I'm not so sure of this. I think you're not considering the importance that self-hatred surely plays in these kinds of cases.Alienated youths are not the casualties of liberalism, they are causalities of toxic social conservatism...
I have been sadly disappointed by my 1958 book, The Rise of the Meritocracy. I coined a word which has gone into general circulation... The book was a satire meant to be a warning (which needless to say has not been heeded)...
Underpinning my argument was a non-controversial historical analysis of what had been happening to society for more than a century before 1958, and most emphatically since the 1870s, when schooling was made compulsory and competitive entry to the civil service became the rule.
Until that time status was generally ascribed by birth. But irrespective of people's birth, status has gradually become more achievable.
It is good sense to appoint individual people to jobs on their merit. It is the opposite when those who are judged to have merit of a particular kind harden into a new social class without room in it for others.
Ability of a conventional kind, which used to be distributed between the classes more or less at random, has become much more highly concentrated by the engine of education.
A social revolution has been accomplished by harnessing schools and universities to the task of sieving people according to education's narrow band of values.
With an amazing battery of certificates and degrees at its disposal, education has put its seal of approval on a minority, and its seal of disapproval on the many who fail to shine from the time they are relegated to the bottom streams at the age of seven or before.
The new class has the means at hand, and largely under its control, by which it reproduces itself.
The more controversial prediction and the warning followed from the historical analysis. I expected that the poor and the disadvantaged would be done down, and in fact they have been. If branded at school they are more vulnerable for later unemployment.
They can easily become demoralised by being looked down on so woundingly by people who have done well for themselves.
It is hard indeed in a society that makes so much of merit to be judged as having none. No underclass has ever been left as morally naked as that.
They have been deprived by educational selection of many of those who would have been their natural leaders, the able spokesmen and spokeswomen from the working class who continued to identify with the class from which they came.
Their leaders were a standing opposition to the rich and the powerful in the never-ending competition in parliament and industry between the haves and the have-nots.
With the coming of the meritocracy, the now leaderless masses were partially disfranchised; as time has gone by, more and more of them have been disengaged, and disaffected to the extent of not even bothering to vote. They no longer have their own people to represent them.
Sure enough but a direct consequence of the "the world is supposed to let my voice be heard" dogma. They are structurally another sub-set of the Special SnowflakeI thought "entitled nerd" got it pretty well. I've also heard "internet man-babies", particularly for the sub-class who act like they're the victims of Stalinist oppression if the latest edition of their favorite game franchise doesn't have bouncy enough tits in it.
This is not my argument. My argument is that I feel acting out teens, in particular the typically male, white, middle-american ilk, receive a disproportionate level of attention - attention that rightly sees them and their mis-behaviour as symptomatic, but incorrectly grants them a level of significance that is unfair. Spree-killers are a most prominent example. Sandy Hook is a great example highlighted in a book I'm currently reviewing. More children were murdered in Chicago in the same year than the death total of Lanza's Sandy Hook shooting. But the 'big event' warranted a lot of hand wringing and 'where have we gone wrong' column inches etc. But where are the opinion pieces for the just as symptomatic problem of the Chicago murder rate? People that commit crime are damaged people, they are all causalities on some level. I do not believe in people being born bad or evil or any of that nonsense. My gripe is that there seems to be a certain empowered nerd gravity that distorts responses that examine the larger social issues. I'm not arguing on the basis of a hierarchy of hardship - I just feel social reflection is skewed by spectacle and privileges the nerd's cry for help.Oh no I get it. I know this argument. It goes like this
Why are poor people in England always moaning. They got iPhone, sky TV, lager, skunk, air max. People in Ethiopia only eat one grain of rice a day and look at them, always happy and dancing and making the best of things.
Without wanting to put too much onus on the particular individuals' problems (and privileging the more privileged, as I've said I have a problem with), the worrisome difference between deaths and crime that relates obviously to poverty and deaths and crime that are caused by an individual's ideological issues or social isolation is that the latter is somehow not solved by prosperity.Yeah that's true, I guess the disparity of coverage is down to the middle classes not feeling threatened by inner city gun violence in the same way. It's the same reason I (shamefully) don't really blink if I see there's been a terrorist attack in Iraq. but the merest hint of one in London or Paris hypnotises me. 'It could be you' is what that says. Definitely agree that there's an inherent racism in the ease with which violence in poverty stricken areas is accepted and dismissed.
I guess what makes the rampaging nerd seem more psychologically interesting is that drug related violence seems somehow (terribly) 'rational', whereas a person who has all the material comforts in the world going postal defies our expectations of what financial security and education provides us with. In fact it's the very violation of that security which connects the postal loner with the ISIS militant. (And Breivik was probably the best example of somebody who combined angry loner nerdiness with militant ideological fervour).
At the end of the last series, the fate of basically the entire world lies in the hands of about eight women. Seriously.I really dislike it. It is regressive in almost every way. Feudal hierarchies, suffering women and powerful and/or violent men. Even in terms of fantasy and sci-fi (that has always had a dodgy side with unequal gender representations) it is poor. The retort I hear most is that 'ah yes, but the character development and depth of emotion...' what? So this outdated sexist machismo is OK if it is elaborated in great detail? Pur-leeze. It is precisely this type of stuff that is the soft propagation of unequal values. As bad as Barbie and Ken, or worse.