Maybe I shouldn't have put it that way. Twitter's 140-character limit really can be a bitch. Had I had unlimited characters I would have added "...because the appropriation of deeply-held spiritual beliefs, the othering of the 'exotic' and the fetishisation of poverty that accompanies these gap-yah twits is embarrassing".
Anyway, people jumped down my throat because the State is putting surface-to-air missiles on the top of residential blocks in order to protect some stupid overblown international Sports Day that we didn't even want but thinking about that sounds hard and y'know, THINK OF THE RICH WHITE CHILDREN HERE, FOLKS! This is the real scandal.
So now I'm going to explain myself even further, in the hopes that some people will read this and realise that life really is too short to moan about how I portray some of, if not the most, privileged kids in society.
People who go on gap years (see caveat) are usually terribly dull, well-off children who decide that the best way for them to experience life before university is to go off to far-flung places and patronise foreigners for a while on their parents' dime. Sure, that's not true of all of them, but in a world where the price of an education is rising exponentially for each year you don't go, plus the ridiculous debt once you have, plus there being no fucking jobs, and when they are, they're either ridiculously intense so demand all your time, or don't provide enough hours so you're still living at home eating beans on toast, I would suggest that there's not that many people paying for their own 'spiritual experience'.
And this is what really pisses me off. This is the crux of the matter. The idea that getting pissed and stoned on a beach in India is somehow totally different to doing it next to Filey Brig because it's 'totally spiritual, man'. When I hear things like that I give so much side-eye that I can see in to next week. Why is it more spiritual? Oh right, because you were surrounded by those 'mystical' 'exotic' foreigners with their deep, innate spirituality, instead of Karen from above the chippy. Can we see why I think this is bullshit? How about the idea that living on rice and beans for a dollar a day to be, like, in touch with the locals, is more 'spiritual' than someone who's living off ASDA smart-price noodles because they can't afford anything else?
So bollocks to them, and bollocks to anyone that's going to be disingenuous enough to suggest that I'm propagating systems of discrimination by mentioning that 99.9% of these over-privileged younglings are white. I somehow doubt that one tweet from me is enough to buck the status quo and lead to them being arrested unfairly, denied jobs or housing, or being attacked in the street. But nice try, I bet you really feel you made a difference.
(caveat: VSO placements and the like are not, for this purpose, 'gap years')