474 – The Lizard King: 01

474

 

Tony Gelstorp, of the Layton Burroughs Residents' Association
Tony Gelstorp, of the Layton Burroughs Residents' Association

The BBC reports that the residents of the Layton Burroughs Residents’ Association in Nottinghamshire have installed pink florescent lights in three different locations on the housing development in an effort to discourage teens from congregating. While the pink lights are very pretty and are supposed to have a calming influence, they also make pale skin look lighter, and dark skin look darker, with the overall effect of making acne look like it was drawn on with a giant, black magic marker. 

So the teens have moved on to annoy people at the local movie theater instead.

As always, I think the most important lesson to be drawn here is to attack people in their weakest spot, rather than seek a reasonable discourse. It is much more sensible to shun disaffected, depression-prone adolescents than to give them somewhere to go. Make sure they know they’re not wanted!

Congratulations, Layton Burroughs Residents’ Association! I can only hope that someone is making your kids just as miserable! 🙂

10 Responses to 474 – The Lizard King: 01

  1. “… rather than seek a reasonable discourse …:

    Yes, because disaffected, depression-prone adolescents who gather in underpasses (where the lights were installed, according to the article) to drink, sell drugs and intimidate residents (claims the residents’ association) are well known for their reasonable discourse. 🙂

  2. There has been a lot of success in actually giving kids something to do rather than simply running them off. Rec centers, jobs, and being treated like people instead of vermin is statistically the better bet. One thing the article did not cover was the number of residents’ association members with smashed in windows and flat tires after the lights were installed.

    However, that wasn’t really the thrust of my comment.

    My observation was that the association did nothing to solve the problem, they just foisted it off onto someone else. Probably the local cineplex. It’s just us’ns vs. them’ns, and my opinion is that it’s an unnecessary antagonism.

  3. Kevin, I couldn’t agree more. As a Criminal Justice major, kids with something to do are less likely to do crime, and I’m not talking about victimless-crimes either.

    In my area, there’s a move (at least, WAS a move) by the local D.A. to ban “young adults” from congregating in certain areas. I had a discussion about this with someone, and had a tough time explaining to him that:

    a) Not all grouped kids are out there to cause trouble
    b) Many “gangs” are formed for self-protection.
    c) Like you said, this would just foist the problem onto a different part of town.

    There’s a lot to be said about the issue, but having pink light bulbs is certainly more preferable than calling the cops. I’ll give business owners credit for that.

  4. “There has been a lot of success in actually giving kids something to do rather than simply running them off.”

    No argument there.

    “Rec centers, jobs, and being treated like people instead of vermin is statistically the better bet. ”

    And who is supposed to build and staff this rec center? Does this responsibility fall on the residents’ association? If the kids were behaving in the first place, nobody would be trying to run them off.

    “One thing the article did not cover was the number of residents’ association members with smashed in windows and flat tires after the lights were installed.”

    True. Instead, the articles I read said that the lights appear to be working and residents feel safer. I would take that as an indication that vandalism is down, not up, since the lights were installed, but since I don’t have any statistical evidence one way or the other I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

    “My observation was that the association did nothing to solve the problem …”

    Depends on what you mean by “solving” the problem. Unruly youths are never going away – no matter how many rec centers you build, or how many jobs you offer them. Should they instead have called the police, wasting valuable public resources on minor nuisance calls? Have them arrested? Maybe they didn’t do everything in their power to “solve” the problem, but I find pink lighting a very reasonable, non-confrontational approach to a complicated social issue.

  5. This disgusts me to the full extant of the physlogical reaction. The youth, the adolecant, the people who form our bloddy FUTURE, are been treated with suspicion and paranoia,. In a similar story that also angered me, the Town Councel for a nearby town to were I live axed a skate park AFTER the teens and youth raised the money to build it.

    Well, we’ll gt the last laugh, we pay for your nursing homes!

  6. Okay, okay. You don’t like gangs of ill-behaved kids. I get it. (For the record, that’s why I stopped going to the Regency Square Mall, especially on the weekends and during summer.) But I don’t think that a shoulder shrug and saying simply that you can never fix the problem is any kind of excuse for not trying. I would never pretend to have all the answers to all the problems I might bring up and make fun of here, but I do know for a certainty that your odds are much better if you try than if you don’t. “Get away from here… go bother those people instead.” relocates the problem, but it’s still a problem. Maybe the association should have lobbied their local MPs for help, or banded together with the city for a crime watch program. I don’t really know.

    Pink lights may be a clever solution, but it’s still a selfish solution. It doesn’t help the children, and it doesn’t help the overall predicament. All it does is take it out of their back yard.

  7. I’ve waited years to be able to stand on my porch in my boxers and loafers and black socks with a water hose yelling “Get off my lawn!”