The big thing when I was at sixth form was Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting. Like so many books, series and films which I go on to enjoy, my mum read it, liked it and told me I should read it, much to the shock of my friends who think a parent with the same cultural taste as them must be ultra cool.
Perhaps the most famous part of Trainspotting was Renton's 'Choose Life' speech, which was reprinted on posters adorning many students' walls once I got to university.
"Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life."
I think we had it on our walls ironically then. The irony is of course that it's exactly what I've chosen.
FML* as my students might say. Except I like it.
(*Fuck my life)