Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Skip the Pullman film...

...it sounds dreary. Go straight for something exciting and worthwhile. Tell your children to wait for this film, and meanwhile if they haven't read the books, hurry to get them copies this Christmas.

And hurrah for the Holy Father, talking with wisdom and common sense about children and Christmas: it's so horrible to see boys and girls robbed of their joy by being turned into obedient little consumers...here in Britain, there is something of a debate taking place about childhood and its value, and it's a debate long overdue. It seems so rare, now, to see a gaggle of children in the street giggling and laughing together and just having fun. It's even more rare to see teenagers just larking about and laughing...somehow there is an air of solemn menace stalking our common life, and cheerful merriment invites not just sneers but downright hostility.

Meanwhile today the Government has announced - ugh - a Ten Year Plan for Children. Why is my immediate reaction one of horror? Is it just the Stalinist language? Or is it a realistic conviction that the thing will somehow become just another way of bashing marriage and family life? Or simply a feeling of dreariness at the realisation that it will probably mean more social workers filling in forms, and more bureacratic "initiatives" involving salaried staff talking ideological junk at the taxpayers' expense?


Anonymous said...

This government has been sneaking in between parents and their children for some time, from their attempts to conceal the dispensation of abortions and contraception to teenagers from the parents who are emotionally and financially responsible from them - to forcing mothers to work and place their children in ever more government-regulated child minding facilities.

I could go on. But t'was ever thus in the socialist dream. Children must be taught by the state to be good members of the community.

In '97 a party of school children and adults I took to Israel listened to a young man, a kibbutznik, as he told us about the stalinist-style upbringing of children on his secular kibbutz. I'll never forget the bridling of the mothers in my party - the 'hem' of outrage - as he described the desolation of waking up in the middle of the night aged 3 cold and frightened, calling for 'Mummy' - only to find that he was in a dormitory with other young kibbutzniks and Mummy was in her own accommodaton out of reach.

Change came in the early 80s as terrorists lobbed rockets from Lebanon into his northern-Galilee kibbutz. Families were together for nights on end in bomb shelters, and after the shelling ended, mothers refused to be parted from their children at night.

Shall we have a similar 'parents' revolt against increasing government control of our children, I wonder? I doubt it. For we've been 'lulled to sleep.' by a government which wants to present our children as a problem which only they can solve for us!

Anonymous said...

As I waited for my daughter to come out from school. I watched with joy as children played in the snow and threw snowballs at one another having a great time. When my daughter came out she said that the teacher had told her not to play in the snow as they had sprayed chemicals on it!
GOOD GRIEF! It seems to be at every turn infiltrating the lives of people. If someone slips on the ice -we have to obliterate all snow and ice! We can't live normally anymore because we are hyper managed!
I am always "yelled" at when I write into this blog so I apologize ahead of time for spelling,wording and opinions others may not like.

Anonymous said...

the film looks fab..

Anonymous said...

To be fair Labour have just allowed trends to continue that began when I was a schoolboy under Mrs Thatcher.

They don't have the right instincts on education at all. When they do say semi-rational things, it is always because of the economic need for skilled workers, not the needs of the children. As for the needs of learning, I don't think they even realise that such exist.

However what has the Church done, to be honest? Simply run slightly less bad comprehensives, as far as I can see.

Anonymous said...

The books, as far as I can tell, are dull and derivative. The film is contemptible on virtually every level. The last Narnia film actually had a nice "modern" moral, which is that children should do as they're told. (Lewis wouldn't actually have approved, I think.) The "moral" of the Pullman film though is that children don't have to do what they're told, that being free is all about being disobedient, and that the Magisterium wants to control people and is a threat to their "freedom". It's utterly irrational, chaotic, mindless nonsense from beginning to end. The only good thing about seeing it at the cinema (on a Saturday, at teatime, in Winter) was that there were absolutely no children there, only adults: clearly there are no grown-ups quite so desperate to indoctrinate their children with this rubbish that they'll actually force them to sit through it - and risk a kid insurrection!