NOM BLOG

Mark Steyn: Eternal Adolescence Lacking in Romance

 

Plus, culture trumps economics, he says in this Orange County Register op-ed:

[Laura Ingraham in her new bestseller "Of Thee I Zing" ] opens with a lurid account of a recent visit to a north Virginia mall – zombie teens texting, a thirtysomething metrosexual having his eyebrows threaded, a fiftysomething cougar spilling out of her tube top, grade-schoolers in the latest “prostitot” fashions – and then embarks on a lively tour of American cultural levers, from schools to social media to churches to Hollywood. If there is a common theme in the various rubble of cultural ruin, it’s the urge to enter adolescence ever earlier and leave it later and later, if at all. So we have skanky ’tweens “dry humping” at middle-school dances, and an ever greater proportion of “men” in their thirties living at home with their parents.

Adolescence, like retirement, is an invention of the modern age. If the extension of retirement into a multi-decade government-funded vacation is largely a function of increased life expectancy, the prolongation of adolescence seems to derive from the bleak fact that, without an efficient societal conveyor belt to move you on, it appears to be the default setting of huge swathes of humanity. It was striking, during the Hurricane Irene frenzy, to hear the Federal Emergency Management Agency refer to itself repeatedly as “the federal family.” If Big Government is a “family,” with the bureaucracy as its parents, why be surprised that the citizens are content to live as eternal adolescents?