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London, United Kingdom
Holly Searle is a writer who was born in Westminster in the middle of London. She shares her birthday with Jarvis Cocker and David Seaman and like Jarvis Cocker she wears glasses but has nothing whatsoever in common with David Seaman. She is fascinated by words, people and their stories, and regularly spends hours fantasising about being offered a weekly column. She has a degree in Film and Television which she gained from Brunel University in 1997. She has been blessed with two quite remarkable children whom she adores. She enjoys the company of her friends and the circus that is life. Long Walk to Forever by Kurt Vonnegut is her favourite short story. She is the author of the published children's tale The Story of Balan Singh, and is currently working on her first book.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

If You Tolerate This By Holly Searle





Last week I went off to see my son take part in a drama showcase at his school.

The evening was made up of performances by the kids from the various year groups that attend the school.

Since arriving at the school, he was encouraged along with all of the other year sevens to partake in some after school activity.

My son decided that he fancied the drama group, so he joined.

And I am very pleased that he did as he is really enjoying it.

There were two halves to the evening's action, that were each divided up into vignettes of either a themed mime or minor performance by these young actors.

I attended both nights.

I enjoyed it more on the second night than the first, probably because I had already seen it once and was able to compare it to the previous night.

Like most productions of any show that you see, there were some really gifted and notable aspiring actors in the making.

I hope that they keep it up, I really do.

But, there was an overriding thematic that I found a little unsettling and it got me thinking about why it appeared to be the resolution to most of the pieces that were performed.

And that was the use of violence.

In each improvised piece, there it was, as clear a day being used by these talented mites as the solution/resolution to the narratives they had made up.

And it made me so sad.

A few days later I thought about the culture that these kids have grown up in and what they have been exposed to.

And when I thought about all of that, it didn't really surprise me one little bit as to why they had littered their stories with so much violence.

We have a nine o'clock watershed on the telly don't we?

But, at six o'clock each evening, the news is transmitted.

The news has been subjecting us all to an array of the most horrific stories for the longest time now.

I cannot think when the desensitisation of this indecent descent began. But, I can honesty say, that anything that I have seen on the news in recent weeks, months and years, has been far worse that anything a made up drama with the odd swear word in has produced, after the nine o'clock watershed.

Yes, I know. Horrible things happen in the world.

But, how much of that do they really need to be exposed to?

And it isn't just all of the retrospective paedophiles, sex trafficking gangs and missing children stories, but all of the other negativity being disseminated about the country that they all live in.

And then there are those heads of industries and politicians a like, that we have all put our trust in, only to discover, that they were all laughing maniacally behind our backs like the Joker.

They are all being progressively outed as bare faced criminals and liars and have all be sent to Arkham Asylum, where they will spend the rest of they days typing all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy on the keyboards of their laptops.

And then what about all of those sporting heroes falling off all of the pedestal we placed them all on like an unexpected flash flood in the Death Valley.

Shocking stories that will make God himself weep as he shakes his head in dismay whilst waiting to leave with the dolphins.

Thanks for all the shit his note will read.

Recession mania is an epidemic all on its own, the symptoms of which are frustration, degradation and humiliation.

What sort of messages are these news reports sending out to our children?

Hopeless ones, obviously.

My point is this.

Was it any wonder that these precious children of ours were using violence as the solution in their carefully crafted tales after they have been raised on such a diet.

Well funnily enough, no.

And then there is the angry villagers with the torches and pitchforks heading for castle Frankenstein mentality that trends like a virtual cancer on social media sites.

If anyone ever captured your image and you are still considered an undesirable, you are basically fucked.

They will find you not unlike Daniel-Day Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans.

They will provide photographic proof. I'd contact John Woo if I were you and get your face/off.

One day, that will be the only solution.

So here is what I think, I think you should all stop worrying about fizzy drinks and concentrate more on what your children are being mentally exposed too.

For that is far worse and much more detrimental to their health, than a few grams of sugar.

Now, I want you all to go and listen to If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next and pray that there is still time.



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