Friday, 31 August 2012

The youth of today

The youth of today
31 August 2012

Now I don't consider myself a fuddy-duddy, but some days I feel forced to ask “What is happening with the youth of today?”.

I was listening to 5fm the other day (my absolute fave radio station) and DJ Fresh was doing an interview with some or other Boy Band – for the life of me, I can’t remember who they were.  And 5fm is forever running competitions, so during one part of the show, Fresh had outside callers pitted against the Boy Band and what they had to do was quite challenging, I thought – well at least for me.  There were going to play them a short snippet of a song by another boy band, and they had to guess the title of the song as well as the band performing it.  Now I thought, that this might be difficult for me, especially as I’m not so clued up on boy bands myself.  And I do always like to “play along” in the car, guessing the answers – working out in my head, exactly what I’m going to do with the money that I would “win” or how awesome that free hamper or CD I never even knew I wanted would be. 
So they played the first snippet, and even I knew who it was.  Imagine that – Back Street Boys (seriously who thinks up these names?).  Then they played some arb song by some arb band that I had never even heard of and both the Boy Band and the radio caller knew the answer.  I was a bit bummed that I would not be “winning” on that particular day, and I was pretty convinced that I would not know the next answer either.

Until…….they played “Yesterday” – a song made world famous by the biggest, bestest, brightest, brilliantest Boy Band of all time – The Beatles.  And would you friggin believe it, neither the Boy Band in the studio nor the radio caller knew the answer.  I could hear in his voice, that Fresh, was truly stumped.  He committed that most awful of crimes amongst DJ’s – stunned silence.  No white noise.  No black noise.  No nothing.  Not even static.  Just silence.  He was clearly floored.  As was I.  Was this even possible?  I know I’m a bit of a music snob, but how can one be a citizen of the world and not know “Yesterday” or The Beatles for that matter?  Did these people perhaps hatch from eggs and grow up in an isolated bubble or were they merely raised by wolves?  Please believe me, when I say that I mean no offense to wolves anywhere.  I'm sure they would flog their young for making similiar mistakes.

I’m thinking that a ritual stoning might be in order.  If we make an example of these people, it might bear fruit in the future. 

My one and only foray into overseas travel took me to China about 5 years ago.  They don’t mess around.  They have loudspeakers on all public grounds, places and spaces, blaring communist propaganda for all to hear, eat, live and breathe.  They play it over the intercoms in trains and tubes.  And there are pamphlets and leaflets all around – please do help yourself.  And how successful is it not?  One of the biggest nations in the world – with not much freedom awarded to its people, yet they’re quite happy to simply move forward, not questioning the status quo.  I mean how much protest movement is there in China?  Right, that would be zero.

Is this not perhaps an avenue of education that we should investigate in South Africa?  If we perhaps got someone really inspirational, like Riaan Cruywagen  – you know someone in touch with the youth – to record messages educating the youth, maybe then they would not make blunders like this?  Just imagine what we could teach them?  The possibilities are limitless.  Stuff like the following:

-          How to pull your outer pants up over your inner pants – so that your boxers are not on  show for the world.

-          Perhaps a short course on “Separating your cell phone from your hand”.

-          An introductory course on “How to make eye contact with adults”. 

-          This can be followed up with the advanced course “Responding to adults by using more than one word sentences”.

-          “Changing the loo roll in the bathroom”.

-          “Clothes – they don’t actually make it from the bedroom floor to the washing basket on their own” – this course will include a slide presentation.

-          A step by step guide on “Wet towels – how to hang them up”.

-          “Entitlement – why the world does not owe you a thing”.

-          An in depth course on real music – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.

-          The importance of tying your shoelaces even when you’re wearing “yo-yo-homeboy takkies/sneakers” – so you don’t trip over them and fall flat on your face.

I mean, just think about it.  The sky is the limit.  Perhaps the proper route to follow, would be to add subliminal messages to the music that they’re already listening to?  They all pretty much seem to have earphones sprouting out of their ears.  And correct me if I’m wrong, because I think this is true for most of us - I can remember song lyrics from my teens, but not what I learnt in History in Grade 9.  Does anyone else see a pattern here.  Music surely is the most powerful teaching tool, especially with the youth.  And who says propaganda is dead and gone?  Preposterous, I tell you.

Why if we followed this route, I suspect there would never even be a textbook crises, the likes of which we’re seeing at the moment.  And to add extra enticement and to ensure that our “message” is reaching the masses, I know exactly what we should do.  Illegal downloads over the Internet!  Now am I clever or what?  Why a new song by someone like 50Cent can spread like wild fire within days, by mere downloads alone.

This is clearly the way forward.  We shall educate the youth.  One illegally downloaded song, filled with subliminal teachings at a time.  Slowly catch a monkey.




  1. Full marks!! Robin and I had such a giggle. Also can't believe how every 'educational tips' to the teens were so spot on! Got the towels licked and the one sentences for the toilet roll and entitlement bit, it's going to take a bit more doing! I'm thinking...Robin is such a wizz old man at 'techy' stuff, surely he could feed or drop the odd vital message into their music? For you think doing it through XBOX would be a goodie. Maybe muffling it through the endless gunshot and killing noises? We'll let you know! xxx

  2. Helene! Awesome stuff - you tell it so well!
    Got to giggle. Laughed at the Dj crime. Amazing how each generation has its own foefies.
    You are incredibly perceptive! What a gift to see the humour in all these situations.

  3. I personally think that they should all be sent to an uninhabitable island that makes Noupoort look like the Ritz. They then need to fend for themselves, seeing who can outplay, outwit and outlast the rest to make it till the end.

  4. I heard on radio recently how the DJ was sat in a local Coffee Shop and Queen came on the Radio, at a table close to him he heard a group of girls talking, the one said "omg who ever is covering Glee's Song is making a hash of it!!". I was stunned... I guess now we know what the old Hippies feel like on most days!