The best way to pay me for my blog is to read it.

Several people have recently posted comments that wonder why I’m not getting paid for my posts.  I do appreciate their concern and their desire to put a financial value on my blogging.

In the United States, of course, the natural assumption is that people do most things for money.  In fact, as I’ve noted in previous blogs, money has to a great extent replaced all other means to determine if something or someone is successful, worthwhile or artistic. 

In the case of my blog, though, I do it for the pleasure of organizing and writing down by thoughts plus the joy of sharing with my readers.  I have had a very successful advertising business for more than 20 years now and I’ve made a lot of money.  Instead of trying to make more of the green, I feel happier spending some of my free time on this blogging adventure.  In addition, eventually many of my posts will end up in books I am slowly writing on communications theory and propaganda in a free society.

But for the time being, I am gratified that I have picked up so many followers in these first five months of blogging.  The knowledge that people are reading my material is all the reward I need.   

Having said that, I can suggest something to readers who absolutely feel as if they really do want to “pay” for reading my blog.  You could always pick up a copy of my book of poetry, Music from Words, either from the publisher,, or from many online bookstores, including  You can also buy it in almost any bookstore, but you’ll probably have to have the store order it from the warehouse.  If you don’t read poetry, you could always give it to someone you know who does, or an English student you know.

That’s it for the commercial.

Best wishes to all my readers for a creative and insightful 2010. 

Calling a thing by a name that it’s not to make the name sound better.

On the front page of the business section in today’s New York Times, David Leonhardt builds his column around a propaganda technique that is really a baroque twist to an old-fashioned rhetorical device.  That is, unless you think Leonhardt really doesn’t know the meaning of a simple word we all use.

Leonhardt wants to show that rationing of medical care can be a good thing, but the example around which his article is built, Richmond, Virginia, is not about rationing, even though he says it is.  What Richmond, Virginia did was to cut the supply of hospital beds.  Leonhardt is either a) obtuse or b) manipulative (I select “b”) in calling the decline in beds an example of rationing, when in fact there has been no limiting of access to hospital beds in Richmond.

Here’s exactly what David the Lionhearted says:

“Since 1996, the Richmond area has lost more than 600 of its hospital beds, mostly because of state regulations on capacity. Several hospitals have closed, and others have shrunk. In 1996, the region had 4.8 hospital beds for every 1,000 residents. Today, it has about three. Hospital care has been, in a word, rationed.”

Later Leonhardt demonstrates that care has not suffered in Richmond.

Now here are the definitions of “to ration” that my favorite online resource, Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged dictionary, gives:

“1 : to supply with rations : put on rations  2 a : to distribute as rations : allot in rations  b : to distribute or divide (as commodities in short supply) in an equitable manner or so as to achieve a particular object (as maximum production of particular items) — compare DIRECT CONTROL c : to use or indulge in sparingly synonym see APPORTION”

There’s nothing in there about cutting supply, only about cutting access.  Richmond had an oversupply, which it reduced, with no impact on the health care of its residents.  We have a lot to learn from the positive steps Richmond took to reduce oversupply, but it teaches us nothing at all about rationing.

My guess is that David Leonhardt believes that one day we may have to resort to real rationing, which means limiting access to health care.  So he tries to sneak one by us by labeling something as rationing that everyone will think is a great thing but unfortunately is not rationing.

The old rhetorical trick is to call a negative thing by a positive name to make the thing sound better.  The baroque twist that David the Lionhearted makes is to call a positive thing by a negative name to make the name you call it sound better. 

How the news media helped to spread the lies of this passing decade.

Yesterday I characterized the last decade as “The Lying Zeroes” because so much of the activity of government, business, other institutions and individuals either created lies or was based on lies.

The news media turned out to be a primary vehicle for spreading lies, and in stating this I am including the Internet, all websites, blogs and chat rooms, as part of the news media.  In fact, the most obvious reason for the rapid spreading of lies during “The Lying Zeroes” is the enormous growth of Internet news media, with its currently very low entry fee for becoming a carrier of information to the public.  Websites, chat rooms, blogs, social networking pages and now tweets are ways to spread lies.

But the news media’s contributions to “The Lying Zeroes” go beyond technology.  Here are some other woeful media trends that helped to create or communicate lies:

  • The consolidation of media so that the ownership of mass media outlets is in fewer hands, leading to fewer editorial voices, especially on talk radio, now dominated by right-wingers who lie (not all right-wingers do) and who over the past 10 years have replaced a far wider set of opinions voiced by local radio personalities.
  • Getting too cozy with government sources, which led to Judith Miller’s false reports in The New York Times about weapons of mass destruction and the misleading reporting from the Iraqi war front.
  • Not fact-checking government sources, which allowed Dick Cheney and others to keep spreading false reports of Iraqi involvement with Al Qaeda.
  • The “Matt Drudge” technique, which involves quoting another news source on assertions that turn out to be false so that you can tell the story you want to tell without first actually checking facts.
  • The use of balanced reporting to conflate the factual statements of one group with the unfactual statements of other groups, as in the recent healthcare debate or most public issues involving science.
  • The shrinking of mass media.  With fewer reporters out there, more are relying on government statements, the reports of others and news releases for their information.
  • Continued lower standards related to the truth content in commercials, not just by politicians but by a huge range of charlatans offering hair growth, greater virility, a way out of pressing debt problems, magic cures and unbelievable investments.

There is nothing we can or should do about the proliferation of media, and therefore lying, on the Internet, except to maybe establish more organizations to serve as Internet “truth sheriffs.”  But the established mass media really should clean up its act by raising the standards of its reporting and demanding that its advertisers tell the truth.

Let’s name the passing decade after something a lot of people did well: lie about stuff.

A lot of the punditerazzi in print, broadcast and online news media have been trying to brand the decade that is about to close with something akin to the “Swinging Sixties,” “The Me Decade,” “The Roaring Twenties” or “The Gay Nineties.”

So far, the most accurate name has come from Paul Krugman in his column in yesterday’s New York TimesHe calls the “Aughts” the “Decade of Zero”, as in zero growth in the stock market, in real estate prices, in the salary of the average worker and in the number of weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq.   

Krugman has a great point, and the fact that zero also refers to the number in the decade place of the years creates a very clever pun.

But I’m going to propose another moniker for the first 10 years of the 21st century: “The Decade of the Big Lie” or perhaps, “The Lying Decade.”  (“The Lying Aughties” doesn’t sound quite right, but I’m open.) 

What characterizes our decade more than the lies that elected officials, business leaders and other prominent people told us or that we as a society told each other? 

Here is an off-the-cuff partial list of the many lies upon which our lives rested and in some cases depended in “The Lying Decade.  First, some very big lies our government told us:

  • There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq
  • Iraq supported Al Qaeda
  • Everything is under control in New Orleans (just after Katrina hit)
  • We can achieve a victory in Iraq
  • We can achieve a victory in Afghanistan.

Here are some lies that individuals and organizations told us that lodged themselves into the belief systems of many people:

  • Waterboarding is not torture
  • John Kerry was not a hero in Viet Nam (“the “Swift Boat” lie)
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac forced bankers to make bad loans
  • It’s Obama’s recession
  • Global warming does not exist
  • The “Tea Party” drew a million people to its Washington march
  • Obama was not born in the U.S.A.

Let’s not forget frauds, which are collections of lies, including the 2000 voter fraud in Florida, Enron, Bernie Madoff and the other Ponzi schemers and the frauds of the pious politicians who turned out to be philanderers or engaged in the very behavior they were condemning.

Finally, here are some lies that it seemed most people believed and which motivated irrational actions by elected officials, businesses and individuals:

  • The private sector always gets the job done better than the public sector: which doesn’t take into account the private sector’s very bad and expensive performance in wartime, during the Katrina emergency and in administering private jails.
  • Technology companies have introduced a new era of endless gains in the stock market: which of course lead to the bust.
  • Real estate values will keep going up so you can buy a house and flip it or keep taking out bigger loans so you can live higher on the hog: we know how this one turned out.
  • Taxes are always a bad thing and we pay too many taxes in the United States: but our “to much” is lower than any other industrialized country and unfortunately not enough to pay for better schools, fixed highways, better and more mass transit, research into alternative technologies and other basic technologies and a guarantee of the basic rights that all people deserve in a wealthy society such as basic health care.

The sad thing is that so many institutions and individuals acted on these lies and by acting created our sad situation: fighting two unwinnable wars, a crumbling infrastructure, enormous unemployment and underemployment, a quarter of all homeowners owing more than the value of their homes.

The more I think about, the more I’m convinced that we are living in the great age of the big lie, but I really do like Krugman’s idea.  I know, let’s merge the two and call this dying decade “The Lying Zeroes,” which has the benefit of also referring to a number of our leaders during the period.

Mike & Mike replacements take a cheap shot at Michael Vick for ratings and Yahoo! follows along like a–dare I say it–lapdog.

Twice this morning on ESPN radio, I heard Erik Kuselias and Mark Schlereth, today’s vacation replacements for Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, try to foment anger against Michael Vick for receiving this year’s Ed Block Courage Award from the Philadelphia Eagles, on a unanimous vote by his teammates I understand.  Kuselias and Schlereth couldn’t understand how someone who had murdered dogs or made them fight could be given an award for courage.  They averred that it sullied the awards of the other recipients, as each NFL team votes for a winner every year.  They were livid that about one third of the listeners had emailed in supported Vick.

Instead of seeing the baiting of Vick by these disk jockeys for what it was, an attempt to boost website chatroom traffic and thereby increase ad revenues, Yahoo! decided to follow ESPN into the gutter.  By early this afternoon EST, the lead story on Yahoo!’s home page was an Op/Ed by someone named Chris Chase who said that the Eagles sullied the award by giving to someone who served time for an act of extreme cowardice.  

The crimes that Vick committed makes for an interesting discussion, because it’s an example of a cultural more becoming an enforced law.  As came out in the coverage of Vick’s trial, there has been a long-standing tradition of fighting dogs in certain southern enclaves.  We know that Vietnamese eat dogs, which proved to be a problem throughout the 70’s in San Francisco.  I remember the local media almost weekly wrote about dogs getting free of leashes in Golden Gate Park and never returning.  I’m condoning neither the fighting nor the eating of dog; in fact I find both disgusting.  I’m just pointing out that there are cultural differences and in this one case, our legal system does not accommodate the differences.

But whatever the nature of the crime, how can anyone deny that it takes courage for someone who has been a pampered and coddled star since at least the age of 12 to go through two years of hard jail time.  Jails are not very nice places, not even limited security jails.  Those “country club” prisons of movie mythology—they don’t really exist.

In short, Erik, Mark, Chris and any other pious busybody who still has a grudge against Vick for his brutal treatment of dogs:

 He did the crime AND he did the time.

In this country, that means that he’s free to go on with his life.  Instead of tacking cheap shots about giving an award for courage to a reformed criminal who has put his life back together, why don’t you do your job and talk about sports?

The Glenn Beck Machine Manufactures a Christmas Story for Children

The cover of The Christmas Sweater lists Glenn Beck as the sole author.  It’s only when you get to the second title page that you see that this children’s book is adapted by Chris Schoebinger from an original story by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe and Jason Wright.

The story is a dramaless tale of a boy around 10 who wants to get a bike for Christmas until he has a dream in which he gets a sweater that unleashes a wave of family love.  When he wakes up, he wants the sweater more than the bike. Of course he gets both.  Seeming to orchestrate both the dream and Christmas day is a grandfather who resembles a very buff Santa Claus.

A curious thing about the book is that this blissful, happy family Christmas is completely devoid of any religious element.  We never even see the top of the Christmas tree, which would likely have a nativity star on it.  Everything for this possession-rich white rural or suburban family revolves around the material.  The two symbols in the story are the sweater whose warmth becomes a metaphor for the warmth of family life, which in this story is something that is received, not given: the boy receives the emotion by getting a gift not by giving one.  The other symbol is a candy cane which the author (authors, manufacturers??) uses to suggest in an oblique way that grandpa knew he was inside the boy’s dream.

The illustration style and other design elements are fairly standard:  finely drawn but airbrushed realism in bright contrasting colors; a nice selection of points-of-views for the illustrations.  Little paragraphs on each page covering the “white space” of the illustration.  All pretty standard for hard-cover children’s books.

The book looks like a piece of fabricated art, that is a work of art or entertainment that is put together by a committee for the sole purpose of creating a product to sell (as opposed to being the passionate response to life that real art is supposed to be, whether it’s a movie by Fellini or a children’s story by Ezra Jack Keats.)

Most examples of fabricated art nowadays come from the world of movies and popular music. 

Here are some of the traits of fabricated art that we can see in The Christmas Sweater:

  • Multiple authors or a muddied authorship situation in which you don’t really know who did what.  The promotional material may say “Glenn Beck,” but in the book no one is listed as the writer, although we have an adapter.  And we have no idea if the two people who figured out the original story took stenography while Beck spun out details or if Beck sipped tea while they pieced the story together from little snippets of images and plotlines from other books.
  • The work extends a brand and depends on the brand, which certainly is the case with The Christmas Sweater.
  • The work pulls together elements of its art form in a way that is purely imitative as opposed to breathing new life into these old forms.  Fabricated art will not create original content, but instead throws out stock characters.  It will tell you something that seems as if you heard it before.  In The Christmas Sweater, some of stock Christmas story elements used without even the injection of a new twist include wanting a bike, an older guy who could really be Santa Claus and a prance through the snow.
  • There is a sense of great distancing between the audience and the story, as if we’re looking in from the outside as opposed to being in the middle of the action.  In the case of The Christmas Sweater, the distancing is created through the sketchiness of the vignettes which constitute the plot, the lack of any emotional dynamic in the characters and the creation of symbols that do not really refer to anything.

The back cover notes that The Christmas Sweater is a best-selling novel.  That means that children and families everywhere are reading this lifeless artificial book product instead of A Christmas Carol, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, My First Christmas and other classics.  I guess that’s similar to eating fruit rolls and drinking corn syrup-rich fruit drinks instead of eating a piece of fruit.

What do Pleistocene hunters have to do with poker anyway? Absolutely nothing, Mr. McManus.

I wanted a light read for a few days, so I picked up James McManus’ Cowboys Full expecting a history of poker.  But little did I know that first I would have to submit to a painfully twisted Darwinian fairy tale in which the writer attempts to show how his version of standard modern behavior in complex society began in prehistoric days and/or our genetic code. 

Let’s let McManus speak for himself:

Our urge to compete and take chances developed along the following lines.  Pleistocene hunters risked life and limb for the best opportunities to slaughter ferocious but protein-rich animals.  The closer they got with a chipped-stone spearhead to a scared, angry buffalo, the more likely they were to be trampled or gored, but the better chance they had of actually killing the beast.  Courage and aggressiveness counted.  Hanging back from the fray may have helped a risk-averse male survive the day’s hunt, but it wouldn’t have served him well otherwise.  Hunters who took down fresh meat were lionized within the tribe.  They received larger portions of protein and more opportunities to mate with nubile females.  Meanwhile, the females were competing among themselves-painting their faces, displaying their breasts and genitalia-for the chance to mate with the best food providers.  Once copulation took place, protection became even more vital to the families who might become pregnant, so the sexual bounty was even more lavish for the hunters-turned-warriors who killed the most enemy tribesmen.  By this means and others, a taste for bold risk taking was efficiently bred into our species.  Perhaps the most obvious example today occurs when the prettiest cheerleader dates the star of the varsity team.

When constructing these Darwinian fantasies or fairy tales, in virtually every case the behavior that the writer wants to validate is part of the package of traditional Victorian values.  In the past few months I’ve pointed a number of examples of Darwinian fairy tales, all of which uphold traditional ideas about men and women; for example, see the blogs for November 17 and September 1.

In the McManus book, he is trying to connect good hunters getting the best women in the caveman days with varsity stars getting the prettiest cheerleaders today. 

But it’s all made up out of the very thinnest of air; maybe it’s made of phlogiston, that imaginary stuff in the air that Lavoisier proved did not exist.  It does not even exist in popular mythology much:  The classic movie plot is for the cheerleader to start with the star and then mature to the point that she ends up with the dancer, singer, political activist or hood.  And as I remember reality, the prettiest cheerleader usually dated a college man. 

My point is that McManus is trying to impose a personal observation on us as social reality and uses a fairy tale he either mistakenly or cynically calls scientific to do so.  The fact that this excursion into Darwinian fairy-telling was extraneous to the rest of the book, which is supposed to be about poker, makes it all the more irritating.   Let’s hope he takes it out of the paperback edition.

Every time I critique a Darwinian fairy tale, I make sure I write that I believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution, I just don’t buy into these elaborate explanations based on little or no evidence.

Is YouTube the reason for all the Christmas carol parodies in TV commercials?

Has anyone else noticed how many TV commercials for this holiday season revolve around the singing of a traditional Christmas carol with substitute lyrics which tout the products or benefits of buying the advertiser’s wares?

Some examples of song parodies (or perhaps travesties) driving TV commercials this year:

  • T.J.Maxx/Marshall’s puts new lyrics to “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”
  • Best Buy parodies a number of carols, but the one that comes to mind is “God Bless Ye Merry Gentlemen”
  • The Pennsylvania Lottery has a game for every day in its version of “The 12 Days of Christmas”
  • For Outback Steak House, “Jingle Bells” becomes “Lobster tails, lobster tails, lobsters all the way…”
  • Rohrich Motors, a local car dealer, does its own version of “Jingle Bells” dedicated to financing a car purchase, which goes “Zero down, zero down, zero all the way…” 

The question is why has this advertising style invaded TV all of the sudden? I believe the answer is that the song parody represents the confluence of two trends:

  1. The song parody is a form of consumer-produced art that has become so popular in the age of YouTube and Facebook.
  2. The song parody is in essence adolescent humor, which has also become increasingly popular in advertising, especially in any non-jewelry commercial targeting men (and even some of the jewelry ones as well).

Now for a little personal history of song parodies leading to a unified theory of why they have invaded the public psyche lately, and especially this Christmas:  When I was a kid, song parodies were a kind of weak-kneed rebellion in middle school years.  There was always one person in every group of kids, usually but not always a boy (and in my group it was me) who would cleverly turn popular songs into something funny.  In my case, we were 12-year-old Jewish boys rebelling against singing Christmas carols in the holiday assemblies of our public schools, so we would sing my words to “Noel”: “No ale this morning ‘cause Piels is on strike.” Turning “Silver bells” and “Jingle bells” slightly obscene took nothing more than a deft change of one vowel.  In fact, most of the song parodies I wrote, to such varied material as “Carolina in the Morning,” “The Singing Nun” and “Stuck on You,” were pretty blue.

These parody songs, sung in such male-bonding environments as scout camps, school assemblies and dances, moved from group to group or died out when the creators grew up, but for the most part were marginal cultural artifacts, much like graffiti before pop artists discovered spray paint in the early 70’s.

Of course, there have been infrequent mainstream and near mainstream “stars” who depended primarily or exclusively on song parodies.  Alan Sherman had a series of albums in the early 60’s, with such gimmick titles as “Ma Zelda” for “Mathilda,” “Harvey and Sheila” for “Hava Nagilah,” and the incomparable masterpiece of the genre, “Oh Boy,” a cultural dictionary set to “The Ballad Of Pepe Pinto (Mexican Jumping Bean Song)” which both Billy Joel and REM may have used for inspiration for their own list songs, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and “The End of The World,” respectively. 

Calvin Trillin is our most distinguished current practitioner of song parodies in the pages of Nation, but he never sings his material (to my knowledge), only writes it down.

Nowadays, our up-and-coming Lorenz Harts get a video camera and perform their songs for the Internet, that is, the entire world.  The song parodies have thus become part of the do-it-yourself trend in entertainment launched by reality TV and the Internet.  Beyond that, they are also part of the larger trend to sacrifice quality for accessibility and portability: sound quality, image quality and quality in production values.  Such tradeoffs have been made before in cultural history, e.g., in Byzantine art and post-Charlemagne letters.

Trends such as these are ever the font of advertising inspiration.  In fact, a history of advertising reflects a history of short- and long-term trends in popular culture as a whole.  

I’m going to close with a moment of self-indulgence with the lyrics for my favorite among the song parodies I have written.  I did this one as a 21-year-old graduate student in comparative literature, sung to Jimmy McHugh’s melody for “I’m in the Mood for Love”:

I’m in the mood for geometry

simply because you’re near me.

When we are lying parallel

I’m in the mood for geometry.


Staring into your parabolas

sends me into hyperbole.

I think your cosine’s the same as mine,

I’m in the mood for geometry.

Buy now, pay later turns infantilization into debt slavery.

After signing off yesterday, I realized that I forgot to mention one of the most subtle forms of infantilization of American adults, one that has led to the current deep recession (which I won’t believe is over until there is some job growth).

It’s the “buy now, pay later” mentality that makes people use high-interest credit cards or take loans on their houses to buy something now instead of saving up the money and not having to pay interest later.  Let’s amend the phrase and call it what it really is: “buy now and pay more later” because of what are sometimes exorbitant interest charges.

Infants and children can’t wait.  One of the signs of adulthood is being able to delay gratification.  Buy now, pay more later is about instant gratification.  It’s about behaving just like a child.

Yet the “buy now and pay more later” ideology permeates our culture more than any other ideological principle, more than even the superiority of the free market or the blessedness of monogamy.  And it has all happened since the end of World War II.

Most advertising is about making people want something right now so people will buy right now!!  If people stopped behaving like children when it comes to satisfying urges, many of which television and other mass media artificially inseminate into viewers, the U.S. economy would come unhinged.

On the other hand, when sub-prime mortgages brought down housing values, literally millions of people who had solid jobs and good mortgages suddenly owed more money than their houses were worth, all because as the value of housing had become inflated, they had borrowed more on theirs so they could buy now and pay more later.

So indeed, the U.S. would be better off if we weaned ourselves off the “buy on credit” mentality completely, except when it comes to buying (not fixing up) homes and paying for college for kids who deserve to be in college.  The economy would shudder if we all woke up one morning and decided to become adults, and then it would adjust.

The infantilization of the U.S.: more adults are behaving like children today.

Paul Sheldon pointed out to me a recent op/ed piece published in the New York Times by an Oregon high school senior, who tells of the many times in visiting college campuses that she heard the tour guide compare some aspect of the school to Hogwarts, which I understand is the imaginary school for apprentice practitioners of supernatural arts in the Harry Potter children’s books. 

Some examples of what Lauren Edelsen encountered:

  • “…he points to a nearby field and mentions the sport students play there: a flightless version of J. K. Rowling’s Quidditch game — broomsticks and all.” (Middlebury)
  • “…the admissions officer compared the intramural sports competitions there to the Hogwarts House Cup.  The tour guide told me that I wouldn’t be able to see the university’s huge freshman dining hall as it was closed for the day, but to just imagine Hogwarts’s Great Hall in its place.”  (Harvard)
  • “…a tour guide ushered my group past a large, wood-paneled room filled with comfortable chairs and mentioned the Hogwarts feel it was known for.” (Dartmouth)

And on and on about other pretty laughable, if pathetic examples of colleges touting their Potteresque qualities. 

First off, hats off to Lauren for expressing her disappointment that the schools were connecting to children’s literature to sell themselves.  Universities should be creating free-thinking adults, not indulging the passions of childhood.

Now to put the information presented in this article into a broader context, which is the infantilization of American adulthood over the past 40 years.   Infantilization means to make someone into an infant in appearance or behavior, in this case, for adults to retain the habits and predilections of childhood which are in fact made for children.

I’m talking about adults in late 20th century and early 21st century America behaving like children and enjoying the entertainments of their childhood.   Some examples:

  • Disney’s EPCOT Center, a theme park for adults, opened in 1982 and since then the growth in popularity of all theme parks among adults has skyrocketed.  It is absolutely amazing how many adults now go to theme parks for vacation.
  • Around the mid-70s, there began a wave of children’s movies for adults, starting with the “Star Wars” and the Indiana Jones series.  Other children’s movies for adults are the movie versions of situation comedies for children such as “The Brady Bunch.” (But I’m not talking about “The Simpsons,” which like “Gulliver’s Travels” and “Huckleberry Finn,” is an adult entertainment that children can also enjoy.)
  • The hundreds of computer games for adults.
  • Glorified fast-food chains serving alcohol with video and other games for adults, such as Dave & Busters.
  • The intervention of parents into the play lives of their children, e.g., over-organization by parents of all activities of children.

There is also some infantilization in the growth of experts to help us manage our lives such as closet consultants, professional organizers, party planners, life coaches, college selection consultants, etc.  The rise of the “Age of the Expert” results from a variety of social and economic forces, but one of them certainly is this trend of adults behaving like children (looking for an adult to tell them what to do).

Over the next few days/weeks/months/years, I’m going to try to identify and write about other aspects of the “infantilization of adult” trend.