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What is being an adult?

On becoming an ‘adult’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In a recent bout of ‘I don’t give a fuck’, I lost my previous inhibition* to admitting that I was into comics or games. That’s something a little daring I have to say, in a world where it increasingly seems that to be an adult you are limited to being interested in ‘adult’ things and anything else causes those curious sideways glances you get when they think you’re a bit of a weirdo.

Yes, I like comics (graphic novels to some), games, science fiction and cartoons (also adultly called ‘animation’ these days). Yes, yes I do.

And I am well an adult going by that Roman-Greco calendar thing.

It though has become increasingly confusing as to just why I feel I have to justify liking this stuff to other grown ups; as if once you pass a certain age bracket, all you should talk about is work, property, the football results and other really quite mundane things like the latest shower rose catalogue. At what point did we all become so damn boring?

There’s nothing wrong with having ‘interests’.

This of course has all come off the back of what’s become known as my ‘itch’, where I have said fuck it and let myself finally explore thoughts and ideas that have floated around in my head for a very long time. In giving in to the itch, I am also steadily reclaiming many of the things I had let go of, or lost, over the past few decades and rediscovering just how much I still enjoy them.

Call it my guilty pleasure.

But here’s the kicker, as I have come to realise… While it might be considered un-adult (is that a word?) to like such things amongst certain, *ahem*, grown-ups, the conundrum is that it’s adults responsible for coming up with it in the first place! Those inane cartoons that one of the lads likes so much? Yup, made by adults. Those comics, those games? Yep, adults again. Sure kids might like them but adults make ‘em.

So the counter point I now put forward is — is it childish to like things that other adults have created? After all, the adults creating this ‘stuff’ have to have an interest in what they are creating in the first place, right? Are they ‘childish’? What’s more, said adults are (I assume) making a living out of creating this stuff and as far as I can tell, that’s about as adult as it gets. Right?

The other night I asked the question, when being told it was childish to read comics, “well, tell me what it is you are interested that’s so adult?”**. Of course, there was no answer, because there is none. While there are degrees of genre and content maturity, delivery mechanisms can be the same…

So yes, I like comics (graphic novels to some), games, science fiction and cartoons (also adultly called ‘animation’ these days). I do. If you are one of those adults out there that think things like this are childish, maybe you should give something a go. You just might find it, dare I say, very enjoyable.

*Yes, my inhibitions are somewhat self imposed and even childish in and of themselves but growing up and living in Australia, after having spent some years in the US and Europe, you soon realise how narrow the band of acceptance here is for anything slightly left of conservative.

** This statement came off the back of me expressing bewilderment at a supposedly professional adult on TV saying her partner “is a 35 year old man still interested in astronauts”. I don’t recall being handed a memo when I hit 20 pointing out all the things I can no longer be interested in….

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