i Editor's Letter: Go easy on young people


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The Independent Online


Thank you all for your many and varied recommendations of what to watch on TV to help get through the bleak autumn. It was good to see so many closet Inspector Montalbano fans, and notable how many of you are still advocating The Sopranos on box set. Clearly, the two shows I need to take up are Breaking Bad and Hunted - neither of which I have ever watched.

How old I sound, asking advice on what TV programmes to watch. Time was when I would scarcely spend a night in: when I was young and daft(er) and drinking strange cocktails, oblivious to worries and hangovers – though perhaps nowt so strange as a "Pornstar Martini", the £8.95 cocktail with added liquid nitrogen that resulted in poor Gaby Scanlon spending her 18th birthday in hospital having her stomach removed to save her life. How often I wish I could live my youth again with the benefit of, if not wisdom, then experience.

My, but we expect a lot of our young today. They work harder at school (whatever that Michael Gove says) and play harder, grow up faster and are more aware of the world around them and their futures than we ever were. At 15/16 they are asked what GCSEs leading to what A-levels with a view to what university and what career? My memory may fail me but back in the day, we had no plan; we simply muddled through. Today, we are unforgiving of their mistakes. Perhaps too much so.

So, next time your teen does something incredibly stupid (and they will), don't come down on them like a ton of bricks, and try to remember your own follies in the days before you planned an entire autumn's TV viewing. And, get well soon, Gaby.