What does it mean to "grow out of" a form of entertainment?
by, 10th September 2013 at 02:02 AM (1166 Views)
Hey guys, lately I've been thinking about why people talk about growing out of cartoons, video games and such. The whole concept has really changed with our society. Back in the day, entertainment was much simpler and therefore easier to dismiss as "childish" or simply not worth your time because people soon got caught up in the hard reality of work, raising a family, etc. But in the 21st century we find entertainment at every corner. Work and lifestyles have changed, for many they have become easier to manage due to the technology and services of our day. We are much more in tune with the value of all aspects of life including entertainment, which disregarding the corruption, is becoming ever -increasingly sophisticated.
I would define "growing out" of something in the literal sense; that you are actually with maturity understanding why it is entertaining and why you are no longer receiving the same satisfaction and value as other aspects of your life. It has nothing to do with how said entertainment is perceived by others, therefore no one else can say for you whether you are growing out of it. The term "childish" is what society uses to decide what is appropriate but may not reflect how you feel.Why does it make you laugh and smile or why does it make you dismiss it. The answer lies within human pride. Its a powerful thing, one that causes many preconceptions of what ought to be and what not.
Probably my favorite real life quote ever comes from C.S Lewis explanation of "adult" and "childish";
"Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
Fortunately many things considered childish in Lewis' time are now more openly accepted and enjoyed because they are enjoyable and nobody can change that. But even though our world is more in tune with fun, some still cling to their silly pride. And then there are some who simply don't grasp the more complex aspects of the entertainment value. As a Pokemon fan, I understand in detail exactly why I like it and always will. Yet I grew up with parents who to this day see it as childish. Not to any extreme mind you, they like other fun "disney-esque" things, but simply due to misunderstanding of Pokemon's depth. Throughout my childhood they never understood what all this high-pitched cartoon characters were doing. As my dad described anime in general; "Its always some kind of crises and with kids/girls screaming!"
But back to the point, it is my observation that the less one understands something, and not just by words but by experience, the more likely they are to deem it childish. My Little Pony is another great example of this in recent times, but that's for someone else to blog about. Even the term doesn't need to imply for kids only, just not for someone else. And in that sense I disagree, because entertainment is what you make of it. Does it make you happy? Then to you it is for you. Inversely, it is irrelevant if for to you it is not for someone else unless unlawful or unhealthy. I say that not forcefully but quite truthfully. I love Pokemon and only I can be the judge of whether I ever grow out of it. I also constructively criticize it but only I can judge. Entertainment is for exactly those to be entertained. That means you, and you, and you, and you...
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