Take the Peppa Pig family. I’m very concerned by the laziness of Daddy. Not only does he seem to do little but he lounges around and says he’s worked hard so he must relax. He spends a lot of his life goofing off and mucking up. He falls out of trees and is a general incompetent. He’s a shocking layabout of a role model who should be spending more time sorting out that ghastly cry baby George whom I suspect is crying because he thinks he might end up like his father.
Topsy and Tim have a father who constantly seems to be coming back from work in the middle of the afternoon. The twins and their oh-so-nice parents live in blissful sunshine with never a cross word. Their ambition to “be friends forever” makes ‘Love Actually’ look a rather grim movie in contrast. Their sense of entitlement is affirmed in the words of their theme song
“We can be anything
If we close our eyes and dream.”
“Oh no you can’t!” I want to shout “you have to work really hard to get anywhere at all.” The absence of any work ethic here fills me with despair. I was brought up on a diet of westerns where the relentless mission to succeed was huge. This was Rawhide:-
“Keep movin', movin', movin'
Though they're disapprovin'
Keep them doggies movin', rawhide
Don't try to understand 'em
Just rope, throw an' brand 'em
Soon we'll be livin' high an' wide”
On such stuff were men made and “gals” had their place
“Wishin' my gal was by my side…”
My slightly satirical view of our world has a few serious thoughts underpinning it. We are creating the future by the kind of images we show now and we have a polarised choice between the pastel world of Enid Blyton and the extreme right wing of Breitbart.
We should, of course, show people what a better world looks like but for sure don’t frighten the beejeezus out of them by creating visions of a terror-threat-future but don’t get too soppy either.
I quite like Peppa Pig as it happens. It has a pleasantly good natured set of ethics bar one. Unless Daddy starts working really hard and appearing only briefly - “got to get this website ready it’s really urgent” - the next call he’ll get will be this:-
“Hallo, It’s the Danish Bacon Company. Can you pop by there’s something we want to talk about”
And no Daddy, it’s not a new website they want. Check out the next episode “Daddy Pig brings home the bacon after another hard day’s work.”