Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Welcome to Malaiseia

Today's Telegraph has one of the more bizarre headlines I've encountered in a while, even in these mad times:

Mosquito 'infringes rights of teen gangs'

As if the country didn't already have enough on its plate. Other headlines in the same issue include:

Students win terror propaganda appeal
Teen binge drinking 'causing misery'
One in five children grow up on benefits
Roadside sex attack ignored by drivers
Government migration stance 'illiterate'
Elderly care blunders cost NHS £180m
Council pays
£60 for exorcism

It turns out that this mosquito is neither an out-of-control mutant nor the latest improvised weapon ("Terrorists breed teen-devouring mosquitoes" — The Sun). It's a cutting-edge marketing tool, an instrument that drives people away. Well, some people.
An ultrasonic device that deters congregating teenagers with its high-pitched whine should be banned because it infringes their rights, the Children's Commissioner has said. The Mosquito, which produces a penetrating tone that only under-25s can hear, has proved popular with shop owners and councils who want to banish groups of youths engaged in anti-social behaviour.
I want one. Especially the mobile unit, for the next time, if ever, I'm in the U.K.

Anyway, if this thing is banned because it "produces a penetrating tone that only under-25s can hear," shouldn't 95 percent of pop music be banned?

Malaise at the heart of British society.

But it's a civil rights issue, according to the usual busybodies.
The Children's Commissioner has launched a campaign to rid the country of Mosquitos with the human rights group Liberty. He said: "These devices are indiscriminate and target all children and young people, including babies, regardless of whether they are behaving or misbehaving."

Their use "demonised" youngsters, he claimed. "I think it is a powerful symptom of what I call the malaise at the heart of our society." He told BBC Radio 4: "I'm very concerned about what I see to be an emerging gap between the young and the old, the fears, the intolerance, even the hatred, of the older generation towards the young."
Perhaps Britain's shopkeepers could take a hint from the town council of Peterlee, Durham, and pay for their premises to be exorcised.

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