Growing Up; A Fairly Odd Inevitability

So here we are once again, it’s been about four or five days since the last article (depending on your time zone, of course) and I’m just about ready to begin. Though, before I do, I’d just like to say that the first review for TheByteScene was incredibly well met, and I can safely say that it brought a lot more views than I thought it would, meaning that, for the time being anyway, it is a success. Therefore, more reviews will be on their way and in due time; but this is TheBytePost, and here we pose important, life altering questions that challenge our perception of right and wrong; the questions change our views of reality, they change our own thoughts, and most importantly, they change our concepts of good and bad (almost tickling our senses in a fury of thought and anticipation). Suffice it to say, thoughts are processed and brought into question and, in case anyone was wondering, no. This monologue was not written just to take up space and to waste time, I actually do (in all honesty) believe that TheBytePost is a place for thought and analysis, more so than TheWeeklyReview and TheByteScene.

Though that monologue is all and well, if there’s nothing to discuss, then this panel might as well be rendered obsolete, which is why I do digress. A few days ago I finished watching A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner and reviewed it (this information isn’t truly pertinent because it’s obvious and readily available for anyone to find). The film itself is a children’s movie and, as such, there are numerous ways to interpret it; for example: the main focus of the film is the concept of “Growing Up” and accepting life and responsibility as an adult, specifically, by moving out of your parents (or guardian’s) home, getting a job (stable or otherwise), and falling in love. The aptly titled “Real World,” as in the movie (and as is now becoming a standard manner of thinking), operates on a similar set of beliefs. Following a certain amount of schooling where one lives at home with their parents or guardians, one will then move out of that home, find a stable job (that will provide them with a steady source of income to sustain their chosen lifestyles) and will, presumably and hopefully, fall in love. If such a sequence of events does not take place (for example, if one does not move out of their parents’s home) they are labeled as invalids; social rejects incapable of surviving on their own and thereby invalidating the decades and decades worth of social evolution that humanity has undergone. Suffice it to say, they are no longer “Normal” and therefore these individuals are not entirely accepted in the overall framework of society.

However, the human fixation on “Normality” and maintaining a cover of decency is exactly why “Growing up” is so important. I certainly cannot make a show of knowing exactly when in the time and history of the universe an ancestor of the human race stood up and declared it good to move out of his parents’s cave and into a nice 5 story apartment downtown with his girlfriend because it’s closer to his job as a freelance journalist and her job as a museum curator. However, I do know for a fact that as soon as he made this decision, it was ingrained in the collective consciousness of the ensuing population that such a concept is right and appropriate, and that it qualifies as decent, and acceptable behaviour. I can certainly attest that living on one’s own is a pleasure in various ways; that sense of freedom that one gains is immense and, in a word, fantastic and it is fun to be able to go out for a 2 AM twinkie run because one is hungry and desires the cream filled treat; falling in love and earning ones own pay is another series of luxuries that many take for granted on a daily basis, and this is why I am not rejecting these concepts on their own, merely as a whole entity that defines us as a culture and society. Moreover, I must mention that while I only provided 3 examples of how one is expected to grow up, these are not the points I am trying to target. My question is not “Why must one move out” or “Why must one fall in love,” so much as my question is “Why must one colloquially grow up to be accepted in modern society?”

Why must one give up the luxuries of their youth if they are to be considered normal and whole adults? Why must cartoons, trading cards, video games, comic books, and artificially flavoured breakfast cereals give way to politics, financial investment, paying bills, a daily newspaper, and Special K? Moreover, why can’t these two almost separate conventions exist side by side? Politicians are already exaggerated actors to begin with, changing their roles almost constantly to suit a never suited public and, after all, investments are nothing more than timed trades made between different trains of thought (simply put) just like cartoons are nothing more than entertainment for children returning home from school or waking up early on a Saturday morning (I know that cartoons are on 24 hours a day, but the best ones on any channel are always timed to air on a single date in a very particular time slot; between the hours of 8 AM and 2 PM on Saturday) and trading cards are nothing more than pieces of paper with an almost constantly changing monetary value (simply put, of course). I suppose the truth of the matter isn’t that growing up forces one to change, so much as growing up forces one to change to suit the needs of others. A parent, after all, doesn’t exist until a hungry mouth appears at the table, asking for nothing more than food and love, just as much as a child doesn’t exist until an entity wakes them from a nine month rest, informing them almost lovingly that it’s time to be alive. Though this itself is a minor digression, as the original point asked was and is why we must give up “Childish” enjoyments to become “Adults.” The truth of it all is a concept that many brilliant minds have been revealing and dwelling upon for generations; there is no set point in time where one is informed that they are adults and, likewise, there is no single point in time where one is woken up in the middle of the night to be taken to a ceremony where they are certified as members of a ring of adults and, there is certainly no point in time where one must stop being a “Child” because the truth of it all is that one never stops being a “Child,” as cliché as that statement may be.

There is, however, a definitive time where one’s interests and responsibilities immensely change and one is forced to understand that while going to the nearest supermarket at 2 AM for a package of Kraft Dinner might be fun and delicious, it isn’t healthy, and they need to wake up early the next day to go to work, to go to school, to drop off their child at school, or to go care for a sick elder in dire need of help. The truth is, Timmy Turner never really needed to “Grow up” from being a child, he only needed to realize that the universe doesn’t revolve around him and him alone, and that there are greater travesties than not getting the decoder ring from his box of Fruity Tooty O’s; travesties like world hunger, a declining environmental state, a political scene that is never good enough for its people and, most importantly of course, everyone else in the universe. Though that itself might be the one point at which a person realizes they are adults and are qualified to be adults: when they come to terms with accepting the fact that they are no longer the center of their own universes and that there is someone or something else that deserves that very important position.

The fact of the matter is that a person doesn’t need to colloquially grow up to be accepted in modern society. One can still read comic books, watch cartoons, play video games, stay up later than is ever humanly healthy, and eat terrible breakfast cereals, collect Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, play Pokemon and Halo, collect action figures of famous heroes such as Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and the Hal Jordan version of Green Lantern, read manga, watch anime, collect expansive issues of Nintendo Power, and relish the rerelease of another Star Wars film (while also secretly despising George Lucas for forcing them to spend more and more of their hard earned money on trivialities when they know that no amount of CGI can ever fix Jar Jar Binks). One can do all of those things and still be a functioning member of society and, in fact, one can even keep all of their childish tendencies when they grow up (you’d be surprised how many “Adults” are nothing more than slobbering man-children) because there are very few reasons why one won’t be accepted into society (the few exceptions are the most obvious exceptions).

The one definitive truth of the universe is that one only truly “Grows up” when they realize that their own interests are no longer the most important in the world and when they realize that driving 6 hours to get to Comic-Con is not a great idea when they’ve got bills to pay to make sure their family doesn’t end up on the street or in a shelter (and if you actually are capable of accomplishing such a feat, count yourself as extremely lucky and be sure to never forget that stunning fact). That really is an extreme example, but then again, all it took for Timmy Turner to “Grow up” was an evil oil tycoon kidnapping his closest friends and love interest, and holding them all in an evil lair filled with paraphernalia from a lost childhood forcing him to save them. Compared to what he went through to get back two creatures capable of literally destroying the universe, the entire world has it just a little bit easier, if one looks at it logically and reasonably of course. I suppose the only real conclusion from all of this is that “Growing up” isn’t all that necessary in the modern world. Not necessary, but almost entirely inevitable under any circumstance of living.

As always, this has been your Admin; comment and criticize, and DO remember! Always look on the BYTE side of life!

-EK

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