Invitation to Discussion: 'IS IT EASY TO BE YOUNG?'

Invitation to Discussion: 'IS IT EASY TO BE YOUNG?' (Pravda, Nov. 9, p. 12. 1,200 words. Condensed text:)... At a recent festival in Tbilisi, the documentary "Is It Easy to Be Young?" was awarded the main prize. Many publications are unrestrained in their praise of both the film and its makers.

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For what reason?

Perhaps for the film's illusion of utmost candor (one might even say for its "naked" reality)? Judging from the film, such candor is characteristic only of young people; it is most certainly not to be found among middle-aged and older folks.

There's nothing new about playing up to young people and catering to their "special" interests and rights. But it must be said that as a rule this flirting works to young people's disadvantage in the long run. And the film "Is It Easy to Be Young?" provides graphic evidence of this fact. Is this not borne out, for example, when (as shown in the film) our nice young boys and girls remorselessly ransack a commuter train in a rock-induced state of frenzy?

Why did they do it? To all indications, because we've failed to provide them with worthwhile pursuits, jobs and sensible entertainment, and because we've failed to teach them how to put their free time to good use. We haven't done the job we should have of teaching them to concern themselves with things that are essential and useful to society.

It's a surprising thing: In the hierarchy of children's and young people's values these days, entertainment and material goods unfortunately occupy a top place.

It is with bewilderment and pain that we have seen certain of our [Soviet] tourists, including young people, disdain the beauty of the Acropolis, the Egyptian pyramids or the masterpieces of the Louvre in order to scurry around foreign cities looking for glad rags.

By the hundreds and thousands, throughout ...

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