Neben dem Kassenschlager des neuen Barbie Films lebt ein anderer Mythos der Mädchenjahre weiter. Die in der Nähe von Zurich im Kanton Graubünden gebürtige Schriftstellerin Johanna Spyri hatte zwei Bücher mit Kindergeschichten im 19. Jahrhundert mit Namen Heidi verfasst. Dieser Ausgangspunkt bot zahlreichen Verfilmungen eine verwertbare Basis. Die Geschichten der kleinen Heidi wurden überraschenderweise von Filmstudios in Japan zu dem Welterfolg 1974 im Animé Format geschaffen.

Computer Animationen sind nichts Neues, und statt aus Japan kommen viele nun auch aus Südkorea. Outsourcing zur Gewinnmaximierung war schon immer ein verlässliche, gewinnorientierte Produktionsmöglichkeit. Lediglich für so etwas wie Kulturgüter glaubten wir, wäre das nicht so einfach. Filmrechte werden gehandelt wie andere Waren. Hohe Einschaltquoten werden uns noch mehr Heidis und Barbies im Filmformat bringen. Das werden wir aushalten müssen.


Youth has a right to personal development. Nature is full of visual examples of the uneasy process of personal development. The Swan needs to find the right time to get rid of the feathers that protected it during the process of growing-up. Seasonal patterns of changing clothes are also widely spread. These transistions might constitute real transformations as well. Parents usually accompany their upsprings during this process, without equal distribution of responsibilities for most animals. Pedagogic approaches to personal development are a vast area of research and popular advice. To the best of my knowledge, the process works out fine with the highest amount of freedom left to the person growing up. A tricky role of guidance or coaching is left to parents, single or jointly. Not intervening too much, not too much of laissez-faire is calling to find the right balance.
The challenge to most research and practice in the field of learning is the largely underestimated role of peers in the process of growing up. Parents tend to monitor rather critically the intrusion of outsiders into the parent-child relationship. Yet, the preparation for socialising with others is one of the most important elements of growing up in the 21th century. Communities have globalised even in tiny social, local settings. Guidance more than interference is called for. Being anxious is part of the job description for becoming and being a parent. However, anxiety is a major impedement for personal as well as social development. “Keep calm and carry on” is not too bad as a guiding principle.

Triangle without words

There are many forms of triangles. Jacques Pain (2000, pp.121-136) adds another one. “Jeunes, banlieue, école : le triangle sans parole” (Youth, suburb, school : the triangle without voice). He calls it a symbolic, sensitive triangle which is confronted with mounting difficulties from inside as well as external pressure. Pain describes and analyses the violence that emanates from the triangle.
Additionally, the triangle appears to be spiralling upwards causing mounting pressure on the social fabric of whole societies. Education systems have to deliver sufficient numbers of youth ready for insertion into the labour market, ready to accept the subordination to hierarchical structures while at the same time being confronted with high social contributions to other parts of society and unrepairable environmental damage and depletion of resources by older generations. With high interest rates even the middle-class dream of a house with garden is out of reach for almost all of the young growing up in suburbs, disadvantaged schools with pervasive violence. Dealing drugs or taking drugs has become pervasive and an entry port into the violence of law in addition to the violence of the street, school or even home.
Give the triangle a voice. Call the names of the victims so that politicians do not forget all too quickly what is their duty to guarantee – a youth free of violence and a youth with an equal chance for learning. Free from violence, but free to learn or be given a chance to find your way into society at large not only restrained to your suburb.
Reference to the historic riots of the mid-1960s (Saul Bernstein, 1967, p. 27) and the recent Paris riot statistics from July 2023 suggest that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it seems to rhyme. A breaking of the silent triangle is like an eruption of a volcano. Violence is all over the place and leaves a lot of burned land and people. Cohort effects might prolong the suffering further throughout their life courses. Stigmatisation is likely reinforced rather than overcome. For the so-called holy trinity there were many words and songs. The modern triangle within society is still in search of the right wording, although rap-music is shouting loud about “la misère du monde”, only we are not really listening.

Police Violence

As a test of the viability of ChatGPT you might enter Police Violence. What you get in return is just a summary of some nice newspaper-ike editorial of a polite statement that this is a problem about everywhere and that the division of power will take care of it eventually. This is an unfair summary, but it highlights the risk of too many conservative editorialists in Europe that do not dare to take sides of the innocent youth that is at a permanent risk of police violence due them living on the margins of our modern, fast-moving societies that do not allow for lifestyles off-the-normal “protestant work ethic”.
Perceptions of what is fun and what is serious differ within societies, particularly between generations. Baby boomers have known and many experienced unemployment. Youth today has “precarious jobs” just around the corner. But just having “any” job without any career potential or,  at best, on the minimum wage is no longer enough. Social media show that there is much more to life than just a 8-5 normal job. High-streets are full of marketing tricks that solicit people into spending without cross-checking their red lines.
Police and the flourishing private security sector are then charged to ensure that boundaries of financial and spending power are respected. This is exactly where the capitalist market economy fails the people. Without a tough police, ensuring property rights, the system cannot survive. Social market economies claim to soften the borders between have-nots and have-too-much. This needs permanent readjustment. That is where many of our social market economies have failed the poor and even middle-class people threatened with economic and status decline (latest at time of retirement).
Reactions may turn out violent, and again, the police is sent in to “stop” violence. As it turns out police, being abused as “political weapon”, may then become overly violent as well. Not as an overall force, but specific units or just several individual persons who have been trained in anti-terror exercises and have “a license to kill” (007). French legislation has recently facilitated the use of guns to impose the monopoly of power. The probability of who constitutes a potential target might be interpreted by the police itself. A threatening situation is perceived differently by different persons. Too much room for interpretation.
The image of the French superpower that is threatened by a 17-year-old youngster is not credible. It is time to sharpen the control of the police also in France. ChatGPT only on special addition includes the social movement of “Black lives matter” in the return on police violence. If you know the topic you can make use of the AI tools in drafting on police violence for example. Rather than to spend billions on fancy Olympic Games in preparation for Paris 2024, youth programmes would be much better investments in the medium and long run.
Tourists cancel visits to Paris and France in masses already. That is probably the only lesson that receives sufficient attention in the current government and may lead to better control of violence not from some pick-pockets, but from the police as well.



Der kurze Titel „Avers“ der Sammlung von Novellen des Autors J.M.G.Le Clézio lässt keine Wundergeschichten erwarten. Der kleingedruckte Untertitel „Des nouvelles des indésiables“ noch weniger. Dennoch, aus der Sammlung von Kurzgeschichten werden die kleinen Heldinnen und Helden des Überlebens in unserer komplexen Welt vorgestellt. Mal mit, oft ohne „Happy End“ werden Kinderschicksale erzählt, die uns nachhaltig berühren. Schule ist für die kleinen Helden ein Fremdwort. Der tägliche Überlebenskampf für Nahrung, Gefahr von Kinderarbeit, einfach in Ruhe gelassen werden oder dem Krieg zu entkommen, steht im Vordergrund. Fluchtwege wäre für mich ein möglicher Titel einer deutschen Übersetzung. Flucht vor Missbrauch und die Brutalität des Alltags in Kriegsgebieten sollten uns sensibilisieren für „la Misère du Monde“.
Die unerwünschten Novellen von Le Clézio kommen auf leisen Sohlen oder eher barfuß daher. Sie lassen uns die ständige Herausforderung der Humanität spüren. Menschen, Kindern, Menschenwürde ermöglichen, ist nach wie vor eine riesige Aufgabe. Der Ansatz an konkreten Schicksalen aufzuzeigen, wie wenig es oft braucht, damit Kinder eine faire Chance bekommen, muss uns aufhorchen lassen. Obdachlose werden bei Le Clézio zu „fantômes dans la rue“. Wir ignorieren ihre Präsenz allzu gerne.
Nach 60 Jahren Heinrich Böll „Ansichten eines Clowns“ rütteln uns die Novellen von Le Clézio wieder wach. Wirkliche Humanität braucht uns alle und das ständig, nicht nur sonntags. Aversionen ablegen und sich dem Unerwünschten zuwenden, das fordert den ganzen Menschen. Überforderung gilt nicht als Gegenargument. Wir sind viele, helfen wir. (Image: Extrait, Atelier Albrecht Dürer um 1500).