I just read about something on the BBC, and I have to hope that it is some early April fools joke and that they were dedicated enough to put an entry into Wikipedia, cos it's there. Apparently we fabulous Brits have come up with a way to annoy teenagers enough to stop them hanging around places, without effecting anyone over 25. A machine generates a high pitch buzz at 17 Hz, which only those under 25 can hear and it's loud and unpleasant enough to annoy them away from the area. (indeed the company that makes them claims it's unbearable) Apparently they're routinely used in shopping malls. Is this seriously true? If so we are a sick, sick nation.
Is Britain a free country or not? Are people under 25 allowed to stand in a public place, without being discriminated against on the basis of age? Obviously, if they are doing something illegal (although in Britain these days, there's not much which can't be deemed illegal under some fancy new law or other) then they can be removed from the area and dealt with. Now I'll admit, mall rats are kinda pitiful. But does anyone else remember being a teenager? It's dull. Anything you might like to do, you haven't got any money to do. If you're not happy staring at TV or playing computer games, what on Earth are you supposed to do? I spent most Saturday's hanging around our local shopping centre with a couple of mates, and was lucky enough to enjoy the death throes of our funky little local cinema which had cheap tickets just before it got turned into a Tesco's carpark. I didn't do anything illegal. I didn't even annoy anyone (to my knowledge). And I would like to extend the courtesy of a similar experience to today's teenagers. Why do we have to chase them away? What's wrong with letting them have a bit of community? They have a place in our society too.
And remember, any readers with kids/babies - if you're trying to do your shopping and your kids are being complete brats, maybe it's not their fault - maybe you just can't hear the incredibly annoying sound that you're forcing on them unwittingly.