Tuesday, 18 September 2012

‘I suspect that those who would scoff the loudest at such a questioning of the intrinsic and eternal value of ‘youth culture’, are not themselves young. From what I see and hear there is nothing which puts off and irritates today’s adolescents more than when they are specifically targeted as ‘youth’ – when products and advertisements are all too cack-handedly directed at some magic kingdom/ghetto fenced in by age. No, here again what seems to be the case is that presumptions written in conceptual concrete during the Golden Age of Youth in the ‘50s and ‘60s, have been placed beyond doubt by Oldies who themselves cannot conceive of life defined by any parameters other than age.
The evidence of this inability to move beyond the presumed glories of youth and to grow-up litters the landscape of life at the end of the 20th century and start of the 21st. Media pundits and market researchers have identified the ‘Kidult’ as a (if not the) decade defining figure of the Noughties: middle-aged-plus grown men and women who pounce on any and all innovations favored by the young and, like those who would steal candy from babies, make them their own. Oldies who ought to know better on skateboards, wearing back to front baseball caps, wolfing down tabs of Ecstasy, their iPods blaring the latest Grime or Lady Gaga. And it’s hard to find an ad for pensions or life assurance which doesn’t feature leather-clad Boomers roaring past on Harley Davidsons or bungee jumping grannies wearing Hip Hop approved upmarket label tracksuits. In the 21st century youth culture is everywhere – except perhaps amongst those who are actually not yet old enough to be Kidults (but then, as they always used to say, youth is too good to be wasted on the young).’

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