The Infantile American.

There’s something about the perspective of age that’s beginning to make sense to me. There’s a younger memory in me that wants to argue with the statements make in this article. And then there’s me, today, watching the results of America-hating, allowing myself a longer, global view.
These are just some points Baltimore free-lance writer Paul Valentine makes in his opinion column today:
A major outcome of the culture wars of the last 50 years can be summarized in a single phrase: the juvenilization of America.
Its impact, fashioned by Madison Avenue, driven by the TV networks, crowned by Hollywood and bought by our social systems from education to religion to the courts, is so pervasive that the good that came out of those same culture wars is now substantively diminished….
Video games bristling with violence, voyeurism, even cop assassinations, hugely popular with the 18- to 34-year-old crowd.
Percussive, tuneless music and clunky rap lyrics inculcating hate, intolerance and greed — perpetuating juvenile tendencies into adulthood.
The Internet, encrusted with pop-up, pop-out commercials, along with huge segments of its global reach allotted to porn, gambling, teen chat rooms and an endless groaning table of beads-and-baubles consumer goodies.
High-decibel, drug-soaked rock concerts so disordered and anarchic they require flying squads of security and emergency medical personnel to minimize vandalism, personal injury and other violence.
Forced spontaneity at sports arenas, where flashing electronic signs and scantily clad cheerleaders relentlessly instruct fans when, how and at what noise levels to cheer — an exercise in mass infantilism.
Employees of major corporations so unsocialized and directionless that they must undergo instruction on appropriate attire, footwear, grooming, hygiene, punctuality, telephone manners and e-mail etiquette, as well as seminars on how to interact with other employees to avoid racial, ethnic and sexual conflict.
The blame game — Johnny made me do it, adult-style — in which refusal to accept personal responsibility has begotten a gargantuan industry of regulatory procedure and litigation: suing McDonald’s for causing obesity…..
These are not the progeny of some vast left-wing conspiracy to undermine the American way of life. On the contrary, they constitute a hallowed sector of the New Market Economy, molded and guided by mainstream entrepreneurs and their barristers, Wharton MBAs and college-trained PR shills, all boosting the new bread-and-circuses world of eye candy replacing substance, sound devolving to noise, brains surrendering to glands….
The ripple effect of this process is enormous, reaching many of America’s most basic institutions — dumbing down everything from news and late-night talk shows to college curricula and political campaign advertising.
It has helped fuel the upsurge of fundamentalist religion in America with its reduction of spiritual responses to bromides and child-like incantations (“God answers knee-mail”)…..
Many of the positive outcomes of America’s culture wars — expanded human rights, increased economic opportunity, greater artistic and literary freedom — resulted from the interaction of political protest and legislative process among thinking adults.
But somewhere along the way, the nation’s sense of proportionality and scale began to wobble and then to collapse. Pushed by the new hucksters, freedom became license; artistry became performance; self-interest became narcissism; excess became necessity. The perfect juvenile.

All of that feeds into why there exist non-Americans today who have little respect for the evidence of how we live the American way. Heh. There are even plenty of us Americans who feel the same way.
Back in the seventies, I saw ‘Wild in the Streets,’ a movie in which older people were rounded up and placed in containment camps so that the next younger generation could take over running society. Of course, “older” becomes relative, and by the end of the movie, it wasn’t “don’t trust anyone over 30.” It was “don’t trust anyone over 13.”
As I Googled for a link to the movie, I got on one web site that forced me to click off FIFTEEN pop-up advertising screens. I’m beginning to think it really IS all a part of a thoughtless conspiracy of juvenile American minds.

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