Friday, July 06, 2007

Youth culture

I read an article today about how youth in australia shouldn't have the right to vote because they don't know enough about politics. It used their fashion sense, modern television shows, and the fact they occassionally wear Che Guevara on t-shirts as proof that they were mindless children.

How anyone could decide that an entire generation is unfit for voting based on current trends is infuriating. If we judged every generation on theses sorts of things, than no one would ever be allowed to do anything! can we 'subjective'?

I am proud when i see youth wearing Che t-shirts. while i know that they probably don't know the full history behind the face, it makes me hope that they are wearing it to express their desire for cultural freedom. As most political forces, Che has blood on his hands. But what political force doesn't? He stands as an icon for youth-power, cultural freedom, marxism (although this has lost much of its potency) and mixed in with all this there is a hint of bitter defeat. While his life fought, in the end he died without ever seeing his full dream come true.

Its true that most of the television on tv i find trite at best, it doesn't mean that i think all who watch them are without the ablity to think critically. Each reality tv show that asks you to vote, makes the watcher think critically about the contestants.

Fashion, while somewhat a repeat of 1990s, is no more a factor of intellegence than what sort of soap they use. Every generation looks back at photos of what they wore when they were X years old and cringes. Its almost a right of passage in life, to see the fashion you used to wear and wonder what you were thinking.

The youth have just as much right to vote and make mistakes in their votes as anyone else. How else to we expect them to learn and grow into positive members of the country? If we don't allow this, we run the risk of going back to the ways of our forefathers and only allowing white men who own land to vote.


Della said...

Ugh, I hate it when that old chestnut is rolled out - "They're too young, too irresponsible, too wild to vote! Back in MY day everyone was home by 9pm and understood quantum physics as well as the entire electoral system of each Australian State and Territory as well as the Federal one..."


If you stop young people voting, you may as well say that no-one else is eligible to vote for whatever reason you can come up with. They might be senile if they're over 70. Going through a mid-life crisis if they're around 40. Drug-crazed or drunk in their 20s.

Young people generally have a good idea of who they want to vote for and why, even if they don't go into a long spiel about why.

But that said, the Communist-era fashion stuff when people don't understand anything about it... Bit of a worry. Especially when you get something like the Cameron Diaz thing happening where she was totting a bag with a saying of Chairman Mao around in Peru.

Maybe people could research it a bit, develop understandings of history and why various things might be deeply hurtful/offensive to some people.

Kaisa said...

Yay down with the vote! I am a young person (and female) that dosn't want the vote...

On another point I don't think it is such a good thing for people to wander around with stuff on that they don't understand the of... like chinese words tattooed on their arm that the artist said meant love and peace but might actually say "I am a stupid wanker."