Eternal Youth, Eternal Kitsch

“[H]eres [sic] to forever being a teen,” said the handwritten dedication of a novel to a friend. But why would anyone want to remain an adolescent forever?

Adolescence, it need hardly be said, is an age of bad taste, when all that is garish and meretricious attracts, and all that is subtle and meritorious repels. To make of adolescence the state in which one wishes to remain is to wish upon the world the permanent triumph of the kitsch, the shallow and the gimcrack. And accordingly, the adolescent sensibility is one that prevails in much of the art world, where the most adolescent of goals, transgression, is still aimed at. Shock the parents, épater le bourgeois, such is the golden rule.

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