In most senses Londonist is a rather nice blog entity. Liberal, firm where we need to be, objective, a bit goofy at times. But on the issue of ’happy slapping’ we find it hard to suggest anything particularly constructive. Therapy? Social reform? It’s all just so much piffle and tosh. The stocks would be a far better answer.
This unfathomable and moronic crime has made the news today as three Croydon youngsters are sentenced for their part in a happy-slapping incident wherein they stole items from two younger youngsters and then made the two strike each other to recover their property. All the while filming on their mobiles, of course. Which is how they got caught – when one of the silly ninnies who perpetrated the crime had her mobile confiscated at school, the video was discovered by the headteacher and surrendered to police.
It doesn’t take a psychology graduate to determine the cause: unbearable boredom stemming from the utter lack of challenge facing most of the current teenage generation. Even the apparently talented are drawn into these false displays of bravado. There are few viable arenas in which they can prove themselves: it is only left for kids to ‘be hard’, to demonstrate their streetwise invincibility. OK, so we understand that they are bored (at the risk of sounding like Londonist's granny, however, it has to be said that we don't understand why they are bored...whatever happened to hobbies?) - but that is so not an excuse for unprovoked assault. What to do? Well, a prison sentence will either break them utterly or harden them still further.
So we reckon that if they are so desperate for notoriety, an hour in the stocks and a pile of rotten fruit and veg should do it. And it could be filmed it for them and posted on the website of their choice. After all, the biggest lesson teenagers really really need to learn is to laugh at themselves.
Picture courtesy of innpictime’s flickr stream.