THE BLOG

It's SO Unfair!

19/02/2014 14:47 GMT | Updated 21/04/2014 10:59 BST

The kids are revolting. And they are revolting against stereotyping by the media. That is so typical of them, what with their whining and their egotism and their thinking that they are the centre of the universe. Unless that is stereotyping, in which case I take it back (and taking things back is typical of the lilly-livered, spineless middle aged).

Teenagers have said that they feel in the minority, in that they are always the ones to get bad press. Have they read the press? Everyone in the press gets bad press - its the only type of press there is. Or at least, the only type of press that anyone wants to read.

Other "minorities" that receive bad press are: working class people, people without any money, people with lots of money, people who work for the state, people who "sponge" off the state, fat people, thin people, people who are famous, those that want to be famous-er, the divorced, single, co-habiting, foreigners and women.

Young people have always been easy newspaper fodder. If in doubt, it's the kids' fault. Ever since the invention of teenagers, people older than them have viewed them with distrust, bordering on dislike. They have always been grouped as one, as thought they are all the same: long haired, pot smoking, speed taking, acid tripping, flares clad, shaggy, uncouth, violent, nihilistic, mohican sporting, bondage trousered, hoodie wearing trouble magnets.

It used to be Teddy Boys and the threat of aggression, then Mods, Greasers, the peace and love brigade, the gender benders, and the ecstasy dropping dance crowd. Every youth movement since the fifties has brought a pinched mouth, bottom clenched response from the press, as though they might bring about the end of civilisation as we know it, but none of them did, which hasn't stopped the press from insisting that the latest one will.

And what is the latest teenage fad? What are the kids complaining about this time? They are complaining that the negative press they are getting means that their employment prospects are diminished. Seriously - that's how much the world has ground them down. When they should be out dancing and frotting 'till the sun comes up, they are at home sharpening up their CVs and applying for work that people of their age shouldn't want to do.

In a newly minted poll by the think tank Demos, four in five teens, that expressed a preference, say it is the stabbing and the shooting and the lurching about with their underwear on show that the press concentrate on. They say that false stereotyping has had a negative effect on their employability and self-esteem. Well, boo-hoo for them. Try walking up the High Street in Whitstable in 1976 with green hair and your legs tied together and see how your employability and self-esteem holds up.

The survey suggests that the most commonly used phrases in the press in connection with teenagers are: yobs, crime and binge-drinking. Of course they are. If the papers put out stories of kids helping in their community and being kind to their mums, the newspaper industry would be dying at a considerably faster rate than it already is. It's called news, and none of it is good, not about the young, middle aged or elderly. That they don't appear to understand this could be down to them not having read much news, or being overly sensitive to negative stories about themselves. And on that score, aren't we all?

The difficulties that some young people are finding in getting work may not be entirely the fault of the evil media. It might have something to do with the economy having fallen on its face.

It may also be that they are studying subjects that have no value outside of the classroom. They are not leaving full-time education with the knowledge that business requires. This is a problem the whole world over. We are in the throes of a major change in what work actually is. The old skills of the manufacturing industry, where people got their hands dirty and made things are not required in the numbers they once were. Robots have taken over the assembly.

What industry now needs are soft skills like IT and PR, mathematics and physics. A student presenting themselves at their prospective employer with qualifications in media or metalwork isn't going to make much of an impression. And whose fault is that? It is the old people who run the educational establishment for not foreseeing the change, and the old people who run the press for dragging their names through the mud.

Maybe it is their way of getting back at the young for their white toothed, non-balding, flat stomached gorgeousness. And for all that sex that the old imagine the young are having. Bastards!

Those that are past their youth, no matter how hard they try to cling on to it, are traditionally beset with enmity towards those that still possess it, in all its unlined, pert, ruddy-cheeked ripeness. The sallow, grey and paunchy look at the bouncy, lithe and vigorous and damn them for their casual, throw-away attitude to that which the old desire most of all - their youth back.

This is mostly what informs the non-young's attitude to teenagers. When they themselves were teens, it seemed as though that time would never end. Previous generations treated their own youth with the same disregard that they now see in those that came after them.

Only by living so long do they know that youth only appears to last for ever while you are going through it. Then, there is a lifetime of contemplating how quickly it went.