Americans have become children — demanding, dependent and needy

NEW YORK POST – MAUREEN CALLAHAN

As a population, it’s exotic to the point of extinction, vanishing in plain sight: the American adult.As a trend, this has been gestating for at least the past decade, from Judd Apatow’s glorified man-babies to Lena Dunham’s ostensibly grown “Girls” to the acceptance of “adulting” into the lexicon. But it truly, alarmingly calcified this summer.

Take prime-time TV. This summer was awash in game shows, major stars — including Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Kimmel, Rob Lowe, Ellen DeGeneres, Alec Baldwin, Tiffany Haddish, Elizabeth Banks, Duane “The Rock” Johnson, Melissa McCarthy (recent Oscar nominee) and Jamie Foxx (Oscar winner) — producing and/or emceeing.“What it comes down to is that the movie business has changed,” Baldwin told Vulture in June. “They’re going to put up a lot of money, including big fees for ‘Iron Man’ and those kind of tentpole films. [But] everything else, the fees in the movie business have collapsed.”

To Baldwin’s point, just look at the five top-grossing films this summer: “The Lion King,” “Toy Story 4,” “Spiderman: Far From Home,” “Aladdin,” and “John Wick 3.” The biggest album release of the summer, if not the year, came awash in pastel colors, animation, dollhouses and heart-shaped glitter-bombs: The ostensibly adult-themed “Lover” by Taylor Swift, age 29.

A recent front-page story in The Wall Street Journal reported on recess for grownups, a new industry in which otherwise high-functioning adults pay good money to play dodge ball, kickball, hopscotch and gorge on grilled cheese and chicken nuggets. Quieter play with Lincoln Logs, Play-Doh or Silly Putty is also encouraged.

And for those who prefer more traditional summer escapes — taking, say, a cruise — Carnival Cruises, headquartered in Florida, announced the first cruise ship to have a roller coaster on deck. And for any guest averse to riding 187 feet above sea level at 40 miles per hour, they can play “Family Feud Live” on a recreated set.

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