Diana West is the Washington Times columnist to whom we frequently turn for insight into the culture war as well as the shooting war, as we did most recently in “Strangers on a train.” I took off from one of Diana’s columns addressing cultural issues in “Merry Christmas, baby.” Diana has now written a new book that combines the themes of our culture and the war. She has kindly responded to my invitation for a message to our readers about it:
Once upon a time, in the not too distant past, childhood was a phase, adolescence did not exist, and adulthood was the fulfillment of youth’s promise. No more. The Death of the Grown-up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization asks, Why not? Where have all the grown-ups gone? And, Why is the world without grown-ups such a dangerous place?
We’re all familiar with Baby Britneys, Moms Who Mosh, and Dads too “young” to call themselves “mister,” but what my book does is link these same behaviors — shaped by a social bias against “maturity” that’s still relatively new — to our cultural and political behaviors as a people, as a nation. In other words, if we are a society of perpetual adolescents who can’t say “no,” it follows that we are also a politically correct nation that can’t tell right from wrong. If, during the so-called culture wars, we sophomorically retreated from the lessons of Western civ, it follows that in the “real” culture war on Islamic terror, we fight on without understanding our own identity — or our enemy’s.
From the rise of rock