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The Era of the Child

Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.

There are telltale signals that we are in the Era of the Child, or rather, the Era of the Childish, a backwards time when children dominate everything, giving the tone and impulse to civilization.

The Nickelodean Hotel

Time, August 15, 2005
One such indicator is a new hotel that opened in May (2005), pictured at left, that gears everything to children. There is no trace of the grand hotel representing stateliness, refinement and good taste. Everything in this building is reduced to the infantile and inane, as if the blueprints had been drawn by an imaginative 10 or 12-year-old child. The face of the building looks like a giant comic strip painted in primary crayon colors and featuring idiotic cartoon faces.

You are looking at the first Nickelodeon Family Suites by Holiday Inn in Orlando, FL, the result of a partnership between the child-entertainment company Nickelodeon and Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts. The hotel geared to children – that features “kid-suites” with Nickelodeon character themes, two giant water parks, and live Nickelodeon entertainment pool side – opened in May to great fanfare and applause.

Inside a Kidsuite of the Nickelodean hotel

The "kid-suites" are geared for the worst side of children - stimulating the foolish instead of the marvelous  Time, August 15, 2005

A child being slimed

Part of the "fun" is the opportunity to be "slimed" - cold green goo is dumped on you
“It’s all about the opportunity to be a Nick kid,” explains the hotel president and manager. What does this mean? It means dumping water on “kids” – a name meant to include children and adults – as you climb a giant waterslide. It is playing poolside games such as Musical Pies where you get cream pies in the face. Or the opportunity to get “slimed,” which is having cold green “goo” poured on you. The hotel goes so far as to advertise that part of the fun is that “someone is always getting slimed.” But that is no problem for childish adults, who dress and act like their children.

It seems that at the pool there are “TeamNick hosts” who lead the silliness, challenging parents to dress up like babies and sit on giant high chairs while children toss water balloons at them. At night, there is the “Studio Nick” theater for live interactive shows and games. One “kid-parent” reported he had fun answering vulgar trivia questions like "Who in the family stinks up the bathroom most?" First prize - a bucket of slime dropped on the head. It is fun, games, and foolishness from morning til night. A child’s paradise, as they say, and also, it would seem, bliss for today’s childish adult.

In the 1930’s a controversial progressivist literary figure, Giovanni Papini, wrote a futurist novel called Gog about the coming revolutionary era. In one chapter, “Paidocracia” [government by children], he describes a world where adults would adopt the tastes of children. What is proper to the adult - intelligence, sobriety, reflection – would be replaced by the irrational, spontaneous, and impulsive, proper to the spirit of the child. In that world, modern artists would paint like children, movies and literature would be reduced to level of the adolescent, and adults would adapt themselves to childish diversions, manias and sports.

At the time, the world Papini pictured in Gog was highly criticized as unrealistic and too far-fetched to ever become actuality. Who could imagine that Papini was just describing one item on today's revolutionary agenda, whereby the modern man is reduced to the level of dressing and acting like a child? It was supposed to be the other way around: a civilized man motivated and encouraged a child to look and act like an adult.

silver corridor of Waldorf

The "silver corridor" in the Waldorf Astoria moves children to admire the grandiose and marvelous
I am surprised the progressivists have not made more of Papini as a kind of prophet for our days. His imaginary world in Gog has become a reality in the child-centered environments and styles that are increasingly popular today. Grandmothers and mothers wear Mickey Mouse t-shirts and tennis shoes. Grandfathers and fathers use Bermudas and baseball hats at public functions.

And now parents and children can frolic sun-up to sun-down “having fun” during child-centered vacations. The gravity and wisdom that used to mark a mature man is almost something from times of yore. The high aesthetics and good taste of the grand hotel of the past is considered something too serious and “not fun.”

It is not difficult to understand where this adoration of the juvenile will end. It will breed self-centered children who imagine that the world revolves around them and everything exists for them to have fun. And instead of men and women capable with the spirit of self-sacrifice and heroism necessary for the building of a stable Christian Civilization, we will have childish men and women who think, act, dress and play like children.

Who will control a world with this kind of adult?


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted August 24, 2005

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