Attack of the clones


As children we are always told we are unique and special. Children growing up often want to fit in, but elders will always tell them they should simply be themselves. Unless, of course, they wish to tell them to change their clothes or clean their room. This happened to me a lot when I was a kid and my excuses of trying to assert my uniqueness through slovenliness were ignored. Parents will hear some things perfectly and others not all. Sometimes a parent’s hearing is so acute that everything becomes louder to them. A good example is techno music. Toddlers, on the other hand hear next to nothing, unless you mention chocolate. Some people complain that talking to a three year old is like talking to a brick wall. It is not- a brick wall doesn’t stain the carpet with cookie crumbs.


At my university we were told to be unique. This was reflected in the university maxim “Do Different” (sic). Presumably, the advice extends to the use of the English language.


And yet, ever since I came back home, I keep seeing the same sameness taking over. In the tourist area and at nightclubs the clones are running wild. Teenage boys everywhere are wearing white, tight trousers and sleeveless vests looking just like each other. So self-respecting young woman goes anywhere without a Louis Vuitton handbag. Gucci will just not do. Mobiles phones that buzz and light up like lights on a Christmas are de riguer.


Why do all the teenage boys wear those awful and awfully tight white trousers? Who started this fashion (and was he an anorexic)? And why are all the others so happy to follow. Why would a teenager or a girl still in college need a bag that costs nearly as much as most people make in a month or have to drive a car that costs more than most people make in a year? What does one do with a phone that flies through cyberspace, flashes like lightning and plays the top 40, when all young people use their phones for is talking, sending text messages of jokes and taking snapshots of their friends at beach parties?


I was once a teenager myself and desperate to fit in until I realised that sometimes people will respect you more if you don’t try to blend in. As a great philosopher of the modern era said: “Don’t Imitate. Innovate”. I believe that was Hugo Boss.


Maybe the clothes, handbags and cell phones, though, are part of the dress code at cool clubs where bouncers practise “face control”. Roughly, the idea behind this is that they know you can’t control the way your face looks, but usually they don’t like it and therefore they’re not going to let you in. Unless you have a beautiful girl with you.     


A word, though, to the young people who may be reading this: As I said, I was a teenager once myself, not too long ago if I remember rightly, so, in the words of another famous philosopher (Bill Clinton) “I feel your pain”. But becoming a clone, one with the masses, can only lead to worse things. You may end up becoming a member of a political party.


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