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Kidult Konspiracy? | 8 comments
[new] But on which end is the most consumerism? (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#6)
by amy on Thu Sep 25th, 2003 at 09:11:06 AM EURODISCORDIA TIME
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Hi Brian,

Obviously, I wasn't very clear in my suspicions about the article, esp. since Anon. Stranger seemed to read my post the same way. (See my reply below.)

I had a different reading of the article - I actually felt that the Kidult critics were more pro-consumerist than the Kidult promoters, and that is what I was criticizing. For example:

But many of those who fit the profile best -- grown-ups who wear Sesame Street T-shirts or skin arthritic knees on their motor scooters -- insist they are not simply obstinate Peter Pans or connoisseurs of kitsch. Many describe a nearly frantic compulsion to remain playful, flexible and fun in the face of realities like fixed-rate mortgages or lawn care. Mitch Anthony, president of a branding and design firm in Northampton, Massachusetts, is a full-fledged adult: He has children, a closet full of suits and a picket fence that cost US$10,000. But as he approaches his 50th birthday, he sees "absolutely no reason to give up doing what I loved as a kid," he said. "I still bike. I still love to hang out with my friends and talk about sex. I still play in a rock 'n' roll band. Why would I want to stop doing any of that?"

Ok, so what constitutes an adult here is having a closet full of (presumably expensive) suits and a 5-figure picket fence? The bike, the sex talk and the rock band didn't cost as much. Heck, even if he's one of the ones buying the Sesame Street T-shirts, they still don't cost as much as the big ticket items mentioned in the article.

Granted, kids spend money on crap, and that aspect of consumer culture certainly deserves to be criticized. But the undercurrent of "they should of course be spending money on more expensive adult things" deserves to be criticized too - and that is what I was trying to point out.

Of course, this might come from my own defintion of kidultism from my perspective as a kidult who doesn't have TV and diddles around for free at the pool, the beach, and the park - and is quite suspicious of "proper" adults who work themselves to death trying to make lots of money to buy crap they don't need. (Not that this overgeneralization is the only situation in which people are overworked obviously - but I'm referring specifically to people who intentionally overwork themselves for materialistic reasons.) So I tend to think of kidlike behavior as doing things that don't require much if any money. Hmm, maybe I should have posted this to Filter-It-Yourself - "Filtered through my parallel universe and ocean water" :-) ....

But anyway, my post was in fact, a criticism of consumer culture - I just think we have to remember to go all the way up the food chain with it. What are the relative demerits of doll-buying vs. SUV-buying?

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-- Discordia is nice.
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Kidult Konspiracy? | 8 comments


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