What is the obsession with age these days?!

We’re obsessed with looking young, but paranoid about youth.  What is the right age today?  Does anyone know?

I mean, gods forfend that a child might show compassion or anything before they’re 7 because some idiot says they can’t.  If they can’t then we shouldn’t expect them to, so they never learn to, so later the research shows they can’t before they’re 8, then 9, then 35 … to judge by most people, at least in America, I’m willing to believe it’s already the latter if not older than that.

Children are as mature as a combination of their own nature and their upbringing makes them.  In the Little House series Laura’s age was upped to 5, because the publishers couldn’t believe that Laura was actually 2 in the earliest bits.  Today people have enough trouble buying that she was 5.

I like Susan’s take on the matter in Thief of Time when the headmistress of the school is shocked to learn she’s teaching algrebra to her very young students “Well, they don’t know that it’s too difficult for them.” Or something to that effect — the book isn’t handy to look it up.

We never expect youth to be responsible, thoughtful, intelligent, respectful, tolerant, generous, etc.  Then we’re surprised when they never learn to be.  Does anyone else see this as fucking retarded?

I was set off by this article below being just one thing too many in the long list of reasons I’ve been looking for to make this rant.


An ornamental copy of the Declaration of Independence. Photo: Library of Congress

If the leaders of the Revolutionary War birthed America, then America’s parents were young. Very young. When the nascent United States declared its independence on July 4, 1776, its youngest signer, Edward Rutledge from South Carolina, was just 26. But Rutledge wasn’t the only young face to join the battle against the British.

Todd Andrlik, author of the book Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News, compiled a list of the ages of many of Revolutionary War’s notable figures, as of that first Independence Day.

Take Andrew Jackson, for example: long before he was President, from 1829 to 1837, he fought for America. The war began when he was just 9, and Jackson joined the cause a few years later. The Hermitage:

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