[CORK] There's Hope For The Kids

Owen Byrne owen at permafrost.net
Wed Apr 16 16:49:41 PDT 2003

Jeff Bone wrote:

> (Another one from the "Worth-Resurrecting-And-Crossposting-File")
> (PreS - Avril Lavigne ROCKS THE FREE WORLD!  Fsck off, Tom. ;-)

You should read Boom, Bust & Echo

What I would say you're seeing is the comparatively affluent "echo" 
cohort - and just like the boom generation, that affluence is probably
the spur for free thought and liberalism. Just because the economy is 
difficult - it isn't necessarily difficult for everyone.

And they don't know my firewall better than I do - oh maybe one or 2 do 
- but in general I have found that programming/tech stuff is still 
difficult and therefore still
not widespead. Oh sure they can download, rip and burn and blah - 
whatever computer skills are currently fashionable. But back in the 
eighties there were people
who could do insane things with Wordperfect macros. They just weren't cool.


> Let's face it, here in this country we took delivery of a whole batch 
> of defective kids from about the mid 70s until sometime in the 80s.  I 
> mean, it was like "The Stepford Kids" or something.  Talk about a 
> homogeneous bunch of pretentious, self-righteous, bland, boring posers 
> and joiners...  what, were they ALL on Prozac and Ritalin?  90210, 
> Dawson's Creek, that's what I'm talking about 

Typical of an economically disadvantaged generation. They're too busy 
trying to survive. And when jobs are hard to find the long hair, 
scraggly bellbottoms and piercings have to go.

> here.  (Aside:  Dawson's Creek?  Why's that show still on?  It 
> should've been over, like, three seasons ago when the first one of 
> them did the deed.  End of story.)  Abstinence?  "Straight Edge?"  
> *Young Republicans?*  What the...?  Where're the rebels from the first 
> half of Gen Y?  Where's the frenetic, exuberant anti-establishment 
> angst?  I mean, the closest thing to a rebel they've got is Christina 
> Aguilera, and face it:  no matter how raunchy she tries to be, she'll 
> never get away from the fact that *SHE WAS ON THE MICKEY MOUSE 
> CLUB*!!!  These kids were wound so tight that the only surprising 
> thing about Columbine was that it didn't happen sooner!
> ---
> There's hope.  The back half of Gen Y --- call it Gen Y.5 --- is 
> shaping up to be pretty cool.  Maybe it's the leading edge of Gen Z, 
> but we'll call it Gen Y.5.  Big Sis was into New Kids on the Block --- 
> Little Sis plays bass in a garage band.  If their older siblings cut 
> their teeth on Beevis and Butthead - and it shows - Gen Y.5 sneaks in 
> episodes of the wickedly insightful and subversively satirical South 
> Park when the units aren't looking.

I'm sorry but to my mind Beavis and Butthead is just as subversive as 
South Park.

> These kids spend more time on the computer than the TV anyway;  always 
> have.  They've have *grown up* with and on the Web.  They know your 
> firewall better than you do.  They've never really lived in a world 
> without search engines.  These kids've actually *been* to the Last 
> Page of the Web and back, one link at a time. ;-) [1]
> They've had instant messaging since grade school or, at least, middle 
> school.  They've got global and media awareness out the wahzoo:  
> they've got IM buddies in more countries than you and I can name...  
> I've got a friend whose little brother, age 15, speaks fluent 
> Portuguese --- but has never studied it, learned it from a buddy 
> online in Brazil.
> So much for the Internet ruining our kids, they seem to be turning out 
> okay after all.  Also, despite what the conservatives (of both 
> flavors, Lieberman for example) and the media would have you believe, 
> teen violence has been steadily *decreasing* over the last 30 years. 
> [ref?]
> And they're kids, again, instead of "Dawson Leary"-esque 40somethings 
> in teen bodies.  They're independent thinkers who seem determined to 
> take control of their own culture and destiny, rather than having some 
> prefab teen culture marketed to them.  They've even resurrected "punk" 
> and, in general, seem to be a driving force behind the whole "raw 
> revival" thing. [2]  And they've got Avril Lavigne!  Avril!  You GO, 
> grrrl!  Where were you when I was a sk8er boi? :-)
> Shifting gears...  While the Dawson's Creek crowd wrung their hands 
> about sex all through their teen years, the current crop isn't in 
> denial about the fact that --- it's true --- kids have sex.  And 
> they're taking charge of that aspect of their lives! [3]  (Aside:  
> they don't think oral sex is sex?)  They're savvy about birth control 
> --- teen sex up, teen pregnancy down in just the last two years.  [4]  
> These kids are both more relaxed about certain things than their 
> totally uptight older siblings *and* at the same time more responsible.
> Sexual and other stereotypes seem to be changing, too.  Diversity is 
> accepted, even expected and embraced.  For example, a high school in 
> Illinois recently voted a long-time lesbian couple "cutest couple" for 
> the yearbook.  [5]  These kids are no-nonsense:  no racism, no sexual 
> orientation prejudices, etc.
> "The Thong Generation?"  The mind boggles.  Hell, when I was in 
> *college* --- *NOT* so long ago, dammit! --- even those stringy-side 
> "french cut" panties were considered racy.  Uh, excuse me, can I sign 
> up for a youth transplant?  Where do I apply for age reassignment?

Hey - remember AIDS? might have had something to do with it. Still 
around, but its certainly not talked about  in the same scarey tones.

I think you're just growing old.


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