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Heavy, man…

February 6, 2007

Blimey. What a heavy Monday night’s telly. After all this trash TV, I’m not sure my intelligent-TV-watching muscle is quite up to scratch. Last night, it certainly took a pounding.

It all started off with Hollyoaks (bear with me) and Evil Claire has finally gained the deeds to The Loft after her blackmailing crusade paid off. Then in Eastenders, after a bit of a mental tussle with May, Dawn announced to the world (well, the Vic) that she’s preggers with Rob’s baby (although she’s in for a nasty little shock, she is…) and then I settled down to Panorama: Should I Fight Back, which focussed on several incidents where people have bravely held their own when attacked, waded in to try and help others only to pay the ultimate price, or turned a blind eye. The programme tried to set out to ask the question: what would you do? But only really served to show how dangerous fighting back can be.

They had SAS men who would rather sit back and film young teens on the rampage than actually step in and do something, and then in possible the most ludicrous interview this year, they had the minister for security and police (or some other wanky job title) telling us to do nothing except call 999 if we see a gang of kids attacking an old lady. Brave man.

Heavy stuff indeed, but it only got heavier. Over on Channel 4, Aged 12 And Looking After The Family told the story of two registered-blind parents (who seemed to have learning difficulties) and their eight (count ‘em) kids. The two eldest daughters were mainly responsible for the upbringing of the other children: cleaning them, feeding them, changing their nappies, although the documentary did show the parents changing nappies and measuring out powdered milk.

I only managed a few minutes before turning off. I hate to sound like a Daily Mail reader (a prize for the person who can find out how many times I’ve said that so far on this blog. Maybe I *should* start reading the damned thing!) but it did upset me somewhat. I’m not saying that disabled people shouldn’t have children, but I do believe that it’s a selfish act to have kids if you can’t look after them: physically, financially and mentally. And eight kids is more than enough even for those who can see…!

From what I saw, the children were filthy, ate off the floor and all slept in a messy, dirty room. Users of this forum who watched the programme report that the father and mother smoked while she was pregnant with number eight, and guzzled beer while their young daughters tidied up after them – and also that one of the kids had tried to commit suicide (which is just horrifying, especially at such a young age).

Who am I to claim the moral high ground when I’ve not had kids of my own? But (to paraphrase a young Keanu Reeves – and thus losing all credit in my argument, I know) it’s shocking that you need a license to own a dog and yet they’ll let any dump f*ck become a parent. Would the RSPCA sit by while an animal was treated so irresponsibly?

It *is* selfish to force children (from the age of three apparently) to not only look after themselves, but their many siblings and disabled parents. Although I gather the family gain a lot in benefits (and two children are registered as young carers) I do think more should have been done for the parents before they’d had their first in terms of sex education. I’m appalled that someone hasn’t helped these poor people sooner.

Phew! Now that’s quite enough thinking for one evening. Tonight I’m looking forward to some fluff (or an evening of wanking for pennies as my mate Charlie puts it) with Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway…

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