Commentary on “juvenile delinquency” with film recommendation of “Made In Britain” (Tim Roth’s first film)
He’s 16 and angry. He’s Trevor, the young protagonist played by a then approximately 20-year old Tim Roth, in Alan Clarke’s directing of the powerful film classic Made in Britain, based on the screenplay written by David Leland (Mona Lisa, Wish You Were Here), cinematography by Chris Menges (The Mission, The Killing Fields), and producer, Margaret Matheson. Roth’s performance is powerful and outstanding and realistic; it was his first film role.
I highly recommend this film to all those who care about the truth – the truth of what a sick society inflicts upon youth.
All my life I’ve observed how every instance of juvenile rebellion, with the societal term “delinquency,” is always viewed by “adults” as a problem with the child or young adult. Yes, a youth may indeed display antisocial behavior, sometimes leading to actions which break the laws of the society they find themselves in, and sometimes actually showing aggression toward other people, but rarely do the “adults” ever stop to try and understand from whence that rebellion emanates. The reason they rarely if ever examine it is because they, those same adults, are part of the very serious problem themselves, but they, unlike a rebellious youth, conformed long ago…giving up their individuality to become what was expected of them. They gained the reward (if you can call it that- they do I suppose) of acceptance…and they lose themselves in the process…and then they hate seeing anyone who is still alive inside.
To rebel means to oppose the rules (and those who make said rules – the rulers). Rebellion isn’t the problem; the coercive rules/rulers are.
In this intense story, we find a young man who is indeed rebelling against it all – and you know what – everything I recall he states in the story is precisely what true individuals, young and old alike, reject now. Notice, I said it’s what “true individuals” reject – the majority conform, as again, Trevor points out in his profane yet highly accurate description of those who society considers honest but who live lives of corruption…of lies.
Certainly, the young man, filled with rage has learned an important awareness the majority of human beings never realize – he owes society nothing. He was certainly given virtually nothing out of love, was he? Growing up with parents who did not love and institutions comprised of people who did not love, the world is certainly the enemy – hostile, unforgiving, and demanding. The system in place will only hurt him more. To love oneself requires escape.
I consider this an asset the sooner you learn this, but in the case of young individuals who have gained this wisdom it often came at the price of much suffering, despair, and countless forms of mistreatment. At such young ages, though the correct lesson can be learned from all the spiritual insanity forced upon oneself, the wisdom and the means to escape (without becoming part of the sickness of aggression oneself) is rarely found till many years later – if one survives. Escape for the individual requires purging from one’s life all those (most especially relatives) who seek to force you to accept their way of life (with its beliefs). Distance is a an immediate relief from the oppression family members hoist upon an individual. Beyond that, escape requires finding a means to take care of oneself while hurting no other (thus an individual who loves freedom will never do work which strips freedom in any way from other people). Escape, too, requires not just a physical distance from those who want to control you, but an intellectual and emotional distance, too. The individual ceases to care about the matters of that spiritually insane world out there and focuses on his own fulfillment in life – only then does he become himself and when one is true to themselves blessings flow for that individual and miraculously for others. True love for humanity doesn’t require compulsion, indeed to the degree coercion trumps respect of freedom, there will be little love between people. And to the degree coercive force upon others is relinquished, individuals in their own happiness seem to naturally love/care/give. Only when deprived of love, does an individual turn to unloving acts.
Upon observing such a young man whose rage has led him to, among other behaviors, to sport a Swastika upon his forehead, we can see the errors made in how to deal with the despair of the soul he was suffering – but who, really, can or should place any blame or judgment upon him? He is the product of the oppression to which most subscribe – making just about everyone his enemy. Even the more caring people, if part of the societal norm, demonstrate their good intentions in ways that will only enrage such a young man more.
Many youth today we see going through the exact same thing – differing symptoms of rage – same illness – not their illness but the illness of the corrupt society around them which from a child’s birth begins to torment the individual with obligations…but you see, the truth is an individual has no obligation or responsibility to anyone but himself.
In his way of expressing it, young Trevor says it perfectly, “It’s your ——- world, mate, not mine. You stick it up your arse, I don’t want it!”
Did this young man upon birth agree to any social contract? No. Did you? No. Yet the whole world around you will not leave you alone. It makes “laws” forcing you to attend its schools, forcing you to comply to its regulations before you can work, forcing you to be in places to do activities which you reject. Again, most comply, and live “normal” lives, but the few who see cannot, and will not, become something they are not. And, once more, when one is so young, they are vulnerable to adopting various forms of aggression in their desperation.
When they cannot seem to escape from the oppressive demands, they fight it and often, unfortunately for themselves and others, with aggression toward not only those actively making demands of them but irrationally against other people who are not directly involved…thus we see in this world the irrationalities and evil of targeting groups of people who are different (be it by race, economics, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, and so many other unimportant characteristics). The group targeted is often more of a mere scapegoat to receive a fraction of the rage within an oppressed individual, but of course, oppressing other innocents is the not the logical or loving solution, but when one is so young (or even at any age under extreme stress) one cannot necessarily clearly examine their own feelings…they can lose sight to the degree they begin to aggress against others just as they’ve been aggressed against – and that, my reader, is precisely the terrible relentless story of society past and present. Along with the cycle of aggression against others, come the tragic aggression against themselves – thus the high incidence of suicides, self-mutilation, addictions, eating disorders, meaningless relationship-less sex with others, and so many other self-destructive behaviors.
The scapegoat nature of irrational hostility against others based on differences is evidenced in the film as we see Trevor, with his skinhead appearance, befriending an unassuming and naive black teenager – a total contradiction if he was truly racist in heart.
In Made in Britain we find a young man who really just needs to be left alone. What’s the best thing that could happen with him? Maybe if a caring individual dropped a few hundred dollars in his pocket and told him “Go away. Get out of this crazy place. Leave and never return,” he could have a start in some other place free relatively (as its all a matter of degree wherever human beings congregate) from the society now surrounding him requiring his conformity or else punishing him. Would he still harm others, steal, vandalize…perhaps and perhaps not…for such behavior is obviously an expression of raging rejection against all the things which were truly wrong against him, remove much of the societal oppressive demands and such a young intelligent man might be able to begin to direct well his innate individual talents, abilities and desires. Creativity and dream fulfillment has always been the abode of the individual – never the conformist. To encourage another to explore and pursue his inner desires, adventures, and art is to bless – it is motivating, inspiring, and uplifting; anything less is to control, manipulate and slowly leads to death (the existence of most in society is more like that of walking dead).
The key to minimizing violence and other actually harmful behaviors directed against others is not to place more restrictions and demands upon the individual, but to for once recognize an individual owes nobody his obedience and compliance in matters that affect no one but himself. But the sick society most people accept and promote is the just the opposite, it seeks to destroy those who will not conform. It, all the people comprising and condoning and validating society as we know it, are the problem the rebels are trying to escape from – the problem-makers surely have no answers, they simply cannot fathom why a youth wouldn’t pull himself up by his boot straps, work at some mind-numbing job for measly pay, attend its schools so their lively mind can be brainwashed and their lively spirit tamed…they just can’t fathom why they refuse to be like everyone else.
The crazy true believers of social normality will always label, judge, and attempt to punish those who will not accept their control. In Trevor’s case, they threaten him with prison ultimately if he doesn’t conform, not realizing their entire society they consider “normal” is his prison already and they the guards.
But one who knows he was born to be free will not conform. You can lovingly let him be or you can selfishly try and control him….and if the latter, you will have hell to pay for giving him hell. It’s time for you, if you recognize the truth that you have no right to control the life of another human being, to dispense with all the activities you now engage in which collectively adds to the hell other brothers and sisters are experiencing – this means a rejection of seeking (or choosing others on your behalf) to have coercive power over the lives of others, and it means always respecting the individuality of those who differ but harm no other. You will never force any other to believe as you do; you will never use the crazy world out there to force other people to live as you choose for yourself; you will cease fretting/worrying/complaining about problems big or small and be an instrument – through your own happiness – to show others what a truly peaceful life is. You will simply as is said, “Live and let live,” and if you feel inspired, you may choose to share the unique individual you are with others who care to listen and observe through your own expressions of individuality, and when an opportunity arrives in life where you can help another individual realize his own gifts you’ll be happy to do so perhaps becoming the one and only other individual who understands, encourages, and assists said individual in his own development.
Only when respect of individuality is lacking do we see rebellion and all its unhealthy and sad repercussions. The crazy, spiritually insane world says “Respect authority,” while as the loving sane reality of life says, “Respect freedom.”
I highly recommend Made in Britain – it’s social commentary at its best.
Available at various movie sellers, you can read much about the story, view and read close-ups of the dvd front/back, and view its trailer at its Blue Underground page: http://www.blue-underground.com/product.php?product=75