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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Those Damned Kids, Part Two

Those Damned Kids, Part Two

Why Everything Sucks: A Simple Explanation

What happened was, in a strange kind of quirk of fate, youth began to be celebrated by society. This was in a way that it had never been at any time in human history. What used to be celebrated was experience, and cleverness. But what became valuable was youth — and the quality of youth was being a consumer.

I know what you’re thinking, you’re saying “but wait a minute, Craig, in Ancient Greece they deified youth.” No they didn’t. They deified beauty. Different.

What happened is youth became more important and became more important. Society started to turn on its head. Because youth has a byproduct — inexperience. By the nature of youth you don’t have any experience. It’s not your fault. You’re just kind of stupid.

So the deification of youth evolved, and turned into the deification of imbecility. It became fashionable to be young and to be stupid. And that grew, and that grew, and that grew, and now that’s what all the kids want to be. “I just want to be young and stupid!” But you know what? That’s not what you want to be. You do not want to be young and stupid.

Then what happened is that people were frightened to not be young. They started dyeing their hair, they started mutilating their faces and their bodies in order to look young. But you can’t be young forever, that’s against the laws of the universe.

Which is just plain wrong. (and to quote a second time, for good measure)

The creepy part has to do with how all people, not just drinkers, rate the attractiveness of minors. Researchers have known for years that adults have a deep appreciation for neoteny, the retention of juvenile features like large eyes and baby-smooth skin in adults. Our fondness for neoteny is both obvious — most people find other people with youthful features to be attractive — and unsettling. Appreciating neotenous features isn’t the same as being sexually attracted to children, but at least one study has found that average, college-age heterosexual males and child molesters share remarkably similar (and deeply neotenous) attractions: high cheekbones, unwrinkled eyes, glabrous skin.

Evolution, in short, favors nubile females who still look like they have a great many years of fertility ahead of them. Evolutionary impulses are more complicated for women, who tend to seek men who are powerful and can provide maximum care for their offspring, and such men aren’t always young-looking. Gay men have two equally enthusiastic subcultures favoring twinks or bears — guys who look like they are in their teens and guys who look like they could be your dad.

Craig brings up only one valid point in his otherwise humourless attempt at humourous writing:

All of these horrible trends, all these terrible movements. Nobody meant it. Nobody meant any harm. But now we’re in this terrible place where we have the f#@%ing Jonas Brothers!

Such a sad state of affairs. It’s probably best to just not care.

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