Saturday, April 08, 2006

The case of the missing daemons!

Brew of the day: Cinnamon and Cardamom (again!)

God love Cinnamon! ‘Twas made for me and meeeeeeeeeeee alone…
Spicey girl that I am (read into that what you will)… I use that spice a lot, especially in my breakfast smoothie.

I also love grinding whole Cardamom in my mortar and pestle ~ it is an almost erotic scent ~ sweet and darn sexy ~ and brings out the White Witch in me as I play in my teeny, tiny bright yellow kitchen. Cardamom is right up there with Cumin in the must-haves on my spice shelf. (Cumin is an intensely divine and earthy smell which reminds me of a deliciously smelling man, er, that’d be my dh lest there be any confusion!) How can I concentrate on writing now? Sheesh….Never too early in the day for such thoughts I don’t suppose.

Killing our children with Coca cola, cell phones and e numbers

The ‘LOWLIGHT’ of this week was Thursday when I took Bethany to Kendal in the Lake District to audition for the coveted part of Lyra in the motion picture The Golden Compass (Northern Lights, from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy).

Along with more than 2000 other 9 – 12 year old girls we stood in the cold rain for four hours under a vast ceiling of umbrellas. Agggh. Motherly love gone wrong, I tell you. However, there was clearly something I needed to witness that day and it has really shaken me.

For those who don’t know the story, Lyra lives in a parallel universe where humans have daemons (an animal guide that changes form and decides on its final animal shape about the time its’ human hits puberty). Without a daemon, the person would die or be ‘missing its soul’. There, but not quite there. The crux of the story is about secret experiments on children where their daemon is ‘cut away’.

One of the reasons I thought Bethany might stand a chance going for the part (besides her Drama Queen skills) was because the casting directors were looking for a girl who wasn’t immersed in the 21st century. Given my child doesn’t have coca cola, a cell (mobile) phone, e numbers or watch tv or play computer games, I thought she had the potential to fit the bill. Heck, she doesn’t even know who the Spice Girls are.

(Award winning independent production company Twenty Twenty Television are making a programme called History of Childhood ~ an experiment which takes kids back in time, so to speak, so they get to experience the childhood their parents had. Wow ~ the possibilities in this ‘could’ be great. Imagine, a world without mobiles, emails, junk food on tap, computers ~ a childhood of SLOW TIME…

Instead, with luck, these kids will read, play board games, climb trees, make mud pies, socialise and have eye contact, build dens, play cricket. And they might even have mums who think it is worth being with their kids while they grow up. This is almost worth getting a tv for!)

Meanwhile, back at the audition line up ~ standing for all those hours, and watching these Lyra hopefuls, brought home to me very harshly why I so much want to live the life of a hermit (apart from family and a few close and treasured friends, of course). Most of these girls were spending their time texting or chatting on their mobile phones (to the horror of Bethany and Eliza who thought it ironic that those girls WERE immersed in 21st century habits) or drinking coca cola/coffee or getting ridiculously crazy on e numbers (it was nauseating watching what parents let their kids ‘eat’).

Not surprisingly, it went through my mind several times that most of these children will have been raised on artificial milk. Did you know that the UK government spends 14p per baby promoting breastfeeding whilst formula milk manufacturers spend around £20 per baby on their marketing? As a culture we should be absolutely appalled and ashamed. According to a feature article in this month’s Ecologist magazine, the infant formula industry makes $450 for every baby not breastfed for the first six months of its life.

I *KNOW* I’m labelled one of those weird parents who deny their children the great pleasures of life (like coke), but to be frank, I really have to wonder how conscious the average parent on the street truly is, despite living in an information age. Fortunately, my kids aren’t remotely tempted by Coke. And if that makes ME weird, then FABULOUS!!

Coca Cola is pure poison. Long promoted as the REAL THING, it is used in many highway patrol vehicles to remove blood from the road after a car accident.

You can put a t-bone steak in a bowl of coke and it will be GONE in two days.
If you pour a can in the toilet, the REAL THING will clean your loo within two hours. You can use coke to remove the stains from vitreous china.
Got rust on your chrome car bumper? Coke! Pour coca cola on your eroded car battery. Or use it to loosen a rusty bolt. It removes grease from clothes.

The active ingredient in coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in four days. To carry coca cola syrup a commercial truck must use the Hazardous Material place cards reserved for highly corrosive materials. The distributors of coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for 20 years. And parents let their children drink this? Some years ago The Mirror portrayed my family as freaks with a headline that our kids had never drunk coke. How tragic that protecting my kids from this ‘drink’ is considered questionable.

What will it take for parents to wake up and stop poisoning their children? It strikes me as not only ignorant but incredibly selfish to raise children on this stuff. We’re NOT doing our kids any favours by being part of this cultural insanity.

Poison, of course, takes many forms. At the risk of sounding judgemental (which is easy to do in black and white when you’re so passionate about something, such as children’s health and well-being) most of the girls at the audition looked like their ‘daemon’ (soul) was missing. Apart from a few exceptions, the children were not exhibiting the ‘light’ I would expect in the eyes of a child. I found this deeply disturbing!! However, if this is what most mainstream children look like now, then this is what will be considered *normal*. And as we all know, at least here in Britain, normal for some strange reason means ‘natural’. This lack of ‘light’ had nothing to do with standing for all those hours in the rain ~ kids are quite capable of creating magic and mischief even in confined spaces.

What killed the light in those children’s eyes? Coke, constant exposure to cathode rays from tv or computers? Are their brain cells being eroded by mobile phones which radiate their brain each time they speak? Did their brain not have the chance to develop properly because it was fed artificial/fake milk rather than what they were biologically programmed to expect (breastmilk)? Or are they simply not used to having communication with a ‘live’ human being? Were they raised by substitute care givers or modern technology instead? Did they not discover the pleasure of eye contact and soul to soul smiling?

A friend of mine reckons the whole world is just one big lunatic asylum. I can’t help agreeing with her. Because everyone else is doing and imitating acts of lunacy, no one can see the madness of it all. Instead they point their ‘crazy’ fingers at people who aren’t swept into the hypnotising insult of current culture and call US mad.

Get me out of here is all I can say…Just don’t cut away the souls of my children. I live for the light in their eyes.


baker st jones said...

how did the audition go?


Carla said...

I feel the same way as you, Veronika, in my desire to become (almost) a hermit in order to pull sufficiently away from the crazy world of excessive and outrageous consumerism, mobile phones, fake food, fashion, and - most worryingly - horrendously cruel child-rearing practices that people have accepted as the norm. Your weekly blog entries are a source of great comfort and inspiration to me. Thank you so much!