In 1964, Bob Dylan’s voice echoed out from radio speakers with a proclamation that The times they are a-changin’. A voice for the generation of freedom fighters and beat poets, those words hold true even in this day and age.
What is it that defines a young adult or a teenager? years ago it was acne, loud music and bad attitudes. A struggle to find ones place in a world overcrowded with ways you SHOULD look or act. The idea that there’s always a click. Be it the Goths or the hippies, or the D4’s, spicers, hipsters, whatever it is. But in recent times whatever group you belong to is irrelevant, when you all share the same principles and common goals, which lately is finding enlightenment through self-destruction.
The common teenager now lives like they’re between the pages of a Hunter S. Thompson novel, only 30 years too late and have not even a fraction of the heart. They beat and thud their feet down the road of the unknown, leaving behind a trail of cheap vodka that glistens in the setting sun on their teenage birthdays.
They drink more, party harder and fuck more than Charlie Sheen on an average weekend in Vegas (and he has a tab there). But the question is why? Teens have always looked for purpose through experimentation with alcohol and drugs, but what we see now is that the search for the purpose is being replaced by a three-day hangover after drinking in the field when come Friday the mean cycle will repeat itself.
It is now a vast and empty wasteland of a never-ending yet always moving party as it’s all documented on a snapchat story and posted on Facebook for the world to judge them, to which the battle cry response will forever be…YOLO.
We’re left with a sea of nagins, quiffs and fake ids hidden in tights. But who is anyone to judge? Every generation broke out at one point and shocked the older generations with their way of life and antics. Perhaps as generations progress, so does their tolerance for pills and cider. And maybe just maybe, they’re seeing something that the rest of us aren’t.
The world is a big and open place for those who seek to find it and along the way find themselves. But then again, some of the world’s most brilliant literary and music work has been created by people who live that very lifestyle.
We either have the next wave of great authors and voices for their generation on our hands or the next enrollments at rehab.