As the latest craze sweeps the nation’s schools we watch carefully, writes Colm O’Regan. Apparently they’re called Fidget Spinners but the name’s not important.
They might as well be called Dibble Dobbles or Squelch Squerches because when they’re gone, another craze will be along.
In this age of conspiracy, it’s easy to assume these crazes are introduced into the population every so often just to keep us distracted while some other basic human right is infringed upon by the Republican party in cahoots with Putin.
When the remaining fidget spinners are found dumped next to a mattress and a box of cans at a civic amenity, we’ll wake up to find that we’ve been taken off the electoral register.
We must have been getting close to finding something out. Or maybe it’s just someone came up with a good idea and it took off. Believe what you want, Sheeple.
We’re below school-going age so we don’t have to worry about them yet. We look out at the fidget spinner fad like members of a demographic who are not being targeted by an authoritarian government. Yet. We’re safe for now but they’ll come for us eventually.
When a child is pre-compulsory school, it’s hard work doing all the minding but you do have a certain degree of freedom and control before you are sucked into ‘the system’.
Looking into the future seems like looking ahead to a narrow gulch through which we must pass and gathered on both sides of that are a load of vested interests ready to take aim.
Still though, be great to get them out from under our feet eh?
We’re immune to Fidget Spinners but still targetable by screens.
We try to keep screen-time to a minimum, partly because we are terrified we’ll turn her into a 30 stone five-year-old walled off in her bedroom playing shoot-em online computer games against similarly marooned South Koreans. But also partly because it’s a fun sentence to drop into conversation with other parents.
Try it. They’ll love it. Just say it, bite into an avocado-based hors d’oeuvre, and walk away.
When she gets to watch, it’s mainly In the Night Garden the delightful show narrated by eminent Shakespearian actor Derek Jacobi. It’s so surreal it makes Teletubbies look like The Week In Politics.
For every one of those good programmes though, there are glimpses on telly of other stuff. Like Paw Patrol. Watching a toddler see Paw Patrol for the first time is like watching an Uncontacted tribesman drink its first pint. You know nothing’s ever going to be the same again. And there may need to be in intervention.
Not to put too fine a point on it, Paw Patrol is shite.
I know I am looking at it as an adult and it’s not meant for me, but placing myself in her tiny My First Shoes, I can’t see, apart from the lurid sugary colours, what there is at stake in it. There’s no tension, no fear, no danger, no villain — the stuff that children love.
Someone gets into a tiny sticky situation. The dogs are all equipped with every conceivable piece of machinery required to fix it. You don’t learn any of the lessons that we learned from our cartoons.
You don’t learn about the futility of existence like in Wile Coyote, or the possibility of turning yourself into a piano like in the Plonksters. I’m worried she’ll learn nothing from telly.
It’s enough to make you turn to Fidget Spinners to relieve the stress.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved