Maher doesn't even go into the issues of tastes in food and drink, but you'll get the idea.
It is pretty obvious that a kid who wants to play isn't terribly interested in deeper thoughts and debates on serious topics. (Just ask any Grammar School teacher.) But once we all got older, like college-age, we lived for all-night discussions about everything from philosophy, to religion, to tearing apart great literature.
The current state of conversation is sad. Adults have no idea anymore on how to discuss something logically, with some cleverness, and without leaving the discussion angry. It was once civilized discourse. the banter of the parlour. Now we are a bunch of toddlers stomping our feet as validation of a position.
We've even elected a child as President.
Music also used to separate generations, now moms and dads who grew up on Disney and Nickelodeon, can listen to their 'grown-up' childhood stars singing as 'adults' along with their kids. Go into any store and you are bound to hear some sappy Taylor Swift song and see some 40+ woman singing along with it.
We've "Disneyfied" adulthood. Times Square is like a New York slice of Epcot. Broadway.....which used to be where great playwrights debuted their masterworks....is now home to stage musical versions of past Disney Animated movies. You didn't get tired of endlessly popping the "Lion King" into your VCR? Now you can pay to see it on stage.
Remember when adults relaxed with their friends to 'play a game'? Cards were very common. If you were a gambler, there was Poker, and if your tastes were more strategic, there was Bridge. Not a card player? Adults could also be found playing Scrabble. And let's not even get into Checkers and Chess.....both very strategic games each appealing to a different audience. How about Backgammon? Trivial Pursuit? Now you see adults playing video games.....even mind-numbingly insipid ones like Maher mentions that you see adults playing on their phones. (And I get it. They can be fun. I've done it too.....well not the phone ones, but I have enjoyed blowing off steam shooting zombies in Resident Evil.) But just like Summer Vacation, they aren't something that should permanently supplant more demanding recreations. There are even coloring books for adults in every craft store. (Remember when an adult might take an art class?......or hell, even watch Bob Ross?)
Oh for a 'happy tree'!
Even religion is not immune to this phenomenon. Thomas Bergler has written about how this same trend has infiltrated Christianity. (link) I am not a religious person, but I did grow up seeing this around me when I used to attend church. And it would make sense that once a society reverts to a childish mentality, that besides the things I've already mentioned, it would affect spirituality as well. It seems like a lot of Christians are taking Mark 10:15 very literally. "Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
I've discussed this "Juvenilization Phenomenon" with my family and friends and they admit they have seen the same trends. We tried to figure out why this was happening and one theory that surfaced was that we no longer revere old age. In fact we are terrified of it. We hide our elderly, hoping they die quickly somewhere out of sight. And through plastic surgery and childlike mentalities we journey back to Never Never Land spurning anything that might make us "look old". We hate the inevitability of aging and worship youthfulness. The trouble is that while it is a healthy and smart goal to avoid growing old, especially mentally.........that does not mean we should not grow UP.
( Next up we will look at the growing interest in Big/littles, and adult babies.......the sexualization of juvenilization.)