Home alone: 4

Children are bastards. Cold, menacing, manipulative, useless bastards. If I ever have children I’ll name them ‘Illegitimate’ and ‘Mistake’. You may think that I’m joking, but I am being absolutely serious. They are parasites in the womb and vermin when they’re born. They have no respect for anything except the latest Tellytubby rip-off, they are incapable of being respectful, they are dirty, grotty little things and their very existence means that the world judges you, the parent, through their utterly irresponsible actions. Putting all this aside, I sat down with my housemates to watch Boys and Girls Alone, a program that plonks ten boys and ten girls in the middle of the countryside and waits to see what happens or who survives.

The outcome is, of course, inevitable. They all act like vermin, they all try to tear each other to pieces and they all lack any discernible sign of civilisation. They eat cold Pot Noodles because they can’t work the kettle, they paint their rooms with love hearts, they have water fights and cry incessantly. I didn’t actually need the Channel 4 program to show me any of this. Perhaps it was slightly sadistic of me to tune in, but I was curious to see how Channel 4 could justify showing twenty 8- to 11-year-old children fighting for ‘survival’ – as they put it – whilst their parents look on from the sidelines muttering about how their children need to learn how to stand on their own two feet.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I always thought that if a human decides to massage their ego to the degree that they think that they can successfully rear another human being, it must surely be their responsibility to show that human being how to work an oven. Yet they were almost all shocked when not one of the boys understood basic culinary skills. Earth to parents: children are born with two hands and two feet but sadly not with the latest Gordon Ramsay cookbook installed in their brains. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you forty future guests for Jeremy Kyle to chastise for not taking responsibility for their children. It is, evidently, a wise move for the parents to hand the care of their children over to the eminently caring Channel 4, once home to Bum Fights. Television, after all, had probably brought up their children in one way or another- why not give it complete control?

Perhaps it is this lack of a sensitive, human upbringing that makes these brats particularly intolerable. From the girl who pronounces ‘ask’ as ‘aks’, refuses to feed the eight year old girls and bullies the ginger girl something rotten (“girls will be girls,” titter the parents of both parties on the sidelines), to the boys who chase chickens around the house and threaten each other with rakes, Boys and Girls Alone has achieved only one thing. Although it is an unsuccessful ‘social experiment’ it is the strongest form of contraceptive around. Bravo, Channel 4.

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