Tuesday, February 27, 2007


In response to Cape Town's lament about growing older:

I need to preface my comments on the feeling of getting old too quickly by pointing out that they are tainted by my position as a 24 year old teacher of 18 year old students. I've become old before my time, and have all kinds of father/big brother issues. Many guys my age hear about two eighteen year old girls twirling around in short skirts and respond with an enthusiastic grin. My first thought is "Jesus, ladies, this is a family show. Sit back down." Suffice to say that "barely legal" pornography is wasted on me.

Nothing makes you feel older than referencing pop culture to a clueless audience, and my senior government class is a daily exercise in aging. These are people who don't watch VH1's "I love the 80s," not because they are above commercial nostalgia, but because they don't know what a Thundercat is.

But I have to disagree with the idea that we are forcibly polarized, that "we're either left lamenting progress or shouting down any who stand in its way. " I consider myself squarely in the middle of these collective issues. I certainly do feel that music is worse, crime has increased, etc. but I fight constantly with people who suggest that "kids these days" are worse as a whole. I spend all day with these kids, and they're no worse than the people I went to school with ten years ago. I don't watch American Idol, but I watch 24 religiously. I have informed opinions regarding the possible entry of Gore into the presidential election, but I'm also kind of curious about how Justin Timberlake feels now that Cameron Diaz is banging Djimon Hounsou.

It's not the internet that's forced this public discourse on us, as you suggest (in your best old man voice.) It's us! It's the eye rolls we give each other when someone suggests that they like Ludacris. It's the look from you other merry Dissentators when I mention JT and Cameron Diaz. It's the more ridiculous look you give when you realize I called him JT.

We're not getting old, we're just as snobby as we were in college. I get the same "what a moron" thought in my head when someone references the OC (which, in case you geezers didn't know, went off the air this week) as I used to when someone admitted they listened to the Backstreet Boys.

On the subject of wikipedia as a research tool, I have to say fuck the man. If you want to use wikipedia, go right ahead. It might be wrong. In high school, you're learning more about how to write with evidence and support your arguments with sources. It's not as important that the essay be factually correct as it is that the essay shows understanding of how to form an argument. In college, if the professors don't know enough to find the mistakes in your essays that you transcribed from wikipedia, that's their fault and your grade won't reflect it. If you publish something and it turns out that you believed a user edited encyclopedia and got burned, that's you're own fault. I'll leave you with a latin phrase: caveat emptor. That being said, if you don't know the definition look it up on wikipedia. I'll bet it's correct.

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