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June 02, 2003

KIDS....At dinner with friends last night, the conversation turned to Those Kids These Days. We actually all agreed that although Those Kids are different than we were, they're pretty much OK.

One observation was that teenagers of our acquaintance seem to be more comfortable around adults than we were (for purposes of comparsion, "we" was a bunch of folks in our 40s). Has anybody else noticed that? Or is it just us?

Posted by Kevin Drum at June 2, 2003 02:57 PM | TrackBack


Comments

I think the kids are alright, also.

But maybe I'm slipping into old fogie-ism, but one thing I see here in my nice little middle class suburb is this: kids don't work like we did.
Only once in 10 years has a kid come around with a snow shovel to make a buck on a snow day. They drive better cars then most adults. I've never seen a kid either take out the trash or cutting the lawn, yet they wear some pretty nice clothes and shoes.

There, I've done it...made myseld 'officially' old.

Posted by: jdw at June 2, 2003 03:19 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I think you have it backwards. It's "we" who are more comfortable with "those kids." Our parents came of age in the 40's/50's. The cultural divide between them and us was enormous, and a lot of adults couldn't come to grips with it. But if you look at the situation today, a lot of 60's/70's culture is still around - recycled, but recognizable as a part of youth culture today. Sure, there's new stuff, but since our environment taught us to expect (and embrace) change, there is very little in teenage culture that feels alien or threatening.

Posted by: Elissa Lowe at June 2, 2003 03:28 PM | PERMALINK

Well, since kids don't generally get to decide what kind of car they drive, whether they shovel driveways, etc., maybe it's the parents you should be complaining about. More likely they're all making more money doing web design and stuff, like my little brother does.

Posted by: 90210 at June 2, 2003 03:28 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that teenagers today seem a lot more comfortable around adults. I think it is because adults in the 60's freaked out when it came to the subject of sex or drugs, so the topics were best avoided. Maybe it is also why there was more emphasis on sports 30 years ago, because it was one of the few safe topics where teenagers and their parents could discuss something honestly without being grounded for the summer.

Posted by: Scott Nease at June 2, 2003 03:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kids think of themselves much less as "kids" anymore than ever before, I think. Being more comfortable around adults is one aspect of this.

We market maturity and sophistication to children so that little 10 year old girls dress and accessories as if they were women (that's new in the last 10 years or so). "Independence" is also a huge sell to kids, so 13 year olds really need a cell phone. All of this massive, wall-to-wall saturation marketing to children is quite new.

To adults, on the other hand, we market youth, and our society, more than ever, worships youth. Not just in base terms of boob jobs and eye lifts, "youth" is a quality that pretty much every product is supposed to foster or appeal to.

So, I think as far as interactions go, there might be a sort of closing of the gap- adults more eager to act young, kids more eager to become adults.

For the kids I think it's terrible. When I was a kid, which wasn't too long ago, well.. how do I put this delicately... Let me just say that the sexualization of teens has got me really disturbed, and it wasn't like this just 10, 20 years ago. Britney Spears at 16 as every hetero guy's sexual fantasy is not right. Hell, even Hillary Duff's ascent is creepy. It's totally driven by her looks. And while her looks would be described by Disney as "fun" and "cute", really she looks like a well-endowed 20 year old woman jumping up and down for a billboard advert.

I dunno, I think back to my junior high and high school days and I can't remember the girls dressing like girls dress now. I sound like such an old fogey, but it's creepy when I'll innocently, but very guy-like, check out a girl dressed to, um, impress, with lots of cleavage and tight tiny skirt or shorts, and realize she can't be more than 13. I honestly don't think it's a product of my age; that is, the older I get the younger I likes 'em, or something creepy like that. It just seems that maturity and independence has been marketed to girls as sexual assertion. That is, it is mature and independent to "flaunt it". Britney Spears was defended, at 16 (or was it 17), in that "hit me baby" video on those grounds- that she was just asserting her independence by being so sexy and sexually suggestive. It seems any more that is the de facto manner in which a yound girl asserts herself, and it's sad.

So- long thought process later- maybe that's part of it.

Posted by: Tim at June 2, 2003 04:08 PM | PERMALINK

I'm 18 and I can remember one evening back in the mid 90s when my dad, rather harshly, gave me the old "in my days children (not kids) wouldn't speak to adults unless spoken to" talk. I remember looking at him totally aghast.

There has been a greater "loosening" of the culture betwen now and the mid 50's - early 60's. The line of demarcation between childhood and adulthood has also clearly been erased, perhaps to the point of nonexistance.

But as to kids not working as hard, I say bah. Read David Brook's "The Organization Kid" to see evidence of the real score. Or last week's copy of Newsweek, about the top public high schools. In response to jdw, well, families probably move around more today, and I think there is probably a small but persistant fear of neighbors today that there wasn't back "in the day" (as in, oh gosh is Mr. Reynolds down the street a child abuser/rapist/molestor). In any event, the idea of neighborhood "solidarity" as such has almost certainly dissapaited. How many times a week did your parent's have people from the block over for dinner? How many times have you (not you as in jdw but everyone here). In any event, parents are probably more aware of that scenario, which is reflected on their kids. Plus, most kids who want to work can do so fairly regulaly for a standard wage, in a way that "odd jobs" can't provide.

Posted by: SamAm at June 2, 2003 04:11 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin--- it seems likely to me that you've just got a biased sample. The kids that an old fogey like you is most likely to encounter are kids who hang around with adults more than other kids. Such kids will be more comfortable around adults than other kids. The awkward, sulky teens still exist; they just avoid you.

Posted by: Nate at June 2, 2003 04:11 PM | PERMALINK

Even aside from the sexualization issue, with which I agree, today's kids are on the whole more "adult" than I was at a comparable age. I think this is largely due to the fact that, when I was growing up (I'm 37) it was "normal" for a kid to have two parents, both of whom were still married and living in the same household, and a mother who stayed at home with the kids. Now, that is distinctly abnormal. Kids today essentially raise themselves and, when the single parent is home, they wind up having a much more adult relationship with their parents.

I don't have any studies to back any of that up, and I'm sure there is regional as well as temporal variation in these phenomena. But that's what I'm seeing, anyway.

Posted by: James Joyner at June 2, 2003 04:20 PM | PERMALINK

I read an article in Rolling Stone this month about a group of upper-middle-class teens at a party; one of them got punched and fell to the ground and hit his head. Basically, the other kids milled around while he foamed at the mouth and slowly slipped into a coma. They tried to drag his body outside to a car--the kid whose house it was kept saying, "don't say it happened here." They dropped him on his head, again, twice, while they were carrying him.

They all had cell phones; not one of them called 911.

When asked, none of them expressed particular remorse. They all said the same thing: we were trying to cover our asses; anybody would have done the same thing.

Why do I bring this up? Because I see a certain element of... what's the word?... nihilism in teen culture today. Self-absorption. Sociopathy, almost. They do not feel connected to other people, or responsible to other people, or indebted to other people.

This makes them, among other things, fearless around adults.

I'm sure it's only a part of the picture, but I see it in the news, in TV shows, movies, music... all of youth culture. Jackass, anyone?

There's a malady there--I don't pretend to be able to describe it very well, and nobody else has either, but I'm not so sanguine that we've done right by our kids. ("Our kids"... jesus... I'm only 31...)

Posted by: Realish at June 2, 2003 04:45 PM | PERMALINK

Adding to what Elissa Lowe said: in 1996, when the leading edge of the baby boom turned 50, American Demographics did a survey of 50-year-olds and 70-year-olds. The most interesting difference was in the two groups' response to: "Have you changed your mind about any really important issue since were 20 years old?" 70% of 50-year-olds said yes, as opposed to only 30% of the 70-year-olds. (Even though they'd had an extra 20 years to think things over.)
The "greatest generation" had many strengths, but later generations have been more open-minded. Not as many of us hang on to the ways of 1960 or 1970 as fiercely as our parents clung to the pre-WWII world.

Posted by: penalcolony at June 2, 2003 05:07 PM | PERMALINK

Tim: remember Annette Funicello?

Nate: nah, these are just the kids of my friends. Obviously this is all anecdotal, but the sample isn't biased in that particular way.

The whole sexualization thing -- I really don't know about that. I mean, I certainly know what everyone is talking about, and teenage clothing strikes me the same way. But all the kids I know dress that way, even the very proper, very hardworking types. It's just the style.

In the 60s, parents genuinely thought long hair was a sign of degeneracy. It's easy to laugh at that now, but I wonder if our response to teen dressing habits isn't the same thing all over again.

Posted by: Kevin Drum at June 2, 2003 05:18 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with Realish in my sense that the kids are less than all right. I can't claim to know a lot of bad kids, but I suspect Kevin can't either -- we both probably mix with a pretty well-educated, upper-middle-class crowd. We aren't seeing the "at risk kids," in other words.

Here's my best evidence for a societal breakdown afflicting the kids we don't know: do a brief porn surf and check out how many 19-20 year old girls -- hot girls, not strung-out heroin addicts -- are willing to utterly degrade themselves for little or no money. My sense is -- I mean, my friends tell me that there are thousands of such girls out there, who represent the tip of a really morally debased iceberg. You can tell me that screwing strangers on camera is a valid lifestyle choice, and you may be right, but I'll bet that it's also as good a predictor of downward socioeconomic mobility as any.

Posted by: Charlie Murtaugh at June 2, 2003 05:29 PM | PERMALINK

It's probably not useful to generalize "the kids" as a whole. I would agree though that kids do seem to grow up faster in many ways (some sexually, some are already so busy they risk burnout). Is it socially acceptable for kids to just play outside, unorganized, and make up their own games? How about daydream? Many seem too programmed.

Realish, your story about the kids at the party reminded me of that story of the teenagers who covered up that murder (I think in the 80s), where they hid the body by a stream. And what was that famous story from the 60s of the woman being murdered, and nobody responded? Is that really indicative of a larger trend?

Posted by: alias at June 2, 2003 05:53 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone ever checked out the work of Neil Howe and William Strauss? They wrote "The Fourth Turning", and also have a book called "Millennials Rising" http://www.millennialsrising.com/

They liken this generation of kids to the so-called "Greatest Generation" of WWII GIs. So they're really positive about the current generation, in general.

From the website:

"Now, in Millennials Rising, the authors show how today's teens are recasting the image of youth from downbeat and alienated to upbeat and engaged. The authors also show how Millennials are held to higher standards than adults apply to themselves … how they're a lot less violent, vulgar, and sexually charged than the teen culture older people are producing for them … how, over the next decade, they’ll entirely recast what it means to be young … and how, in time, they could emerge as the next great generation."

I'm not saying I agree with them, but there is that point of view out there.

Has anyone from the left side of things read "The Fourth Turning"? I haven't read the book, but I have a basic understanding of the theory (We're supposed to be entering a "Crisis", or a fourth turning soon, if we are not already in one). Has anyone blogged about it?

Posted by: alias at June 2, 2003 06:06 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know. This 36-year-old guy was in the news recently. He planted all these bombs a few years ago and just got caught. Also, these other people his age were asked about how they felt about it and one person said, "He was a man who stood for what he believed in. If he came to my door, I would've given him food and never said a word."

I can't quite put my finger on it, but it seems like 30-somethings are a little... off in some way. I guess every generation has its problems.

Posted by: Young Kid at June 2, 2003 06:34 PM | PERMALINK

Realish - I know what you're trying to describe...Young Republicans.

Posted by: Tela at June 2, 2003 06:47 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie Murtaugh -- are you really buying the idea that those 19-20 old girls are typical of a generation? Aren't they just strippers and porno actresses, such as we've had for ages? And how many, really, are there, out of a cohort of millions?

Posted by: DonBoy at June 2, 2003 07:09 PM | PERMALINK

Haha, now there's a screwed up bunch that could do with some analysing :)

Posted by: Stewart Kelly at June 2, 2003 07:14 PM | PERMALINK

"Well, since kids don't generally get to decide what kind of car they drive, whether they shovel driveways, etc., maybe it's the parents you should be complaining about. More likely they're all making more money doing web design and stuff, like my little brother does."

True enough that the parents probably have something to do with it, but it doesn't change what I see. Sure, maybe I don't see kids coming around to cut grass or shovel snow because they make money designing websites...but c'mon, that can't be all kids. We don't even have paper boys or girls here...those are all delivered by seniors. Like I said, I haven't seen a kid pulling a garbage can down a driveway or cutting their OWN family's lawns let alone for money doing other houses. (Here's a quaint notion,in our house it was expected, not an 'allowance'thing)

In my opinion, the kids get too much and you can't deny the overwhelming materialism: the cars, the computers, the cell phones, the expensive clothes, all that crap. There's simply no comparison in my neighborhood to the youth of 30 years ago. Maybe the parents are part at fault, and maybe if they demanded that the kids do these things they would, but the youth in my neighborhood in this regard are very different then my teeage and young adult years.

Take a look at a HS parking lot. The student lot looks better then the teacher's. Something is screwy in that regard, but I think in general the kids are ok. I think they study as hard(actually the school year is longer), and I don't think they do more drugs or have more sex then we did or are more violent. But there has been a visable change to me in work and in the amount of material wealth held by youngsters.

Posted by: jdw at June 2, 2003 07:28 PM | PERMALINK

jdw - I understan exactly what you are saying. I think it is this whole "me me me" culture that has flourished. I've been out of college for four years now...I went to a very nice liberal arts college (I was the poster child for financial aid.) I drove a K car, seriously. The entire parking lot of my building was packed with every luxery car you could name...BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, Acura NSX, and tons of SUV's. And these weren't the parent's cars. They were for the kids. Surprisingly, most of my friends in college had no idea what it meant to work for something. I actually got into an argument with a friend's girlfriend...she couldn't understand why I was a liberal. She told me she knew what work was...I mean, she actually had, HAD to mow her parents lawn before they bought her a brand new SUV...you don't need to tell her about working hard.

I've noticed it a lot...a lot of peope feel entitled. They must not be denied.

Posted by: Tela at June 2, 2003 09:05 PM | PERMALINK

I think we have to take into consideration the increased expectations that society (particularly colleges and employers) have of today's kids. I'm not sure if I still count as a kid in this scenario (I'm 21 and graduating from college next week), but my high school life was characterized by one extracurricular activity after another (usually lasting from the end of the school day until 9 or 10 at night). In college, I spend nearly all of my time doing school work, applying for grad school, working at my (unpaid) internship, and other productive things. I didn't have a job until the end of my senior year in high school, because there simply weren't 10 hours in a week that I could devote to something else.

I don't think my situation is all that unusual--colleges expect a resume a mile long before they'll even think of admitting you. College years aren't spent goofing off--grad schools and employers want applicants with several internships under their belt before graduation.

Are some kids in my generation spoiled? Probably...but that's true for every generation. Compared to my peers five or ten years older than me, I think college students these days show a remarkable concern for the outside world. Take a look at Matthew Yglesias', or Ezra K's, or any number of other students' blogs, and rest assured that today's kids are not spoiled sociopaths. Really.

Posted by: Maya at June 2, 2003 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

Realish -

Have you seen Larry Clark's movie Bully?

Posted by: Celine at June 2, 2003 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a teenager, and I was going to post a defense of my generation.

But then I realised that would be too much work, and why should I spend my time informing people - whom I owe nothing - of my opinion. I mean, I could probably be making money right now. I've got my eye on a sweet BMW. Plus, after that hit-and-run I shouldn't be driving my Lexus. Whatever.


Joking aside, I think the biggest difference for my generation (or at least my peers) is a sense that if we want to succeed in life, we'd better work fast and hard - get into a good university, get the degree we need for a good job, and get into the workforce.

I also think there may be some truth behind accusations that my generation is more isolated. I think some of my generation had the loner lifestyle validated by the internet whiz-kids and the Internet, more so than it has been previously.
This is only a part of my generation, and it doesn't mean that we don't socialize or have friends - just that we are likely to be more independent, and more focused on our personal goals over partying, etc.
And I think that's a good thing.

I'm not going to comment on our supposed immorality, because the evidence presented here for that ranges from the ancedotal to the ridiculous.

Posted by: Skarl at June 2, 2003 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

I have to say that its not young rebels (including those who rebel with sex) who dismay me. If you don't rebel in your late teens, when the hell are you going to try and change the world? And if you're not trying to change the world to what you want, how can you ever find out your limits?

Its the young fogeys who really scare me - they've always existed, but they now seem the dominant youth culture. Hard-working, but working only for themselves. Well educated philistines. Post-modern materialists.

Oh, and Calvinist - they are of the elect, and their privileges are a sign of God's favour. For someone to challenge those privileges is therefore rebellion against God. Conversely, those not so favoured must be the damned, who it is not only impossible but positively wicked to help.

Posted by: derrida derider at June 3, 2003 04:40 AM | PERMALINK

Rereading the above, though, I do want to make it clear that many of us (uni class of '75) had vices (fecklessness, pomposity, a tendency to throw the baby of hard logic out with the bathwater of a repressive upbringing, above all shocking taste in clothes) that aren't as common today. And attitude changes are a logical outcome of the economic changes that my cohort are partly responsible for.

But I do regret that savage materialism and ruthless selfishness seem more common today amongst the young.

Posted by: derrida derider at June 3, 2003 05:00 AM | PERMALINK

I'm with alias on Strauss and Howe and the difference in generations. I've been hawking their ideas since I read their first book, "Generations: The Future of America's History."

According to them, the Boomers are going to become the wise leaders who get us through the coming secular crisis. Personally, I'm looking forward to this.

The teens of today will be the civic-minded teamwork-oriented builders of new institutions that embody the values of the Boomers.

And the cynical Gen-X folks will be the ones who make the connection between the Boomers' vision and the hard work that needs to be done by the new Millennial kids.

So yes, I think there's a big difference in teens today -- between them and the way we were as kids and between them and Generation X (of whom I've raised several to adulthood).

Posted by: Daniel Hatch at June 3, 2003 05:20 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think teens are a lot different - their lifestyles are different - and it's a scientific fact that they are maturing faster.

I too, have marveled at the fact that it is nearly impossible to get a teen to cut grass, shovel snow or babysit for money. Part of that may be spoiling by parents but I think a bigger part is that these kids are so busy.

What has changed a lot since I was a teen ('68 to '74) is the huge growth in organized sports for kids (outside of school) - forget Little League: now you've got soccer, basketball, football, swimming - lacrosse is starting to catch on. And it's all co-ed.

Then there's the traditional dance classes still mostly for girls - still out there - but cheer leading and gymnastics are big now - again, organized outside of school.

And let's not forget karate, tai kwan do, and then there's the traditional scouting programs - boy and girl with the Boy Scouts of America having recently started a co-ed program called Venturing. Church youth groups are a big concern and then you've got the school activities.

Kids are busy!...thekeez

Posted by: Jeff Keezel at June 3, 2003 05:54 AM | PERMALINK

I read Strauss and Howe ('Generations...'), and was very unimpressed. I kept saying 'compare and contrast, d*mnit!' while reading that book. They make assertions, but generally anecdotal. And they would take very partial looks at things - for example, they looked at how gen X yound adults were suffering from declining wages and job prospects, but never pointed out that there were a lot of boomers suffering from the same thing, in the post-1973 era. IIRC, wages for non college graduates declined over that time period, no matter what generation. They also didn't point out that declining pension/retirement plans were hammering boomers pretty hard, also.

And in general, they never gave a 'why' to their theory; it remained a mystical cycle, which didn't always happen (e.g., Civil War).

Posted by: Barry at June 3, 2003 07:34 AM | PERMALINK

Here in my neck of the woods, the high schoolers have a LOT more homework than I ever did. I think there must have been a demand for more homework a few years back, but I think it is TOO much.

My kids take out the garbage, cut the grass, and shovel the snow, although the snowblower makes that quicker than it used to be.

And as for revealing fashions - in the mid 70's we had see through blouses with no bras, and halter tops. So instead of peeks at the midriff we were getting peeks at other areas!

Posted by: Tripp at June 3, 2003 08:12 AM | PERMALINK

I'm with Kevin and David Brooks--the kids are fine and while I'm not quite as geezerish as Kevin, if anything most of the kids who are goal oriented need to have more fun and relax.

There are a lot of young kids adrift in areas like north Saint Louis, but there were a lot of kids adrift there and in other slums when I was a kid or anyone else was a kid for that matter.

Posted by: ArchPundit at June 3, 2003 08:59 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin-

See, that's the thing, I'm only 30 so I don't remeber Anette Funicello except from Mickey Mouse reunions.

Only 30 and I'm freaked out by the way kids dress. Weird.

Mostly it's because I still ogle women and it disturbs me to check out some girl who's well-endowed and laying it all out, and realize she's a little kid.

I read a study a few years ago that the typical American diet was slowly, after the last 30 or 40 years or so (McDonaldifcation), making girls reach sexual maturity a lot faster now than they did in the 60s or 70s or anytime prior. Doctors with long practices were expressing amazement at the frequency of 12 and 13 year old girls with, ahem, big boobs and hips and full, physical sexual maturity. Young women are actually physically maturing more quickly now.

Anyway- someone mentioned young fogeys.

Yeah, I think that's the saddest thing out there. A 21 year old kid with a mortgage, suit and tie, and voting Republican.

Scary.

Meanwhile, all this "go-getter-ness" out there makes me, a dude just holding down a job while pursuing his creative dreams, look like a loser.

Thanks a lot, punks.

Posted by: Tim at June 3, 2003 09:58 AM | PERMALINK

alias:

Interesting stuff, isn't it? My brother (another Kevin) started a blog - gettinginthegame.blogspot - (which, um, hasn't been updated in a while) and I'm pretty sure he's mentioned it a few times.

There are holes in their theory, but its the first logical explanation I've seen for the radical change in how my own town viewed teenagers when I was in high school compared to now.

And, no, I'm not imagining it. It took over half a decade when I was a kid to pass the much needed bond measure to build a second high school. To understand how badly we needed it...by the time they were building the new school, they had to close one of the jr highs, move all the freshmen there, and make the remaining two jr highs year round just to house all the students. If the construction had been delayed much longer, they were talking about putting the high school on double sessions (half the kids at school in the morning, the other half in the evening). We are a nice, upper middle class, suburban town with an excellent public school system. And this was happening at the same time the city was spending loads of money to pretty up our downtown (just blocks away from the high school). Looking around at our trailer park classrooms, we knew where their priorities were, and we weren't it.

Compare that to the recent bond to improve existing school (replace the trailer park classrooms they gave us), which passed easily. While this has much to with California changing the % needed, the mood of the town strongly suggests that, despite a the large number of recent school bonds, the bond to build a third high school (which will be coming up soon) would pass with just a few tries even if it had to reach 67%.

Topic? Oh, yeah. Kevin, the kids are more comfortable around you because a) you (and your generation) are more comfortable around them (which in turn means that) b) their life experiences strongly suggest that you respect and care about them and c) they know that you respect and care about them.

I wasn't very comfortable around adults in my town, in part because of my personality, but also in part bc I knew that most of the adults in my town couldn't have cared less about me.

Posted by: Jenny at June 3, 2003 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Tim, who is 30, said "Mostly it's because I still ogle women . . . "

I got news for you, Tim. It doesn't ever stop. You may get more discreet, but the sight of a beautiful woman is a joy forever!

Posted by: Tripp at June 3, 2003 01:49 PM | PERMALINK

I'm 45. When I was in 8'th grade my 18 year old college sister picked me up at a party and complained to the effect of Gawd - the way those girls dress, they're showing hips, ass and boobs already. Don't know if the sex thing is that worse 32 some years later. Them barriers was no doubt broke down by the pill and those sex crazed hippies in the 60's.

I do enjoy talking to my daughters friends (14 & 16). They are generally highly motivated, very well educated, athletes and appear drug and alcohol free. Little resemblance to mom and dad at that age.

I am now being barraged by the 16 year old that she has to have a naval piercing. I feel old fashioned but say no due to possible infection. Last night at the HS swim banquet she has a bunch of other "good girl scholar athletes" show me their piercing to demonstrate why she has to have one. What's a Midwestern dad to do?

Posted by: Marto at June 3, 2003 02:48 PM | PERMALINK

Talked to my dad tonight and asked him what he thought of the kids. He said that, basically, his parents' generation had to experience their children being in the grip of a bizarre, incomprehensible counterculture and vociferously attacking pretty much everything about their parents' lives-- their religion, their values, their houses, their food, their clothes, their music, everything. And at the same time or slightly earlier, the situation with the Red Guards in China had everyone kind of nervous about youth and youth movements in general. So he feels very fortunate that he's not in the position his parents were, and thinks kids today are pretty darn good. Or perhaps he's just saying that to make me happy.

Posted by: 90210 at June 3, 2003 06:36 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I'm a fifteen-year-old Rolling Stones fan liberal. I detest mowing the lawn and baby-sitting, but occasionally I have to do it to supplement my part-time job at the library--I have to fund a Starbucks habit.

I'd say that you really can't make blanket statements about a generation--some kids are dumb, some kids are smart, some kids are chaste, some kids are easy, some kids are athletic, some kids are, to put it kindly, not. I'm sure it's the same for any group that you'd care to analyze.

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