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January 16, 2009


Mr Eugenides

It's "Rangers-Celtic", Chris, not "Celtic-Rangers".

Don't make me come over there and kick your ass.

Gerard O'Neill

I have two children, 17 and 20, and I wonder if their lack of 'gobbiness' (but by no means absence) is due to their lack of want? Sure, I was way more gobby at their age, but I had bugger all (which was true of most everyone, but it didn't stop me/us complaining).

On the other hand, maybe rather than be gobby to my/our face they're flaming us to their friends on Facebook? Better go check that out ...

Francis Sedgemore

Esteemed Comrade Dillow - As someone renowned in certain circles, and in some cases reviled, for "gobbiness", it fills me with delight to read these words. The only problem is that, as a freelance journalist of advancing years and receding hairline, I find myself increasingly answerable to staff editors in their twenties and early thirties. Some of them regard my forthrightness as evidence of an "attitude problem". I cannot think what they mean.


Chris, my generation are not passive. It's just that we have developed a stronger sense of irony and wisdom at a younger age by witnessing how your generation have transformed from spoilt, gobby communists into the eco-friendly, New Labour managerial class.


Coolio is not rude. The others are just tossers.


My kids and their friends are not gobby, but then they have the cares of the world on them, they are starting out with large student debts and have just flipped from thinking they may never have a house to thinking they may never have a job. But don't fret, the hoodies from the council estate are compensating: gobby is all they do.

Ned Baker

The Postmodern Condition



University students can be very demanding, treating their education (and its environment) as a consumer good rather than a process. Students (and their parents) expect university education to be delivered, not acquired by discovery. They are active but in a self limiting way.


As I mentioned in a short article I wrote for Hagley Road to Ladywood, in my opinion the younger generations are more passive as in apathetic, but also gobbier in a Russell Brand or Prince Harry kind of 'gobby'.


I believe it's the result of an intensive diet of tabloid "journalism", obsession with "shocking" in order to gain social kudos, the Big Brother bombardment and...like someone else said...the postmodern condition.


It depends on whether they regard Coolio as 'Evil Representative of The Patriarchy' or simply as 'Wanker'.

John Freeland

kids quieting down...

They're scared they won't get a job. Everything's political. The new graduating class positions itself as "nice and neutral."

The blogospshere provides evidence: so many secret identities. A damn shame.


"They're scared they won't get a job."

I think that's a big part of it. It's related to your ideas about managerialism. Everyone has to be a believer and those of us who can't even bring ourselves to pretend we're not listening to complete bullshit are dismissed as 'cynical' and quietly put beyond the pale.


The scary thing about managerialism is its stickiness or persistence. I associate its origins with the Harold Wilson "white heat technological revolution" which is regarded as a historical joke. From managerialism, we have organisational methodologies -- PRINCE (project management) or ITIL (customer service) -- intentionally designed to separate providers from consumers.

Perhaps young people are less gobby because they know the system is designed to limit change.

Leigh Caldwell

Dear Mr Eugenides

What a careful distinction you draw. Is that because one is more likely to get into a fight at Ibrox, so you feel Rangers should be written as the home team?

Barry, London

Maybe it was your counter-culture generation that was the exception Chris?
All those degrees in gobshitery from the University of New Musical Express and so on.

Today's careful kids are just reverting to the norm.


Don't worry, when the economy collapses and the management jobs disappear, they will get gobby.


I'm amazed no-one has correlated the trend to apathy with the long-term decline in trade union membership. Old-school shop stewards would think nothing of starting a strike over teaspoons in the canteen. Workers now think they have to submit to everything.
My better half saw ample evidence of this when she spent 18 months as a part-time reporter at a local newspaper. Those mid-way through their NCTJ diploma had to work for free (years ago this was paid) and ownership and insurance of a car for business use were a condition of employment. All the 22-year-olds meekly accepted this totally discriminatory and unenforceable condition as normal.

Miley Jay

Youngsters this days have all they need and more, already served to them on a silver plate. That's the main problem, they don't know what the struggle means.

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