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October 24, 2006

The Era of Big Babyism

I discovered this thanks to husband-dude. It's from a book called Big Babies by Michael Bywater, and is excerpted for us by the Telegraph UK. It basically discusses what many of us have suspected all along: that modern society is out to infantilize us.

Here is a random sample of what is implicit in the assumptions that are made about all of us: We are unable to control our appetites;

We cannot postpone gratification;

We have little sense of self, and what we do have is deformed;

We have no articulable inner life;

We are pre- or sub-literate;

We are solipsistic;

We do not have the ability to exercise responsible autonomy;

We require constant surveillance and constant admonition;

We are potentially, if not actually, violent;

We have no social sensibilities beyond the tribal;

We have no discrimination.

More:

Infantility, indefinitely prolonged, is also the indefinite prolongation of (false) promise.

It's never too late never too late to stomp, cadaverous, around the stage singing 'Can't get no satisfaction'.

Never too late to cast off the old wife and find a new one. Never too late to make the big killing, to score the goal, to find the perfect shoes, to acquire the perfect six-pack, rack, complexion, butt, pecs or thighs. Never too late (hell, someone must be answering the spam) to get the perfect dick, pumped up with a scoopful of mail-order Viagra; never too late to give her the perfect orgasm, get the perfect house, fill it with the perfect furniture, take the perfect vacation, drive the perfect car

Bywater suggests we act like the adults we purport to be. Here are a few of his suggestions:

Ignore celebrities, except when they are doing what they are celebrated for doing: acting, playing football et cetera. Skill does not confer moral, political or intellectual discrimination. (Except in the case of writers. Writers know everything and can lecture you with impunity.) If a celebrity is not celebrated for doing anything but being a celebrity, smile politely but pay no notice

[...]

Consider our own motivations. We may rail about being treated like children, ordered about, kept from the truth, nannied and exploited but are we complicit in it? Could the reward actually be infantilisation itself?

[...]

Do not love yourself unconditionally. Such love is for babies and comes from their mothers. Ignore fashion, particularly in clothes. You don't want to look like a teenager for ever

Never do business with a company offering 'solutions' as in 'ergonomic furniture solutions which minimise the postural strain associated with sitting' (chairs) and 'Post Office mailing solutions' (brown paper). The word suggests we have a problem, but since we are grown-ups, that is for us to decide.

Denounce relativism at every turn. Shouting 'not fair' is childish. Demanding respect without earning it is childish. Don't fear seriousness. Babies aren't allowed to be serious.

Think about it: New York City is currently proposing a ban on trans fats in restaurant cooking. Al Gore jets around the world while telling the rest of us to ride bikes in order to reverse the global warming he claims is about to end life on Earth as we know it. Celebrities, who are paid gazillions of dollars for singing, acting or tossing a ball around, are asked their opinions on everything from raising a family to politics -- and we are expected to take them seriously.

Read it...it'll get you thinking.

BigBabies.jpg
We're becoming an infantile society...

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Posted by Pam Meister at 06:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Commentary
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