We haven’t lost the fire in our bellies, we never had it
Quite frankly, I’m a little jealous. I can’t remember the last time I threw a brick at a shopfront, kicked a Royal Rolls Royce or even pulled a face at a grumpy copper.
From memory, it was around the 14th of Never. While I’m not a huge fan of placing my face in the path of a moving police baton, I have to admit I’ve been getting a bit envious of those thronging British Gen Y masses on television.
Now, I’m not in any way condoning the rock pelting, glass smashing and general widespread destruction- but I am condoning the protests. How exciting it must all be.
Set your alarm, whip up an angry slogan, whack on your favourite hoodie, feed the cat and get ready for a big day of yelling and fist-pumping.
I can only imagine the rush these kids are feeling as they march alongside their fellow students, rolling along as one giant ball of Gen Y rage.
Modern British youth has found itself.
It saddens me to think that a massive rise in education costs here in Australia would only see a flood of angry tweets and the odd nine-person hipster protest.
Many of my older colleagues have wondered aloud why Gen Y can’t be bothered protesting about anything.
Is it that we don’t have anything to protest?
Or are we just too socially conscious to take a physical stand on anything?
Perhaps we’re all terrified of turning up to a fancy dress party, only to find everyone’s already bailed. We’re an awkward generation. It’s why we love Juno.
Simon and Garfunkel’s A Simple Desultory Philippic contains a magical lyric: “The Man ain’t got no culture.”
It’s a powerful line that captures that 60s feeling of youthful unity older folk have described to me. In 2010, we ain’t got no culture.
Upward mobility is not a means, but an end.
Our bosses and governments are necessities- rungs in the social ladder crucial for maintaining our grip.
Even as I write this, I’m somewhat worried I’ll alienate older generations. But I shouldn’t be.
Our leaders ignored us at the last election but we still dutifully braved the queues on poll day- only to reward their contempt.
Even Wyatt Roy, Australia’s youngest ever parliamentarian, prefers to rattle on about superannuation and pensions (yes, I am aware he represents an older electorate, but that shouldn’t stop him bringing youth issues to the fore).
Despite our strong access to tertiary education, I don’t believe for one second that there’s nothing left to march for.
Global warming, freedom of speech, digital freedoms, anything.
Every decision our leaders make now has ripple effects well into our twilight years.
The act of marching is just as important as the issue. It’s about solidarity.
If we don’t find a generational voice now, the nation is going to pay for it later.
When Gen Y eventually fills the halls of parliament, stands atop the peaks of industry and truly influence policy, we won’t feel an ounce of solidarity.
We’ll be disconnected, disjointed and out of touch with those same people we watched Juno with all those years ago.
I’m not talking about cinder block-throwing madness. I’m talking about peaceful unity.
Every second of every day, our future is being affected by people other than us.
This is our only shot at being young. But if we do organise anything, make sure you Facebook me beforehand and let me know what you’re doing.
That way I’ll know whether to turn up or not.
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