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August 30, 2011



Intriguing, enigmatic opening 3 paragaphs, Duke -- I wasn't quite sure how they connected to the rest of your article.

I would tend to agree that some children are sometimes given too much attention - but then, like you, I am not a parent, and parents would say that that is why I don't share their view of things. Perhaps it is too easy for someone like me to try to judge these things from the outside.

re your specific issue of youth and fear ... well, it is bad to be physically attacked and hurt. I don't think there is any defence for this, and I don't think I would want to justify violence as 'all part of growing up'.

Fear of violence is a different thing from violence. Maybe you think violence is bad, but fear of violence can be a good, character-forming thing?

Your talk about youth reminds me of my own thoughts. I yesterday read a Jackie Ashley article in yesterday's Guardian with disbelief. She complained that there is 'nowhere for young people to go'. She thinks they should be able to go and drink a bottle of vodka - something I never even touched till I was in my 20s. She also says they can't go to cafes as they are too expensive (though she thinks they should go to pubs, despite being under-age, and though pubs are dearer than cafés). It was mind-boggling.

It all led me back to a familiar old thought, namely that youth today don't seem to have the same experience that I did, or even that my contemporaries did. Example: apparently teenage pregnancy is now thought to be a problem. When I was a teenager, I never even heard of, let alone knew, a teenager getting pregnant. This kind of thing was just unknown.

So in talking about young people today we are apparently starting from a different place from our own youth, whether for good or ill.

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