"The proper question to ask isn't how to stop children getting their hands on booze, but why so many feel the need to self-medicate themselves into states of violent psychosis."
"Happy people do not, as a rule, self-medicate with alcohol, or want to hurt innocent strangers when they have. They just don't - whatever the licensing laws may or may not allow. If your head is an essentially OK place to be, you won't suffer from a constant, ravening desire to get out of it."
"This kind of drinking shouldn't be mistaken for hedonism, but nihilism."
I can profoundly empathise with this position as I was in a similar state as a child. I wasn't violent- quite the opposite- I was often the target of violence but I was a deeply unhappy child and I used to self-medicate with alcohol at first and then stronger substances as I grew older. To an extent, I still do. But my anger arose from a very clearly perceived injustice: As a grammar school student I was continually forced to conform to victorian standards of discipline and ethics which rang false with my intuited humanist values of equality, secularism and freedom. My peers in my home town were rarely from the same shool, who's catchment area was far wider than local comprehensives and consequently I was outnumbered by "townies" as they were known at my establishment. The townies- understandably- treated me as a "toff", despite the fact that I was at the school on a scholarship, and I was a pariah to them. So, rejected by my school fellows for being a troublemaker and challenging authoritarianism and my local peers for being part of a perceived elite I had few friends and was even actively persecuted by some of the townies, leading to a sense of rejection and despair and a vicious circle of self-obsession and recrimination that was relieved through intoxication
This situation is far from that of the "youths" described in Decca's article but the underlying unhappiness is the link. The children of today cannot see the values that schools attempt to impose upon them anywhere else in society. Obedience to the law and the rejection of violence as a means to an end: Hmmmmmm, lets try and think of a recent example of government action which might reveal the hypocrisy of demanding that our children adhere to such principles. Moderation and responsibility: Media frenzies over celebrities engaging in affairs, public brawls, coke binges and pointless excess would instantly invalidate that one. Engaging with "the community" and a sense of civil duty: Reports of rampant capitalism, fat cats, city bonuses, corruption, and profiteering abound in every newspaper. Without any evidence that the values we attempt to impose upon them matter to much of the rest fo society it is little wonder that teenagers- who are quite smart enough to see the hypocrisy of this- resort to surly nihilism and sociopathy. And who can blame them? It is not as if there are only a few people like me out there with strong feelings on the injustice and stupidity of our current society but the same government gets voted back in every time and the opposition are even worse! Well done the youths, I say- drink and be merry and if anyone gets in your way fucking stab the cunt- life's not going to get any better so why worry about the future?