Fifteen year olds know everything. That’s not a tongue-in-cheek lament about the curious naivety of youth. They actually DO know everything. They might not have felt the sort of desolation one experiences after a long and significant love affair. They might not be familiar with Dostoevsky, or be able to drive, or know what it feels like to pay a council tax bill. But they know the important shit – the shit that matters. They know how to touch each other, they know the true value of friendship, they value their freedom, they know how to throw a FUCKING FIT, rather than compromise. They don’t spend precious minutes discussing the weather, or trying to convince girls they’re not misogynists. They express themselves in simple, straightforward ways, rather than manipulating and if they’re bored they tell you as opposed to repressing it and inwardly raging. Young people are not weighted down by the burden of experience.
The young are revolutionaries. The average age of the Bolshevik party members was 15. Right now in Venezuela young people are turning the political tide. Maradona played international football as a teenager. The Beatles met when they’d just left school. The young are not to be pitied, ridiculed, ignored, hated, dismissed or scorned. Young people are the fucking prototype; everyone else is faulty.
Some fella once said that the secret to happiness is to take playing as seriously as children do.
As we age we become less and less like our fifteen year old selves, and more and more like a caricature; embittered, cynical, needy, whining, stagnant, boring, charmless and sanitised. Much like our fifteen year old self we often feel inadequate, obsessive, irrational, hormonally charged, bored and wank-driven… we just get better at pretending.
I pine for my fifteen-year-old self – she’s probably in a South Manchester bus stop somewhere, getting love-bites on her tits and listening to Sonic Youth- if you see her tell her she’ll never be more beautiful.