Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk
Reload this Page >

Prolonged Adolescence - or, Hey Gen-Xer, grow up!

Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

Prolonged Adolescence - or, Hey Gen-Xer, grow up!

Old 07-07-06, 03:03 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
slop101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: So. Cal.
Posts: 38,804
Prolonged Adolescence - or, Hey Gen-Xer, grow up!

I just read this article by Jeffery Wells, that really speaks to part of my life, and I just wanted to know how other Otters here felt about it.

Originally Posted by Jeffrey Wells
There's a trend in movies about GenX guys in their early to mid 30s who're having trouble growing up. Guys who can't seem to get rolling with a career or commit to a serious relationship or even think about becoming productive, semi-responsible adults, and instead are working dead-end jobs, hanging with the guys all the time, watching ESPN 24/7, eating fritos, getting wasted and popping Vicodins.

I'm thinking of four soon-to-open films that deal with this subject front-and-center: Kevin Smith's Clerks 2, Tony Goldwyn's The Last Kiss, You, Me and Dupree and The Groomsmen.

There have probably been fifteen or twenty other films that have come out over the last four or five years about 30ish guys finding it hard to get real.

The 40 Year-Old Virgin was basically about a bunch of aging testosterone monkeys doing this same old dance (with Steve Carell's character being a slightly more mature and/or sensitive variation). Virgin director-writer Judd Apatow has made a career out of mining this psychology.

Simon Pegg's obese layabout friend in Shaun of the Dead was another manifestation -- a 245-pound Dupree.

Prolonged adolescence is an old pattern, of course. The difference these days is that practitioner-victims are getting older and older.

Martin Davidson and Stephen Verona's The Lords of Flatbush dealt with this pattern to some extent, but the characters (played by Sylvester Stallone, Henry Winkler, Perry King) were in their mid to late 20s, as I recall.

Barry Levinson's Diner was also about guys who want to keep being kids, but his Baltimore homies were all under 30. (Was Mickey Rourke's character older?)

Putting off life's responsibilities is a deeply ingrained pattern among European males, or certainly Italian ones. Federico Fellini's I Vitteloni was about a group of guys pushing 30 who do little more but hang out and get into dumb situations in their home town on the Adriatic.

Why are immature attitudes among 30-something guys so persistent these days? Is this a breakthrough or a virus? Is it a reaction to overpopulation? Is it because the culture is telling them, "It's okay, bro...we're with you no matter how immature you are as long as you keep spending money on goods and services"?

Men who came of age in the 1920s and '30s knew they had to start acting like adults and getting jobs and taking care of their families when they were just out of college.

With World War II and Korean War service eating up their early 20s, young men of the 1940s and early '50s had to get down by their mid 20s, although many got going earlier.

When I was a pup in the 1970s the deal among pothead libertines, free-thinkers and alternative-lifestyle types was that you could mess around and duck the hard stuff in your 20s, but you absolutely had to grim up and get it together before you hit 30 or face eternal shame.

Now the GenXers have lifted that barrier and taken the I-still-want-to-fuck-around- with-my-friends-and-get-loaded-and-play-video-games aesthetic into their early to mid 30s.

What's going to happen with GenYers? Or with my kids' generation? Are they going to delay getting down to it while still grappling with adolescent behavior issues when they're 40 and over?

Obviously we're looking at some kind of fraying of the social fabric, a rise of a culture founded upon impulsive kick-backing and avoiding the heavy lifting and preferring to channel-surf through life rather than actually live it.

Maybe we're headed toward a culture in which guys will never grow up, ever, and women will start running things more and more. Ladies, it's okay with me.
For me, I'm "grown up" in one way: I own my own business and my own home and have a strong "work ethic". Although I'm "immature" in another way: the thought of being married and having a family scares the shit out of me, and I just see it as more work instead of a desired goal.

How do you guys feel, and why has our society and our age group developed like this?
slop101 is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 03:10 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Shackled
Posts: 35,372
To me, growing up is taking responsibility for your actions. It has nothing to do with being married, or not. Sounds like you take resposibility for your actions, so all good.

If, when you are in a relationship, you are a good partner, then I think you're doing all that can be asked for. You would hurt both yourself and a wife if you got married before you were ready.
Bushdog is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 03:10 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 25,062
I think it's a lot of crowing about nothing. Does he have any proof that there's a significant increase in people working dead-end, low-paying jobs? Janitors in 1950 would go hang out at the bar after work. Now they hang out at home playing video games. So what?
Tracer Bullet is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 03:14 PM
  #4  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 70,580
What's funny is that article pretty much describes Jesus (except popping Vicodins...he preferred wine).
Groucho is online now  
Old 07-07-06, 03:15 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Shackled
Posts: 35,372
And boya has our society gone this way. Christ, I see a generation of men who behave like children. They put instant gratification ahead of long-term goals and they make decisions that really make themselves out worse than they could be.

Now, if they wanted to be children and were content that way, and cost society nothing, not really my business. But as soon as they bitch at me about how they are unhappy, or they covet what I, or someone else has, it raises my blood pressure.

I've said it before on here -- the toughest thing I ever had to do in my life is be an adult. There's lots of sucky, hard stuff that comes with the advantages of growing up.
Bushdog is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 03:16 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Shackled
Posts: 35,372
Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
I think it's a lot of crowing about nothing. Does he have any proof that there's a significant increase in people working dead-end, low-paying jobs? Janitors in 1950 would go hang out at the bar after work. Now they hang out at home playing video games. So what?
I'll agree. There's no proof it has gotten worse. That said, I've seen enough to know that it is prevalent.
Bushdog is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 03:20 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Vibiana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Posts: 13,673
Thank you for calling up memories of Mickey Rourke in Diner. (BTW, anyone who thinks plastic surgery is a "woman thing" should take a look at the Thing That Used To Be Mickey Rourke now. He looks like he had his lips sucked three feet off his face and everything else ironed down. )

I am a first-year GenXer born in 1965, but I've never felt a part of the generation OR the Baby Boom. I'm just me. Since I've never done the homeowner thing, I guess I'm not grown up yet. On the other hand, some of you think I'm ancient anyway, renter or not. Good thing I don't get my definitions of myself from other people's perceptions of me.

Last edited by Vibiana; 07-07-06 at 03:25 PM.
Vibiana is online now  
Old 07-07-06, 03:21 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Words
Posts: 28,207
Originally Posted by Bushdog
To me, growing up is taking responsibility for your actions. It has nothing to do with being married, or not. Sounds like you take resposibility for your actions, so all good.

If, when you are in a relationship, you are a good partner, then I think you're doing all that can be asked for. You would hurt both yourself and a wife if you got married before you were ready.
Agreed.

Personal responsibility (i've harped on this in other thread, so I'll skip it here) is a big part of growing up. I'm a 'tweener (between X and Y at 26) and I feel and see those around me pushing off 'growing up'. I feel old in many respects because I got my first 'real' job at 19, and am already on a 2nd career at 26....while many of my friends are barely into their first 'real' job, and many are still kicking around in coffee houses, grad school, etc.

Though it is important to point out that I believe (some) people are using this time to figure out what they want. They may not have a sense of urgency, but they also are allowing themselves to develop and figure out what they want to do.

-p
NotThatGuy is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 03:27 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
slop101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: So. Cal.
Posts: 38,804
He's not really saying that it's getting worse, per se - his thrust is that it's being represented by movies more than ever (popular film is as good a barometer of society than anything), and that the age of the perpetrators of this lifestyle has gotten older and older. What mid-20s during the '60s = mid-30s now.
slop101 is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 03:32 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
slop101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: So. Cal.
Posts: 38,804
Originally Posted by Bushdog
To me, growing up is taking responsibility for your actions. It has nothing to do with being married, or not. Sounds like you take resposibility for your actions, so all good.

If, when you are in a relationship, you are a good partner, then I think you're doing all that can be asked for. You would hurt both yourself and a wife if you got married before you were ready.
I'd like to believe that, but what fucks with my head is my parents (among others) telling me how I'm lazy, selfish and immature for not being married and having kids while I'm almost 35. But I guess that has more to do with them...
slop101 is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 03:33 PM
  #11  
Admin-Thanos
 
VinVega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
Posts: 31,080
I see plenty of people younger than I am with families. They seem fairly responsible. Is society falling apart at the seams? It doesn't look like it yet.

We certainly have some unique issues, that's for sure.
VinVega is online now  
Old 07-07-06, 03:34 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Shackled
Posts: 35,372
Originally Posted by slop101
I'd like to believe that, but what fucks with my head is my parents (among others) telling me how I'm lazy, selfish and immature for not being married and having kids while I'm almost 35. But I guess that has more to do with them...
Different world and values. Unless being married is itself an end, instead of a means to an end, I can't say I agree with them.
Bushdog is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 03:38 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 25,062
Originally Posted by slop101
He's not really saying that it's getting worse, per se - his thrust is that it's being represented by movies more than ever (popular film is as good a barometer of society than anything), and that the age of the perpetrators of this lifestyle has gotten older and older. What mid-20s during the '60s = mid-30s now.
I don't think they're getting older. I think he thinks they're getting older, but popular movies aren't really a good indicator of this. If anything, I think he's confused broader acceptance of "immature" hobbies (video games, comic books) with an aging of an immature lifestyle.
Tracer Bullet is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 03:38 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NYC
Posts: 17,018
Originally Posted by Groucho
What's funny is that article pretty much describes Jesus (except popping Vicodins...he preferred wine).
We all know how much Jesus loves taking it to the hoop:

Breakfast with Girls is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 03:41 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,840
Originally Posted by slop101
I'd like to believe that, but what fucks with my head is my parents (among others) telling me how I'm lazy, selfish and immature for not being married and having kids while I'm almost 35. But I guess that has more to do with them...
Selfish for not having kids? Or selfish for not giving them grandkids? Who is really being selfish here? Not you IMO.
PrincessT is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 03:46 PM
  #16  
2017 TOTY Winner
 
Save Ferris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 13,578
Dont they say now that "30 is the new 20"?

Logic being that people are living longer, middle age is stretching out further away than in generations past.
Save Ferris is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 03:53 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Vibiana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Posts: 13,673
Originally Posted by Save Ferris
Dont they say now that "30 is the new 20"?

Logic being that people are living longer, middle age is stretching out further away than in generations past.
Nonsense! I began middle age at 25.
Vibiana is online now  
Old 07-07-06, 03:59 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
slop101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: So. Cal.
Posts: 38,804
Originally Posted by Save Ferris
Dont they say now that "30 is the new 20"?
So it stands to reason that 20 is the new 10... which would explain a lot.
slop101 is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 04:16 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Legend
 
milo bloom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 12,733
Sounds like another old fart complaining about the young farts. Why are they still paying people to write the same damn articles over and over?

I'm 32 with a mortgage, two cars, married for ten years (no kids yet), I've been in this job for almost nine years, and I'll probably retire from this place. Yet I still do things like collect DVDs, play videogames, and other childish things.

I'd like to think that it's simply some people not wanting to do the "work 20 hours a day, 6.5 days a week, till you fall over dead at the job site" mentality. I've seen my father do that for too long to want any part of it.
milo bloom is offline  
Old 07-07-06, 06:48 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Docking Bay 94
Posts: 14,259
Originally Posted by slop101
his thrust is that it's being represented by movies more than ever (popular film is as good a barometer of society than anything), and that the age of the perpetrators of this lifestyle has gotten older and older.
I would argue that this is, in a large part, due to the way moviemaking has changed.

In the 'studio system', you'd never had a 20-something make a film like Clerks. Even after the system ended and the 'film school' generation began in the late 60s-early 80s, you wouldn't see much of this.

But now, *anyone* can make a movie. And many of these 'indie' filmmakers are one-trick ponies. Their initial films are about slackers. And they continue to make films about slackers, because they don't know how to do anything else. They follow the "write what you know" mantra, and -- in their early 20s -- they frankly don't know much.

I enjoy Kevin Smith's films (for the most part) and I've met him and he seems like a great guy. But... Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back? Clerks II? They guy isn't exactly stretching himself. And I'm beginning to think that he isn't able to... I think this 'type' of film is all he has in him. He's just going to continue to remake it until people stop showing up.


That being said, I do think that it is certainly a lot easier in today's society to delay 'adulthood'. I know many people in their early 30s who are just starting to think about careers and families, when the previous generation already would have 3 kids and a pension started by that point. But that doesn't mean that they aren't living life or that there's any "kind of fraying of the social fabric".

(It also should be mentioned that it is entirely realistic to suspect that 'Gen X' will have a much larger lifespan than the Boomers, given medical advances. With that assumption, taking an extra decade before settling down with a 9-to-5 and a family doesn't sound like a bad idea.)
bboisvert is offline  
Old 07-08-06, 09:11 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Mrs. Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: With Nick Danger
Posts: 17,610
Slackers have always been a part of human society. They just don't starve to death any more.
Mrs. Danger is offline  
Old 07-08-06, 10:36 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,204
It's not about getting married and having kids -- it's about accepting adult responsibilities. It's about not eating Fruit Loops for lunch and sleeping in your parent's basement. It's about being willing to pursue an actual career and looking toward the future. It's about engaging in relationships, and not just sport fucking. It's about not whining about trivial minutiae and ignoring what's going on in the real world.

I agree with the main points of the article. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
NCMojo is offline  
Old 07-08-06, 10:43 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Legend
 
AGuyNamedMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: (formerly known as Inglenook Hampendick) Fairbanks, Alaska!
Posts: 15,091
It is not nearly as prevalent as the article writer proclaims, it's just plastered all over pop culture. Like Vibiana, I'm a early model Gen-Xer (born '67) and was raised to become an adult at 18. I got my first 'real' job at 15 and moved out (went to college) at 17, dropped out and joined the army at 19, was married for the first time at 23, and have been, essentially, a 9-5er since then. Most of the people I know are very similar (or maybe people like me tend to distance themselves from slacker/losers?) and all have jobs, relationships, good work ethic, etc. Heck, I play videogames and read comics, but I do so in the evening after work and after the other business of living is completed. Poor Jeffrey Wells is trying to say that art imitates life, something I have never believed. In the movie world, art imitates other art that brings in the cash.
AGuyNamedMike is offline  
Old 07-08-06, 11:19 AM
  #24  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lower Gum Curve
Posts: 18,898
Originally Posted by NCMojo
It's about not whining about trivial minutiae and ignoring what's going on in the real world.[/i]
But, but, but, Han Solo shot FIRST, goddammit!!!!!!
Jason is offline  
Old 07-08-06, 04:54 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Bluelitespecial's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,250
Well I am 24,
I just graduated from college
I have worked at kmart since 1998
I live at home with my parents
Never had an actual girlifriend that I wanted to be with.

yes I would say I haven't fully grownup yet, I have started looking for a real job, but the rejection scares me. I hope to move out of my parents house hopefully by fall, I am trying to work on it one step at a time.
Bluelitespecial is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.