Watching Punk Brittania reminded me of a now-lost world - one in which young people's anger shocked their elders.
Punk was more rebellious and more disquieting to the establishment than anything we see today. Nobody of my generation is as appalled by dubstep as 40-somethings were by punk. It's unlikely that a single today would be banned for political reasons and get to number one, as God Save the Queen did. And try as I might, I can't imagine Rizzle Kicks doing to Alex Jones what the Sex Pistols did to Bill Grundy.
In this, music reflects a wider social fact - that today's young people are much less gobby than we were. Last summer's riots, for example, contained less political motive than their 1981 equivalents. And much as I love them, today's "voices of their generation" are pretty tame: Owen Jones is no more radical than some Bank of England economists and Laurie Penny is a milk and water Julie Birchill.
The plea of one of the greatest songwriters of my generation - teenagers, kick our butts - has fallen on deaf ears.
So why are young folk so passive? Here are some possibilities:
1. My generation has learned the trick of repressive tolerance. Our more liberal attitudes towards young people gives them nothing to kick against.
2.Our neoliberal/celebrity culture encourages youngsters to pursue individual wealth and fortune by playing the game by capitalist rules. The paradox here is that punks got more fame by offending their elders than today's young pop stars do by acquiescing to them.
3.Rebellion is often sublimated sexual frustration, and today's more healthy relations between the sexes have reduced such frustration.
4.The notion of youth subculture as something rebelling against older people was only ever a brief historical phenomenon. We're now seeing a return to the pre-50s normality, in which young people were merely younger versions of their parents.
5.Young people, like their elders, are ironic post-modernists. They are too detached from narratives to get really angry.
6. Affluence and technological opportunities have bought off rebellion. Playstations and the availability of free (if meaningless) music mean that boredom and relatively low incomes have less combustible effects than they did in my day.
I dunno which, if any, of these theories explain young people's quiescence. But whatever the explanation, I for one, regret it.