88 Comments

"I spent my whole life trying not to be careless. Women and children can be careless. But not men." -Vito Corleone, The Godfather

Expand full comment
Jan 4Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Another great from Don Vito: “A man with a briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.”

Amazing piece by Librarian. I contrast my grandparents with even my generation and there is no comparison.

Expand full comment
Jan 4Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Brilliant as always. At least I assume it is. I was going to read the whole thing but I got sucked into that review of the Homer Simpson action figure. Can you believe that it has fifteen points of articulation AND movie accurate proportions? Super7 really has done it again.

Expand full comment
Jan 4Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Remember -- spending your time studying Homer Simpson action figures is completely equivalent to spending your time reading the real Homer. No action has more merit than another.

Expand full comment

That would explain public education.

Expand full comment
Jan 4Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

> The Shredder could take on Batman.

It's ridiculous grown men can have these sorts of arguments......

Of course Batman wins.

Expand full comment
Jan 4Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Truly, we are in a nursery nation. I always called it kindergarten America, but that’s not fair to actual kindergarten-aged kids, who not only don’t know any better, just who are by and large sweet and pure and innocent. People like Turdrich are just as sad and pathetic as they are dangerous.

Expand full comment

"we must all of us as individuals do what we must to survive and thrive in the world that will follow the collapse of this one."

In my twilight 70+ years, I find myself often thinking about this. Living in the infantilised, over-therapied West....but with the power on and the hospital close by.....I sometimes indulge myself with post-apocalyptic dreams of The Simple Life...small scale, self-reliant...'agency' recovered etc. Me and the wife, using our wits and ingenuity to keep body and soul together.... a bit like on Waggon Train. The big bring-me-back-to-earth is where you and the missus have set up your little romantic-frugal life....and then the roving gangsters come through... spot you and kill the both of you.

Just thinking out loud really. Excellent post by the way.

Expand full comment
author

Thank you kindly.

Expand full comment
founding

Well written and well argued. Having children and understanding my influence on them certainly was a prime driver of my maturation.

Expand full comment
Jan 5Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

"Donald Trump has one goal: to end democracy and install himself as dictator for life."

Remind me, how old is Trump?

Expand full comment
author

Actuarially speaking, dictator for life would probably be a shorter term in office than a president would normally get.

Expand full comment
Jan 4Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

"A child needs to feel like the grownups around him are omnicompetent and limitless"

A big part of why this is intentionally pushed is to keep the government as Daddy who can do no wrong, and whose main purpose is to give the individual what they want. If people think the government will do whatever needs doing, then they never get in the habit of standing up and saying, "enough of this shit, I'm doing something." Whether on the playground, the workplace, or the political arena it's all the same habit. It's why kids get punished more for trying to stop bullies than the bullies themselves.

Tiedrich: "know what happened to the German commies after the Nazis took power?"

Many joined the nazis, and became some of their best enforcers. Fanatics need a fanatic cause, no matter what the cause is.

Expand full comment
Jan 4Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

“come on, people, how about a little critical thinking here.”

I’m not sure if Tiedrich is admonishing his imagined audience here or begging for their help.

Expand full comment
Jan 5Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Narcissist asking for help?

Expand full comment
Jan 5Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Maybe not consciously?

Expand full comment
Jan 4Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Great article. As one of those spoiled and worthless grandchildren, I think my childishness and adolescence stretched out into my twenties because I did not have to deal with struggle. My parents were together, both had good jobs, I did well in school, and had friends- all of these were good things but it left me in a kind of insulated bubble protected from struggle and strife (like a womb that keeps growing with you). When I learned that struggle was the way we can actually grow, I finally started acting more like a man.

The problem with kidults (or man-children, or whatever) is that they live in this space where the goal is to absolutely maximize comfort, avoid struggle altogether, and outsource the natural desire for the feeling of growth and development to the character growth of their favourite franchise character or video game. It's a consequence of the novelty of having so much prosperity that it is easy to simply marinate in comfort perpetually.

Expand full comment

When I was in my 20s, I visited Santa Cruz. I knew that, with it's perfect weather, beautiful women, people rode their bikes everywhere, there was good public transportation; I would need to generate my own internal conflicts and discomfort. I'd rather go back to Chicago, thanks.

That was 30 years ago. So some of what we are up against is just a "those kids today" look at human nature.

Expand full comment

What is this business about undeath and zombies, librarian? I feel that I should have been consulted about this article before it was published! 😉

All kidding aside, great post. 👍🏻

Expand full comment
Jan 5Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Years ago I was put in charge of a Toddler room that had been so mismanaged that I called it "The Lord of the Smallfries": screaming, hitting, kicking, biting, broken toys and board book pages flying.

By the time I was done restoring order I had ten kind, respectful and happy toddlers, development on track, the oldest third of them highly verbal, able to follow complex directions, negotiate, and engage with materials and activities meant for preschoolers & kindergarteners.

Baby Boomers are when it all began to go wrong...I assume this perpetual teenager you've made an example of is in the late Boomer to early Millennial range... because we began to dismantle adult authority and center teenagers, then children. "Child-centred" is a great way to plan program in a daycare and a bad way to run an entire society. These people are the result.

And not to terrify you, but this "give the child whatever makes them happy right now and never make them cry" (at the expense of what creates long-term happiness) philosophy has only accelerated since Dr Spock, with predictable results.

Worse, the childish adults we've already produced are now in charge, and we're going from child-centred to adult-child centred. We still refuse to discipline, and now want teachers asking infants for consent to change diapers (radical egalitarianism). But now, To make adult trans people happy we bring books into daycares and schools that they aren't interested in and that only confuse them, and are now increasingly more concerned with how pedophiles and the mentally ill (yes there is pressure to get mentally ill teachers into daycare) classrooms are excluded than with the damage they might do to children. Adult-children try to teach adult things to actual children who are not developmentally ready.

As a result this generation of children is getting the worst of both worlds: No discipline themselves, but a pretence of egalitarianism masking the reality that they live at the whim of spoiled adult-children who have all the real power and selfishly put their own wants above children's needs. Sending us into a civil war between groups of civilians just to get back at Bad Orange Man, revolution/ accelerationism, or creating a totalitarian regime at home being cases in point. Adult-children are not simply laughable annoyances, they are a potential danger to everyone

I can't even predict what level of damage we're doing, or what this next generation will grow up to be. They'll either be the most dysfunctional generation ever known, or the one that rises up to slay its decadent elders.

Expand full comment

I am trying to prepare our teens for a life working in a trade. We will all find out within the next ten years that electricity doesn't come from the light switch; water doesn't come from the faucet; and food doesn't come from the grocery store.

Expand full comment
Jan 6Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

The woke will come after the trades, for sure, but theres some slack there

Expand full comment
Jan 4Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Great read, thanks.

One of the weirdest things in terms of infantilization is that corporate workplaces encourage it. My brother, who is a serious person in a serious enough job, is forced to participate in "Superhero" days at work.

Other than that, I can echo what other readers have said - having children is a primary driver of maturation - and a recognition of time I think (a recognition that we are mortal and exist in a continumm of life, and not just in an eternal present).

Expand full comment

The God of the Old Testament rails against birth control. He literally kills someone for spilling their seed (Onan).

I was raised Catholic. I look at the small (presumably controlled) families of my cousins and can see a direct connection to our loss of faith.

Birth control contributed to my lack of maturation as a young adult. I didn't have to get married until my 30s and so I didn't.

Expand full comment
Jan 5Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

I married in my mid-20's and have two children, so a small family (although typical for modern families I think). Not sure what to think about it all - but a big family seems barely possible in contemporary times.

Expand full comment
Jan 4Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

A strange case of synchronicity. I was just discussing this issue as a reply to a comment on an essay I reeled off earlier today. Of course, I agree with you on the issue of safetyism- what kind of young people are we going to turn out when having a best friend is deemed bullying, because it's 'exclusionary' (as is failing to invite that noxious little kid to your Birthday Party)?

But I do think I've identified civilization causation. As countries grow richer, in the modern paradigm they also have fewer kids. Fewer kids equals greater narcissism and less future emotional wellbeing. At the peer group level when gained a huge amount, societally speaking, from kids having siblings.

And it's not just a Western epiphenomenon. For those who are interested, it's worth checking out 'Lying Flat' in China. The manifestation may be different, but the social contagion is the same.

Expand full comment

"Without a vision, the people perish." Apparently not a new problem. Too many people have no idea why they have children and thus raise them as toys or as the ultimate status possession. Poor kids...

Expand full comment
Jan 5Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

I think the turning point was when people decided that they wanted their kids to be their best friends. That might be appropriate when they're in their mid-twenties, but not before.

Expand full comment

Not even good friends. A good friend will do what's right by you, even if it hurts.

Expand full comment
Jan 4·edited Jan 4Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

The more I think about it the more I think the only real answer to our system's failure is exile.

Take what power you can, hide it away, and plan to return when the time is right - likely long after you're gone.

Expand full comment
Jan 6Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Great piece! COVID had me frequently reflecting on the fact that our society expects every problem to be solvable. Don't want a cold? Just wear a mask and have a vaccine or seven! It never seemed to occur to most people that you can't prevent some things from happening no matter what you do. I hadn't made the connection to child-like thinking until reading this, but it seems obvious in hindsight (as all useful frames of reference do). Thanks for your insights!

Expand full comment