The unbroken voice of a generation

What is with teenagers today? There I said it.

A little early perhaps, as it was less than 15 years since I exited that social category, but I have grave fears for the male youth of today. Specifically, their voice boxes.

A few Sundays back, I found myself needing paper replicated in the printed form. I headed to the Mt Sinai of Stationery that is Officeworks. There I was greeted by a cluster of teen clerks.  The one who greeted me spoke with a soft effeminate voice, the type you’d find on a Middle Eastern princess.  Thinking not too much of it, merely registering it as a signifier of this lad’s personality, I moved on with my printing request.

Problems struck when the princess couldn't process the job request within the computer. He called over his friend Jack. Now ‘Jack’ is a strong, masculine name that almost catches wild salmon from rivers whenever it is uttered. Jack came over to solve the problem with his muscular fingertips tapping the computer into submission. However he couldn’t fix it.

“Oh noooee’” uttered Jack in a tone that sounded like a jockey commentating underwater on a fashion parade.

“Seems I can’t remember eeiittthhhurrr”

As these two future leaders of our society fumbled their way through the Officeworks Printworks Service Manual, I realised that they were just like all their peers I had came across the path of.

Young males’ voices today are like Tupperware- they just don’t break!  Perhaps it is a reflection of the increasingly globalised, feminized and urbanized world we now inhabit, but today we now have scores of male youth surging with testosterone and sounding like seagulls.

Their twang is soft, feminine and slightly American. It does not seem to favour a particular race, religion or sexual preference but can be heard widely across the population of testicle owners under the age of 18.

Why is this so? Sure we could blame the hormones in the chicken, but I have heard my share of vegetarian fourteen year olds that sound like the whisper of dolphin’s eyelid closing. We could point our finger at the androgyny agenda, but in my time as a stand-up I shared stages with some Trannies that had voices deeper than the Mariana trench.

Could this be a natural adaptive response to the world we now find ourselves in? One in which we no longer need authoritative and bass rich masculine tones. Women literally have a voice; increasingly it is the one we hear. This then has to have an impact on the way our children interpret and re-project their view of the world.

Maybe it has to do more with the urbanized youth I seem to encounter in supermarkets, stationery emporiums and food outlets. Maybe if I headed out to the mining towns of Western Australia I would meet an 11 year old called Deano, a boy with a voice box like a whisky barrel and the projection of a school P.A., who will make me feel like things will be OK.

I guess at the end of the day my heart breaks for those whose voices clearly don’t. What’s the point of walking around as a teenager talking like you’d swallowed a harmonica if you can’t tease the following generations going through the same thing?!