I was talking to a friend this weekend about the impending future where today’s children have already become tomorrow’s adults, when the world is governed by people with absolutely no sense of privacy. For us it seems quite bleak, but for the current crop of grown ups imagining the future crop of children being in charge is always quite bleak. (When a different friend — that’s right, I have two friends — once asked what would shock us as old people the way that mild cursing shocked our grandparents, I said that everyone would just use a dick pic as their email signature, which shows you just how doomed I already am, considering that THERE WON’T EVEN BE EMAIL SIGNATURES IN A COUPLE OF YEARS MUCH LESS THE ACTUAL FUTURE.) On the plus side for today’s children, I guess you can just do whatever you want. The way I was raised, you had to be thoughtful and careful and take your time. You had to consider how your behavior would affect those around you, and how it would reflect back on you. God forbid you made an embarrassing public mistake and tarnished your reputation. Nowadays, you can be Rebecca Black and release one of the most ridiculed and reviled videos ever made, and then later you can put out a music video where you are earnestly singing a cover of a Rihanna song and apparently that’s allowed. You can just do that! Everyone’s like: live your life, man, nothing matters, here’s a picture of my butthole on Facebook. But aren’t you friends with your mom on Facebook? Uh, I’m friends with everyone’s mom on Facebook, grow up. THE WAY WE LIVE NOW.

I’m already so bummed that in the future we’re going to vote for the President American Idol style by texting “OMG” to a different number sponsored by Papa John’s depending on who we think is the cuter candidate, but the upside is that by then it will be a Constitutional Amendment that everyone over 30 be ejected into space, so whatever, let the Tweens have their dying planet. #Enjoy #Blessed (Via ONTD.)

Comments (65)
  1. Is that really Rebecca Black singing? Is that what her voice sounds like? I refuse to believe it’s anything approaching that good based on “Friday” and “My Moment.”

    On the “do whatever you want” subject, I guess I’m just going to have to get used to the fact that everyone dresses WAYYY too casually for any occasion right? Like, apparently, where I live anyway, it’s just too difficult to wear things that aren’t jeans? Even to work or church or the theatre or baby showers? Like I should probably just give up expecting anyone to wear anything nicer than that right?

    • Hey, at least I iron mine!

    • No. Dress with class. Fight the good fight.

    • My boyfriend gets bummed that even when we go to the nicest restaurants where we live, he feels out of place in a suit, because most of our fellow diners are wearing jeans.

      I, on the other hand, accidentally wore unwashed jeans, a wrinkled t-shirt with holes in it, and a red satin jacket to work today. The day I happen to have a meeting with, um, Tony Kushner. Whoops.

      • You fancy, huh?


      • I wear jeans and sneakers to work because apparently it’s as dusty as the Lost Ark up here, and on my first day my brand new baby pink Oxford shirt was smeared with the toner of lost souls. I wish I could dress like a fancypants.

      • Everything being casual can be kinda lame, but on the other hand, I know a guy who wears suits all the time for absolutely no reason, and I think he is a huge tool for it. I once met him for lunch at a sushi place on a Saturday afternoon wearing jeans and a t shirt and the dude showed up in a three piece suit. What is accomplished by that, other than looking like an asshole?

        • You know Chuck Bass?? CAN YOU INTRODUCE ME?!

          • If Chuck Bass, when complaining about not making enough money at his job, responds to my joke about whoring himself out to women for extra cash with “Nah dude, it’s gay if you pay” (?????) and brags about kissing 4 different girls on new years then yes, I know Chuck Bass.

          • alternately: you know paul f. tompkins??

          • I once saw Paul F. Tompkins at the grocery store NOT in a suit and did a triple take. I think him not wearing a suit in public is like going out in disguise. He seemed really annoyed that I recognized him, but when doing a triple take it is difficult to be subtle.

        • Maybe he just likes to, ya know, look nice instead of not?

          • It is possible to look nice without going all the way to a suit. Moderate! Get some nicely tailored trousers and maybe a good sweater. Some solid shoes with a nice patina.

          • Is a patina a kind of sandwich?

          • Of course it is. It’s also nice to wear a suit and this thing people have where if someone dresses too nicely, i.e., does something they want to do because it pleases them, they are a “huge tool” is a load of crock.

          • Ehh, what the hell, its a slow day at work:

            a) What Superglue said

            b) I like that you are championing a guy you don’t even know, who, as I mentioned above, can also be quoted saying “Nah dude, it’s gay if you pay” in response to a joke about whoring himself out to women for extra cash so yeah, dude’s a tool. Case closed.

            c) Doing something you want because it pleases you doesn’t necessarily make you NOT an asshole. And apply whatever absurd optimism about people you choose, if doing something you want because it pleases you means kicking all of the puppies then you are an asshole. Putting on a three piece suit to meet someone for a casual lunch subjects you to potentially looking like an asshole.

          • a) What I said.

            b) I’m defending wearing a suit.

            c) Dressing down on Saturdays gets boring. I’m pretty sure the person who is judging someone as an asshole for doing something that has literally no affect on them is the one being the asshole.

            d) One coworker just complimented me on looking dapper today and the another jumped in saying I always look dapper. All that means is tomorrow it is jeans and t-shirt.

    • I feel this way whenever I’m at the airport and i see girls in sweatpants, carrying a full-sized pillow.

    • I think it’s true that people are grubs most of the time now, EXCEPT I work with high school kids, and man, high school kids are way better dressed than we were when I was in high school. Like, a SOLID majority of kids look great all the time, across cliques and incomes and levels of nerdiness. Everyone looks so sharp. My colleague has a theory that it’s because they all live every second of their lives about to be photographed or videotaped and put on display for the whole world, so there’s no time for, like, tshirs and jeans. My theory is that adults are cooler with giving kids money than they used to be.

    • I was given tickets to the opening night of a Shostakovich lost work at Disney Hall and people showed up wearing adidas track suits and flip flops and khaki shorts! I was scandalized! My friend and I were out of place in our nice dresses at the OPERA! I like to dress casual, but there have to be lines drawn somewhere.

      • This is a great use of the word scandalized. I tip my fancy hat.

      • See, this is the problem with the dressing down of every single place, the people who take effort in their appearance, or just enjoy it, are the weirdos, when they really shouldn’t be.

      • Dude! At a symphony show at the Sydney Opera House I saw some people in jeans! I was APPALLED! And I only use that word when I’m trying to make fun of rich people!

        • I work for the symphony in vermont and i have to admit i really kind of love it when somebody shows up in flannel, jeans, and boots (and, this being vermont, that happens frequently.) usually everybody is dressed pretty upscale to our concerts, but it’s the best when there’s some lady all decked out in her fanciest diamonds and her floor length mink, sitting right next to some guy who looks and smells like he literally just climbed off his tractor. WE’RE ALL JUST PEOPLE TRYING TO GET ALONG IN THIS CRAZY WORLD, AND ALSO MAYBE LISTEN TO SOME ELGAR AFTER A LONG DAY OF PLOWING WHEAT or whatever.

          • I don’t know how to coherently respond to this, because there is something different about the person who is just too lazy to dress decently, and the person who just actually wears Carharrt every day, every where, and loves culture, but I don’t know fully how to express it. Well, put it this way, my friend who I know has gone to the symphony in Carharrt and filthy, also compliments me when I am dressed up.

          • And this just makes me want to wear my own Carharrt and flannel to work tomorrow after dressing up today, but hopefully it’ll be too nice out again.

        • That is more appalling than Muse!

        • You can wear jeans to classical music concerts. Obviously there are some attire that is over-the-line sloppy (like flip-flops, probably) but jeans and a button-down shirt would be perfectly fine.

    • I think the reason that it’s important to dress up goes back to the same ideas “broken windows problem” that they used to clean up NYC in the 80s. Long story short, they found that people were more likely to dodge fares, mug people, and other assorted crimes on subways that were covered in graffiti. Same with areas above ground that had broken windows and graffiti. The idea is that the presence of broken windows and graffiti gave a sense of lawlessness, and people were more likely to break the law. Once they cleaned up the cars and the windows, and made it a point to prosecute fare-jumpers, they found there was a huuuuge decrease in all subway crime, including muggings, murders, etc.

      In terms of dressing up for certain things, it gives those things an air of respectability. And people will behave better if they’re dressed nicely. I’m not saying you have to be all Downton Abbey, but people who have taken the time to look better tend to act better as well.

      • Oh, look I set off a whole thread of conversation and never came back to check it! Anyway, I think we can all agree that you don’t have to wear your tails to dinner like Lord Grantham, but there are some occasions where you probably shouldn’t wear your flip flops.

  2. Gotta say, Tween Korner is a lot bleaker than Teen Korner.

  3. Dave Days? What days are we talking about here?


    Thank you for your time.

  4. All I have to say is: I teach 7th grade, and the future looks bleak. Today a kid asked me “who the holocaust is”. In a world where you can look up and know anything–most adolescents know nothing. And maybe that’s the way it should be, they’re only 12…but also, in some ways, they’re not? They are way too grown as far as social things, but are navigating that world with an adolescent brain, which is pretty scary and dangerous.

    • a kid in one of my high school classes once asked if Mussolini was still in power in Italy and if Russia was still communist. This was 10 years ago. I’m pretty sure there are always extremely stupid kids in every class.

      but I do agree with your second part, trying to navigate technology/social media with an adolescent brain is a bad idea.

      • Today an undergraduate student asked me to pronounce a word for him. He said he never saw it before and didn’t know what it was. It was pneumonia.

      • one of my high school english teachers had that poster of john lennon wearing the new york city shirt up in the classroom, and NOBODY knew who it was. (i don’t remember how it came up in class.) one kid thought it was howard stern.

  5. I can do what I want?

  6. You know, I feel like Friday was probably more the product of the recording company and producers behind the song more than Rebecca Black herself. I see nothing wrong with her trying to not be an eternal punchline of the internet, even if that means covering a song by possibly the most bland singer on the radio. Do your thing, Rebecca Black. You aren’t hurting anyone.

    • This is nice. I like it. Friday could also totally have been all her, but that was what, a year ago? More? Kids change their tastes like every day, so this is just the next thing for her, cool for her.

  7. I dunno. Last night I went to see Deerhunter at a semi-seated venue. In the seats in front of me, there was a family of four, and the two children were under 10 years old. If there are other kids out there like them, also being raised to appreciate good music, I have some faith in our future adults.

    • I honestly think that there is a crop of kids who may turn out to be okay, mainly the ones being raised by my friends and the people I wish were my friends. But then simultaneously there are also all the MTV’s Teen Moms and so maybe it’s just a wash. Maybe it’s just always been a wash. There will probably be a Teen Mom’s kid who turns out to be a great public figure who finally convinces everyone that we probably should use solar energy and quit being dicks about everything, and there will probably be one of my friends’ kids who punches me in the face when I’m an old lady or something. That’s just the way things go. You literally cannot predict or prepare for anything, so you should probably just go to sleep.

      • I agree, Superglue. But then some of my friends’ kids are gonna be assholes.

        • Oh yeah I was like halfway throught this and was like “Oh man some of my friends’ kids are ALREADY assholes” so that made me add that last sentence. One in particular I could see punching an old lady (maybe not me, specifically) in the face. Kids are still humans with their own issues, no matter the quality of music their parents’ listen to.

      • That’s fine with me, I could go for a power nap.

    • Oh my god, before I got to the phrase “also being raised to appreciate good music,” I thought you meant the movie The Deer Hunter, and I was like, “Well, THAT seems inappropriate.”

  8. I’m loving Roger Sterling as guest blogger!

  9. I just saw Disconnect last night and the whole storyline is pretty much Gabe’s speech.

  10. Whatever, I do what I want! I really don’t, but I enjoy quoting Cartman on Maury way too much to stop.

  11. My wife and I want to start a family next year. We are terrified of our hypothetical child becoming an asshole. Like, how do you balance a kid between reading good books and texting on a fucking iPhone? Will my kid even be able to sit still long enough to read a book when from day one everything is instant gratification/communication? What if I don’t buy my kid an iPhone when every other rotten goblin in the neighborhood has one? Do I risk my kid’s social ostrization to make him or her a better person? These thoughts terrify me. One thing is for sure though, my kid WILL know classic rock.

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