Saturday, February 9, 2008

An embittered tirade against Adam Sandler

I'm pretty sure this article is a pile of shit, although I think I agree with parts of what it's trying to say. An excerpt from the full article:
Child-Man in the Promised Land
Today’s single young men hang out in a hormonal limbo between adolescence and adulthood.
By KAY S. HYMOWITZ
It’s 1965 and you’re a 26-year-old white guy. You have a factory job, or maybe you work for an insurance broker. Either way, you’re married, probably have been for a few years now; you met your wife in high school, where she was in your sister’s class. You’ve already got one kid, with another on the way. For now, you’re renting an apartment in your parents’ two-family house, but you’re saving up for a three-bedroom ranch house in the next town. Yup, you’re an adult!

[...]

Not so long ago, the average mid-twentysomething had achieved most of adulthood’s milestones—high school degree, financial independence, marriage, and children. These days, he lingers—happily—in a new hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. Decades in unfolding, this limbo may not seem like news to many, but in fact it is to the early twenty-first century what adolescence was to the early twentieth: a momentous sociological development of profound economic and cultural import. Some call this new period “emerging adulthood,” others “extended adolescence”; David Brooks recently took a stab with the “Odyssey Years,” a “decade of wandering.”...
Nostalgia posing as thought.

Responses?

4 comments:

J-Man said...

I'm currently taking a fascinating grad tutorial called 'Death of a Dream? The English Working Classes and Social Democracy 1945-1985.' Given that England and the US aren't all that different with respect to most of the changes it covers, it's full of insights into the bogus/implied 'history' that this guy's nostalgia is trying to harken back to.

That 1965 adult 20-something man? No more adult than today's man-child (not to mention he probably came from a different class than cubicle man, which is a pretty big jump when you're comparing people, but that aside). This fellow still played in a sports league with his buddy (probably amateur football in the UK, bowling or softball in the USA), still went 'round the pub 4-6 nights a week leaving his lady at home on an 'allowance' and reliant on networks of kin (predominantly women) for support. His marriage didn't bring out the best in him, it merely meant he didn't keep his whole paycheck and he occupied a social role he was expected to. Beyond that, damn near nothing changed.

The difference, of course, is the change in marriage, but that has nothing to do with this 'man-child' argument and everything to do with a changing economy and changing aspirations for both men and women.

So yeah, this article is nostalgia, and dumb nostalgia, of the champagne socialist 'if only we were good honest workers like in the good old days' variety. Orwell would've been furious. If you ever want to read an awesome book about why this sort of thought it bankrupt (a book which finds a lot of reasons to praise the working class as well), check out Orwell's 'Road to Wigan Pier'.

Jess said...

Urg. Chicks can like fart jokes too; this chick in particular does NOT see cohabitation as a step on the road to marriage as the author claims women do; and this chick is not particularly enthused about returning to the days when men were supposedly more "responsible". If (like me) you'd prefer to play video games (or post on blogs, or go running, or get a graduate degree) with your college friends rather than change diapers and bring home the bacon, you're not ready to be a parent and it's more responsible not to grow up/have babies. Notice how being "adult" and "responsible" in this article is synonymous with "slavishly following antiquated gender roles"?

J-Man said...

Jess rocks.

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