Wednesday, February 3, 2016

News You Can't Use: Adult Coloring Book Craze Booms in US

In the race to infantilize American society until there isn't a single living person who would meet what 1950 considered to be the minimum acceptable standards for adult behavior we've undeniably made great strides. From playing little "shoot the round bird or make the bird fly" games on a tiny screen, games that even I as a ten-year-old sneering punk that spent his entire allowance on pinball, "Gorf" and "Ms. Pac Man" would reject as childish, to having special kindergarten themed areas at colleges where the shell-shocked students (Someone disagreed with me!) can work the Play Doh or whatever, it's clear the race to return to the womb is on. The latest victory in this devolution? Come on, you read the title, let's not insult our intelligences.

Intricate adult coloring books are the latest lifestyle craze to grip the United States, generating millions of fans, booming sales and libraries falling over themselves to host workshops.

When reading tales about the horny vampire who has both a massive unit and massive heavy industry holdings becomes too challenging I guess we'll skip the next logical step of picture books with simple words adults can sound out to hit this new, pathetic low. The good news is that goofy St. Vitus Dance "crazes" aren't exactly known for their longevity.

Walk into any New York bookstore, and you'll find them artfully laid out on tables or filling entire shelves.

Or a bookstore in Macomb, Illinois would work too, but we're trying desperately to pretend this latest degeneracy is cosmopolitan and happening. All the beautiful people are coloring in puppy dogs while staying mostly within the lines. Join them, there is no other option.

Amazon sells hundreds of them, including nine on the top 20 bestseller list. Fans post their finished designs and swap tips on Facebook or Pinterest.

Historians a few hundred years from now are going to have a lot of fun writing that "Decline and Fall" book, that's for sure. "While unbelievably feckless and rootless victims of urbanization and atomization were sharing advice on how to perform a dumbed-down version of paint by numbers a sociopath was running for President..." Every nation truly gets the Edward Gibbon it deserves.

"It calms us down to be coloring," Linda Turner, a licensed creative arts psychotherapist in Manhattan, explained of the trend born in Europe.

My job, which is little more than a simple con game, creates massive stress. Pretending I'm a slow and unlikable grade schooler makes it better.

Turner said that while children are willing to explore and experiment, adults are not necessarily so comfortable with their creativity.

Well, we used to express that creativity by splitting the atom, sending people into orbit and beyond, conquering disease and building an information superhighway. But you're right, this is much better.

Remember, thou art mortal.

"These coloring books, they look adult, they look sophisticated... and they are going to create, and they are going to be present in the moment and have fun... In ways that are safe for them," she added. 

No really, this is not in any way indicative of a dying society full of deeply alienated individuals.

Since October, 19 branches of the New York Public Library in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island have run coloring workshops, some on a weekly basis.

Yo, how you doin'. Gots to go take dat Red Line up to da Zoo, gots me some little kid shit to do. Forget about it."

"It makes you feel more open and more alive, so the stress reduction aspect of it is therapeutic, but it is not therapy."

Look at me, I'm alive! *Spends hours slumped over a design, filling in colors*

The trend has extended beyond America's entertainment capital. In Petoskey, a small town in Michigan, the library has just launched a weekly coloring session on Tuesday evenings.

I told you. We just put in all that NYC stuff because The Apple is the best, most important city in the world.

It is not the first time the United States has fallen in love with adult coloring books. The first of these, "The Executive Coloring Book," came out in 1961. It was followed by "The John Birch Society Coloring Book" and other satirical titles, mocking the world of work, or president John Kennedy.

Of course those were intended to be satirical, but let's pretend this latest outbreak of cultural neoplasm has an unbroken line back to "Down with Nixon!" times. 

Komment Korner  

Not sure when or if they actually do anything productive.  

During your breaks and after work hours, please come relax and recover at the Sandbox Play Center for adults.

For stress relief I just shotgun a 6 pack or blaze up a fatty. 

I am a woman. Sorry, but, speaking for myself, I would have been much happier being housewife and mother.

A burgeoning idiot class is upon us, after back to back elections that seated the most unqualified human being to ever rule over a country

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.    

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