Well so teenage drinking is up, so's junkfood eating and illegal drug use. Today's young people just wanna satiate their superficial sensory instincts and hang tomorrow.
This sounds like a pretty sane response to the state of the world to me.
The Blair gene-ration, supposed to have been programmed to fit the demands of the modern, 24/7 world-class economy, and at the same time guilt-tripped to sickness on a "We've fucked up the planet so you've got to save it" mantra, have apparently decided they want out of the responsibility.
They look (if they bother at all) at politicians and see "representatives" who do the usual say-one-thing-do-another Janus trick, pretending that we can have business-as-usual and avoid environmental and social melt-down.
They don't buy it.
If the leaders abdicate their responsibility, what do you expect the sheep to do?
Depression is the sickness, self-numbing the treatment. In a double bind, where each avenue leads nowhere useful, paralysis results.
Looked at another way, it's patently obvious to anyone that with all the global sustainability indicators divebombing, the human race, with its skyrocketing population growth and resource demands, is killing its host with its parasitical activity.
If God put humans in charge with dominion over the beasts, that was his big mistake. The children couldn't take that level of responsilibty. They hadn't grown up enough.
In the face of this future, what would you expect powerless individuals to do? With all our leaders pretending that everything is ok, what can we do?
Each gene-ration has the chance to start again. It's the onus of each gene-ration to renew hope.
Hope sometimes seems a precious currency. Even more precious is imagination.
Imagination is the one resource kids have in spades. Even if every attempt has been made by the schooling system to drill it out of kids, many of them are still full enough of the "What if...?"s and the "Why not...?"s to make a difference.
Imagination, coupled with faith in its fruits, is needed now more than any other time. Kids have to envisage and live a different way or face death by tabloid prophecy.
Imagination is currently primarily channeled into music, but also into graphic arts, video, celebrity wannabe-ness, fashion, games - all of which are often just a way to suck kids into the system and hoodwink them with fake glamour.
Real imagination rejects the forms and contents presented, rejects the rules of the given game, and breaks them. It invents its own.
Imagination is needed to vision another way of living that isn't about money, jobs, economic growth - ie, buying useless stuff that either breaks or is out of date next week - but which is about you and me, and friends and building meaning back into everyday life.
Imagination is your secret weapon. Imagination is what they can't take away from you.
They'll want to - so they can sell it back and maintain control position.
Imagination is drumming on a skin of facts with sticks of poetry.
Imagination is painting on a canvas of science with a dancing brush.
Imagination transforms victims into escapees, it makes you the revolutionary's revolutionary.
With imaination they can try to pigeon your hole, but you've already flown.
With imagination they can try to peg your square but you're no longer a round there.
With imagination you're armed to the kilt with parallel worlds.
With practise you can make your imagination so strong that you can even make a memory seem to belong to someone else. Make them believe in your alternate world.
People learn by example, and you have to find the appropriate examples that work for you. If you can't find them, invent them.
Role models? They are not much to be found in celebrity magazines. They are the pied pipers, the evil faeries that lure you along the dangerous path.
Everyone must find and be their own hero and heroine.
As you journey through this workaday world, perhaps on the way to school or college, work or shop, and you see the bored faces of everyone else on train, bus or sidewalk, ask yourself why they are bored, and if they dislike it as much as you. What untapped potential is in their minds, and what are the creative uses of such cynicism.
We live in a narrow world, and there is so much more to explore. Reach out and take it to avoid the living death - and at the end a death full of regrets.
I realise this is a risky post to put up. Maybe it's just me. But you know, after years and years of trying, I can't see the world in any other way - I become more and more convinced:
There's not just one road less travelled; there's thousands.
Build your own Imagined Nation.