London’s Droogs

by Ryan on August 14, 2011

in Anything Else,Politics,Pop Culture,Social Agitators,Social Unrest

I couldn’t help but comment on the clever article “Britain Burns the Colour of ‘A Clockwork Orange’” because it offers some parallels between the London rioters and Anthony Burgess’ 1962 book turned subsequent 1971 Stanley Kubrick film, showing how a society which has completely failed its youth turns near totalitarian to fix the problem.

In the story, Alex and his “droogs” spend their nights perpetrating ultra-violence, looking for “the old in-out” however they can get it, and in Alex’s case listening to a little “Ludwig Von” — a roving gang looking for trouble, sex, and tunes.  Alex comes from a stable middle-class home, but his parents are useless, the police are helpless, and there seems to be no stopping his wanton contribution to the disintegration of society.  Then, once finally caught, the story shifts to a Pavlovian/totalitarian-like solution using Alex as the guinea pig.

While not prophetic, the parallels between Burgess’ work and the rioters are interesting:  a relatively well cared for youth disaffected into violence who do not expecting real consequences, whose parents seem pretty helpless, and whose law enforcement seems a bit milquetoast for the occasion.

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