Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What is it with kids today? or yesterday?

The New York Times magazine wants to know:
Why are so many people in their 20s taking so long to grow up?
Seriously?  Wasn't there a whole literary sub-genre that emerged about 20 years ago that sought to explain why kids in their 20s were taking so long to grow up?  And guess what?  They grew up.  And now they're in their 40s wondering why kids in their 20s are taking so long to grow up.

This isn't new, of course.  The film "The Graduate" (1967), of course, is about a recent college graduate, Ben (played by Dustin Hoffman), who seems to be taking too long to grow up.  As his father (played by William Daniels) says to him,
I think it's a very good thing that a young man -- after he's done some very good work -- should have a chance to relax and enjoy himself, and lie around, and drink beer and so on. But after a few weeks, I believe that person would want to take some stock in himself and his situation and start to think about getting off his ass.
And that film was made before today's Millennials and most of yesterday's Gen Xers were even born.
(h/t Yglesias, who makes the excellent point that these generational studies focus way too much on college graduates)

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