Who knows best?

April 22, 2010 at 10:31 pm 1 comment

Young people are heavily influenced by the media. In fact, much of the anti-social behaviour reported today is as a result of what young people have seen on the TV or ‘participated’ in on computer games. Films like ‘Juno’ have suggested to teenagers that it is cool to get pregnant and programmes like ‘Skins’ glorify drug taking.

Is this true? Honestly? Has the UK really bred a generation of young people who are so heavily influenced by what they see and, for want of a better word, ‘experience’ through computer games? Do they really not know their own minds?

It’s interesting that ‘some people’ (not 100% sure who these people are….) believe that ‘Juno’ has increased teenage pregnancy (no statistics available to either confirm or deny this theory, but this seems to be the right place to give a spoiler alert). When I first watched ‘Juno’ what struck me was that the unstable characters are the adults. Throughout the film we expect Juno to flake out on the adoptive couple, or for Juno to get together with the husband. We expect the teenager to do the wrong thing, after all, she’s young and teenagers are essentially selfish. She has a bohemian and relaxed attitude to the whole process, she clearly does not have a grip on reality. But ultimately it is the teenager who keeps her word and gives her baby to the now single mother after becoming enraged at the selfish attitude of the husband and watching their marriage fall apart.

Whatever criticism has been thrown at ‘’Skins’ it does tell us the unwelcome truth that our young people drink, have sex and take drugs. Mainly just for the hell of it. That was the message of the first 2 series. The 3rd and 4th series are much darker. The adults are mainly superb cameos played largely by high profile comedians (my favourite being Bill Bailey as Maxxie’s dad in series 2, but Will Young’s turn as a malevolent guidance counsellor in series 4 was genius). However the message of ‘Skins’ seems to be that if you want to understand the reasons for the deviant behaviour of the children, look no further than the adults who influence them. In fact the anarchic behaviour of the young people makes sense as they express their frustration with an adult world that makes no meaningful attempt to understand them. The young people are the ones who pick up the pieces, building bridges or caring for their deviant parents, culminating in the chilling episode 7 of series 4 featuring a machiavellian adult played by Hugo Spear.  

So who knows best? I would like to, rather pretentiously I feel, leave the finally word to David Bowie;

“…and these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds, are immune to your consultations, they’re quite aware of what they’re going through.”

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. emmassense  |  May 30, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I should point out that the above quote is used at the beginning of ‘The Breakfast Club,’ a film well worth watching if you’re with me on my comments (and indeed if you are not ;-))

    Reply

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