We saw Jonathan Ross’s show the other night and David Attenborough was on there being all understated and legendary. He’s also getting old, but not frail, and my heart is glad that my daughter has Professor Brian Cox to grow up with and listen to with the same blend of passion, intelligence and ability to bring you anything from the mundane to the unimaginable and make it captivating and understandable. When we were young we had lots of clever and articulate people on the telly to enjoy, at least my daughter’s generation will have one.
Attenborough said something that I’ve always endorsed and said many times, while people are largely rubbish, we have the potential to be great. The evidence against this is strong though, and is better displayed nowhere than around a school, twice a day.
Parents leave their brains in a jar at the door when they hustle their offspring out to the car and go back to pick them up in the afternoon. Cars are abandoned at any angle anywhere, reverse parking into lined spaces is abandoned in favour of reversing out into other parents and their children while concentrating on not using any mirrors and pretending there’s no one else in the world but themselves. Cars block access roads, footpaths, they skim lollipop men, buses and the cars of parents who they were talking to in the playground moments before. But, they’re not friends anymore, in a car everyone is the enemy.
Another thing that amazes me is the neutrals on the main road driving past this mayhem. Do they slow down? No, these bastards speed up to get past it. Kids, brainless parents and cars coming out at all angles like a frantic multi-car pitstop in an American car race and these dicks are coasting through like they’re not involved. When one hits a child or a parent turns into the road without looking (as they all do to a chorus of horns, ah, the music of the school run…) they’re be plenty involved.
Bastards, we should through a net over the lot of them.
The war continues after the school bell though, a cold war where the most dangerous arms race escalates out of control, where money is feverishly burned to reach ever greater heights and feats of insanity. This is the Birthday Party Arms Race.
When I was young, you might have gone round to a pals house on their birthday for sausage rolls, sweeties and a fall out with someone before you went home in a huff. Today it’s different and it’s at least once a week by the looks of it.
Soft play is where it starts, then themed visits to play centres, then ponies and clowns, the ponies wearing a dress and clowns who aren’t sinister and a royal marines display team abseiling from a helicopter and a day on a space shuttle and lunch with jesus and oh the humanity where will it all end
We need the UN to send in peace keepers. They could stand at the school gates and confiscate party invitations as the kids left. Lives would be saved, the world could return to normal. Think of the children. The children.