I have noticed that "family" is thrown around with an increased frequency lately. Companies can't plaster it into advertisements enough. As if there are anti-famiily companies. What does "family" company mean?
I guess the family companies don't care about me, the single, childless gay.
In other news, I have noticed, in the last year, that local business tv commercials frequently encourage viewers to "attend the church of your choice." That causes me to get out my phonebook (yes, I know that makes me sound 98, but I live in a smallish town where local phonebooks are still handy) and mark out businesses that suggest church attendance in ads.
Am I being too sensitive, or does this type of stuff irritate you?
I think we'd do well in society to have some, a few, very few people be breeders/parents, and leave the rest of us out of it :)
The nuclear family concept was never a good idea to begin with... I think it's in fact what turned kids into shitty people in the first place. :)
Before that fucked-up era of child-rearing according to this or that psychologist and book of the month club in newspapers... children grew up A LOT FASTER, and didn't go through those ridiculous spoiled brat phases... unless they were royalty. Humans' obsession with longevity has created a chasm for children who spend a decade as helpless infants, and youth who now must spend an extra decade as teens, instead of 6 months to a year, and it keeps getting worse! To finally only reach adult behaviour at age 25-30, instead of 15-16 when it should be, when we're biologically prepared to take on adult lives, or at the very minimum training for it!
The longer and longer humans chose to live, the more years youth will spend in "annoyance" years!!! ;)
The issue, I think, isn't so much that today's kids are brats or that they mature too slowly; there's some truth to this, and sparks an interesting debate of whether modern post-industrialized society is genuinely better off than its "primitive" counterparts. But let's save that for another day. Rather, the immediate point here is that society as a whole has become geared towards a standard and ethos catering to small children (not teenagers) and their parents. What we watch, how we dress, what we read, how we entertain ourselves, how we shop, what vehicles we drive and what traffic laws regulate the operation of those vehicles - these and sundry social conventions, rules and laws combine to produce a world whose principal focus seems to be the unloading of parents' private burdens and the distribution of those burdens onto everyone.
I'll give one example, and a trivial one at that: sports cars. Not too long ago (the 1960s through the 1980s), personal coupes, sports cars and sporty cars, were hugely popular and dominated the consumer imagination, if not outright their spending habits. It was typical and expected for a middle-aged man to purchase a sports car, not merely as "compensation" but as a badge of having arrived. Now said middle-aged man would buy an SUV. SUVs and similar huge vehicles dominate the market, touted for their combination of "ruggedness" and kid-toting capacity. But even the "ruggedness" is tame. What happened to the days of guys taking their daily-driven vehicles to the drag-strip on Saturday? This still happens, but now it's a niche activity. Today's automobiles are dominated by a feeling that cars should be large and roomy, to ferry families around in comfort and [perceived] safety.
Trivial example #2: clothing. In the not too distant past (1960s and prior), it was typical for adult men to wear suits, or trousers and a jacket, for most occasions, across many social strata. This wasn't just for dandies or corporate bigshots. Now we're in a culture of jeans and sneakers, where adults essentially dress like big kids. Show up at the grocery store or make a social call to neighbors while dressed in a suit, and people will think that you're a Mormon missionary or an insurance salesman. I attribute the decline in elegance of dress, the overall tendency towards the casual, to the infantilization of our society - the tendency to use children, or the image of children, as the measure of all things.
Well written, I especially like your analogy of "family vehicles". It's true! They used to be the "yuk" factor, so unsexy, now they're the norm. In the past couple of decades, parenting is sexy... and children (pagents, commercial) have become sex objects too. I sure wouldn't want to be born in these two decades. grumble.