tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

Teenagers are people too!

Last night, I continued The Kid's classical education by showing him Donnie Darko. Mostly it was so that he could recognise the cultural reference to Sparkle Motion when taking the piss out of Twilight. He'd been told by his peers that it was scary and dumb, but he actually enjoyed it. The time travel twist kind of got him like it gets everyone, but once he figured it out he was like "Aha!"

Also, young Jake Gyllenhaal = nom nom nom.

This one arrived yesterday from richdrich, who as far as I can tell is being vagrant around the UK at the moment. Cyberdog (where this card came from) is based in Camden - although I see they have branches in Manchester, Brighton, Ibiza and Sao Paulo now. The postmark on the card says Southampton. He could be anywhere by now!

I want her hair. And her costume. Just saying.

Speaking of which, I'd love to take my rainbow dreadlock wig to Africa, but it weighs a lot and the only way I can think of to get it there without checking it is to wear it. Which would probably triple the time spent getting through customs. So instead I'm gonna try to find someone who'll braid random stuff into my hair for the duration. Usually I use those little rubber bands that you get for plaiting horse's manes, but this has to last three weeks so I think it's worth getting it done properly.


One thing I've noticed since the arrival of The Kid, is just how much age discrimination goes on towards young people. "Youth these days" *blah blah blah* aside, I'm talking about the kind of treatment that if it were done to an adult, would be (in this country anyway) probably legislated against.

Adults seem to think they have the right to ignore, question and lambast young people whenever they want, particularly in shops. Stuff like, The Kid going to get a shop assistant for help choosing his mp3 player birthday present, got brushed off by said shop assistant until they saw that he was with me. Same deal trying to return something to a shop with receipt - they don't want to know until I turn up standing behind him. Because, you know, he's obviously got less right to assistance because he's a kid.

He also seems to be required to produce ID, explain why he is where he is, have a reason to be on the street, and be fair game to anyone and everyone who wants to tell him what he should be doing instead of what he is doing. It's ok to kick him out of shops and off buses for no reason other than he's young. He has to stand up for adults on public transport and be ok with adults queue-jumping him in shops (yeah, everyone knows it's wrong but watch what happens if the teenager speaks up about it). And his dress sense is apparently up for public comment by anyone who feel the need as well.

I remember when I was a teenager, my Mum had a friend. I have always had a long fringe (bangs for those in the US) that hangs in my eyes. I like it that way. This friend seemed to find it personally offensive that I had this fringe, and whenever I saw her she'd go on about it, telling me I needed to use hair clips and pushing it back off my face (Ew! Being touched by random semi-stranger without my permission!), going "Where are those clips?" This happened EVERY SINGLE TIME I saw her.

So what did that achieve? Well, I still wear my hair with a fringe, it still hangs in my eyes. All that really ended up happening was that I didn't want to go to her house, in fact when I think of her now it's still with distaste. She had no effect on me except to cause me to dislike her intensely. And the reason for that is essentially because her insistence on invading my personal space, insulting my developing sense of personal style, and attempting to bulldoze my boundaries with her own, all screamed "YOU ARE A KID AND I AM AN ADULT THEREFORE I AM BETTER THAN YOU AND I CAN DO THESE THINGS TO YOU BECAUSE OF IT!"

So next time you're having uncharitable thoughts about the way teenagers dress, or considering pushing in front of one in a shop, or dismissing their needs and opinions, or trampling on their feelings by insulting them because they don't look the way you think they should, try to remember what it was like when you were a kid, and maybe think twice before treating them as less than a person.

This post brought to you by witnessing the treatment of my son by a ticket-seller at the railway station.

I got a free ride in on the train this morning, due to being completely overlooked by the conductor, who must be colourblind or something. I see it as compensation for all the times in the last month I've been left waiting on the platform for ages. Yes, the rail folk are trying to do something about it. No, it hasn't improved the service yet. Really, for the most part it's pretty good - I've never been late to work because of the train, and compared with some people I've had a pretty good run.

But I'm still taking the free ride. ;-)

[EDIT] Those of you who think the internet filtering being implemented by the DIA is unlikely to be corrupted, have a read of this, and explain to me why they'd do this and why it's ok.
Tags: adults can be assholes, censor this!, gimme a head of hair!, jake gyllenhall nom nom
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