Coloring inside the lines: It isn't polite to criticize people for what they do for relaxation during their spare time.
In our view, it isn't a great idea to criticize regular people at all, as opposed to people in positions of authority or power.
That said, how did we manage to miss the latest major craze? Hard-copy headline included, Sarah Halzack penned this lengthy report in Sunday's Washington Post:
HALZACK (3/13/16): Relaxing outside the box of 64 colors"It isn't polite, it isn't polite." That's what we kept telling the analysts.
The amateur artists can be found coloring in airport lounges, doctor's office waiting rooms and while they watch TV shows at home. They are forming coloring meet-up groups at libraries and coffee shops so they can chit-chat as they doodle. Coloring books for adults—a genre once considered little more than a novelty—are suddenly a big business, a bright spot in the financial results of publishers and retailers alike. Nielsen Bookscan estimates that some 12 million were sold in 2015, a dramatic jump from the 1 million sold the previous year.
Whether it is a short-lived fad remains to be seen. The new generation of books are typically filled with intricate black-and-white illustrations that are art themselves. While many find the act of coloring to be a calming distraction from hours spent tapping, swiping and staring at screens, some early adopters aren't exactly hooked. Several reviewers on Amazon.com found the need to stay in the lines to be anything but soothing.
"Most of the pages are full of pictures that are so small I can hardly see the details to color them, which causes more stress than if I hadn't tried to color in the first place," wrote one reviewer of a popular coloring book on Amazon.
The truth of it is, it isn't polite, however much the latest craze may seem to capture the society's sad decline.
At one point, the dumbness seemed to be Over There. Now, it's also rampant Over Here, within our own self-impressed tribe.
With our gatekeepers gone, we can do and think whatever we like. The dumbest and the greediest people are filling our heads full of crap.
With the gatekeepers gone, we can do what we like. Apparently, we like to be fed silly partisan crap reinforcing our Hard Tribal Bullroar.
Also, we may like to color! Or so one analyst said.
Great minds thinking alike: Late in her lengthy report, Halzack quoted a publishing exec commenting on the new craze:
HALZACK: It's not clear whether the rise of adult coloring books has come at the expense of sales in other categories, but the impact of the craze can be seen in various corners of the retail industry: Barnes & Noble has said that strong demand for adult coloring books and artist supplies provided a tail wind to the chain's total sales in the last three quarters. Walmart, meanwhile, moved in November to add a dedicated four-foot section for adult coloring books in 2,000 of its stores.Schmidt, a publishing exec, says she's never seen anything like it!
"I've been in this business for 20 years, and I've never seen anything like this," said Kathleen Schmidt, vice president at Running Press, which hurried to publish four adult coloring books last year when it saw the category gathering momentum.
Full disclosure: We've been in this "business" for 68 years. We had the exact same reaction!