I took the above photo in a branch of Claire's Accessories last week. [Bless Claire's for the service it provides to tweenies and teenagers everywhere. All their favourite tat under one convenient roof. And at twice the price of the nearby market stalls.]
The picture shows the cover of a notebook but there was a whole range of stationery and accessories bearing the same slogan. And I was terribly struck by the juxtaposition of this marketing with the likely future facing the shop's target market.
British children are going to lose their rights as European citizens. They may still Dress Italian but it will cost more to buy the stuff or to visit Italy. To say nothing of the passport queue when they reach their destination, while the rest of Europe streams through to claim their baggage and hire their cars.
Speak French? Well, my son has to choose GCSE options shortly. I am encouraging the taking of a language but I begin to wonder whether Chinese or Russian might not be of more use - not that our school can offer either. None of our children will have an automatic right to work in France, holidays there will be more expensive and if our government is to be believed (hhhmm), we will be striking deals with India, China, anywhere but Europe.
And Dream American? They have spent their childhoods bombarded with American TV programmes and You Tube 'stars'. But now they are being daily faced with Trump and all he has brought (!) to the world. They see and hear the news. (Real news, incidentally.) My children also saw the downside of the American Dream in California last year. Streets and streets of homeless people living in tents in San Diego. The already tight security at the Tijuana Mexican-American border. The sleazier side of LA. And that was before Trump even took over.
So what should we be telling our children? How should this marketing look, if we really have to have these sorts of slogans for children to aspire to?
Dress How You Like
Because It Is No-One Else's Business and You Don't Need to Look the Same as Everyone Else.
Speak Up For People Who Cannot Speak For Themselves
And Speak Kindly to Everyone
Dream Of A World Where Democracy Actually Works
And Where Everyone has An Equal Share of Our Planet's Resources
Not exactly catchy but far more realistic, don't you think? I will be contacting Claire's forthwith...
[P.S. I find that more and more I am blogging about current and possible future events. I do still very much work on genealogy and family history. However, I feel very strongly that our descendants' futures are now in the balance in a way which we have not seen for decades. And sacrifices made by our ancestors are going to be torn up if we are not careful.]