15 MAY 1964, Page 12


have been a reader of the Spectator for a number of months, and the issue of May 1 was the first time I have ever known it to includb an article of cheap sensationalism. I refer to 'A Night Out With the Mods.'

The basic principles of a 'sensation,' which the popular, circulation-conscious press use, are impli- cation and generalisation. Unfortunately, and much to his, and the Spectator's, discredit, the author of this article also stuck to these principles. How many mods did Richard Gott speak to? He men- tions the names of only two. Does this mean that he drew his conclusions concerning the morality, the social consciences and the political attitudes of the vast number of mods in the whole country from two 'typical' adolescents?

The author seems to imagine that being a mod requires a person to think, act and appear the same as other mods. In fact, he suggests it is a whole way of life. This is not so. A mod is fashion- conscious. Apart from this apparent 'handicap' to being accepted as a normal teenager, they are, I am certain, no more wayward, no more uncivilised, no more flippant, no more serious, than any past genera; tion of adolescents.

The fabrication of unrealistic attitudes the author implies that mods conform to is utterly ridiculous. Mods think no more, no less, than any other people, so generalisation of their attitudes is useless. This leads to the most important grievance. These young people are not a race apart.

Older people agree that growing up into the com- plexities and worries of adult society is difficult. Is the cheap exploitation of the modern teenager by the same 'responsible' adults going to make it any easier?

In case anyone should think that I am an eccen- tric dependant of the young, I am fifteen myself. I hope to acquire an adequate knowledge of politics before I am twenty-one. I realise there are moral standards in a society such as ours. I realise the immensity in problems such as the threat of nuclear war and the balance of terror. Surprisingly enough to some, I am also a mod. Primarily, however, I am a person.