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Thursday, 11 August 2011

How To Become A Great Single Parent: Part 2-Riot Special

photography by Jon Baker


Take a look at your child’s face. Maybe when he's sleeping, then he won't ask you for stuff. He looks pretty nice. Now shut your eyes and push yourself ten years into the future. It's hard to imagine this child will probably stumble home drunk and puke on your face mistaking you for a toilet bowl. Ah, you can't beat a projected memory. Now move forward another five, it's hard to imagine this little furry bundle air chewing in his sleep, who once awake will be totally dependant on you, will never phone you again. In the past he may have phoned, to ask for money, but this is the future and if recent events have proved anything it's that kids today are independent free thinking creatures who know what they want and know how to get it. In my day I had to save up my pocket money to buy a thousand frozen pasties from Gregs. “You can keep your money Granddad” they will say when you try and give em a fiver to buy a paper. “But I'm your Dad” you will reply. Man, kids in the future are stupid.
Now the riots that have taken place over the last few days have taught me a lot. Most significantly my responsibility as a parent. You can imagine my smugness, that only the other week I had purchased a copy of “Teach Yourself: How To Be a Be a Great Single Parent”. And let it be noted nearly made a cashier lady feel sorry for me. Result. Over the last few weeks I'd placed the book next to my bed and I could feel the information seeping into my brain as I slept. I woke to find myself definitely slightly greater a parent than when I was sleeping every time. However since recent events it felt like it was time to take action.I opened the book and scanned the acknowledgements, and I was impressed with the list of image credits considering disappointingly there are only two, and they are on the front and back covers. Everyone knows a good book needs a picture in the middle for light relief from all the reading. In this instance I would suggest something like...

“and here are what some single parents could look like...”


This gives the reader a goal to reach. I don't know what these publishers are thinking sometimes.

I switched on the TV which is like a book but with moving images, and commercials. Some argue that this isn't true, but it's unadvisable to dunk either in a bath and so this proves effectively they are the same. I watched in horror as little hooded munchkins terrorised the city. At first It seemed there was a political message being thrown out onto the streets, but it slowly diluted to a chavvy version of Supermarket Sweep. Were people who unfortunately couldn't think beyond their own surroundings started stealing from their own community and neighbours. Trying to be a great single parent I had to switch off the television, I decided I should go check where my own four year old was before I found him on the news coming out of a Clintons with a box of get well soon cards. Luckily I caught him just on his way out.
I suppose when Channel 4 commissioned the first Big Brother or when Simon Cowell began the X Factor they failed to register the idea that kids will continue to be born, and that they will be bought up with the understanding that every talentless individual has a right to realise their dream. If they are criticised they are allowed to shout back. I mean the X Factor is really bad advert for the respect kids have for their elders. You have your judges who I guess represent some sort of wisdom, they tell you that you are shit and then you retort with Fuck you and stomp off. Sometimes you need to accept your shit. It's hard, I know, I've been trying to for years, and finally I'm coming to terms with it. There have been too many years of people being told they can have what they want, and it isn't true. Johnny Depp can have what he wants. Most people have to work at things to realise a fraction of their dreams. I wouldn't be surprised if some bright spark in television world comes up with some sort of looting game show in the vein of the Krypton Factor.It would make for a great obstacle course round. I guess that's the problem it's opportunism on every level. I can't talk as I try and flog my bits of crap on e-bay for as much money as possible, when they would be happier suited in a tip. Everybody has been trying to squeeze out something from nothing for too long.
So I'm just gonna sit here and look at my child’s face while he sleeps and dreams about the stuff he wants.Carefully I will place a dictionary by his bed and fingers crossed he will at least demand it with eloquence.

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