I blame Marilyn Manson. I’m nostalgic that way.

‘Drink, drugs and broken homes.’ It’s not the title of a Country and Western song, or part of Keith Richards’ backstage requirements. It’s actually what the Conservatives are blaming (this week) for the alarming levels of violent crime among young people in the UK. Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis, said last week that drink, drugs and broken homes have ‘spawned this plague on modern Britain.’ The plague he is referring to is, of course young people. Young people, with their beady eyes and sticky little paws, their iPod3 players plugged into their ears playing their gongster wraps, running about in hoodies, refusing to go to grammar school.  Okay, they’re not really the plague he refers to.  But they might as well be. He clearly agrees with the director of the Victims of Crime Trust, Norman Brennan, who characterised part of the ‘national crisis with knife crime’ as mainly being down to ‘feral youngsters who are roaming our streets.’

First, let me say: way to go on the ‘engaging young people’ agenda. You is down wiv da kidz, yeah, blud? Second, let me say: fair enough. Kids in this country scare me. And the past few weeks’ news of knifings, shootings and beatings either taking place or being sentenced, most involving young people, should be enough to convince anyone that there is something going seriously wrong with our young people. But what is it?

Davis chose to blame drink, as did a senior police chief in whose area a father of three had been murdered by a gang of youths. The thing is, I’ve been drunk. I’ve never beaten, shot or stabbed anybody, not even by mistake. I’ve also seen young people drunk. Certainly they behave more stupidly, but that in itself takes a trained eye to detect.

 Alcohol is a crutch, but it can’t force you to walk anywhere violent. The same goes for Marijuana. Personally I cannot stand the stuff, but I’ve known many dope-smokers. And if there is one thing that I’ve noticed, it’s that smoking dope never made any of them more likely to go outside, chase someone down and kill them. Mainly because it makes people unlikely to leave the couch, never mind the normal bounds of civilized behaviour. That’s its problem. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that drugs and drink are good for kids (or anyone). Drugs tend, in my experience, to make people radically stupider over time. Alcohol is a neurotoxin. Neither of these can be a good thing for society as a whole. But can we blame them (or the supermarkets selling them cheap—I mean alcohol, not drugs, but give Tesco a few years) for violence on our streets? And what about divorce? Certainly it’s a trauma for children but do only broken homes breed thugs?  

Part of me is in favour of this sort of broad-brush scapegoating. If people are blaming the three Ds (drink, drugs and divorce) they might leave the two Ms (Marilyn Manson) alone for a while and he might get saved. But wait a minute. Weren’t we all up in arms about gangsta-rap music last year? And what about violent computer games? Movies from Child’s Play to Reservoir Dogs and Old Boy, aren’t they to blame? I think they play their part. I think the three Ds and even the two Ms in the hands of the wrong person could too. More relevant, though, is a society in which the concept of absolute truth has been eroded (by secular postmodernism and Christian liberalism) to the point where concepts like ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are not just situational, they are completely meaningless for most people. Of course young people kill. They have no reason not to.

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2 Responses

  1. honestly violent video games and music like slayer, ac/dc, and Marilyn Manson has more than once saved someones life. happens all over the world.. someone gets pissed, goes home. grabs a playstation or xbox controller and kills 5,000,000. digital people and gets drunk and jams some heavy music to help set the mood . and has a fun filled night full of anger management in a dark room playing a game..now without these things he may just pick up the shotgun and go shoot his co-worker in the face. at least i know i would have several times and i know many many other people that feel the same way. your also forgetting us young people are lazy..so why actualy do work when we can simulate the work of brutal murder lol

  2. Drugs Are definitely bad. sorry, man.

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