The recent furore over the 'comedy' that Dapper Laughs has been seen to promote is something that's got me thinking. I'm 27 and the idea of this "lad culture" being so popular is terrifying. Teenage boys are already little shits (I know, I was one) they don't need any more ammo to act any worse than they already do.
I think that one of the big problems with young men now is, that thanks to the new, overwhelming freedom that university affords them, it seems socially acceptable now to effectively extend your teenage years til you're 21. You're still fundamentally in that head space of a 'student', but you're a student on a three-year-long school trip out of town.
But then, why would you want to grow up so fast? I mean, at 21 I didn't give a fuck about my future. It's only recently that I've started to feel like a 'grown up'. Is economics to blame? The likelihood of graduating and finding a job is intimidating and at university there are loans, bursaries, and other bail-outs to keep you safe.
Also, we're going to live much longer than our grandparents did, so maybe we just need to realise young people will stay young for longer..? But then our grandparents did not have the exposure of sub-cultures and given instant access to them through the internet. They relied on magazines, television and newspapers to help form their tastes, hobbies and opinions.
I mean, a hundred years ago, kids would be up chimney sweeps before they had even a chance to grow some pubes. So there has been some progress in letting the young stay young for longer. But the lack of education in how to act when you do become an 'adult' is crucially missing. And it should be down to the schools and colleges before university to advise on this.
When you leave college/school, your only real taste of university life is the open day and UCAS forms. There is so social education. When I was at school, we did a thing called PSHE. Personal, social, health and economic education was a half hour lesson once every two weeks. That's not good enough. It needs to be revised if we don't want this culture to evolve and be passed down to a new generation where it could potentially mutate.
The internet has given us all more access to peoples' stupidity, and made it easier for stupid people to shout their stupid mouths off. It's allowed all of us to feel entitled to saying or doing something, with the Wizard of Oz cloak on. Schools need to learn how to nurture some responsibility in student's minds, so that they understand the impact of their actions, even digitally.
When I was at school, our ICT lessons were a joke. I was one of the few internet-savvy kids, who would sneak open wrestling websites to read stories online instead of the monotonous tasks we were set, such as learning how to insert a bunch of crap into Excel. We were all still complete morons at times, I was on report card quite a lot, and got banned from studying drama and was expelled from the first college I went to.
However, this was before the internet 'took off' in the way that we know it today. At that time, stupid people like myself were just quietly stupid in their local area. If we did something moronic, and we did a lot, we'd only have a small audience, both to impress and annoy. For example, if we flooded a water feature in the town centre by pouring washing powder into it, the only people who we could look for 'likes' would be the dismayed shoppers and our disgruntled parents.
The same thing if anybody wanted to share some of their beliefs, whatever they were - they'd either have to get them published in a book or newspaper or find a large enough number of similarly people within their own community. Now, anyone can publish anything on the internet and it is far easier to access other idiots who share stupid opinions and thereby lend them authority.
We are still in a total teething stage coming to terms with the digital age. I think we'll get through it but we need to nurture the young. Which doesn't mean to ignore them, but it also means not to give them, or others who promote such stupidity, an influential platform. We should all be pleased ITV2 have stepped up and pulled his program and hope they can replace it with something more responsible and even more so, educational.