I'm sure I'm not the only person who today received an email petition containing several attached images, forwarded by a myriad of levels of people spamming (sorry, utilising) their complete addressbooks.
Most of these earnest guardians of public decency said "apparently these images are very graphic, so terrible that I haven't dared look at them myself" or words to that effect.
Well I haven't looked at them either, but I want to ask whether people who were truly concerned about public standards should be freely circulating such material sight unseen.
Would they give their children books without looking between the covers?
Feed them potentially toxic sweets without checking them out first?
Yes I'm against child abuse. This email qualifies as potential child abuse too.
Those emails are annoying, but I feel more kindly disposed to well-meaning people who just want to do something, however unproductive, than I do towards the self-promotion artistes who are no doubt waiting for the next outrage to give momentum to another round of press releases.
You are aware that most contemporary research on child development says that children growing up exposed only to their parents and a small circle of their friends children is significantly less developmentally healthy than kids who spend time in creches and preschool, right?
And as a teacher in the early childhood sector, obviously I am aware of that research, as I am of all research in this area. I should have specified - babies who are in childcare centres all day, every day. Not a major point in this particular discussion about child abuse.
Even if there wasn't research around it, I think it would be obvious to anyone who's spent a non-trivial amount of time looking after kids to grasp that even one kid can easily burn through the energy available to an adult tethered to the hearth.
Once again, obviously, as a teacher of 90 people under the age of five, everyday, you won't be getting any argument about that from me.
Check out our big ups from Autism Diva. Stoked.
Just catching up on yesterday's Herald this morning, only to find these gems from the purveyors of 12:12:
Christine Rankin:"We're hoping it does (have an impact). If it doesn't, then New Zealand is lost."
Check it: if my PR stunt fails, it means _New Zealand is lost.
Thank you, Mrs Jellaby, for my morning comedy.
Then we have Bob McCoskrie on his "vigil" outside the Starship:
"If (the vigil) changes people's thoughts from "Who's going to solve the problem?" to "How am I going to solve the problem?" then that could be the tipping point."
Ah, the "tipping point." A piece of jargon broken off of complexity theory that, through the miracle of marketing speak, invests the trivial and ineffectual act with the mysterious potential for unleashing mighty social change. Or...not!
Well, I suppose we should be grateful that, in New Zealand, tourturing and killing kids in the name of discipline is a hobby for amateurs, despite efforts to reintroduce it in schools; in other places it's more of a professional industry.
Angellika Arndt was just 7 years old when she died at Rice Lake Day Treatment Center in Wisconsin.
In just one month, staff members at the facility had restrained Angellika at least 9 times.
On the day she died, Angellika was placed in a face-down "control hold" for blowing bubbles with her milk.
I'll be over in the corner, having a cry.