So, that Youth Media lark has ended and now there’s this report about it, that can be downloaded here.
Go on, give it a download. It’s actually quite an easy read, not the crappy kinda report you’re picturing in your head, with Times New Roman slowly burrowing into your brain and the inevitable tumour that arises as a result of it.
Anyway, for the sake of completion, here’s the final piece I did for it when asked. As far as I remember I was asked for a 1000 word piece of so on how I got into the thing, some experiences on campaign trail and thoughts and things on the articles I did.
Instead I did this:
In general (and let’s speak in broad generalities here to avoid appendices) we don’t care. Us ‘yoofs’, we don’t care about the nitty-gritty of ‘politics’. We don’t care about how Europe is functioning or malfunctioning. We see things happening, we understand stuff is going on, and stuff, but we don’t care.
Why don’t we care? Why don’t we care that it’s gotten to the stage that even though the proverbial waste hit the fan, such a issue is moot when you have 56 billion kilos of waste; whether a desk fan was involved won’t make much difference to the overall state of the room.
So, we have this metaphorical room that is absolutely caked with waste. And why don’t we care? Why should we? All anyone is harping on about is how are we gonna dig the bloody fan out. Giant sluices are, as we speak (in my brain), bringing in cascades of more filth, debris and newspaper political columns into the room but that’s not what anyone is really talking about. We have to dig this fan out, a “hard decision”, yes, but “one that had to be made.” Meanwhile, another group is saying no, we shouldn’t waste time on the fan; it’s the lamp that will prove vital to our economic future. Not only should we not be wasting time on the fan, there’s strong talk that, perhaps, it was the desk fan that got us into this mess.
Politicians saying little to nothing about not a whole lot and then we are informed by radio, TV, Internet and bumper stickers that we should care. Constant news coverage on the inconsequential sandwiched between another person’s opinion on it.
What does it all mean you ask? Nothing. It means nothing. It’s all talk. It’s all, “you say left so I’ll say right”. It’s all an over complicated metaphor violently rammed into this article to explain a ridiculous topic that people don’t even care about. Filler. That’s all this is, more filler. Filler for the paper, filler for the 24-hour news reports, filler for the next hack to sell the next book. We ask for something, we get nothing, and we gleefully write about it, salivating over the next morsel of nothing to write about. And every few weeks we complain that we have nothing to write about. And then we write about that.
We have all this space to fill, so let’s fill it by repeating ourselves. Let’s make it glossy and shiny. You, over there, make that graph more 7 dimensional and spruce up that colour pullout supplement while you’re at it. I want that 3000 word piece on NAMA to jump out from the page and strangle anyone who only skims over it. Which 3000 word piece? The 14th of course, that one in the middle pages! The one that’s after the 13th and before the 15th.
Rolling news coverage? YES, PLEASE. I think I missed the bit where Willie O’ Dea said some words that meant nothing the last time and I definitely want to see the bit that everyone is talking about everywhere. You know, the bit where Brian Lenihan said something about something else, and then someone else said something about that. AND DEAR GOD! Do it so I can read in on my iPad while watching it on my iTelevision and listening to the iRadio. And can I have eight other versions of it blended and poured directly into my ear canal good sir?
And while we sit there, staring listlessly at something that we should care about but for some reason aren’t, the sheer volume of crap helps us forget that maybe there’s something I should be doing about this.
Just space to fill. Stuff to sell, painted up as news and shoved pointlessly in our face. Repeated over and over because as a human race, that’s the only way we’ve learned how to get a message across. And it’s become meaningless. Like advertising and Only Fools and Horses. Regurgitated for our viewing pleasure, repeated ad nauseam before someone starts to actually care about what’s happening. Yes, advertising works and helps sell products, whether we admit it or not. Yes, Only Fools and Horses does have some funny moments. Do I actually care about either? Not a chance.
Why don’t we care? Do we care about insurance comparison websites?
I could sum all this up simply with the universally applied ‘less is more’ argument. Disclose my belief that us ‘youth’ are so swamped with news that mostly just repeats that the rubbish that was happening is still happening and that there will be an inquiry about it; where rubbish is sure to continue. I could point out my understanding that even people, young and old, who say they care, really don’t care it that much at all in the grand scheme of things. Conclude that, perhaps, the best way to get us to care would be to take the backspace key to a large volume of all media.
I could of done so from the off. Succinctly sum up what I learned over the year in about 100 words.
But then I’d have all this empty space that would need to be filled, wouldn’t I?
Paul Kennedy, South Constituency.
February 1st, 2010
Don’t worry, the hypocrisy of it all was noted.