Oh, youth: that magical time in a person’s life when one or the other political party shapes the adult you will become. Of course I’m talking about proto-fascist security states that demand ideological engagement in every aspect of life, which is where youth happens now. From child soldiers in Africa to biology students in Kansas, kids are learning which point of view is right and which one is a threat to their very existence. Today is Friday, but I believe the children are the future. Won’t you indoctrinate them in the conflicts of the past with me?
First, the good news: students, teachers and parents have demonstrated for weeks against the Jefferson County, Colorado school board’s plan to restructure US history curricula to “promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights.” The bad news is the board hasn’t given much ground. It voted 3-2 to form a review committee that will revise the AP US History syllabus in such a way as to stop glorifying “civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.” Dear school board: respect for authority and respect for individual rights are diametrically opposed. Discouraging disorder and encouraging free enterprise, on the other hand, is the solemn duty of school board and mall security guard alike.
Kombat! Kids: shut up and go to work. Unless your work is talking about yourself, in which case keep doing what you’re doing. The New York Times magazine ran this fascinating feature about theAudience, a talent/marketing agency and possible Ponzi scheme that connects brands with social media celebrities. Rather than try to explain how theAudience works, I’ll just share one of their success stories:
TheAudience set Brinley up with her first major brand deal, in which she made one tweet and two Instagrams about the Sochi Winter Olympics for McDonald’s. In the posts, she celebrated whatever event she was watching on TV, with an accompanying picture taken from her vantage point. She told me she thought one caption was “Yaaayyyyy Olympics,” but she couldn’t quite remember; she’s almost 17 now, and so that was a big percentage of her life ago.
Your grandparents had Sid Caesar. Don’t be mad at Brinley, though; it’s only a matter of time before someone sends a SWAT team to her house. In a nationwide trend or anecdotal illusion of same, gamers watching live feeds of other gamers are calling 911 so they can see SWAT teams raid their homes. It’s called “swatting,” and it signals the last evaporation of empathy from the internet. Sensemaking in words is long gone: one alleged five-time swatter belongs to a gaming group called TeAM Crucifix or Die. I assume they have a hard time choosing between going to Mass or playing Dungeons & Dragons.
The nerds are lost to us, is what I’m saying here. Fortunately, we still have the jocks. Here’s a wrestler who interrupts an Alabama jiu-jitsu class to challenge the instructor like it’s 1998 or something:
Spoiler alert: he gets subbed five times in about five minutes. Who are these guys who walk into martial arts studios and demand to fight somebody? I sometimes have the courage to speak to the clerk in the bookstore. Props to that dude for trying to sit out from a jiu-jitsu brown belt, though. You truly did not think about this.
Say no to giving up your back. Say yes to Republican Rick Scott, who is like a fashionable wedding dress that costs less than older, less attractive dresses:
That oughta convince the college girls and their black friends of the same age on break from the beauty parlor. The college Republican National Committee has made versions of this commercial for six different candidates, including Rick Snyder and Tom Corbett. A fun game is to open those links in new tabs one after the other and hear the ads play one second apart. Their opponents’ names and policies differ, but the problem is always the same: “I’ll be paying this off for the rest of my life.” Budget deficits? You’ll be paying that off for the rest of your life. Higher taxes? You’ll be paying that off for the rest of your life.
Government costs money, and money is unavailable to the young people of today, so get married and vote Republican. Or devote your life to aesthetics and gradually uncouple from the material world that the Kabuki dance of American politics is supposed to represent:
That’s the real American dream: there’s a movie about your life, and everyone who sees it cries.