows what the hell is going on or quite how to navigate it safely into the future.

The thread of thought through this isn't particularly eloquent but it's hard to be wry and succinct when you're pissed off. The media saturation of stories and statistics about us, some motivational, most others disheartening, even makes shooting for the middle an embarrassing stretch of the imagination. Offer us the room to imagine and create, fairer opportunities to learn and instead of compare and berate our achievements (A Levels are easy etc) and maybe we can provide a ticket out of your shitty mess.