Thursday, January 17, 2008

Street Violence, are we on a slippery slope?



I was following a case in the UK recently and the facts revealed yesterday are disgusting and shocking. It's a heart breaking case about a nice, good, family man called Garry Newlove who tried to stop a gang of teenage thugs from vandalising cars on his road. Garry was subsequently kicked to death.
HIs attacker Adam Swellings, who had downed nine pints of lager on the night of the attack, and two other gang members - Stephen Sorton, 17, and Jordan Cunliffe, 16 - are all facing life imprisonment after being convicted yesterday of Mr Newlove's murder. Two other youths, aged 17 and 15, were acquitted of the same charge.

And interesting note about one of the little shits, Sorton, "Sorton, who has a previous conviction for assault, kicked Mr Newlove, who survived stomach cancer 13 years earlier, so fiercely that his training shoe was later recovered from underneath the victim."

Jesus wept. Swellings through the first punch. Let's have a look at him.

"Adam Swellings, 19, who has at least 11 previous convictions, including assault, battery and restraining order breaches, had been arrested a week earlier for punching a man who caught the gang damaging his car.
He was remanded in custody for a week and faced magistrates on the morning of Mr Newlove's murder, pleading guilty to battery and common assault.
But despite protests by the Crown Prosecution Service, JPs allowed him bail on condition he stayed away from the streets of Warrington. Soon after the court hearing Swellhead, as he was known, gathered together other members of his gang to celebrate his release and was back drinking, smoking cannabis and causing trouble in Warrington."

I'm listening to Brenda Power as I'm typing and she's just had some chap called Jim Beecher from Cork City County Council on the line who-while perfectly aware of the problems and anti-social behaviour carried out by gangs-more or less admits he has his hands tied when it comes to dealing with gangs of youths, especially as people are afraid to name them, due in no small part to an expectation of vicious retaliation.
The lack of action then emboldens the gangs, fueling their sense of invincibility.

So what's happening? And more importantly, what's to be done? Asbos? Children's court? More Gardai on the beat? Some more slaps on the wrist?
Why are gangs so violent now? Why are they so fearless? Why are they so lacking in even the slightest scrap of empathy for their fellow man? Why are more youths carrying knives and other weapons? What's the root cause of the viciousness? What pleasure can a gang get from terrorising decent hard working people?
Where are their parents? Do they defend them? Or are they incapable of controlling their children? Or do they wash their hands of them? Everyday you open a paper there are more and more incidents of assaults and attacks and younger and younger people involved in these incidents. These young people, already violent and beyond the law surely cannot grow up into anything other than violent adults, who will then breed the next generation of thugs.
It's a sad state of affairs to feel fear in your everyday life. To live in a place where your home is your prison. But even a trip into town on a bus can open your eyes to just how yobbish our youth have become. Smoking, screaming, feet up on seats, swearing and blinding, it's unreal sometimes. Maybe we've let it slide as we wallow in the spoils of a Celtic Tiger. Maybe we've turned a blind eye. But as the injuries pile up and the attacks grow more and more lethal and cold blooded, we, as a society can ignore it no longer.
But what to do? Thats the question, the million dollar question. What to do?

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59 Comments:

Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Its definately an alarming situation.

I think we should be looking to mainland Europe where they don't seem to have the same issues with their youth - what are they doing right that we can learn from?

The root cause seems to be the 'nanny state' mentality adopted from the UK, and a sense of entitlement these kids learn from their shitehawk, job-dodging, dole-collecting parents.

11:11 a.m.  
Blogger The Bad Ambassador said...

3 charming looking gentlemen I'm sure you'll agree.

On the plus side, at least they are facing life imprisonment. Here, being under 18 they wouldn't be named and would, most likely, given the fact that they "come from a broken home" or "had drink taken", be told "Ahhh lads, you can't be doing that kind of stuff" before being sent off, wrists slapped, to break into the nearest Honda Civic so they can drive home.

11:14 a.m.  
Blogger Lou said...

They're little thugs, Mrs. Newlove was on the news saying that when she went into hospital she could see a trainer imprint still on her husband's head. And the youngest child saw the beating too, the poor family...

It makes me think. I drank in the park (good old Blackrock) when I was a teenager, but that was it, we drank buckfast or beer and tottered home, we didn't assault people. What pushed those three (and thousands more like them) further? I don't think they deserve any compassion at all, but I do think their actions need to be understood in order to be prevented in the future...

11:14 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

There's definitely a sense of entitlement all right, you can't not notice that.

11:16 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

HIs wife's statement almost made me cry. How she was giving him a kiss as they were turning of the machine. Truly awful. Married 21 years, mad about each other and those little fucks just destroyed their family form absolutely nothing.
Another thing, and you touched it Lou, years ago if there was a bit of argy bargy lads would just have a fisty cuff fight over in seconds-more slapping and shirt pulling than anything else. Stupid mostly, but that was all. These days it seems the knives come out first, every fight must end in death or serious injury. What the hell is that about?

11:20 a.m.  
Blogger Lou said...

People are more de-sensetised to violence?

Or parents aren't setting good boundaries for their kids? I went home hammered, as in couldn't walk or speak hammered, once when I was seventeen. My mother clattered me for it, and I deserved it. And I didn't go home that drunk again! But it takes effort to be an active parent, are some parents too busy or do they not care enough?

11:30 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

I agree with Sheepworrier, but there are some problems in Europe also, particularly suburban Paris where parts of the suburbs have become "no go" zones for the gendarmes. I can't see any easy answer to the problem, other than to channel all that agression into something like compulsory army service, but that might be a tad sledgehammer to crack a nut and it would have to be applied to everybody, not just the toerags. Similar problems in London, with gangs of feral youths out looking for trouble for no reason at all. We have curfews in several areas for young people under a certain age, if police find them our after 9 p.m. they escort them home and give the parents an earbashing.

11:57 a.m.  
Anonymous Pinkie said...

My fella lives in America and when I go to visit him I don't see any of the shite from American kids that I do from Irish kids. What's that about? Granted gun crime is huge in America, and like with Europe, there are no-go-zones and what not, but in general you don't get all those things you talked bout there in your post FMC -

>> Smoking, screaming, feet up on seats, swearing and blinding <<

None of that did I see. And I've been all across America - in the cities of Minneapolis & St Paul, from West Coast to East, North and South. And it wasn't like I was hitting up all the tourist spots either with the boyfriend actually LIVING there.

I don't understand it at all. I'm only 24 but jaysus, if I thought of acting the way kids do now when I was their age, I'd be terrified to come home and face my mammy, and daddy! Then again, I have a bit of respect in me for other people.

Pack of vicious yobs.
What scares me is how widespread it is. IT seems almost every teenager, and younger!, is a thug.

12:20 p.m.  
Anonymous Pinkie said...

I remember someone, in another blog somewhere that I cant recall, was talking the other day about there being afraid to do anything bold when you were a kid because if ANOTHER parent other than your own caught you, you were even more dead when you got home, than if it was your own ma who caught you!

Bring back those days!
Where you played rounders and tip the can til dark instead of loitering around the shops trying to get someone to buy you smokes or drink.

12:22 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Shebah: Im assuming that the curfew is only effective if the parents aren't complete scum too, which lets face it, the worst offenders are.

Pinkie: Your right, but I think the paris thing is more to do with racial tensions and a mistrust of the poice rather than a wider social issue.

I remember getting shouted at by adults for drinkin/being rowdy with a group of mates when I was younger, but never once would we ever consider turning around and confronting them, we simply apologised and went our merry way, perhaps muttering 'wanker' under our breath, but thats it.

12:44 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

You are right, SheepW, the parents are usually scumbags too - but on the basis that the police can contact Social Services to report on and investigate the family it is a good deterrant as the mostly unemployed parents don't want their unemployed/sickness benefits status to be too closely looked at by the Social Services.

2:14 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

Euthanize the little bastards. And make their scumbag parents watch - then sterilize the parents.

2:21 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Euthanasia ain't a bad idea Andraste! Freakonomics makes a good case concerning legal abortion (roe v wade) directly affecting (ie. reducing) crime rates 20 years later, when the little buggers would've been at the height of their scumbagginess.

2:31 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

I'm not going to be too popular here, but here is my take on it. Street violence and in particular the way it has gone in the last 20 years is in part due to the fact that society is now increasingly a society of have-nots and have-yachts. Everybody was stunned when that young lad was killed outside of Anabels nightclub in D4, but nobody blinks an eye when the have nots are killing and being killed in Finglas. This fact alone tells us something. Having crap prospects in life when other people have great prospects in life, simply because they were lucky enough to be born into relative affluence breeds disquiet and by disquiet, I mean it breeds little scumbags.

They are not genetically scumbag murderers, but they are much likely to turn into scumbag murderers because of their situation in life.

This is not bleeding heart, left-wing liberal rhetoric, it is simply what the facts tell us.

Well-heeled, affluent families will (on the laws of probability) not produce as many scumbags. Low income people will have a much higher chance.

The greater the perceived difference, the more vicious, frequent and random the attacks from poorer people. You only need look at the facts.

When we were all poor this kind of thing didn't happen so much - as lots of people here have said in their comments.

This man was the victim of people that didn't care. Why didn't they care? Probably because their parents didn't care and probably their parents before. They were going to have lives of crap and while they were having lives of crap, they would have to stand by and look at other people having lives of affluence.

That kind of thing makes you not care.

I was in Ballybough* two days ago and the streets are covered in dog poo. Two guys came out of a Centra as I walked past and both unwrapped their breakfast rolls and with something of a flourish, threw their wrappers on the ground. There is Graffiti everywhere. You don't see this kind of think in Ranelagh (not so much). I don't go up to the Northside because of the higher frequency of meeting scumbags.

*Apologies to anybody from Ballybough - I'm just saying it like I see it.

2:58 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

Dr. James - some of the richest and most successful people in the world started with absolutely zilch. I don't agree with the "born victim" stance. I would hazard a guess that many of us here in this bit of blogland have made a good fist of life with extremely modest beginnings. Being born poor does not turn you into an evil scumbag criminal. The guys FMC posted about are just born evil and should be put to work shovelling shit out of sewers, instead of "rehab" in a cushy prison.

3:25 p.m.  
Blogger grimsaburger said...

Re: what pinkie said... I live (in the US) near downtown in a city of about 250k in the upper midwest (think Rust Belt). Our neighborhood is a "good" (read: white, middle-class) neighborhood immediately adjacent to a "bad" (read: poor, largely black) neighborhood. Which means there's a fair bit of petty crime on our side of the street, usually confined to theft from cars and houses, and there's a few roving gangs of teenage boys who make their rounds of mischief. A few weeks ago when we had a lot of snow, I was up at night watching TV and heard two thumps on the side of our house. I went outside and saw a group of boys running away. They'd been throwing snowballs at the house. Besides that, the only personal threat I experience walking around alone here is of the "hey baby" variety.
When I was living in Tallaght last spring, I had the quite different experience of having rocks thrown at me by a group of young teenage boys while walking home from the Luas. And eggs. And then there were the direct verbal threats of violence.
Now, I generally avoid a group of white teenage boys anywhere in the world, but given the choice of verbal sexual innuendo, petty theft while I'm away, and snowball-throwing, or physical violence against my person, I'll gladly take all three of the former. God bless America, I'm sure.

3:32 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

I've no doubt that privilage / money is one of the main contributing factors Doc, but its all-too-often usd as an excuse rather than addressing some of the issues that can be tackled (parental responsibility, tougher sentances etc).

It wasn't an issue 20 years ago because morals and relative respect were instilled in the younger generations, both poor and affluent, something which many modern parents seem to have forgotten.

A lack of corporal punishment - as an ultimate deterrant I hasten to add - could also be brought into the argument. Nothing we can do scares kids anymore, because they know the law protects them over and above any sense of reason.

3:40 p.m.  
Blogger The Bad Ambassador said...

Nobody, whatever side of the tracks they come from, develops manners or a work ethic by accident. Equally, you don't become a thug by accident. (I come from a working class background and I have only thrown one punch in my life - and that, when it emerged that my best frind was the cause of his girlfriend's black eye).

It comes from your up-bringing, your parents and your extended family.

3:47 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Sheppy, I'm not sure that hitting these kids is always the solution. All too often, it only shows them that violence is the correct response for everything and it only makes them more likely to pounce on the innocent. These kids are most likely without proper supervision and guidance.
That doesn't mean I don't think that a good smack should be illegal, I just think it just doesn't serve as a deterrent.
Are these kids in school? Employed? Studies show kids with too much time on their hands get into trouble. Get them into sports, trade classes, whatever. They need positive adult role models who set boundaries and tell them to cut the shit.

3:57 p.m.  
Anonymous Pinkie said...

Dr fella -- I would have agreed with the general idea of what you have said there up until a couple of weeks ago when I was in Dalkey. Affluence how are ya - right? Well the rake of little scumbags there really made me perk up.

And this might sound like a joke but ... I am wondering about this genetic thing. Ever notice how you can visually spot a scumbag? And it's not just the tracksuit either... I wonder about that quite a bit.

And grimsaburger - God bless America indeed! When I have kids I am actually gonna consider going to America to raise them. Whatever about this anti-America feeling because of the Middle East kafuffle - I would rather slap that stamp on my kids than have them imprinted with the kind of attitude Irish kids have.
And I LOVE Ireland. With all my heart! I adore Ireland and I will live here myself, but when it comes to raising children, I do not envy people who have to do it here.
How can you avoid it? How can you avoid your child being influenced by their contemporaries who are, majoritly, nasty pieces of work?


*steps off the soap box*

3:59 p.m.  
Blogger daisy mae said...

there was a study done here in the states at the time when school shootings were at a height of occurrence, and everyone was claiming it was the lower income kids.... the study found that middle class white males were astronomically more likely to commit violent crimes against others.

while what i gather here is that the US sees less violence and such in our youth than in ireland... i would still attribute a fair share of it to the community - the parents, the school system, friends, and family. sure, the little shit eventually is the one who makes the decision to commit a violent act, but it is based on their experiences and what they see in the world around them. families who don't live in neighborhoods with good public schools, or who can't afford private schools, generally have to put their kid in a holding pen - a school with 1 teacher for 50+ kids in a classroom. you lose that personal relationship with your teachers, that idea that maybe someone cares, and instead become just another number.

in my personal experience, i also feel that parents have started too rely too heavily on medicating their kids. sure, ritalin may work in actual ADD cases, but it doesn't render the kid capable of raising himself.

add to it the economic disparity, or even just 'keeping up with the joneses' that causes both parents to be out of the home, working. many kids come home to an empty house, with plenty of time to do sweet fuck all.

4:11 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Medbh - I completely agree, it's practically never an acceptable solution to hit a kid, but they need to know that there is a point of no return, that their actions will have direct consequences, even if its never used, the threat is always hanging over them.

The whole point of a smack I think, is the shock rather than any physical damage.

4:26 p.m.  
Blogger The Bad Ambassador said...

in my personal experience, i also feel that parents have started too rely too heavily on medicating their kids. sure, ritalin may work in actual ADD cases, but it doesn't render the kid capable of raising himself.

Now that you mention it, nobody had ADD when I was a wee ambassador. They were just brats. Now every little hyperactive fucker has it. How about cutting down on the Coca Cola and actually saying "No" once in a while Mam and Dad - think that might work?

Its almost become an excuse for poor behaviour on the part of children and poor parenting on the part of adults.

4:28 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Stupid work interfering with my blogging hours.
Anyway, good evening everyone.
I have a theory about Ritalin and the emergence of violent homicidal/suicidal teenagers/young adults.
Now bear in mind it's just a theory and I may be WAY off base, but if children- and it is predominately boys- are coasting through their youth and early puberty on Ritalin, what the hell happens when they stop taking it and have to deal with their first 'true emotion' .
See the problem with Ritalin as I see it, is it makes noisy happy go lucky rambunctious children serene and calm and less of a handful. But childhood is not supposed to be about that, it is about pushing parents to the limit, getting in trouble learning about rejection and fights and lets downs and peer pressure and trouble and being grounded and having the principal give you detention and getting in trouble for being late home and ...well all the other things young kids and teens do before they develop into young adults.
Around the time of the last school shooting in America I wondered how many of the kids that felt so furious with the world had spent much of their childhood on Ritalin?
What happens when teenagers or young adults who have coasted along doped up for years, never fully appreciating a true feelings of rage or indeed happiness, what happens when he gets his heart broken by a girl, or loses his first job or whatever? They have no learned coping mechanism. How are they supposed to react?

4:48 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

When we were all poor this kind of thing didn't happen so much - as lots of people here have said in their comments.

But don't the 'have-nots' have much more than the 'have-nots' of the past?

You can still be 'poor' yet have your Sky TV, mobile phone, car, computer, internet etc.

5:12 p.m.  
Blogger The Bad Ambassador said...

You can still be 'poor' yet have your Sky TV, mobile phone, car, computer, internet etc.

Awww would ya stop. I remember being on a train passing by the rear of the dodgiest looking estate I have ever seen (I grew up in deepest darkest Tallaght). There were burnt out cars, shopping trolleys, EU rubbish mountains, soverign rings as far as the eye could see and brinks allied vans that had been abandoned by their crews. Yet it seemed like every single house had a sky dish at the back of it.

5:20 p.m.  
Blogger John Mc said...

I second the comments that state that random violence is rare in the US, (of course we have high school massacres and freeway shootings instead). I have always felt very safe here.

I remember some U2 documentary where Bono said his memory of Dublin in the 70's was the threat of random violence, this is a theme in The Sex Pistols documentary, "The Filth and The Fury". This begs the question - is this a new thing?

A Freakonomics type economic analysis would be interesting. One of the stats in that book, is that violence in the US is directly parallel with the legalisation of abortion. Those most likely to be thugs are poor young males - the most likely to have abortions are poor females, so he posits the thugs of the future just weren't born. Abortion is illegal in Ireland... Of course, it is legal in the UK so, who knows.

6:09 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

OK. I know about the scumbags in Dalkey and the Sky dish and all that kind of thing - but still many of them know that they will never become wealthy unless it is through crime. It is the _relative_ lack of money that causes the problem. Not many people in Ireland now are as poor as somebody in Malawi, for instance (I do a little work with Malawi and it is proper poor). However, the anger and 'not giving a damn' is part jealousy and part 'it doesn't matter what I do' and part 'I hate these A**holes with money.

We have 8 year olds in the UK whose aspiration is to become a gangster, simply because the only person they know that is wealthy is the gangster on the estate. The only reward they see and can actually point to and that looks tangible is attained through becoming a criminal.

I come from a small farm in the west. Nobody had money then - we never ever took a family holiday, apart from a day to Lahinch (usually a freezing cold day, if I remember correctly) because we couldn't afford it. There wasn't real anger at the world and in part I think that was because (as Billy Connolly said) we didn't actually know we were poor. These days, low-income families are routinely shown the other side of the tracks and they have little hope of getting there. Its like a daily two-fingers to (some of) them.

We do all know people who came from nothing. However, most people who come from low-income homes in Ireland will always live in low-income homes. For the past 50 years, the dominant factor influencing the lifetime income for a person in the western world is the income level of their father. It is the single biggest association (it is not a causative factor, just an association).

This gets to Sheepy's comment that their parents are probably scumbags also and indeed this is likely to be true....and their children are likely to be scumbags....unless something is done about it.

Most know they won't get anywhere. Some do. A former student in my lab was really bright and won the prize for the best biological sciences degree in Ireland in 2003. There are horses on her estate in Clondalkin and before she came to college, she had never even known a college graduate. She will have a PhD within the next year. So, I'm not saying this is a law, just a strong association. As the gap between rich and poor grows, then so does anger and you have two options (1) put down the uprising with cops/army (2) reduce the gap and give people hope for their lives.


Just one last question to Daisy_Mae: It does strike me that here in Ireland it is not the middle class kids that are most involved in violence, or at least the reported violence is usually pretty predictable in terms of where it happens. Do you have that American study? Is it on the net? It has me interested.

OK, I'll stop now and I hope I didn't offend anybody.

6:10 p.m.  
Blogger grimsaburger said...

For the sake of clarification, I'm not sure there is a good place and a bad place to raise kids, unless we're talking like Burma vs. Denmark. I'm not sure, either, that my anecdotal observations on male teenage stranger-danger in urban midwestern America and urban Ireland are meaningful or representative. The U.S. is a big place, after all, and I'm pretty sure you could find assholes of whatever age and background if you looked.
I think it's also helpful to assume that a lot of the novelty of social threats and behavioral problems we identify with hooligans these days is directly related to visibility and media exposure, both in terms of news saturation and advertising.

6:47 p.m.  
Blogger daisy mae said...

doc - i don't have the study. it was published in the late 90's, early 2000 if i remember correctly. i did a bit of web searching, and found this page: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/youthviolence/chapter4/appendix4b.html

it talks more about youth violence related to media, however it does cite several other studies that you may have access to.

cheers

6:51 p.m.  
Anonymous madnessburgers said...

I lived in a well off part of Dublin when I lived in Ireland and never saw any violence like that, thank God. And now live in the US. I consider my area nice and safe but even so shootings only a couple of blocks away happen regularly ie at least once every couple of months. I think that having armed police here is probably a deterrent and theres loads of them on the streets. However I dont know what its like in crazier areas ie boys getting paralysed during their piano lessons from a stray store robbery bullet. Different violence for a different culture. Same result. This is a very sad story.

8:53 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

This gets to Sheepy's comment that their parents are probably scumbags also and indeed this is likely to be true....and their children are likely to be scumbags....unless something is done about it.


Are you suggesting we neuter the lower classes because I think that's a splendid idea?

9:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

I agree with Dr. James. Young men who are underemployed can be dangerous. Particularly if they perceive themselves to be at the bottom of the social ladder. (Actual poverty has nothing to do with it - it's the gap between the bottom and the top, and even the bottom and the majority, that makes the difference) Particularly if they have never had their interests encouraged, outside of video games and things that will keep them out from under their parents' feet.

I think it's dangerous ground to suppose there is a genetic reason behind scumbaggery. Look at Kenneth Branagh. If there was ever anyone who looks like a wee Norn Irn thug it's him.

I do reckon some people are born without functioning consciences, impaired empathy and that, and whether that makes them "born evil" I couldn't say. I just reckon under circumstances where kids roam free with no consequences or guidance from their parents, have little to do; who perceive themselves to be looked down upon because of where they live; who want to "belong" to something bigger than them; who have a young man's natural tendencies to seek-thrills; who are full of energy, hormones hitting them for the first time, alcohol and drugs - then the chances for the negative sides of a person's character to over-develop are disproportionate to the rest of us.

They're living in a completely different world, with a different mindset in the same cities and towns we do.

I agree with fmc about Ritalin not helping for the same reasons you write there. I don't know how you haul up a whole underclass - I have no problem calling them an underclass 'cos that's what they are. I reckon it starts on an individual level with people taking an interest in what kids are interested in - giving them an old guitar to bash around on, putting them on a training schedule for football or running or biking or whatever, teaching them car-mechanics stuff, taking them on trips to camp in the mountains and showing them something they can easily access outside of their own grim, mean, little existences.

Solving their cultural poverty, giving them goals, occupying the time they'd otherwise spend hanging around feeling hard done by and becoming embittered as their parents, is cheaper and more effective than sticking them all in juvenile hall. But it takes a hell of a lot of hard work by the people trying to help; they might have to put up with all kinds of abuse and crap because they're not dealing with fully civilised little boys and girls. That demands enormous social capital and social will and people willing to get off their bums, and that just isn't there a lot of the time. I know, if I'm honest, I don't want to spend my free time in these estates with people yelling at me half the time. Frankly these kids scare me a bit.

I think there's a role for mentors here though - particularly male mentors for young, poor men vulnerable to these anti-social pressures. Mentoring programs are common out here and have had great success.

So I don't now what the answer is, only that it'll take individuals influencing individuals to make any kind of a difference, but I don't reckon there are that many people willing to give of their time and energy to become what might be the only good influence in a wee langer's life. Adopt a langer.

I'm not saying the wee Goth kid is at all a menace to society but it's clear that she's learning and benefitting from being around you, cat. There are toxic influences on her and teenage years are a dangerous time for falling off the tracks but there she is, she has a good influence in her life who is cool, not a self-proclaimed youth worker - kids see right through that shit - they don't want to be around people who have to be paid to be around them.

I think that a million little epiphanies type-thing might be the only way that hauling up an underclass can work.

9:01 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

The little Goth Kid had her moments when she was younger where she could have gone one way or the other, like all teenagers have, but she's that bit older now and is a very nice person in her own right. The trick with older teenagers (16/17/18) seems to be not to patronise them, and yet not expect them to be complete adults, a fine balancing act indeed. It helps if the ingredients are all ready there of course.
Certainly she's nicer youth than I ever was.
Boy am I glad gun are not too easily available here yet. I mean I'm sure you could get one if you knew where to look, but they are still not that easy to get hold of. I'd hate to think of the carnage there would be.
And on that note I'm going to go watch House. Yay! I have finished work before ten tonight. Huzzah!

9:23 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

I have a soft spot for Dr. House, FMC. His brains and his cane get to me.

1:38 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

He'll always be Bertie Wooster to me Medbh.

2:55 p.m.  
Blogger viral affairs said...

How to stop agression on the streets or in public transport?

Ever witnessed agression on the streets or in public transport with no police to help? Did you interfere or did you walk away afraid to be the next victim? A lot of us do walk away. Our instinct to survive. Even in large groups people react individually (do nothing) when a small group of organised agressors is intimidating people or worse ..violating them. When you can organise lots of people you can do something against these small groups. But how to get organised to stop this violence? How to stop these violent individuals surrounded by the unorganised public? I am very curious to know what your ideas are or if you have examples of doing 'it' differently.

How do people react in your culture? Do they protect or walk away?

12:40 p.m.  
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Mainland Europe has also these problems. Especially in trains where people controlling passengers are victim. But also elswhere. In the Netherlands a social network has started of common people like you and me..To get organised. To stop the bystanders effect. To act all together when violence occurs. There is often a large majority of people near the place where the crime act takes place. There we have to act. All together. That should be organised.

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