Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Perpetual Adolescence?

In the 1990s, most people who played video games were teenagers. Now the average gamester age is nearly 30. Cultural products aimed at tots and preteens capture the attention of adults. "SpongeBob SquarePants," intended for the 6-to-11 age group, draws almost 19 million viewers from the 18-to-49 crowd. Some famous museums, uncomfortable with their adult role as guardians of historical memory, have gone adolescent, staging exhibits on motorcycles, hip-hop and "Star Wars" movies. Many college courses, even on major campuses, make rainy-day activities at summer camp seem profound.

Such examples of America's descent into perpetual adolescence populate Diana West's provocative "The Death of the Grown-Up." Ms. West, a columnist for the Washington Times, argues that the country is suffering a case of arrested development, with teen tastes and desires eclipsing traditional adult conduct and values. A good deal of evidence supports her. An obsession with play and self-expression and a resistance to limits--conventional hallmarks of adolescence--are increasingly strong "adult" themes too.

Read the rest of
John Leo's essay here.

Update: Eclecticity suggests a link.

1 comment:

Eclecticity said...

In my last post - Perpetual child, Joybubbles! D.