Apropos of nothing

Today’s video is taken from a show called Grange Hill. Very popular for teens years ago, the programme dealt with a much more real version of school life, and it was ground-breaking at the time. One of the children – Zammo – became a heroin addict, and the campaign ‘Just say No’ began.

This sort of thing seems to have vanished from British TV now, and I’m not sure why. Is it because we don’t really want to face these things any more? Do most people like to look the other way when it comes to problems facing younger people?

In the UK we have had the Jimmy Savile scandal and Operation Yewtree, and we’ve seen the Rotherham grooming news. Now we have the cancer doctor who has been sent to jail. Do they have anything in common?

There appear to be many things at play with all this. Although there has been an explosion in keyboard warriors expressing massive outrage, as usual with Internet madness, nobody really stops to look at underlying attitudes.

My favourite two people – Carol Todd and Glen Canning – epitomise all that is wrong with people’s reactions to what is going on.

Although I am more in favour of Glen Canning and his campaign against the type of behaviour that contributed to his daughter’s tragedy, it frustrates me that he, like Carol, doesn’t go further. The Parsons incident is much more than what is portrayed. He doesn’t raise the problem of alcohol. Of course, all teens will get hold of booze – it’s been going on for years. All kids do it. What has got to me is that now it seems to be not just more prevalent, but that so many parents now don’t bother.

We also know that Canning’s daughter was into weed. There are many warnings about the effects of marijuana on depressed teens, but that yet again seems to be an accepted part of teen life now.

I would like to have seen much more investigation of just why some teens have become so feral. I think that divorce and more modern, different family patterns have an effect on vulnerable children – I would like to see this theory discussed. Why? Because it’s like a cancer. Doctors learned to link smoking to lung cancer, and then launched prevention actions. It’s time for doctors to look at why kids are ending up in such a mess.

I watched Carol Todd’s Dr Phil appearance. I was actually quite shocked. By now, I expected a changed story from Carol – one that finally admitted that Amanda was active online, one that was perhaps closer to the ‘Sextortion of Amanda Todd’ documentary. I should imagine that most people are now much more aware of the full story, so to persevere with the ‘she met someone she thought was a teen’ tale makes me think two things – either Carol is borderline bonkers in that she can’t absorb the true story, or she is a clever and manipulative liar.

I was also perplexed by what was a confused story of December 23rd 2010. The initial story runs along the lines of the cops kicking in the door/doing a dawn raid and that was the first everyone knew about it. Now, Carol says that she saw the picture, she contacted the police, but they kind of knew already because other parents had told the cops as well. Watch her explanation again – it’s a garbled message.

Conveniently for Carol, nobody presses her further. It makes me wonder if that is why Norm never gets in on the act. Part of me says that he is more honest, and is more likely to give the game away. After all, it was him on the documentary who said that Amanda thought it was no big deal – something people don’t want to hear.

After Dr Phil, I expected an increase in views here. It didn’t come. The nature of the Dr Phil show means that those who view it are empty-headed twerps. They will be outraged for about 24 hours by the activity of whatever freak family is brought in, then when the next show arrives out goes yesterday’s outrage to be replaced by the new one.

I went to the YouTube version of the show. Nothing really new there. However, as I have noticed before, you can see that people only want to know what they can understand – it was all the fault of the bullies/predator. They are not perturbed by what Amanda did – she could have gone online strangling chickens wearing a KKK hood and nothing else. That doesn’t matter.

Why? People need to hang on to ancient myths. Amanda was a young girl. She was pretty. Therefore she was incapable of doing wrong. If you allow yourself to believe that perhaps Amanda wasn’t a Madonna-like, virginal creature devoid of all fault, then you have to believe that young teen girls aren’t all sugar and spice and all things nice. It HAS to be a predator, it HAS to be someone else’s fault. We protect ourselves with myths.

The same thing happened with the Parsons case. Nobody wants to know that a fifteen year old girl can get drunk, have a foursome with guys and enjoy it, and do it on a regular basis. No. We must blank that out. Canning doesn’t want his nightmares to be filled with pictures of his daughter enjoying rampant sex with any Tom, Dick or Harry – preferable to think that she was raped, she was unconscious, she didn’t know what she was doing.

For the problems shown by the Parsons and Todd case, if we are to ever tackle these problems properly on a societal level, we need to face up to distasteful truths. We have to face up to the fact that allowing our kids to run riot, drink, take drugs, have sex, as if it’s all ‘just one of those things’ is not the way forward.

I was struck by the reaction of a mother in the Rotherham grooming scandal. An eleven year old girl turned up at home in the morning. Mother asked where she had been and the reply was ‘None of your business’. And the mother’s response? The police should have done something about it.

One last thing. Carol Todd is a disgraceful person to make into some sort of world-expert advice giver. In the Dr Phil interview, she explained that Amanda wanted her video to go viral, and she got what she wanted. By offing herself, basically. Do you hear that, kids? Do a video and kill yourself and you, too, can gain that recognition you wanted. Especially if you flash. Or get involved with a predator.

I see that Canning has set up the ‘Rehtaeh Parsons Society’ and it has a board of directors. Carol Todd must have ‘earned’ a fortune from donations.

I’m thinking of starting a company called ‘Failed Parents Inc.’ – there’s money to be made, careers to be founded from being an absolute fuck up. And all that guilt is made so much easier when big bucks are pouring in.


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