A few months ago, at the stroke of midnight, I found myself—quivering, and naked but for sturdy running shoes—in the hallway of my college library. I was surrounded by two of my best friends and twenty or so acquaintances; we held bags of candy and bags of our clothes, waiting for the signal. Our leader raised her hand.
"T-B-I!" she cried out. "Y…T…B!" we answered in unison1. And then, loudly, we were off, down six flights of stairs to confront the inevitable spectators.
College campuses, as places, as settings, are these arrested works of beauty, where faces, festivals, and feelings change, but, fundamentally, the state of things remains the same. [...]
My mom is always saying things like “Oh, Theresa, oh no, I don’t think she is on Facebook.” Or, “All of my college friends have thankfully joined Facebook!” and it drives me crazy because Facebook is a noun that you possess, not a noun with which you engage. The word “Facebook” requires an indefinite article (a, an) or a possessive adjective (my, hers), not a preposition (on, in, above).
• "All of my friends have a Facebook."
• "No, he's too cool for Facebook, he doesn't have a Facebook."
• "She finally gave in and got a Facebook, but ugh, she restricts her viewable photos to profile [...]
As part of its "Intoxication Nation" series, "a crazy land where Charlie Sheen is the mayor and Courtney Love is the sheriff" (according to actress Kristen Johnston, who's a recovered alcoholic) ABC's "20/20" warned viewers it would show them "what the kids are doing."
This, according to the conventions of television, could not be good. The only question really, was the degree of plausible depravity. Vodka-soaked tampons? Check. Eyeball shots? Check. Gobbling booze-infused Gummi Bears because they want to live in crazy land all the time? Check. Once upon a time, Nirvana's "Smells like Teen Spirit" demanded the world entertain us; now, according to "20/20," this generation of kids [...]
"A neighbor told me that she believes the landlord illegally raised the rent and submitted bogus forms to whatever agency is in charge of the whole rent-stabilization process, claiming that work done by the last tenant was done by a contractor. I have no idea what any of this means, and I do not really care…. Also, I am in college and my parents are paying my rent, so do I have to tell them? Obviously, I am looking to do nothing in this matter. Is that cool?" —Jesus Christ, kids. (Also, you know, rent stabilization laws aren't that complicated, and if you're too lazy or stupid to [...]
Beginning June 1, a number (unspecified) of people are moving to Moscow, Idaho for the summer. Why? Because it's "a small college town with the luxuries of home (espresso + broadband)." Would you like to join them? They have a Facebook page. And a Tumblr. At least 30 people have committed to going so far. Sign up here!
The comments on this Dealbook piece about how Wall Street has reconstituted the notion of employment as bottom-line cyclical churn are 100% mean, as you'd expect. ("I can't help but wonder if any of these laid-off wunderkinds ever ask themselves whether they contributed to the current economic situation," for example. And: "My God these people are pathetic. Even when they're laid off and collecting unemployment, they still sound like insufferable snobs.") But the sheer numbers involved in the way financial firms chew up and spit out young people are pretty bad. These are the very kids who were the children of the subjects of New York magazine parenting [...]
In The Noonday Demon, Andrew Solomon makes the point that depression sufferers see the world, their own circumstances and failings, more accurately than healthy people—positing thus that perhaps optimism is the defining characteristic of the human condition.
I think of this often with regards to my relationship with television. Television is like depression. Without it, I can think America isn’t so bad. With it, I sometimes want to kill myself.
Honda's "Pretty Great" ad, made by Santa Monica-based Rubin Postaer and Associates, appears on its surface to be a simple, direct pander to millennials—a typical commoditization of hipness and dissent. Yet its very attempt to mask with cloying optimism [...]
This is a super-intense article about Plan B in New York City schools, and fascinating: A 17-year-old from Fort Greene, Brooklyn, called the school nurse at Lincoln “my new grandma.” She said she had taken Plan B “less than five times” this year. She did not give her parents the opt-out form. She said she had become pregnant twice, after her mother had taken her birth control away. “She’s the reason I got pregnant,” the girl said.
And here's a really awesome public health quote, when you consider the essence of providing public health services is meeting people where they are: “Most teens go to school,” Deborah Kaplan, [...]
"'We mostly saw it as an African problem, and a little bit as an inner-city American problem,' he said. 'Nobody ever talked about it as a disease among Yale students and staff.'" —Bless you and all, but I'll probably never recover from that quote, Christopher Glazek, Yale '07. Still! Glad to hear there are future plans to help colleges make note of what is apparently still, somehow, unspeakable and unthinkable.
You've got to really open your heart to the long hard run of cruddy movies that stretches from January to May. If you succeed in opening it far enough, you'll decide that Project X, the pre-frat frat movie about three high school losers throwing an "epic" (shudder) party, is nearly awesome—as a movie-going experience, at least. You know: low expectations. Oh and this is actually the entire plot so I am kind of spoiling it for you: a kid's parents go out of town and he throws a really big party. Still, if you see it in the right frame of mind, with the right audience (a packed theater of [...]
"If I know I will be leaving campus during the day, I almost always put my Harvard t-shirt back in the drawer and pick something more unidentifiable. If it slips my mind and I find myself in Central Square with 'Harvard' emblazoned across my chest, I suddenly become self-conscious." —Oh, honey.
Our government runs on unpaid internships. During the recent shutdown, as many federal staff members were laid off, unpaid interns filled in the gap. Although considered volunteers, they were doing the work of a five or six figure salary just for the heck of it. That exciting opportunity to work for free may sound appealing to eager college graduates wanting to climb up the career ladder, pad their resume, and avoid working at the local plastic flower factory, but from a labor perspective it’s abominable. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be paid. If the government can’t pay the people it takes to run the government, then there [...]
Hey, young ladies! Do you regularly exhibit your nipples and/or pudenda on the streets? Young millennial fellas: are you a balls-out kinda guy in general? Good news! While some uptight fools will tell you not to dress like a slanch for your internship, we believe you are more likely to Find Your Unique Path and also to Make It In New York City in general if you just "be yourself." An office is an extension of your lifestyle, after all, and if your lifestyle is nipple-centric or "neo-burlesque" or "embodying James Deen gifs," that is fine, and don't let anyone tell you different. You're only young and pretty once!
Police said a 14-year-old stole a car on Sunday then led officers on a chase that ended in a crash on a Parkway East ramp…. "My son was wrong for taking that vehicle but someone jumped out of their car and a 14-year-old seen the opportunity to take the car. He didn't break the car to steal it. They left the keys in the car. I think as an adult we [...]
"I'm a 23-year old undergraduate at a small liberal arts college. In my view, there's nothing inherently wrong with having a very close relationship with your parents. Calling your parents five or six times a day–why not, especially if you consider them your friends? Just because the Boomers (and the Gen X-ers, to a certain extent) had bad relationships with their parents doesn't mean we need to repeat that experience." —This comment, in response to Terry Castle's essay on what it's like to teach the current crop of parent-attached young people, is pretty amazing! It's gonna be a long couple decades.
"I Just Want My Pants Back" premiered last month on MTV. It's about four attractive post-grads living in Williamsburg, dropping pop-culture references to the tunes of its hipster-friendly soundtrack. RJ and Jon, our two in-house young-altbro would-be music writers living in Williamsburg, greeted the show with guarded optimism—even some excitement. But as the show has progressed—tonight is episode 10 of the 12-episode first season—they may have become just the latest generation to discover the heart of sadness in the world of MTV.
JON: So "Pants" was kind of a bummer, right? Five episodes in (approximately, er, three weeks ago) and Jay and Tina’s Brooklyn-based adventures in hip young [...]
I don’t know why I’m never quoted in trend-pieces about What the Millennials Are Doing. I’m 23. I live in Brooklyn. I’m a perpetually underemployed graduate of a highly ranked East Coast university. I live with a female roommate who owns a lot of ramekins. And I decided to become a sperm donor to make ends meet In This Economy.
Manual labor jobs are on the decline, you know. Based on how winded I got trying to move a box of books into a new apartment a few months back, I probably couldn’t survive in a manual-labor-based economy, but like anybody with a steady flow of testosterone, I still like [...]