Monday, January 24, 2011

Childish things

Am I the only person who thinks we should all just grow up?

Because it seems to me that we are living in an increasingly infantilised society - just about everything going on in our country today seems to be dominated by childishness.

I don't just mean politics - there has always been a somewhat childish aspect to that for as long as I can remember with their name calling, petty arguments about who said what and so on and so forth. It may seem more childish today because of the amount of coverage it gets and the presence of TV cameras in parliament, but I don't think it's ever really been that different.

No, I mean childishness in wider society. It's apparent in architecture where elegance and grandeur has been replaced with brash flashiness. It's apparent in the names and logos of companies which have chosen to change their names from something solid and grown up - like Norwich Union - to some infantile made up word like Aviva (when I was a kid, Aviva was a car made by Vauxhall).

It's apparent in the liveries of our trains, buses and airlines which have replaced muted, understated, conservative liveries with bright, garish primary colours much beloved of children and then daubed huge slogans all over them. It's apparent in the way we dress with fully grown adult and often middle aged men and women dressing like teenagers (there was a time when the young dressed like little adults - now it's the other way around - the middle aged dress like big kids).

And it's apparent in the way we live our lives with men and women in their thirties still living with their parents and behaving like they were still 18. They drive around in £30,000 motor cars on never ending credit, splash thousands of pounds every year on two or three foreign holidays a year and spend their evenings wasting money in pubs and clubs, online gambling or playing computer games with like minded people all over the world - then they have the effrontery to complain that they can't afford to get on the housing ladder.

Grow up! Stop wasting your money, save a deposit, find someone you love, get married and buy a bloody house of your own!

Of course, it's all too easy to blame our national dependency culture for all this - and I am certain that there is an element of that to the problem of this infantile society. After all, children are dependent - and if they retain that dependency when they become adults then are likely to retain childish elements to their character - but I can't help wondering if our societal desertion of Christianity may have something to do with it as well.

As St. Paul put it in a letter to the Corinthians "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." The fact that we don't do that anymore - instead we cling to our childhood long into adulthood - is perhaps why our society has become increasingly childish.

It's time we all grew up.


Antisthenes said...

When you stop believing in god then that is a sign of growing up just like no longer believing in Santa Claus or fairies at the bottom of the garden is a sign of growing up. However the rest of what you say I agree with.

Larry said...

I agree with everything you said, and I speak as a 31 yr old back living with his father.

I'm actually back at university (because there are no jobs), hoping that when I graduate as a mental health nurse in a couple of years, I will be able to forge a career with some security.

I'm looking for a weekend job right now for some spare cash, and there are zero. Unbelievable, but true. I despair for this country. I used to defend the "baby boomer" generations when they were accused of causing these problems, but, when I look at the evidence, I can understand where their accusers are coming from.

What I've noticed is that employers are looking for everything now - degrees, loads of experience, expert in computers. You send out job apps (lying through your teeth to make yourself sound like the ideal candidate), and, even then, one never receives an invitation to interview, or even a rejection letter.

Larry said...


Funnily enough, I never believed in God as a child and I mocked people who did. Now, as an adult, I find myself more open-minded. I can certainly understand why people would find comfort in believing in a creator of all things. I wish I had that faith.

JuliaM said...

Our society is overtired and overstimulated. It needs to be sent to bed.

English Pensioner said...

Its all part of the Nanny State which doesn't encourage you to grow up - after all it is easier to keep children under control than mature adults. Symptomatic of this are the notices and instructions everywhere leading to the total inability of people to think for themselves (why bother?) and the now rare use of common sense.