29 August 2010

Do You Still Play?: Eternal Youth

I have been loving Juicy's bright, playful 2009 fall/winter ads. Everything is the fun of 5 and the insouciance of 15. It conveys the age at which your chief occupation is to play, when you think chiefly in terms of possibility rather than limitation. Should I be a rabbit or a tiger? Should I wear pink or yellow? Do I need a tiara to practice the piano? I definitely need a cape.

Even as we come up on something like 15, we recognize that while the wearing of rabbit ears is not normative, there is no law which forbids it. And we can still play with the freedom we know is ours--in shades of fingernails and toenails, with tattoos, with hair, and in clothes.

It goes beyond mere fashion, of course. We realize that we seem to have some freedom with respect to our personal identity*--beliefs, gender, sexual-orientation, social preferences, interests, and level and nature of socio-political involvement.

The 2010 movie "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" is about the quest of a 22-year-old, bare bones-apartment-dweller (Michael Cera), who must take on seven deadly exes before he can be with the girl of his dreams. The movie indulges liberally in the comic book-video game-t.v.-music culture of similarly aged persons, always with hillarity, and not without lessons about the personal responsibilities of heroes. There is fun and play, but also the very best kind of grown-upness.