- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Culture and Society

Kids against litter and satan

24 December 2004

Recently a poll of under-10s found that what they craved most was fame, ranking above a scatological list of other desirable things, including, in order: their family, football, holidays, God, discos, chocolate and sunshine. Amusingly, in a list of their 'worst things', the Devil came at number 10, ranking considerably lower than 'being bored' and 'litter'.

Poor old Satan. Once, the world was in his thrall, with witch-bobbings and burnings galore. Now he's considerably less menacing than a discarded packet of Walker's Cheese & Onion.

Some pundits boldly concluded that kiddies' fixation with fame was the product of a fixation with fame. Well, you can't deny that there are more celebrities than ever. One 'expert' suggested that had the poll been carried out even just 10 years ago, being famous would not have ranked as highly as it did. Generally, it was considered that the poll findings were A Bad Thing.

But is this true? Maybe it's healthier to want to be one of Girls Aloud than just wet yourself every time you see a poster of the Bay City Rollers. Both bands are/were equally rubbish, but that's beside the point.

What the experts seem to be suggesting is that nursing unrealistic hopes of quick-fix success as a pop star or TV presenter are going to lead to a lot of shattered dreams later in life. Possibly. But that's called 'growing up'. And if failed wannabe musicians are the problem, it's not the kids we should thinking of, it's the poor sods in their mid-30s still playing in no-hope bands whose nearest brush with actual fame was supporting Diesel Park West in 1991.

It's quite possible that kiddies' attitudes have changed significantly from 10 or 20 years ago. But you have to cast your mind back to what you wanted to be (if anything) when you were under 10. This contributor seems to recall that it was simply 'Avon from Blake's 7', something that could reasonably be described as an unrealistic ambition. And, frankly, not a very healthy one. Tell a social worker you want to be an amoral, cold-blooded killer with an interest in cyber-crime and you'd be in care before you could say 'Sentiment breeds weakness!'

If anything, the poll revealed that today's kids are engagingly harmless. The number one worst thing was bullies, followed by a rather traditional choice: smoking. When you're eight, everyone is 'against' smoking, along with drugs, drinking and not cycling without lights. You'll learn, kiddies. You'll learn.

That said, there was one choice that was deeply worrying. Offered the chance to make rules if they were 'king or queen of the world', the sixth most desired thing was 'more magic'.

More? The mind boggles...

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free

Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved