Our Stupid Culture

I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with people over the age of 18 not held as accountable adults.

Do I think that there’s any magic age at which someone is an adult and that 18 is such an age?

No, not at all. As long it is stuck to socially, holding someone accountable as an adult at any age over puberty won’t get any real argument out of me. But this pretend stuff has got to stop. If you’re a kid at 18, then dammit, change the laws!

When I was in my mid-teens, the drinking age in Washington, DC was 18. I lived about 50 miles from there, and it was common among people between the ages of 18 and 21 to go to Georgetown to party.

The law changed around my 18th birthday. No grandfather clause. Like many young adults, I grumbled the famous cliche, “I’m old enough to die for my country, but not old enough to take a drink.”

Some “older and wiser heads”1 told me that I’d feel differently when I got older.

Well, I think as old as my parents were at the time is “older” enough. I still don’t feel differently about it.

I grumbled once that they oughta just raise the age of majority to 21 and be done with it. pointed out to me that the credit card companies would freak. They make a lot of money out of the 18-21 age demographic. If the age of majority is raised, you won’t be able to extend that age group credit at very high rates and with all those wonderful fees.

Yes, between the credit and drinking bad judgement, you might think I am in favor of an older age of adulthood.

I’m not. I’m in favor of a culture that teaches accountability, that stops calling a 19 year old college student a “kid” (which I do. I’m a product of my culture, but this I intend to try to stop), a culture that could somehow have real opportunities for youngster rather than forcing them to play at life for years and years after they’re biologically adults. It’s the rare teenager who feels of any use at all in society. Sure some do, and that’s awesome. But it’s rare, because for the most part they’re in a holding pattern. That holding pattern is lousy training for adulthood.

1Not my parents. I’d been allowed to drink on special occasions en famille since strangers started addressing me as “ma’am”. Call it sixteen.

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