Friday, 30 August 2013

Punching a Zombie Pig

A few weeks ago, while in a supermarket, my son asked me: "Would you punch a pig?" I then asked: "Why would I want to?" and he replied: "Coz he was attacking you."

As I was on automatic pilot, busy with my weekly shop and engrossed in choosing which brand of washing detergent to buy, I instantly said: "Only if it was a zombie pig."

Somewhere at the back of my mind this would make it alright and supermarkets always lull me into some kind of stupor anyway. I then had a battle on my hands, to get my wobbly trolley through a group of people just idly standing around and chatting in the middle of an aisle.

My son went a step further. "But Zombies don't stop and keep coming at you so you'd have to keep punching it."  We got some strange looks at this point but again, I had an answer: "Zombies always walk really slow so there's no problem." Then, for some reason the thought grabbed me: "The best thing to do would be to guide it to a treadmill and then you'd be safe to punch it any time you pleased." (This isn't my everyday sort of supermarket conversation and I feel sorry for people who are not tried and tested by teens who thrive on that sort of stuff).

Having just returned from an interesting but exhausting vacation, separated by time and distance from the big bad world, media, routines and everyday concerns, I was surprised at how negative and downright depressing Press, TV and Internet news is. Sensationalism sells, wise cracks have reached all-time dangerous levels and everyone is an expert. It struck me that people are gradually being de-sensitised to a general shift in collective perspective. Statistics say crime is down but yet acts of violence and terror are commonplace.

I had to look hard for a light this week; a flicker of good news, inspiration, illumination to the end of my summer. I was worried that, as an adult, I could soak up all the negativity being shoved in our faces but how does it affect kids, teens who flick through the Internet, YouTube, respond to the hundreds of mobile shares they and their friends ping to each other by phone?


It was then that I remembered the Zombie Pig on his treadmill and how my son's initial question had been a bolt from the blue. It's too easy to make sweeping statements and worry unnecessarily where all worldly bad vibes are taking us to. As long as we have a moment of madness, the understanding that kids these days do have more social pressures because of the way people's perspective has changed and that they rise above it often through the genius of imagination, then I doubt we have anything to worry about.
Looking for a light to guide you