Smells Like Teen Spirit
Ennui, neural turmoil and ‘waiting to grow up’ – here’s the hidden link between two distinct social strata coming together in the anticipation of a thrill.
In French, ‘ennui’ means boredom. In English, that same word (although generally defined as ‘listlessness’) also implies connotations of ‘self-indulgent posturing and European decadence’. It’s that thing of endless Sunday afternoons, by the pool, on the Riviera. That thing of languid sensuousness and moral dissipation: lusty throwaway piquancies used as a temporary relief against boredom. Dead ringers for the cinematic languor of an older demimonde.
However, come to think of it, youths are famously no strangers to the same feelings of lethargy and dissatisfaction, though. Teenage angst, for one: the existential appetizer that we all know and that scientists would like to place in the intense nerve activity of the teenage brain. A hormonal quake so titanic that it prevents the young from the usual processing of normative dogmas.
Isn’t that sense of apathy, of indolence, normal for teenagers? Isn’t it normal to feel detached or jaded? Isn’t it typical of adolescents? And, if so, how wonderful is that this social redolence – usually a thing of the disenfranchised – isn’t in fact endemic to that age group, spilling out into bored aristocracy?
How perfect it is that the thin red line connecting these two very distant social strata is the luxury of having time to waste, of being totally and completely uninterested? Waiting to grow up, in some cases, seems to only lead to even more waiting. A wait wholly devoted to the promise of exhilaration and pleasure. Anyhow, as we wait, here we are now. Entertain us.