Very much worth a read.....

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......Michael Bywater's article in the London Telegraph. Based on his book Big Babies.

While I doubt I share many of his political sympathies, I share most of his take on the lack of actual adults in the world. Warning: some coarse language in the article. Didn't offend me, but I wanted to give you a heads up.

Here's a snippet, at the end of the article, where he gives rules for How to be an Adult:

Ignore celebrities, except when they are doing what they are celebrated for doing: acting, playing football et cetera. Skill does not confer moral, political or intellectual discrimination. (Except in the case of writers. Writers know everything and can lecture you with impunity.) If a celebrity is not celebrated for doing anything but being a celebrity, smile politely but pay no notice

Suspect administration Its purpose is to free the organisation to do what it's meant to do: but the triumph of the administrators - the lawyers, the accountants, the professional managers - means that too many organisations now believe that what they are meant to do is administer themselves. This is a profoundly infantile attitude

Do not love yourself unconditionally. Such love is for babies and comes from their mothers.

Ignore fashion, particularly in clothes. You don't want to look like a teenager for ever

Denounce relativism at every turn. Shouting 'not fair' is childish. Demanding respect without earning it is childish. Don't fear seriousness. Babies aren't allowed to be serious

Hide Grown-ups are not required to be perpetually accountable, while the instincts of government and big business, both of which are, almost by their nature, great infantilisers, are to keep an eye on everyone all the time

Eat it up There is nothing more babyish than having dietary requirements

Never vote for, do business with or be pleasant to anyone who uses the words 'ordinary people'


Back in March I wrote about two books that were hitting the book tour circuit. Strapped by Tamara Draut and Generation Debt by Anya Kamenetz. These 20-somethings were whining about the injustice of being college educated and strapped for cash.They would do well to read Mr. Bywater's article.

I think Mr. Bywater has a valid point which he spoils several times by pushing it into the ground. (Not unlike Thomas Day in Why Catholics Can't Sing.) Oddly enough, while I agree with what I think he's trying to say, "do not love yourself unconditionally" was the most irritating, because it presumes a false definition of "unconditional love."

But then I have a rabid contrarian streak, so my first inclination when faced with something like this is to find a point of disagreement. :)



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on October 26, 2006 10:39 AM.

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