Toys are fun. I grew up in the 1980s, so I remember playing with GI Joes, Transformers, and Star Wars men. And Masters of the Universe, though looking back, playing with over-muscled men in fur Speedos was pretty homosexual.
I still like toys, but I don't obsess over them like I used to. At some point, I stated to care less about Matchbox cars and more about real cars. I just grew up. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of people don't.
I'm not talking about adults playing with toys. I'm talking about people who should know better still acting like adolescents. There's not much more pathetic than a 70-year-old teenager.
I think there are three reasons people do this. First, everyone seems to do whatever they can be avoid responsibility. Second, there's an absolute terror in our society of growing old. Third, satisfaction of physical desires has become the greatest good in a society increasingly focused on its own pleasure.
Avoiding responsibility has become an epidemic. Unwed fathers have always been famous for ducking responsibility, but now it seems like men and women are doing it, whether they're married or not. Even in those marriages that stay together many spouses hardly ever see each other or their children because they're always working to make money to buy their kids stuff they don't want anyway. The responsibility they have to their families is secondary to their desire to please themselves.
This isn't strange or unusual; this is how people have always thought. The difference is that now it's socially acceptable, so people feel freer to act out their thoughts. It doesn't make it less wrong. It just makes it more prevalent.
In America, and in the West in general, people are genuinely terrified of growing old. Our society worships youth, and doesn't respect old people, but despises them. (I remember being told as a teenager that our society is the first that throws away its old people, but being young I naturally didn't pay it much attention.)
There are two important things to remember, though. The first is that there's only one way to get old, and they might have learned something useful along the way. The second is that a 65-year-old woman isn't supposed to look like a teenage girl. (Neither is a 65-year -old man, which unfortunately has to be said now.) The myth of eternal youth is powerful, but in this world it's just that: a myth.
The whole world, it seems, is just to make us feel good; anything that doesn't do that is almost by definition bad. It not only has to be destroyed, but all evidence of its existence must be wiped out.
This kind of revisionism is presented as a scientific viewpoint, and history is changed ostensibly to remove the lingering traces of our superstitious past. Unless, of course, it helps get off. This pursuit of pleasure regardless of the consequence is just juvenile, and not how adults should act.
We often hear that kids grow up too fast today. That may be true, but sometimes we need to ask why. Too often kids have to grow up because their parents won't.
[LC Bloom grew out as well as up. He's from Birmingham, Alabama, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also writes for Built for Glory (www.builtforglory.blogspot.com) and has written for COBRASAURUS‼‼! (WWW.COBRASAURUS.BLOGSPOT.COM).