Online opinion

9th August 2013 at 01:00
Are we an immature society?

Society expects girls to care about their looks to the nth degree, boys have to be a "proper lad", never a man but instead a perpetual man-child, epitomised in the films of Adam Sandler. In fact, we seem to have childhood carrying on into our early thirties now.


- Much later for many... well into the forties. In fact, do we not bypass middle age completely and just go straight from teen mode to dementia overnight?


- If you look at the Harry Potter books, the Hunger Games trilogy, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials and the like, you'll find plenty of evidence of popular culture showing young people having to take on adult responsibilities before their time.


- Adam Sandler is cute and funny. Hmmph.


- What percentage of your 80 years should be light-hearted?


- Suppose it depends on your definition of light-hearted, but if you mean levity as opposed to downright immaturity, I aim for 100 per cent but accept falling short of this with fairly good grace.


- I don't think there is a trend. I think infantile adults have always been around in popular culture: Norman Wisdom and Charlie Chaplin are obvious examples from a previous generation.


- We have always had a place for the fool, for the pratfall, the physical comedy. Mr Bean in the 1990s, Benny Hill's high-speed pursuit of ladies in little clothing. But the man-child Adam Sandler vehicle, that is something I think is a more recent phenomenon.


- Less a cult of immaturity than stupidity. (These) films are always a triumph of goofy good luck over reality.


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