Thursday, October 18, 2007

Adolescents Will Be Adolescents, Even When They're Grown

Bookworm (of Bookworm Room) plays a theme that I explore in "The Adolescent Rebellion Syndrome." Writing about an episode of Frontline, she says,
those who oppose Cheney and the Neocons are outraged that all those guys had the temerity to take so seriously the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath. The opposers clearly want to view these matters as Kerry once did: police matters, with the crime scene encompassing a few thousand, rather than one or two.... And to them, to these opposers, it just seems ridiculous that Cheney et al are trying to put in place systems that enable the Commander in Chief to try to nip any future attacks in the bud.

Listening to this outrage, outrage that’s certainly not unique to this Frontline episode, I couldn’t help but think of the difference between your average teenager and your average grownup. To the grownup, things such as mortgages, insurance, and other life security matters are of overriding importance. To the teenager in the house, “Dad is, like, so totally stupid, because he’s, you know, like, always sitting at his desk worrying about the bills, you know. So, I’m all, ‘Dude, stop thinking about that. You know, I’m like trying to score some tickets to the Ugly Red Rash concert, and I need, like, oh, $200 dollars. Right?’”

All of which is both amusing and irritating when you’re in the house with the teenager, but remarkably less interesting when the teenagers are trying to run your country.

As I say in "...Syndrome,"
adolescent rebellion and other forms of intellectual immaturity...are to be found mainly -- but not exclusively -- among "artists," academicians, and the Left generally.
I leave room in that indictment for anarcho-libertarians, though they're so ineffectual that their adolescent petulance is of no account (but of some intellectual interest).