Where is the so-called voice of youth? It’s missing.


Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam CO2The voice of youth may be a tired phrase, but it’s an important concept. A generation of doormats has no voice. If such a generation now exists, it’s a serious problem.

I refuse to believe that younger people have no opinions. That’s certainly not my experience. Even the “sadly educated” have at least a few ideas of their own.

The current under 20s generation, as seen in media and tedious loudmouthed social media, seems to be a video game addicted collection of aspiring corporate corpses? Is Big Bang Theory or some excruciating bit of “entertainment” all anyone can think of to do with youth? If so, it’s a real insult.

How did that happen? Don’t people take the under 20s seriously? If not, why not? This is the generation which will be fighting the next wars, getting lumbered with a tech economy in which old style careers and jobs will be impossible, and from the look of it, largely broke and struggling to make ends meet.

This is a true future disaster in progress, and the possible answers to those questions are hardly reassuring. “Reasons” for not taking the younger generation seriously may include:

  • They’re broke: Therefore they’re not economically relevant, and have little if any real social clout. Try that on a spreadsheet. Talk about a no chance scenario.
  • They can’t influence an economy and a society they can’t access: True of the chronically poor since the beginning of recorded history, and a great way to effectively discard an entire generation.
  • They have no political muscle: Wrong, but expedient, this view of the younger generation is basically lazy. They will have some sort of political clout, but it’ll be handicapped by the above points, which will also be their main areas of political interest.
  • They’re “dumb”: This very cynical view means that younger people are stuck with the image of how things work. They’re not criminals (yet, no thanks to this thinking) they’re not corrupt, and they take things on trust, like most young people. Therefore they’re idiots? Shaky logic, but look how little is done to inform them. The most communicative generation in history is being fed garbage.
  • They’re sick: This toxic wasteland of an environment makes people sick. Being sick is “wrong”. Therefore the young, if sick, are bad people. Particularly if they miraculously can’t afford treatment. So it’s all their fault.
  • They’re obstructed by employment factors: Since some collection of morons decided people should work all the way to the grave, promotions and opportunities have been reduced for younger people. That’s their fault, too.
  • They’re media-dependent: Another very wrong view. That’s what they said about the 60s generation, and look what happened. That generation made its own culture, because the mainstream culture was too insane. The modern generation ARE at a disadvantage, stuck with crap in incredible amounts, but it IS crap. You can’t live on crap forever.

If this collection of “reasons” is making you puke, imagine how living it feels. If there is a “voice of youth” muttering around under all this filth, it must be doing a lot of swearing.

What “voice of youth”?

So what would you call a “voice of youth”? Instagram? Selfies to the point of death? Facebook, with its paid collection of psycho trolls? Rap? Rock? Idiotic movies full of people shooting each other? Some youth culture you’ve got there, Grandma.

Instagram is a brief attention span, low value, visual thing. Facebook is a social medium for older people. Twitter is X characters of spleen or wit, depending on your perspective.

Wanderlaugh, Paul Wallis books, Amazon

My books are set in the England of the immortals, not some dreary little off license. Wonder why? No.

Rap and rock are both over 40 years old. “Youth” has nothing to do with it, particularly when rap and rock are both obsessing over irrelevances. Nobody gives a damn about some gangsta or hairstyle whining about everything. Whining is easy; it’s getting somewhere that’s difficult. That culture is dead and it goes nowhere anyway. It’s also avoidable, and to their credit, most younger people can take it or leave it, and they do.

The fact is that there is no place for a voice of youth. This is a middle class morgue of values, imposed on youth. If the poor bastards are glued to their phones, it’s because they have very few other places to go.

The pity of it is that this generation is quite articulate, when it gets a chance, which is almost never. Even allowing for the day care version of the arts we have now, they can be very interesting, if able to get a word in.

The voice of youth is getting drowned out by the senile babblings of a society from the past. Geriatric politics, corporate wanking, you name it, it has more coverage and more space than it deserves, at the expense of youth. That’s a damn high cost.

The environment and the voice of youth, sort of

One area where the younger generation is getting somewhere, with some natural justification, is the environment. Kids usually react to any environment in which they grow up as “normal”. This hellhole of a planet, however, as it now is, (it really wasn’t) is getting plenty of attention. They’re not treating it as normal, but something to be fixed, which is quite right.

That, of course, instantly conflicts with the established apathy and stupidity of these times. It’s a very good sign that younger people are involved with the environment, and not just because of the environment. The conflict will  also help to spell out other conflicts, like careers, money, jobs, and the rest of the dysfunctional, hopelessly incompetent mess this generation is entering. To fight this is to fight the war that needs fighting, against the dehumanization of humanity. The option is to win. Should work, too, given the ineptitude of this society, which can never defend against the new and fun.

Inventing a voice of youth

If you were to invent a new voice of youth, it would have to be well outside the shabby, boring, predictable, cardboard box which modern media provides. It would have to be crowd-social-accessible-acceptable, without the ancient garbage. It would also have to be sourced entirely from younger people, even if some older people would like to help. (If you’re older, be helpful but peripheral; youth is sacred, not to be intruded upon.)

One thing this generation has proven is that it’s quite happy to leave the garbage behind. Finding points of access seems to be a strong suit for a generation living in a barely functional museum, and it may well find the voice and the way out for the voiceless.



Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books

Ethos, freedom, careers, and culture jamming


Wasp2I don’t usually “explain myself.” I don’t feel any need, and I even think it’s a bit insulting to readers to inflict them with rationales for my writing. It’s their call to say what they think about it, to agree or disagree. None of my business, in fact.

That said, I feel I should explain one particular aspect of my writing on this blog.

Some may find it strange to read about business and careers on a culture jamming blog. Some may find it bizarre to be reading about culture jamming on a careers site. Actually, to me they’re inextricable. Business and careers are nuts and bolts of this culture. They’re relevant to everyone. You can’t ignore them. You certainly can’t sit around condemning the culture without coming up with better options. That’s way too easy, too facile and goes nowhere.

The nature of this global culture is oppressive, restrictive, and a combination of insults to both human rights and intelligence. The culture is an aggregator of abuses of humanity. Many jobs are forms of abuse. To me, writing about how to be independent in your life through a career is simply an unavoidable part of culture jamming.

A_Career_in_Characte_Cover_for_Kindle 300PPIWhen I was writing for career sites, all I ever saw were abuses, waste, and quite unnecessary, expedient miseries. “Clever” little maggots making life difficult for their very poor employees, quite deliberately. Careers falling off the rails. People lost in middle age trying to live decent lives with only the feeble thinking and mindlessness of the employment market as a way of making money. I could actually feel the desperation. These people weren’t free of anything, not even basic problems.

Money is the great definer of freedom in this society. It’s a very primitive society, inexcusably so at this stage of human development. Money is the caveman’s club of its time. The rituals of careers are almost exactly like the primitive chants of the past. In the “real world”, that enchanting combination of ignorance, lies, and stupidity, money, and careers are both excuses and reason, justifications and crime.

The creative process coverI despise this culture for its sheer ineptitude, criminality, and obsessive mediocrity. I hate it for its total lack of vision and acceptance of poverty. I find capitalists illiterate and libertarians self-serving. I find the many “expedient human rights advocates” equally obscene for their lack of achievements. I consider ideologues to be mere dogmatists pretending to be thinkers. The culture, such as it is, is the product of inferior minds, sloppy logic and insincerity at all levels.

The abysmal social logic and hopelessly inadequate logic is only to be expected. These people obtain information like kids in day care throughout their lives. They never grow up. They don’t even really understand the true values of information and use it selectively as the basis of their own thinking for no reason other than they prefer one piece of information to another.

When you’re talking about people’s lives in such a society, you even have to qualify what you mean by “lives”, and the resulting definition could just as easily be applied to plankton- “not dead”. To define a “culture” created by people living lives of desperate need is to define a futile, unworkable thing.

What freedoms can exist in a world like this? This society is structured to make personal independence almost impossible. It’s actually impossible for most people, dependent on a machine society which mindlessly produces goods and services. The “culture” isn’t even really a culture. It’s a collection of processes, most stupid, many actually destructive.

Ads_Cover_for_KindleChoices are few, in fact. Humans are raised from birth in various forms of dependency on social systems that don’t work well, if at all. Risks accumulate for people based on their ability to cope with risks, and that ability is based entirely on money.

The most incredible thing about this situation is that few people now even understand the basic idea of doing things better and making life easier. In the 1950s, the future was the big topic. Now people are looking at “reality”, the filthy, pointless waste product of media. They certainly don’t get the idea of making life safer and more trustworthy, let alone better.

That’s quite strange, because the original human species survived on the basis of collective effort. The original human societies were far less wasteful. People had roles. They were actively encouraged to do the things they were good at. A good hunter, a good farmer or a good toolmaker were sure to be doing those things. In this society, skills and abilities are highly praised, but not very effectively cultivated.

You can see how this basic social idea has devalued in the job market with a murderously monotonous funereal regularity. The job market, and God help everyone for this statement, is the reflection of how skills are actually used in this society. It’s farcical. Nearly everyone is devalued by roles which have little or no upside. Ignoramuses decide what those roles are, based not on skills capabilities, but on mere functions.

Live_Lazy_and_Love_I_Cover_for_KindleSo a brilliant engineer, the modern version of the inventors of the wheel and fire, will be making useless little objects to do useless little things. The real thinkers are reading spreadsheets, not writing theses. The people who know how to do real business are trapped in sales meetings listening to some frustrated loser telling them quite unnecessarily to sell.

Many people never even get the chance to develop their skills at all. If they try, they’re blocked by an anti-education system which values a few dollars in college fees more than the billions of dollars graduates routinely produce. More grads mean more money, and this society has structured the entire system to make sure there are many fewer grads by charging ridiculous fees.

So just about everyone is unable to function to their best ability, whatever the individual circumstances. Even if they could function that way, they’re surrounded by billions of people who can’t. Pretty unimpressive, isn’t it?

After having had their time so comprehensively wasted, they then go out, pay bills, buy food, and try to make a decent life for themselves. That’s usually difficult. They may manage to accumulate a few nice things and some good memories, but as part of the recipe for life, that’s the sugar, not the dish.

How do you jam a culture which isn’t a culture, doesn’t have a purpose, and barely even recognizes its own endless failures?

Easy. You find ways of telling people how to be independent. That’s the reason for the career stuff.

Independence is the best possible goal for any career:

  • Independence allows you to make better choices.
  • Independence allows you to enforce your own choices.
  • Independence reduces reliance on untrustworthy income streams.
  • Independence lets you make better use of your strongest skills.
  • Independence lets you dodge the career bullets which decimate the workforce in middle age.
  • Independent people can maneuver better in life situations.

So- Is telling people how to be independent and giving them the basic ideas of independence the antithesis of this pointless culture? I think it is. It’s something people can do for themselves, and most people are strongly motivated to go for independence when they recognize what it can do for them.

Imagine a world full of independent people, as productive as they know how to be, living well and enjoying life, creating new opportunities every second. To me, that’s not a Utopia. That’s the minimum acceptable standard of human life.

It’s also how I rate the efficiency of the society. Currently my rating of global social efficiency is 2%, based on economic performance. That’s a 98% failure rate. 98% of the human race is basically being wasted. Anything less than 50% is an extinction scenario, because people are doing nothing useful or engaged in actually destructive activities. The society is well advanced in the process of destroying itself.

The US would rate about 3%. Look how the destruction of basic human values, not material values, has totally destroyed the society, demotivated the people, and blinded objectivity. See where human failure is now the norm. It’s everywhere, and it’s a true atrocity.

Culture jamming is basically a resistance movement. The way to resist successfully is to beat a mindless system functioning on inertia and myopic greed. The only way to do that is to produce viable options. Personal independence is the most reliable option.

So I write about ideas, events, business and careers and how to be independent. I hope this “explanation” makes sense.