Thecuriousmail’s Weblog

GENERATION NOWHERE

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on April 2, 2011

I’ve learnt that a 19yo who lived at the end of the street died in a car accident last week. I’m not sure what the legal procedures are (coronial inquest or whatever), but the police, from witness reports and their initial investigations, are believed to have already told his parents that he was speeding. I spoke to the boy a couple of times, and found him stupid and obnoxious, so I’m not going to pretend that I care that he has died. Some people who have died recently actually made the world a better place because they lived in it, and it is those kind of people for whom I have regret and sympathy.
He was still on his P plates. About a year  ago, he was convicted of hooning, after he was doing burn-outs in the street, lost control, came close to running over a couple of school children, and put his car thru a letterbox and a fence. His car was confiscated by the police, for a couple of days, and his licence was suspended for 2 or 3 months. He lived at home with his mother and father, and a younger brother. My father left home when I was about 10, but I remember when I was the dead boy’s age and had started work, an old man telling me not to speed around where you live or work  (don’t shit in your own nest) and I have largely followed that advice (because I can see that it makes sense). Someone forgot to tell the dead kid, or he didn’t listen.
The kid never did apologize to the neighbours whose property he destroyed, or make repairs, or apologize to the neighbour whose children he nearly ran down. This would have been the right thing to do. Acknowledge that he had made a mistake by way of an apology to those people, and to repair the damage he caused. If he was reluctant to do that, his father should have made him do it, made him understand that there is a line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. He had his licence suspended for 2 or 3 months, but he continued to drive while his licence was suspended. His parents knew that he was continuing to drive, but did nothing. When I was the dead boy’s age, and I lived at home, my mother would have told me ‘tough, you did the dumb thing, you can pay for it, you can push a bicycle, but there’s no way you’re going to drive’ kind of thing. Why did his parents allow him to drive while his licence was suspended? Stupidity killed him, and his parents helped him to die.
I often saw the boy travelling at twice or more the speed limit in a particular residential area near home(140 kmh in a 60kmh zone), and at the time I’d wonder what the boy would say if he had an accident and killed someone. What would he say to the parent of a child he killed? Judging by his previous behaviour, he’d ignore it or blame everyone but himself. I’m not sure exactly where he crashed and died, but I’m sure one of those road-side memorials to stupidity will appear, and some will mourn this ‘tragic’ accident. But tragic? No, I don’t think so. It is the nature of being a boy of that age to take risks, and to exaggerate your own abilities; compound that with his own stupidity–an inability or unwillingness to think things thru– and his parent’s unwillingness to try to teach him anything, and what happened is no real surprise and is not tragic. Tragic would be the child he killed. I’m glad he has died before he could kill someone.

It feels like there is a generation who believe there is never bad consequences to what they do, that they can never be held to account for anything, and their parents have been negligent by reinforcing this attitude. That there are consequences is not something to avoid at all costs; it is liberating, empowering. I remember as a teenager reading  Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Camus, and others, and thinking this is a revelation, and I embrace it!

But  by now denying that choice has any consequence, or action any effect, fear is what we perpetuate, and lives are death-locked in an absurd enduring  childhood.

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