Archbishop Rowan Williams was reflecting in today's media on the curtailing of childhood and the transformation of children into mini-adults. He mentioned as causes the pressure of school testing and the commercial assault from the purveyors of junk food and junk material possessions. He spoke of the increase of depression and mental illness among our children.
What he didn't talk about was the constant dread of global warming and the anxiety around terrorism. The media he was using to surmonise even today terrorised my children with suicide bombing (the 6 year old) and sex crimes (the 9 year old). That might have something to do with a widespread sense of depression and fear.
It reminds me of the Woody Allen film (Take the Money and Run, I think) when the kid discovers the universe is constantly expanding towards eventual anihilation and decides there's no point doing his homework. Except there's nothing funny about today's situation.