There’s been a lot in the news about how cool the kids are. As Whitney Houston sang before using her crack pipe “The children are our future” and as The Who repeated before smashing their guitars, “The kids are alright.”
And as Pink Floyd accurately predicted after using up the very last of Syd’s LSD, “We don’t need no education.”
There’s been the Climate Change protests where thousands of naughty boys and girls (or, millions if you are an over-promoted cadet journalist who can’t do maths) took the day off school because school is for LOSERS and marched down city streets, choreographed by 30 year old union organisers directed by 60 year old Union leaders.
After all, getting organised is a generational thing and there’s always a hierarchy somewhere.
Then there was Egg Boi riding the zeitgeist by egging an unpleasant balding old man who is about to get kicked out of parliament anyway. All this while ensuring he was framed correctly within his selfie. Violence abhorring 60 year-old women who attend yoga classes have applauded this youthful act of violence as something the Dalai Lama might have done if he wasn’t vegan.
Now the Greens have jumped on board by saying that 16 year olds should have the right to vote. Apparently the 70 year olds in the Party have crunched the numbers because they did their schooling under the old system and know where the decimal goes. They have worked out kids just love Green policies, watch The Project and just loved it when Waleed got all passive aggressive like a teenager when interviewing his dad – sorry, ScoMo last week. So they might well vote Green as a block if they were actually allowed to vote at all.
Politics isn’t personal it’s deeply romantic and this is classic Tinder territory: weary middle-aged cynic meets starry-eyed teen idealist – swipe left, wear protection.
But as always with the Greens it’s the lack of ambition that disappoints. It’s the whole “If you’re legalizing crack cocaine why not over the counter petrol sniffing as well” argument playing out and if we’re talking 16 years olds being able to vote then why not three year olds as long as they can reach the pencil and have been changed first.
So Yes and yes, to lowering the voting age but yes also to these other acts of generational apartheid that make me so angry I want to hurl an egg at somebody or maybe torch a car:
Legalize cigarette smoking for 12 year olds: We all know nothing says sophistication and sexual appeal like a gold tipped mentholated cigarette sold to you by someone with a French accent or a Formula 1 driver. Why should 12 year olds be denied this opportunity to look like Shane Warne?
Gambling advertising during Playschool: For some reason we don’t think children can handle this sort of advertising because they are not sophisticated enough to understand what’s going on but have we ever considered this is really because they are not being allowed to smoke?
Kids aren’t stupid and need to learn how to choose the winner in Race Three at Flemington with their parent’s money or pick a loser from 50 metres away on Election Day.
Join the army: For some reason we don’t let children join the army because we don’t want them to get killed before they are old enough to be killed anyway with the pills the Greens want legally tested at dance parties and bush doofs.
View pornography: Porn is everywhere these days so why not inside the heads of children? At least it will prepare them for Safe Schools.
Michael Scammell is a freelance writer.
Illustration: Polaris Productions/Hawk Films/Warner Bros.
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