Saturday 2 November 2013


This is one of those Daily Mail, why-oh-why/hang 'em and flog 'em stories about a teenager being bullied to death, as they say, by school bullying, on-line bullying, just by the general vileness of the little bastards, these days.

Seems that her single Mum had alerted the school to what seems like a remorseless assault from her fellow-pupils, sorry students and that the school, bless the hard-working teachers and governors, did fuck all to protect her and the girl hanged herself.  No doubt the perps were, themselves, victims of laissez-faire, luv'emtobits, doanyfin4'em, consumer parenting.

The story is a proper tearjerker, as only the Mail can create, and one does  identify with the angry, grieving, bereaved mother's SomebodyMustDoSomething-isms.

On the other hand,  I remember a young librarian and poet, Peter Stokes, saying to me that the school playground was the cruellest place on Earth.  He was right enough, I guess, within reason;  not as cruel as Obomba's Guantanamo Bay  but pretty tough going, nevertheless, for many.  All these i-shit gadgets can only have added to the misery of les enfants  torturable but I don't see how schoolyard bullying can ever be eradicated.

And when you get further into the story it seems that Mum was never going to live with Dad, had migrated to Australia and then returned to Blighty a couple of years back, her daughter sporting an Aussie accent and then starting a relationship with her hitherto estranged father.  

The  girl was a swot, it seems and horrified by what one must assume is the now-normal, darkly pornographic advances of modern youth, the mobile telephone delivering not admiring billets douts but photos of scabby little cocks, inviting, according to the Mail, body-part reciprocity, I've shown you mine, you must show me yours, ps, a gangbang wld b nice, u slag; y'know, all the great advances delivered us by Steve Odd Jobs and Bill Gates - instantaneously, globally-circulated bullying and vileness.

And Mum trotted-out that most chilling of contemporary parentisms - she wasn't just my daughter, she was my best friend, my everything.  Odd, how so many of these over-intense, over-protective  relationships finalise themselves in tragedy.

I came away hating everybody concerned - the pupils, the school, the Mail and especially the mother.  I know what it was like to go into an alien school, speaking differently from everyone else, but I was tough and smart and adaptable. And I had a brother and a sister and parents, neither of whom would, in their wildest dreams, call me their best friend. Mum should have tried to make a go of it with Dad, or some other bloke;  she should have stayed in England or - having gone there and done well - stayed in Australia. Being an immigrant kid  is shit, being an immigrant kid twice is still shit. I know. Being bestfriends with someone old enough to be your mother must make things horribly worse.

We should care for all the children, either they are all special or none of them are special,  the fly-blown, brown child drinking dirty water  in far-off Bongo-BongoLand or the Mummy's-Best-Friend here, in God's own country; what they need is our difference, our care, our responsibilty, our denials as much as our indulgences;  the very last thing they need is our BestFriendshipness; if we, as we should,  deny them that odious gift then maybe fewer of them will hang themselves when their peers beg to differ.

Hi, Kid,
it's good noose week.


Alphons said...

Another story of how the populace have been conned by the politicians, and been led to believe that they had no personal responsibility for anything.
At one time, when people recognised that they had a responsibility for every thing they did, this would never have happened.

Anonymous said...

My son went through a phase of calling me 'mate'. I disliked it, but said nothing for a while, hoping he would stop it. He didn't, so one day I gave him a royal bollocking for doing it, explaining the difference between friends and being friendly, between a father and a mate.

He then starting refering to me as 'man', which pisses me off just as much.

I really think I have tried just about as much as a man could with him and, if I'm honest, he's just about useless. I look at these moronic parents like the one highlighted in the post, and I used to think 'See, that's what you get for being a useless parent, for trying to be cool instead of correct, matey instead of mature'. Then I look at myself, and think 'What the fuck do I know?'

Birching the bullies would be a start, I suppose.


call me ishmael said...

"Then I look at myself, and think 'What the fuck do I know?'"

Yeah, me too. That's why I come here.

Ours - my one and her two - are still alive and not in jail, so that;s fine; it's just that I don't like them very much.

I used to think that was a dreadful thing to say but the opposite is - or can be construed as - pitiful narcissism.

I think, too, that this enforced uniformity of familial outcomes - what they call university, income, property, pension - is awfully dangerous, is a slavery that dare not speak its name. I don't think there's anything terribly wrong with not getting on with your kids, as long as you feed, clothe, shelter and protect them, who says you gotta like 'em, later, much less forever?

Cheer up, mr vincent:

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

Amen to that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that Mr Ishmael.

On parents and cjildren

Phillip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.


Mike said...

It seems to me that kids are too soft. If a bit of ribbing on Facebook causes them to top themselves, then something is wrong. In my day we had no iShit (as you say Mr I), but the public school I went to in England was like training for the Waffen SS. Even the wimps were as hard as nails.

lilith said...

Seems to me that we have gone from "children have no needs" to "children's needs must be met" in three generations. The older lot get their needs met by manipulation and subterfuge. The younger lot just hold out their hands. The middle lot are scratching their balding heads and demanding a divorce/moving continent/turning lesbian/gay.