Thursday, May 19, 2005

Peter pandemonium: the retreat to childhood; it's cool to be juvenile

Here are some excellent surveys of a culture pandering to adults' refusal to grow up. Wise growth towards child-likeness abandoned in favour of childish regression.

"Our society is full of lost boys and girls hanging out at the edge of adulthood. Yet we find it difficult even to give them a name. The absence of a readily recognised word to describe these infantilised adults demonstrates the unease with which this phenomenon is greeted. Advertisers and toy manufacturers have invented the term 'kidult' to describe this segment of the market. Another word sometimes used to describe these 20- to 35-year-olds is 'adultescent', generally defined as someone who refuses to settle down and make commitments, and who would rather go on partying into middle age.

"It is important not to confuse adultescents with those referred to as 'middle youth'. Middle youths are a generation ahead of adultescents. They are 35- to 45-year-olds who regard themselves as being at the cutting edge of youth culture; they are going through a phase known as 'middlescence' - a state of mind that fiercely resists the usual trappings of encroaching middle age."

Michael Jackson trial: nobody's innocent
Outside the Californian court, we're witnessing a show trial of the most sordid aspects of contemporary culture.

The children who won't grow up
Peter Pan-demonium, kidults, boomerang kids.... A sociologist examines the phenomenon of lost boys and girls hanging out on the edge of adulthood.

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