Tuesday, February 27, 2007


COLLEGEUNIVERSE--Well of course they are, and so was I! It's part of being in your twenties ferchrissakes. But it sounds like things are worsening according to this new study. You didn't have to tell me, I've worked with young people in their twenties, and it's not just the kids at university. If you look at their musical-tastes--almost always poor within the United States--it's pretty whiny and self-centered, but that's youth culture isn't it? Or is it? Living in a predominantly-Catholic city, it's not always easy to discern who has an affective-disorder, and who doesn't (I'm a lapsed-Catholic, incidentally, the worst-kind) :
"Unfortunately, narcissism can also have very negative consequences for society, including the breakdown of close relationships with others," he said. The study asserts that narcissists "are more likely to have romantic relationships that are short-lived, at risk for infidelity, lack emotional warmth, and to exhibit game-playing, dishonesty, and over-controlling and violent behaviors."Twenge, the author of "Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before," said narcissists tend to lack empathy, react aggressively to criticism and favor self-promotion over helping others.
(AP, 02.27.2007)

That must be why they whine so much in those emo (Phillips) songs, a trend in punk that began as a joke in the D.C. scene of the 1980s. They sucked in the early-1990s. It's been over fifty-years since James Dean was creamed in his Porsche Spider by Johnny Turnipseed (birthing postwar youth culture as we know it), and I believe its dominance over mainstream culture is ending. The spell is over. As America's age demographics shift, youth culture erodes, and a refreshing-wind of adult culture is reemerging. By God, it's even safe to go the movies on-occasion again! You can listen to music other than rock! It's safe to come out again, folks, it's safe to have eclectic tastes again.
But what exactly are those "negative consequences for society"? Well, it poisons interactions between people, and the dignity of others becomes secondary. My response to the study: well duh. It's not just the kids, it's the parents. American culture is pure poison nowadays, and there are few people worth knowing when so many are like this. It's a culture of greed and disgust, leaving a chasm that could be filled with religious and political (neocon) extremism tomorrow. As a matter of fact, it's out there running America right now. 

You know, I would never have believed this study from my recent interactions with twenty-somethings, not ever. Kids: you aren't special, few are. Now, go play.This study is not a surprise for those of us who still really feel empathy. Being surrounded by such people in Michiana, I reflect on how nice it would be to be in an actual community with thoughtful and open people I can trust. I've met a few of them here, and we are scarce. Most people in the Midwest worship the money god, their only true God. This is becoming a scary society to live in--if one can live in it at all. But hey, it looks like hats are coming-back!

AP: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070227/ap_on_re_us/self_centered_students