Songs For My Jilted Generation

There’s an interesting article on the BBC website (good ol’ Aunty) that I came across this morning. You can read it here. It’s very UK centric so if that’s irrelevant to you then, well, tough. But it’s worth a read regardless. It talks of the generation born in the 80s and how they will be worse off economically than their parents were, with less opportunity, prospects, and pretty much safety.

I’ve had this conversation with a number of people older than me, mostly my parents’ age, including my parents. They seem to think that in the UK, the youth just whine, whinge and moan, and expect everything to be handed to them. Yes, to a certain extent that is a very apt assessment of a large number of young people in the UK (though, I think people born in the 90s will be much worse in about 10 years), but I think it grossly and predictably denies the lack of prospects and huge burdens our parents generation have forced upon us without our consent.

I think that the ongoing issues of cutting spending and talk of debt, and, let’s be honest, the entire financial crisis, are the direct result of one generation lumping debt burden onto the next. The same can be said for environmental problems that we are all going to have to deal with some day or another. Because lets face it, oil’s going to run out, cheap oil already is on it’s way out, and if you think shoving chemicals into the air en masse isn’t going to have just a teeny tiny effect on the environment, I suggest you get off the internet, get your head checked and suck on a tail pipe whilst documenting how much your lungs are capable of dealing with noxious invaders. Anyway. That’s off topic.

"...Yes... even your children will pay for my pension! Yey!"

The issue is, it seems, that the people that can bring about direct change through policy, are the generation that is more likely to say it’s not as bad as people think it is. I have had this argument with my father many times. I will say his generation has fucked over mine, and he will say that young people are just lazy and don’t want to work. They want to go to  university, have a piss up, and then blame someone else for a complete lack of inerest in joining the real world. He says if young people cared enough about finding a job they would get off their arses and look for one. That’s what he did, so why can’t we do it. For a point of note, he left the UK in the 70s to get a job and never went back. In one sense he’s right. In another, he’s got no idea. Some people are unclined to go very far to get a job. It’s true. People often look for jobs close to where they live at the time, where they’re from, things like that. It’s kind of natural. Familial links are important to people. Because my father left, he thinks everyone can do it without looking back. Which is so fucking erroneous I don’t know where to begin.

There is also an issue with pensions obviously, since the baby boomers are all about to start retiring. When their parents retired, chances are they would live less than 10-15 years after they did retire, on the basis that they spent a lot time inhaling some seriously bad shit, had poor diets, and whatever else. The baby boomers are documented to live longer, heathier lives and in all likelihood just won’t fucking die. Their accumulation of wealth means there is less to go around, and because they made all that money, they are going to be somewhat loathe to let it slip away to some council estate kid that would probably benefit from it. And that’s before you take into account that the taxes in the UK are ridiculous, and you get very little from them. Not in a we should pay less taxes and sod the welfare system way, but in a taxpayer bailed out banks that leant money to people that couldn’t afford to pay it back because they spent it on their mortgages because the house prices were so ridiculous because the baby boomers bought all the property that was dirt cheap so that they have lots of houses because they milked the cash cows with the crumpled horns that tossed the country’s youth down the river that worried about the rats that ate everything in the overpriced house that Jack owns.

“Lol! Guess which fuckers are going to pay for this!”

I don’t really think that smashing up banks, pissing on the Cenotaph, and throwing things at the police are really the best way to get your point heard though. There is wanton destruction of property when a protest turns into a riot that lasts for a night. It’s not the same as the kind of rioting when the disenfranchised really get going. Not that I condone that either, but taxpayers will foot the bill they really shouldn’t pay for. But the people that you want to listen to you, will not, by virtue of the fact that rioters arguments tend to look silly to most people. Chances are rioters don’t really know themselves. Particuarly because anyone that goes to a protest to incite a riot probably hasn’t quite thought about what their doing.This is also beside the point.

Britain got wealthier; as it did, those that benefited from it seem to systematically want to fuck their children out of the same opportunity. Simple as.

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2 Responses to “Songs For My Jilted Generation”
  1. Melanie says:

    While, as you suggest, I don’t pay as much attention to our economic times as I should, I agree that it has become more about ‘poor me’ and using our social situation as a crutch. When there was a huge economic hit in the United States and many people got laid off, there was a time that many people went on unemployment. This meant that while normally you would have to see a case worker and prove that you were actually looking for work, some people (I’ve heard of one) now only had to send letters and this actually proved nothing. So while some of us were actually working hard to fight this recession, others were at home sitting on their asses taking money from good old Uncle Sam.
    I know in the UK it has become common among 16 year old females to get pregnant so they can live off the state for the rest of their lives. I watch movies such as Dangerous Minds and The Freedom Writers and while they date themselves, there are still people who use “you don’t know where I come from or how I have to live” as an excuse for staying in their social situation. This whole notion of “I hate you for what you did to my people” is a sad excuse that cannot really be used anymore. It has become as though Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech means nothing anymore.
    I find it hilarious that many youth today yell and scream about politics when they have little idea what is going on. They watch Fox News and think they know all that is going on in the world. I don’t know where I am going with this but I am tired of ranting…

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