[CORK] There's Hope For The Kids

Jeff Bone jbone at deepfile.com
Wed Apr 16 12:00:27 PDT 2003

(Another one from the "Worth-Resurrecting-And-Crossposting-File")

(PreS - Avril Lavigne ROCKS THE FREE WORLD!  Fsck off, Tom. ;-)

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 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.

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?

If the freakin' conservatives would back off on trying to rewrite 
science in God's image, and the too-PC ethicists would quit wringing 
their hands about cloning, stem cell research, nanotech, gene therapy, 
and so forth --- some of us alive today just *might* have the 
opportunity to roll back the clock, someday...

Rock on, Gen Y.5.  You guys are fierce!  And you just might be our only 
hope...  if anybody can throw a monkey wrench into the works of this 
police state we seem dead set on building, it's going to be the kids.  
My fingers are crossed.


PS - random weird bit I found while surfing around:  "Generation Y:  
Winning Snack Strategies."  [6]

[1] http://www.1112.net/lastpage.html
[2] http://www.rocknworld.com/features/2002/rawrock/
[3] http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/child/2002-04-23-teen-sex.htm
[4] http://www.doh.wa.gov/Publicat/2002_News/02-207.htm
[5] http://www.cnn.com/2002/EDUCATION/12/16/gay.students.ap/index.html
[6] http://www.promarinternational.com/Brochures/GenYwsamples.pdf

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