There was a time when I would have been filled with self-righteous indignation at the antics of the teenage girl in Magaluf with those 24 men of not long acquaintance. These days I merely sigh and roll my eyes. One becomes inured to stupidity and mindlessness as if they are expected. The real shocker would be a sensible person who behaves with grace and is elegant in their manner and dress. Now that the sun is shining I am quite amazed that everyone is dressing as if they are heading tot the beach. The British don't do slacks and a crisp shirt. They do rumpled knee length shorts and a manky t-shirt, the look completed with grotty trainers. A shaved head and unsmiling face and voilà, ladies, the man you're suppose to fall madly in love with. Don't get me started on the women- a sleeveless dress so short that it reveals the buttocks and plunging neckline to the navel. And every one of those women is pushing a pram. No surprises there.
The authorities in Magaluf are shocked, shocked, so shocked that they would find it hard to believe that gambling goes on in a casino. Young men and women experiment with sex (that's a normal rite of passage for most). The drugs, the pack-mentality of the young men who all took their trousers off to accommodate the young 'lady', the excess of everything including an absence of foresight - after all, the video has gone viral and employers will be rushing to hire that girl- in the porn industry, that is. The parents will be 'disappointed' as they reach for the remote control. The government will no doubt step in with more vacuous pronouncements but ultimately that girl and those boys knew exactly what they are doing and their type is prevalent in every square inch of modern Britain.
Manners, a brain that does a bit of mental gymnastics occasionally and doesn't just absorb what comes out of a TV, a grace in spirit, an understanding of how to behave and not like a Tarzan. There is no excuse for it. It's not dyslexia, peanut allergy, the wrong friends, Attention- bloody-deficit-disorder, depression, anorexia, bulimia or any of the other excuses we hear ad nauseum. It's the person, stupid. It's the individual who has willingly chosen to behave like an arse in public. A gay friend recently confessed to me that he takes drugs, meets men online, has rampant sex with these strangers, suffers terrible lows the next day while nursing the most awful hangover and crash after binging on hard drugs. "We all have addictive personalities in my family," he wails. Total, unadulterated rubbish. If you believe that you are probably conversing with the tooth fairy over breakfast every day and consulting the oracle on what to wear. It's a bit like not knowing sex can get you pregnant. The bleeding obvious is staring the person in the face but they choose to ignore it.
Where did it go wrong in our society? A primary school teacher recently explained that the curriculum in primary schools is about showing three year olds drawings of a smiley face and a sad face. When I was four years old I was swinging form the jungle gym like a monkey and playing with plasticine not to mention soaking potatoes in paint. Why do young children need to be shown drawings, which is sinister in my view - subliminal conditioning. From a young age it seems that the process of thought is not being developed in a way that will ensure these children turn into adults who can make reasoned, rational, informed choices.
The other day as I was setting off for my walk with the hound, a young girl walked past my house dressed in her school uniform and covered in blood. I went over to assist her and she collapsed in tears. She had tripped and bashed her face on the pavement. I asked to call her mother and the girl handed me her mobile phone. The mother was apoplectic with rage and told me to leave the girl alone and let her continue walking to school. I explained that the girl had complained of being dizzy and should be collected by the mother or I would call an ambulance. The mother refused to give me her name, and proceeded to rage at the girl who kept pleading with the mother to 'please don't shout at me, it wasn't my fault I fell.' Ultimately I called the school and they promised to send a teacher to collect the girl. That story is an example of where people are at in their heads - the teacher has to take responsibility, not the parent. The teacher has to toilet train the child, not the parent. The parent has almost absolved itself of responsibility. I overheard a comment once that went like this: 'People have kids when they're drunk but they wouldn't choose wallpaper in that state.'
I blame the parents. I blame big business for cashing in on the rank stupidity that passes for humanity. The mother who can't be bothered to cook and feeds her child ready-made, processed food that is cheap and gives the sensation of 'bellyfull' but is the culprit of so many of modern diseases. I blame the death of the class system. Now everyone feels entitled to have whatever they want. Of course one could argue that not having a class system is a good thing. That's true if there is a sense of national identity which citizens take great pride in. Nowadays the average British kid doesn't really see themselves as British and would struggle to tell St. George from Dieu et mon droit. What better example do you need than the low turnout at every election?
So back to Magaluf: Will and understanding. Choice. Whatever they mean.