Life in the Childish States of America

Life in the Childish States of America
Image: Shutterstock

This week we learned that, for the first time in 130 years, more young adults ages 18-34 are living with their parents than in any other arrangement. We also learned (or were reminded) that students at Oberlin, one of the most prestigious colleges in the country, are wee wailing babies who are having the all-day equivalent of night terrors. You can hardly speak to them without using “magic circles” to soothe them.

These two trends aren’t coincidental: Millennials, and the generation following them, are reforming the country. What they’re creating amounts to the Childish States of America. If our national symbols were to be revised accordingly, the bald eagle would have to be replaced with a Teletubby.

At Oberlin, just about the friendliest, indeed most groveling, place on Earth for those who consider themselves members of marginalized groups, a black student complained, “My parents don’t have the funds to drive to Oberlin when I’m crying and ready to self-harm,” to The New Yorker’s Nathan Heller in an eyebrow-raising yet utterly unsurprising report.

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