Monday, May 17, 2004
"From childless fans of kiddie music to the grown-up readers of 'Harry Potter,' inner children are having fun all over. Whether they are buying cars marketed to consumers half their age, dressing in baby-doll fashions or bonding over games like Twister and kickball, a new breed of quasi adult is co-opting the culture of children as never before. Most have busy lives with adult responsibilities, respectable jobs and children of their own. They are not stunted adolescents. They are something else: grown-ups who cultivate juvenile tastes in products and entertainment. Call them rejuveniles."
"According to Nielsen Media research, more adults 18 to 49 watch the Cartoon Network than watch CNN. More than 35 million people have caught up with long-lost school pals on the Web site Classmates.com. ("There's something about signing on to Classmates.com that makes you feel 16 again," the "60 Minutes II" correspondent Vicki Mabrey reported.) Fuzzy pajamas with attached feet come in adult sizes at Target, along with Scoobie Doo underpants. The average age of video game players is now 29, up from 18 in 1990, according to the Entertainment Software Association. Hello Kitty's cartoon face graces toasters. Sea Monkeys come in an executive set."
Though Noxon has managed to identify a phenomenon that may inspire hope for the fun-seeking adults amongst us, the term "juvenile" has too many unfortunately pejorative associations to capture the spirt of our maturely joyseeking ilk. And yet...