seemingly forgetting that time in the 70s when we were being told he had nothing to say to the youth of today
i don't think he 'forgot' jean, he didn't know initially!
he was at a (posh) school himself at the time! his parents were getting divorced, and his 'introvertion' apparently led him towards self abuse, sci fi, and satire....rather than a social conscience typical of some 70s educational theory (which even at its very worst, has got to be superior to constant government meddling, and bullying typical of today).
perhaps self doesn't actually realise that he 'missed out' on 'stig of the dump', or 'wittering and zigo', and other storys taught in comprehensive schools. coincidentally, kids of self's generation are about to leave school, to 'join' a very long queue, and indefinite recession. yet grow up only to have to listen to david willets banging on about 'the baby boomers' being 'lucky', (since self' just scrapes within willet's designated age range of 'baby boomer' definition). as well as having heard thatcher's 'you never had it so good' during adolescence, when for most, everything was actually carp, falling apart.... the majority of people of a similar generation were neither 'boomers' or as lucky.
in the 80s self is apparently studying ppe at oxbridge, which seemed to have a bit of an odd effect on him - (and perhaps it may as well have been uxbridge tube) .....as he's not necessarily typical of his degree subject, or uni, imo. especially not in comparison with others (that i wont mention) who also studied ppe.
arguably, by the time that 'fashionable' comprehensive kids return to learning shakespeare in the 90s, the bard may well be learned, and performed 'raptasticly', and enjoyed by some adults more than kids, some of whom may well have felt 'forced'! though a proportion may have loved studying shakespeare, felt flattered by the challenges that the author asked of them, and was confident readers would be able to meet - IF they tried,.....and i think will self imagines the same is true of his own readers.
but tbh i skip self's more esoteric distractions, can usually still get the gist, as his imagery is unusually vivid, graphic, and gripping. imo self's 'scale', published to celebrate the 60th penguin anniversary, is breathtakingly brilliant, short and cost 60p, mid 1990s. it's about the most concise prediction of 'things to come', describing an era we currently inhabit. a sense of scale and perspective are warped out of all proportion. 'scale' amounted to 'social commentary', rather than the 'fantasy' of sci fi, attracted zero attention, instead, self was noted for the fantastical 'cock & bull', 'great apes', etc. what with divorce, and self abuse, he became 'the bad boy of lit' invited to hang out with paxo, hislop and others, (to up their media cred primarily imo). as yet, self hasn't done 'i'm a sleb'!!!! tbh i'd love it if he gives it lordy about the hi jack of entertainment in the 2000s, and also made his own unique interventions into govt meddling in school/uni education, as a dad, and as a media commentator. (practically) anyone who currently sticks up for 'the humanities' gets my vote - despite other 'sins'. it is not a career move exactly, as people currently speak out at high risk to their own careers longterm. actually, comedian, stewart lee, seems to be coming along nicely, in speaking up about similar issues; and margaret atwood takes (late career) risks, with great poise and mental agility, nearly every time i hear her on r4.... she is the antithesis of the 'kidult' and provides women with something to aspire to imo .... other than breast implants, tan, perfect teeth, and a driving license for a 4x4 veHIcle!
i look forward to self's 'pov' appearance, much more so than reading his 'bread and butter' articles for 'the guardian', 'new stateman', and tv game shows, (including 'newsnight')