Kat Stratford: "Bogey's party is just a lame excuse for all the idiots at our school to drink beer and rub up against each other in hopes of distracting themselves from the pathetic emptiness of their meaningless...
Bianca, Chastity: ...meaningless, consumer-driven lives"
- 10 Things I Hate About You
We live in hungry places. Our culture of greed promotes the idea that we are naturally, constantly seeking more. Extremes are celebrated; first love, break-ups, death and birth; – but these are extremes, not norms, and in their absence we sometimes turn to blame to fill the void with yet more emotion.
We’re told that truth is elusive. That life is a struggle. That failure is occasionally inevitable. We are encouraged to get angry and be opinionated. Polls are everywhere – your opinion is not only considered, but demanded.
Motivational posters are displayed for this big task that is Life. Moreover, this life is apparently harder than ever before. Common complaints are elevated to the level of national disasters – we are not merely busy, we are “time-poor”. We have the danger of the internet, the threats of globalisation, science, religious extremism and jeggings.
These images and phrases have so softly, indelibly worn into our brains that we are constantly on the lookout for Things Going Wrong and the Modern Difficulties We Face – and soon enough we accept the truth of it, and it’s all we can see. With an effect thus established we need a cause, and as we don’t want to look within ourselves, or better still to question whether or not things are really that bad, we blame. Excess of fault, everywhere, raining down from parliament, religion, and M15 video games.
They say all stereotypes have a basis in truth. But how many exceptions do you know of? If you look for something long enough and you're bound to find it. Next time you're looking for the stereotype, catch yourself and do the opposite. See the informed, passionate, caring youth. See the generous corporate bosses, see the compassionate lawyers, see the cheerful older generation.
The Bard knew his stereotypes, and they have persisted to this day