Everyone Wants To Be A Teen Again

Observatory, Reading & Writing

In a depression the population turns to the movies, but this downturn is regressing us all to childhood, says today’s Times. The hot high-end fashion items are bunny ears and dinosaur-shaped handbags, the hot date movies are Up and The Fantastic Mr Fox, the hot screen icon is teenage vampire Robert Pattinson, adults are watching ‘The X Factor’ and dominating social networking sites, grown men are wearing three-quarter length trousers in November and reading children’s books on the train. Does a need for innocence appear when times get too scary and adult? Michael Bywater’s hilarious book ‘Big Babies – Why Can’t We Just Grow Up?’ looks at the phenomenon. If you’ve not read Bywater before, may I recommend him as a poisonous antidote to the ghastliness of modern life?

7 comments on “Everyone Wants To Be A Teen Again”

  1. J. Folgard says:

    Don’t worry so much -an awful lot of acquaintances say that they’re reading/using/watching this kind of stuff “ironically”, so I guess it’s all right then…
    Ah, right?

  2. Steve says:

    A grown man on a train wearing bunny ears, three quarter length trousers and reading a children’s book would NOT be the strangest thing I’d ever seen in London. But it does speak to a need for innocence..life these days is rather grim and scary, and the stiff upper lip just doesn’t seem to get it anymore.

  3. I.A.M. says:

    I proudly read the Harry Potter series in public. Damned fun, and more levels of things than simply a ‘kiddie book’. Much like the Warner Brothers’ cartoons: jokes that shoot over the heads of children and nail the adults when they least expect it. Or like Asterix…

    Bunny ears… no. I’d willingly take part in a formal dinner on the tube, though… just to say one had done so. We’ve all seen that video earlier here, yes?

  4. Helen Martin says:

    Yes, we did. After this morning’s ride downtown on Skytrain in total glum silence I am thinking of reading aloud something from someone’s childhood, like book one of the adventures of the Baudelaire orphans or Terry Pratchett’s “Diggers” (Discworld would be too much of a shock to start off with.) The only thing stopping me is my experience with the young lady coming noisily up to the elevator, apparently talking to someone on a – would it be? – bluetooth, who included us in the information that her friend had washed a Snickers bar in the laundry. Her approach was definitely over the top and I really hope her doctor reduces her meds somewhat. I will think about it, however.

  5. I.A.M. says:

    That would be a bluetooth-connected (a sort of wi-fi signal connection) headset allowing her to babble on her mobile phone. You’re permitted to punch those sorts in the face, in some areas possibly required to do so.

    It might be better to choose something more participatory on the train, however: Pondus the Penguin Visits the Monkey House has nice pictures… or maybe that book about swallows and pussy-willows? You could read a page, then show the car the picture, then read the next page…

  6. Helen Martin says:

    Good memory, but I think the second one was “Robins and Rabbits”. I thought about something like that, but I’d have to stand on a box to get the book high enough for anyone to see. If that bluetooth were connected to a broadcasting, rather than receiving device it might make it easier to focus the crowd, although I can still project the voice pretty well. I’ll have to see what I can find

  7. Hey there thanks for the quality post, i had a good read. 🙂

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