January 22, 2012

Annals of Childish Behavior™ (continued)

From a New Yorker magazine profile of Newt Gingrich's wife, Callista, by Ariel Levy:
On the press bus, [Gingrich] told me that Callista is "the grownup" in their relationship. "The woman is always the grownup," he said. "I think no matter what."

I asked Callista, who was sitting next to him, if she agreed. "Most days," she said, and laughed.

Is modern culture being overwhelmed by an epidemic of childishness? José 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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