A friend of mine qualified in such things, tells me that modern youth simply lack an ego strong enough to cope with reality. According to my scribe, kids today have their noses stuffed in other people’s lives and stupid games, all on electronic screens so the joy of watching a spider build a web, (ahem, off-line), or to see a cat stalking a bird in a tree, these things are either off-limits because they are too dangerous/dirty/pointless or the brats simply are not allowed outdoors unattended.
Let me not even mention getting milled in a football match, skinning a knee or coming home with a black eye. These kinds of rights of passage are a thing of the past. As a result our snowflakes are raised in cotton wool, they study the personalities of the people who’re famous in their tiny lives this week and then ape the speech and movements and slowly in their own sad heads, they become that vacuous person, warts and all because they can’t be persons themselves. They are the veneer of somebody else.
The problems arise when these kids are confronted in real life and they respond in the persona of somebody else, faux-American accent and all. A couple of fired questions later and it all breaks down leaving the juvenile exposed without any personality to defend themselves. Think of a body with no spine and you’re on the right track. The toughness each of us had in the past is consigned to that past and the modern version of kid is a defenseless mess in the real world.
So we shift to last Tuesday and the Irish Examiner reported two incidents of snowflake note. In the first, a 13-year-old schoolboy must have aggravated his school teacher enough that the man took action. He gripped the brat by the upper ear and followed this up four days later by placing his forearm against the brat’s chest pushing him backwards. It made me think back to my own school days at thirteen when the threat of a leather strap was ever present and a friendly slap across the face was seen as getting off lightly.
Not so in these snowflake times. The poor misfortunate teacher was hauled before the courts, grilled until well done and then served up on a plate for the brat’s parents edification. Even worse, the little shit of a boy and his equally helpless God-Love-Us parents were awarded €17,500 of taxpayers money by a half-wit Judge with fuck-all else to do that day. We really are losing the run of ourselves.
The forensics are interesting for the detail. The boy’s ear was held for ten-seconds and the push backwards lasted five-seconds. Looking at the award again, that comes to over a grand a second. But apparently, “In the aftermath of the first incident his right ear had become painful and discoloured at the point of contact by his teacher. He had also developed some back pain as a result of the second incident.” The red earlobe fine but the back business is just horse-shit.” However, the real meat for the prosecution was that, “Since the incidents, the lad had been fearful of meeting the teacher in his school grounds and had felt anxious while attending school. He had suffered pain, distress and discomfort.” What a load of codswallop! If I were the Judge that day I would have thrown up on the prosecuting council and struck the case off. But it gets better
The second reported incident in the paper earlier in the week was the case of an eight-year old brat flying back from Faro to Dublin, so that says Portuguese holidays right there. Anyway, the case revolved around a hot chocolate spillage on-board and the first question you would surely ask would be, “What sort of adult dick-head buys an eight-year old “HOT” chocolate on a plane?” They’d have been safer buying the kid a cold beer. It goes on, “Barrister Clare O’Shea, counsel for James, told the court the child had been scalded and suffered severe pain to his abdomen when the hot chocolate spilled onto his lap. She said James’s father had immediately pulled his son’s t-shirt off him. Ms O’Shea, who appeared with Dónal Johnston of Johnston Solicitors, said burns and blisters had begun to develop on James’s stomach. She said James’s father had alerted a member of the cabin crew as to what had happened and the child had been brought to the back of the plane for first aid.” So the plane jerks, the hot chocolate upends all over the kid and all hell breaks loose, fair enough.
If you know Ryanair cabin staff, such an incident would normally be seen as a commercial opportunity to sell the kid’s parents a refill, but I do them an injustice. “The court heard that James had anti-burn lotion applied to his stomach. Ms O’Shea said there had been no cold packs available and a cold bottle of sparkling wine had been used on James’s wounds to cool them down. A doctor on board had come to his assistance and administered a burns ointment. There had been no suitable pain medication in the aeroplane’s first-aid kit but that Calpol had been obtained from another passenger on board. On arrival to Dublin Airport, James had been taken to the Paediatric Emergency Department at Tallaght Hospital where some cold gel had been applied to his wounds.” All in all I would suggest that everything that could be done was done for the lad and the incident was just one of those things, an unfortunate accident.
When I was around that age I knocked over a kettle that had just boiled and it spilled on my arm and hand. Mt Mother grabbed me and ran freezing cold water over my arm and hand for about ten minutes until both went numb. Then I was packed off, (on my own), to school where doubtless some big prick punched or kicked that day for no reason. Not so the Ryanair, ahem, ‘victim’. Judge O’Donohoe, in his infinite wisdom, awarded the ‘victim’ twenty-five grand of taxpayers money for his pains so doubtless the boy can buy as much hot chocolate as his little snowflake heart desires. And don’t tell me the insurance companies will cover it because you and I cover the insurance companies, ten times over.
But money aside, how are kids today ever to become hardy enough to look after themselves? When will they find out that life is neither easy nor fair and to survive and prosper, you roll with the punches and build you own defenses? How can they possibly learn the basic skills if money is thrown at them if they as much as sneeze? God help us too if either the Russian or American army hits our shores in twenty years time with aggressive intentions because the only opposition I think they’ll encounter will be a battery of solicitors serving law-suits on them.
Sometimes I despair!