Thursday, November 05, 2009

A New Lost Generation (Or Drunk And Stupid Is No Way To Go Through Life)

Thought to follow: "Give pees a chance" student may face jail

A university student who was photographed urinating over a war memorial was warned on Wednesday that he could be jailed for the "disgusting act."

Philip Laing, 19, was charged by police after the picture, which showed him urinating on a poppy wreath following a drinking session in the center of Sheffield, appeared on a national newspaper's website.

"The image of your urinating over the poppy wreath on the war memorial in this city will make most turn away in disgust, shock and sadness," said District Judge Anthony Browne.

"It has undoubtedly distressed and upset many. The war memorial is a sacred and a special place."

Laing, who appeared in the dock wearing a poppy, pleaded guilty to outraging public decency when he appeared at Sheffield Magistrates' Court.

Browne adjourned sentencing for reports, saying all options including custody, were open, the Press Association reported.

The court heard that Laing, a sports technology student at Sheffield Hallam University, had drunk a bottle of whisky before attending an organized student drinking session organized by a private company, Carnage UK.

"Carnage is the name of the organization who promote this type of activity and some might say that somebody should be standing alongside you this morning," the judge said.

The court was told Laing had no recollection of the events of the night of October 11 until he was contacted by the university press office and shown the photograph which was later published on the Daily Mail website.

Prosecutor Ian Conway said Laing had immediately admitted the offence when arrested and told police he was "very, very drunk, the drunkest I've ever been since I've been at university."

I love the modifier there. ("Your honor, this is the most drunk I've ever been, since that time I burned down Parliament when I was 12.")

In a sense it would be easy to dismiss this as just another moron in a sea of morons, but really it seems as if the moron sea is growing ever larger. It is growing so large it is becoming more difficult to ignore it.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I will never move in the direction of the neo-prohibitionists who are wrong legally, philosophically, historically and ethically in their opposition to both alcohol and free human moral agency. That being said, there is no reason I have to pass by of the utter stupidity and vacuity represented by things like Carnage UK.

What bothers me most is the sheer lack of class and originality shown by young people, particularly in the UK but also here in the States as well. Pub crawls can be good things, but a corporate sponsored crawl? It gives me the screaming heebie jeebies just thinking about it. This is, of course, the same thing that has taken over Spring Break in the US and its lameness is just as complete. It's disheartening when young people need to have organized chaos. It represents the Disneyification of something that has no business in being Disneyfied in the first place. As proof, I offer this from Carnage UK's defense of its activities:

Carnage said it wanted "students to be safe and for Exeter to have the benefit of a boost to its late night economy, at a time of recession..."
Sheesh. Young people with any spark of dignity and self-motivation would reject this kind of boring crap outright with utter disdain and contempt. These young people don't have that kind of spirit.

What has been done to them?

I'm not sure, but it is hard to think anyone will amount to much who was attracted to this sort of thing in the first place. Its herd mentality at its most brutish. It promises little else but a leaving of ones senses, until the hangover hits, and maybe a random coupling or two. How exciting. How original. How compelling...if you are a cow that is.

Welcome to the contentless generation.

There will be more to say about this I'm afraid.

1 comment:

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

I deleted the contact info for Mr. Laing (and his mother) because he isn't really the main story here - and he is being properly handled by the British legal system anyway.

HE's only a symptom of a larger problem, though a dim-witted symptom I'll grant you.