Whereas I agree with the substance of Will Self’s rant—against commodification—I do think that typical of the generation ahead of me, who are now bemoaning life in their 50s, he gets so much wrong about technology and culture.

I fully support Self’s desire to lash out against talentless hipsters but am quite capable of not turning a worthy complaint into a patronizing and pointlessly ageist argument. The “I blame my generation for shitty youth culture” is quite a traditionalist rhetoric. What curmudgeon hasn’t willingly taken the blame for youth culture. Self even uses the “I did drugs, too” appeal.

He’s too intelligent to not understand he’s wrong here:

By providing even the most woefully untalented with an outlet for their “creativity”, the web has massively enlarged the numbers who style themselves as “artistic”, as well as increased the duration of their futile aspiration. In the kidult dickhead milieu, it’s now quite possible to encounter fortysomethings with weird facial hair, wearing shorts and still resolutely believing that their career is about to take off.

Sure, there’s a lot of junk on the internet. So what? That doesn’t say anything about culture. The paragraph does say something about Self wallowing in middle age and does instruct readers about his strained, conservative definitions for maturity, childhood, and growing up. I see Self doing exactly what many of my colleagues, fellow writers, do when they address the book while shitting on DIY culture. I think he’s being a little too tongue-in-cheek for any valuable irony to be wrung from his complaint that seems to have begun with a shitty breakfast at a hip Los Angeles cafe. I get it.

What we need is a critique of professionalism, of work. We all know hipsters suck. Self stretches a trite contempt for hipsters like a tarp over a rather poor excuse for professionalism, which is, by the way, one of the resources for commodity culture he despises.


Decolonizing Education Workshop 20.09.14: Further Reading/Resources




Decolonizing Europe, by Houria Bouteldja, spokesperson of the PIR. http://www.decolonialtranslation.com/english/decolonizing-europe.html


Freedom From Education: Decolonial Study for Abolishing the Prison-University Complex


Salon.com – We Still Lie About Slavery Here’s the truth about how the American economy and power were built on forced migration and torture


The Structure of Knowledge in Westernized Universities: Epistemic Racism/Sexism and the Four Genocides/Epistemicides of the Long 16th Century


Tumblr.com – Medievalpoc: post on Joseph Boulogne (Bologne?)


What if people told European history like they told Native American History


UK Education

KS3 History Curriculum



Paulo Freire – Pedagogy of the Oppressed

bell hooks – Teaching to Transgress
Robert J C Young – Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction

Free PDF Books on race, gender, sexuality, class and culture:


Radical Education Work Book



Horace Ové – Baldwin’s Nigger


Demand the Impossible! Summer School

Critical Educational Project


Yara El Sherbini