Saturday, 12 July 2008
Knife Crime : The Mindset of 'The King of Cats'
"Part, fools! Put up your swords; you know not what you do." Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet
One of the exasperating aspects of the apparent rise in UK Knife Crime is the gullibility of the protagonists. Gullibility in the sense of complete lack of understanding about the reach and term of the consequences of their actions.
The immaturity, ignorance, and socio-pathic attitude of the perpetrators seems to suggest that they see themselves as engaged in a perverse combination of Tag and King of the Castle
Unlike the school yard origination of these games, the knife wielding teenage 'players' use our streets as their playground. A playground that is devoid of mature adult influence and innocence, a playground where obsession with 'selfhood' and 'status' are believed to be essential statements of who you are. Using a knife to snuff out the light of one life to make your own appear brighter is the only option these individuals seem to see for 'being someone'
Tackling knife crime is a 'mind-set' challenge. How can we provide meaningful alternatives to teenagers who are dogmaticaly locked into believing their view is 'normal', acceptable, or simply the way it is?
Shakespeare saw the problem in Romeo and Juliet:
Benvolio. "I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me."
Tybalt. "What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word,
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee:
Have at thee, coward!"
Benvolio attempts to socially influence the street argument between the Monatgues and the Capulets towards a non violent outcome. Benvolio represents people who are aware of the waste and consequences of violence. Tybalt is the personification of the frustrating mind-set held by the blade carrying teenagers walking the streets of the UK who don't understand the meaning of 'Life'
We only have one.
We don't have 'lives' like a computer game or a cat.
Taking a life affects your life
Taking a life affects the life of others
Life could mean 'Life'
Mercutio points this lack of care for the consequences by calling Tybalt the 'King of Cats', ironically pointing out that Tybalt might think he has 9 lives but, as we know, he only has one. Had Shakespeare written today would he have used something like 'King of Gears of War', or 'King of Call of Duty?'
Stopping Knife crime means changing the mind-set of the King of Cats
Please visit Knife Crime.org for more information.