The Shrubbery
July 1999
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Adventures in Maturity

by Gordon Dymowski

The way popular culture is going now, it's a great time to be a pedophile....or Joe Piscopo.

It's the age of the teenager...from wussy musical groups to a plethora of teen-related shows, adolescence is now the "hip" age to be. Of course, much of this is being driven by a bunch of baby boomers who are so old that they live in a "golden age", and can't remember the fire of their youth, or something.

Yeah, I realize I sound like an old fogey, but I remember when I was a teenager, and there was (and always will be) teen related crap. I mean, I grew up in the golden age of synthpop, when talentless losers like Duran Duran were considered "it." (My greatest fantasy is to bludgeon them to death with a baseball bat). Of course, however, there was a balance...I mean, at least you could see older people on television, like on such stalwarts as Murder, She Wrote, Miami Vice...and the way was paved for The Golden Girls. (Of course, also understand that, when I was a teenager, I was an overweight, mouth breathing geek whose idea of a good time was staying up late Sunday night to watch Doctor Who)

Nowadays, however, I feel 31, fer cryin' out loud. It sucks to enter a record store and have to wade through all the wanking crap in order to purchase a decent record. (Yeah, I'm complaining, big deal). And yes, I remember what it was like when I was young...however, my idealism is tempered with the practicality of adulthood. (And you don't know how thoroughly I went through my thesaurus for that one.) Look, most Shrub readers, I'm willing to bet, are glad to be out of high school, if only because it means that they know where to get free beer, and are now able to screw around in class. Hey, if anyone should be sucked up to, it's the whole 20-32 age range, because - let's face it - we were next, after the baby boomers.

What is my point? Well, it's this...I think that all this glorification of the teen years is bull. Adolescence is a tough time...but we grow out of it. I think we should stop all this teenage crap by first, getting rid of all the New Kids on the Block wannabe lame-o male vocal groups (or, at the very least, make 'em listen to some Temptations records). Same for the girl groups. And Britney Spears...anyone who can't see the irony of singing a song about "hit me, baby, one more time", and who has parents who let her get a boob job at 17...if that just doesn't scream "Antichrist", I don't know what does. But at the end of the 20th century, do we really want to be a culture that is more willing to worship the nativete of youth than the tempered fire of adulthood? Or have I been drinking too many RC Colas again?

I know I've ranted, and if you want to make comments, or just e-mail me, feel free to do so at Hey, even make a column suggestion, and maybe I'll write about it, or something. And for all the teenyboppers out there - please, no "Oh, quit dissing my favorite singer/group", because I'll just automatically trash it. And if you don't like it, you can park your overstuffed rears on my extended middle digit, and swivel until you squeal like pigs on a honeymoon.

I stole that line from Red Dwarf, btw. And thanks for letting me share the warmth....

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