Troubled by memories of a rebellious past

Ron Charles laments the conventional tastes of youth today:

Here we have a generation of young adults away from home for the first time, free to enjoy the most experimental period of their lives, yet they're choosing books like 13-year-old girls — or their parents. The only specter haunting the groves of American academe seems to be suburban contentment.

I suspect that suburban contentment was not the choice term to use in this instance. After all, who could feel content in our current situation? Mass conformism may also be the product of fear or a collectively imposed lack of imagination. It may also reflect the lack of opportunities most believe they have to alter their world in a way that is significant and satisfying. When thus considered Charles' lament may issue from a sense of despair about the future, not any felt contentment about the countrified urban life found in the American suburbs.

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