January 20, 2012

Annals of Childish Behavior™ (continued)

Over the past decade TV chef Paula Deen has become the Queen of Comfort Cuisine, building an empire on mountains of fried chicken, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and butter cake.

On January 17 she appeared on NBC's Today show to make two announcements: she was diagnosed with diabetes three years ago and she has now signed a contract with a pharmaceutical company to promote its diabetes medication.

On Today she denied that her recipes contributed to her diabetes or that she had any responsibility for the health of her viewers. "I don’t blame myself,” she said.

Is modern culture being overwhelmed by an epidemic of childishness? JosĂ© Ortega y Gasset, writing in 1930, thought so. Annals of Childish Behavior™ chronicles contemporary examples of that epidemic. The childish citizen, Ortega said, puts "no limit on caprice" and behaves as if "everything is permitted to him and that he has no obligations."

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