I have just recently finished reading a book, written by
a journalist and sometime writer of speeches for politicians. He bemoans the fact that we seem unable to "...transcend .the emptiness of materialism or the loneliness of modern life…”, going on to say that “on these subjects politics seems to have little to say.”
Here’s a picture: one of many I have, that seems to show
that the simpler things in life are often the things – or activities – that provide most joy. No materialism in sight!
Some years ago, I wrote an article about a short video, entitled, “A Boy, a Dog and a Frog”. It’s a (quite old - 1980) Canadian produced film, based on Mercer Mayer’s story book from way back in 1967.
In the article I describe how engrossed children became in the film, no matter to whom I showed it, or what age the children (usually between 5 and 12 years) were. On this film there is no dialogue on the sound track; the only aural accompaniment is provided by music based on a concerto for oboe.
The reactions of the watching children ranged from absolute silence to the occasional sigh or short burst of laughter. At the video’s end there were always rapturous smiles.
(You can watch this little 10 minute film on You Tube).
My point is, after reading about “the materialism of modern life” and once more watching “A
Boy, a Dog and a Frog”, I can’t help but think of all the quite ugly and often violent programs that children access daily on television and the Internet and compare them to the simple, yet engrossing and enjoyable little Mercer Mayer story.
As I walk though the crowded shopping centres and see row upon row of what (to me) appear to be biliously coloured ‘toys’ with their same looking inane painted faces, and the ‘action toys’ with their obvious hint of violence, I grieve for today’s small children.
One other point I always try to make – but which mainly falls on deaf ears – is that it is adults who make the films, videos and toys. They claim that they are making “what children want”. But, if this is all that is provided, or offered, for the children, how can children even know that there are alternatives?
And, don’t even start me on ‘the loneliness of modern life’!
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.