Lifestyle

Call us what you want, but please respect us

By DAVID LEE

For the sake of complaint, say that the current generation of youngish people is (part of) the slacker generation.

We’re all supposed to be part of a “disaffected youth culture” which lacks direction and does stupid things for entertainment, like inhale Superglue fumes, join cults, set puppies on fire, etc.

That may be somewhat accurate for some (such as the two teenagers in Tennessee who shot at passing cars on an interstate because they were apparently imitating a “Grand Theft Auto” game), but the extreme examples that always get publicity shouldn’t outweigh the majority of us with some semblance of sanity.

Just like a number of other shunt-aside groups, teenagers are as misrepresented in the media as any other minorities, ranging from ethnic groups, religious followers, gays/lesbians, Hollywood’s female equivalents of Colin Farrell, and amnesiacs who try to piece together their memories in frequently bloody or romantically convoluted manners. The particularly potent examples in all of the cases become what sticks in most people’s minds. However, the younger generation should be given some credit, as odds are that unlike Tara Reid, we might directly be responsible for the care of the elder and, in theory, wiser age bracket.

Keyword there being might. Frankly, I’m not exactly bursting with proactive pep to go out and support those who frequently show disdain for various aspects of youth. While it is true that not all older people sound like the Old Man Higgins archetype out of “Scooby Doo” (i.e., “I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling/ meddlesome/ pesky/ pesky meddling/ darn kids!”), things which can be taken to heart by teenagers –– like movies, music, TV, political views or whatever else –– are frequently just viewed as beneath them or mindless fluff.

Essentially, we deserve more respect. The concept should never be one way in the first place, and we’re all supposed to be at one of those stages in development where whatever happens to us greatly impacts the way we end up. Not to mention that many young people are still at the age where parents are legally responsible for our action. Assuming you as a parent haven’t raised your children correctly, they could always download music off the Internet and the RIAA will blame you.

David Lee is a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School.

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