What was your dream when you were a child? Did you have a dream? I wanted to be an archaeologist, but before that I wanted to be a journalist. I dreamt of a lovely little museum at the seaside which I could curate (whilst reading books). I’d have a country cottage by the sea with lots of pets and 2 children. Life isn’t all that you want it to be really is it?
Reading Jamie Oliver’s points about people in poverty and their food consumption I couldn’t help but think how detached he is from the real world. Does he really think that people want to live like that? They want to feed their kids chips and cheese out of Styrofoam? In any case, perhaps what he observed was a one off episode, I mean, to me that sounds like quite a nice Friday night treat (not the Styrofoam, but the chips and cheese; reminds me of a real Sunderland treat). Perhaps its a level of ignorance about food. Not everyone knows how to cook. After all, Jamie himself is often on TV advertising Sainsbury ready meals is he not? I don’t think anyone in these situations is living their dream, life and circumstances have got in their way. It really isn’t helpful to make these sorts of analogies.
I read an article in the paper the other day (I forget which one or I’d link to it) which was talking about the increasing number of television programmer which focus on helping people in poverty or pointing out where they are going wrong. I don’t watch much TV so I hadn’t really noticed this treat, but it does seem to be the latest middle class bugbear. Lets all ridicule the poor, they all eat rubbish, beat their kids and fail in education. Entrepreneurs can do better, lets all be like Alan Sugar. Its the 1980’s all over again. Jamie is stepping onto this band wagon.
One of the things I’ve noticed is that these days children are not encouraged to have aspirations and dreams at school. Yes, they can all ‘achieve’ but they aren’t taught to think that they might actually like to be prime-minister, travel the world or be a vet. I clearly remember talks by different professionals at primary school. Early careers advice yes, but it made me think about my place in the world in a different way to children are today. I was also encouraged to dream and write my thoughts down in creative stories, rather than the structured almost scripted stories which my eldest child appears to write at school. Has this change made a difference? Is it the same in all schools? I don’t know.
Reports and research suggests that more people than ever are taking anti-depressants. This does not surprise me at all, circumstances are getting worse economically. Culture isn’t being funded as much as it should be, sport funding is talked about a lot but doesn’t necessarily translate to the people that really need it. What is there for people living on benefits to actually live for? Oh, yes, they could go to the library and rent out a DVD. They wont be able to loan a book on the history of costume that’s for sure. The Victorians knew the value of culture, sport, dreaming, a fairer society and an interest in our environment. It took over a hundred years for these values translate into something and then the country was plunged into war which incidentally gave women more rights than ever before as they had to take on men’s work.
Nowadays we have a country run by a few millionaires who take their cues on policy from a few high profile media millionaires like Jamie Oliver. They are all living their dreams. The majority of people aren’t. Lets not criticise peoples choice of food or the way they live. Lets be positive and encourage young people to blossom, not to aspire to be rich, but to be happy and live fulfilling lives. Lets not champion celebrity. Lets try to celebrate local shops, but not those expensive ones, reasonable priced small local supermarkets within communities. If people had access to them then they would probably eat better. Lets campaign for a change to communities and for more money to local government instead of foreign wars. Lets encourage everyone to live their dream.