In the Telegraph Dalrymple decries the increased use of marijuana by the middle-aged:
We live in an age of Peter Pan. It is not eternal childhood that we seek, however, but eternal adolescence; not perpetual innocence, but perpetual aggravation of the grown-ups. The problem is that there are fewer and fewer grown-ups left to aggravate.The tenfold increase in the number of late-middle-aged people who smoke cannabis or take other drugs by comparison with the previous generation is but one manifestation of a widespread desire for eternal adolescence. Increasing numbers of people – especially men – on the verge of old age dress as in their youth, as if reluctant to acknowledge that their youth has passed.The tendency is international. In the part of France in which I live for half the year, ageing soixante-huitards, their lizard skins wrinkled by having been too much in the sun, wear short denim jackets and try (but thanks to nature fail) to grow ponytails. They are not so much young, as immature at heart; they long for the days when it was forbidden to forbid. One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
H/t Colin and T. Digby