Pink Light War On Youth

March 26, 2009

To deter teenagers from congregating in certain areas at night, British groups are deploying pink lights that highlight their pimples. The lights, unlike those that attract and electrocute mosquitoes and other insects, play on the vanity and self-consciousness of young people to drive them away.

From my only-a-distant-memory youth I recall simpler and less demeaning tactics. During a Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale, circa 1970, hoteliers poured oil or glued broken glass to places where throngs of us college revelers gathered, such as low walls along the sidewalks. We still congregated, proudly wearing our defiance .

During high school in Central Florida, our antics were mostly tolerated. Maybe because we never stayed in one place for long, except at the Steak ‘n Shake restaurant where we ate in our cars, or the Winter Park Drive-In theater across the street. (Sunday morning church services at the drive-in came too late to offset the preceding nights’ sins.) Mostly we drove a five-mile loop over and over, looking for other kids we knew and waiting for something to happen.

It always did.