These days little children are insufferable
Jerusalem c. 33 AD was different from the modern world in too many respects to mention here. I’ll single out just one: children, those to be suffered, were still children.
They must have been occasionally destructive, for children tend to break things at the best of times. But they also must have retained some innocence, some opened-eye way of looking at the world and marvelling at its beauty.
Today’s children (with honourable exceptions) aren’t like that. Modernity has spun out a way of bringing them up in such a way that they remain forever adolescent in every spiritual, moral and aesthetic sense, while growing up prematurely in every physical and sexual aspect.
Where this combination clicks in perfectly, it unfailingly produces feral, sensual creatures devoid of the gift of human speech. Their bodies crave, and are mature enough to enjoy, either sex or violence or both, while their moral sense is too embryonic to be capable of applying any brakes.
And their minds, provided they exist at all, are unable to communicate properly outside the desemanticised interjections giving validity to the simian origin of man. (When did you last hear children talk in complete sentences, say, on a bus?)
These melancholy thoughts have been brought on by two current news items. One involves Angela Wrightson, a 39-year-old frail alcoholic who befriended two girls aged 13 and 14.
Judging by their text messages (today’s children can text before they can walk – that’s progress for you), the children were in a lesbian relationship, either consummated or not. And why not? No doubt they had been taught at their sex education classes that copulation of any kind was as devoid of moral content as it was replete in ballistic possibilities.
Miss Wrightson was starved for company, which is why she befriended the girls and, as a friend would, helped them buy booze and cigarettes which they were too young to buy for themselves.
A nice congenial friendship – except that one day the girls battered the woman to death, inflicting more than 100 injuries with such weapons as a glass vase, a kettle, a TV set and a coffee table.
While this was going on, the lovelies filmed selfies of themselves (I told you they were technologically advanced), posting one of them on the net. The picture shows the girls grinning happily against the backdrop of their victim writhing on the floor in her own blood.
Building further on the achievements of modern technology, the girls established a phone link with a friend, who heard the 13-year-old scream: “Go on, smash her head in. F***ing kill her!”
Afterwards the older girl complained that she had had to do all the work, “slicing her face” and “booting her all over”, while her younger companion smoked a cigarette. Hard-working people do resent slackers.
The other incident is amorous rather than sanguinary. The footballer Adam Johnson is about to go to prison for having sex with a minor. The minor in question is a 15-year-old girl who worshipped Mr Johnson’s dribbling skills so much that she joyously performed on him an act that’s still illegal in a few American states.
The trial is still going on. Mr Johnson has pleaded guilty to some sexual activity but so far is refusing to admit to that final act, for, if found guilty, he’ll receive a custodial rather than suspended sentence.
While in no way trying to defend the footballer’s intemperate behaviour, one still detects some unfairness there.
On the one hand, our educational system is geared towards depriving children of any child-like innocence. The young lady was probably taught the mechanics of such acts in the classroom – and was encouraged, implicitly at least, to put her theoretical knowledge into practice years before she met Mr Johnson.
Yet on the other hand the law takes a dim view of a man taking the girl’s training to the next stage. Why? Surely, if children are taught to express their sexuality and instructed in the mechanics of sex, they’d be better off getting on the job training with an experienced adult rather than another bungling child?
It seems to me that morality and law are doing a Euclid by acting as parallel lines that never converge. First we bring up children to become rather feral adults when they still ought to be playing with dolls or train sets. Then we punish those who treat them as adults.
Law and education may belong to different government departments, but they are parts of the same ethos. Obviously not all children reared within this ethos copulate with footballers in their Range Rovers, and certainly very few butcher helpless victims for fun.
Yet one can observe a tendency here, an escalation of barbarism. If, say, 50 years ago mass murder was a rare event in the US, these days hardly a month goes by without some youngster shooting up a crowd. Rape and other sex crimes adorn the front pages of British papers every day. And children acting in a very grown-up fashion are never out of the news.
The same book that tells us to suffer little children also says that “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”. We’ve sown, ladies and gentlemen. Now it’s harvest time.