Everybody’s home today, because there’s a fresh load of snow outside. Therefore, everything electronic in this house is currently set to ON, and the younger Secret is upstairs pretending he’s Bonzo Bonham on the drums.
It’s like living in a Guitar Center, without all the bald spot ponytails, and fingerless gloves.
While I was coming home from work last night the stuff was really coming down, and it’s quite an adventure driving at the pinnacle of a storm. Especially in the middle of the night.
The left lane of the interstate was completely grooveless, so I had to fall in behind some terrified doucheketeer going 30 mph. I stayed there as long as I could take it, then entered uncharted territory and went around him. And for roughly two seconds my car was at a 45-degree angle, but still moving in the desired direction.
I stopped at the McDonald’s near our house, and the woman at the drive-thru window had a “you’ve got to be shitting me!” look on her face. Hey, weather conditions have nothing to do with McMuffin cravings, sister. Just pass me my cannonball of trans fat, and keep your opinions to yourself.
A few nights ago we attended an “orchestra concert” at the middle school, and a different student stood and introduced each song.
Before they did “New York, New York” a girl read a short paragraph off an index card (without pauses or even a hint of inflection), and butchered alive the name of Sinatra. Clearly, she’d never heard it before, and her pronunciation was something along the line of “sanitary.” Frank Sanitary.
I don’t know why, but it bothered me for the rest of the night. I can understand (I guess) a thirteen year old not knowing a whole lot about Sinatra — but she didn’t even know how to say his name! How is something like that possible?
Toney works with teenagers, and she’s all the time telling me about how little they know. A good number of them apparently believe World War II happened in the 1960s, for instance, and that Philadelphia is the capital of Pennsylvania. You know, stuff like that… But I’d never really experienced it first-hand. It makes me sad, and a little anxious.
I remember bumping into one of my junior high teachers, years after I’d graduated high school, and he launched into a diatribe about how ignorant kids are becoming.
He said he passes out maps of the U.S. on the first day of school every year, and asks students to fill in the name of each state. And they come up with stuff like Chicago, Eurasia, and “Hampshire.” He told me several kids can be counted on to get NONE of the states correct, not even West Virginia.
I laughed as he was telling me this, and he looked at me like I’d just let loose an oily cauliflower fart. There’s nothing funny about it, he assured me. I silently disagreed at the time, but think I’m starting to come around to his way of thinking.
Heck, I often encounter people who are twenty years younger than I am, and can’t attach a file to an email or copy and paste a URL. They grew up with computers, and don’t know shit about them. How? Why??
Is this a real phenomenon, or just an illusion? Do people in their mid-40s ALWAYS believe younger people are complete dumbasses? Or is it true?
All I can tell you is: my kids know how to pronounce Sinatra. In fact, they know at least a little about a lot of things. Perhaps they’re geniuses? I don’t know.
Any opinions on this subject? Use the comments section to set us straight.
And I’ll be back tomorrow.
@Sonny In NH:
Kids don’t learn the multiplication table anymore. It’s considered regressive. You can blame this on the bright minds at the Teachers College at Columbia University, which has been the epicentre of “educational reform” for the last 40 years. Some of their other bright ideas include: the replacement of phonics with memorization, discouraging teachers from checking grammar, removal of fractions from primary grades, and grade promotion without merit to name a few.
I should also add to my above anecdote that this same person once got her cellphone stuck in her asscrack. How someone could mistake their foul line for a cellphone holder is anyone’s guess. She de-wedged the errant phone by mashing her ass against the abutment of a low corner wall until it popped clear out of her drawers. Exciting stuff to witness, my friends.
As a 20-something I have to agree that most of my generation are more concerned with drinking till puking and catching chlamydia than they are in which states are where.
However this gets really irritating sometimes. Like when I tell people I’m from Atlanta and they say “isn’t that near Texas?”
or the other day when I was talking to some people about Blagojevich thing and they asked who he was. So I asked them if they had ever watched the news, and they responded with “No, that’s just for old people.” I died a little when I heard that.
Although I think the older crowd is getting dumber too. Yes, I understand that you didn’t have computers when you were kids. But for the love of god just pay attention and learn how to use e-mail and stop asking me everytime you want to do it. Being 24 these days means that you are a full time computer repair guy any time some old person (anyone over 40) can’t figure out how to send their friend a cute story about cats.
In my day we had to walk 15 miles to school, in the snow, and it was uphill both ways!
@ Drew…Now come on…over 40? Maybe over 60…but the 40-somethings are the one’s who got this stuff off the ground.
I think we should lump all of those tiny east coast states into one big one. That would cut down on the learning curve.
Some of the teens may be actually stupid, but seriously, think back to Junior High. If some teacher gave you a map of the U.S. and told you to write in the names of the states…what would YOU do? I can tell you that I and my buddies would be working away trying to outdo each other with the funniest names for states.
No more need be said. Tyrosine summed it up beautifully in his first post.
I’ve noticed the word “prolly” creep into posts by teens and 20 somethings. As in,”I’ll prolly go to the mall today.”
I recently saw two young knuckleheads changing the sign outside a Bob Evans. It read “Try Our Chicken Pot Pye.”
I weep for the future.
I wouldn’t say I’m old yet, but I’m no spring chicken, either – 32. And, I can tell you that I am constantly overestimating the intelligence of the people around me. I think people started getting dumb around the time I was born and that it continues to this day.
I like to drink. a lot. Sometimes I drink too much and reason and logic start flying out the window – this puts me on a more level playing field with the people around me. It also puts my phone number in the hands of idiots. But, deciphering a text message from an idiot that can’t spell can sometimes be fun!
Wow, older people bitching about the younger generation, that’s a new one. As soon as I start my sentences with “Well in my day” I will know it’s time to start getting ready to wander off into the wilderness and die. Who cares about pop culture references from 50 years ago. Fifty years from now no one will know who Michael Jackson is.
I was a total slacker, and never graduated from college, but I think my daughter is smart. She graduated summa cum laude last year, is 22 and is out of the house and supporting herself. I think that’s pretty good. Most of her friends impress me as being smart too, but there are a few dumbasses. I think they just can’t help it.
My wife is a middle school teacher and she is constantly coming home with stories of grand stupidity. The lack of multiplication table knowledge really drives her nuts. We are both 28 years old and I have to agree with Drew on our generation as well. Call me evil if you wish, but I love it when I see people take advantage of those who show blatant stupidity. My favorite of all time was 2 Christmases ago when iPod nanos were really hot, someone sold a BOX for the iPod for over $200. The description said clear as day “This is just a BOX” about 5 times, but the idiots didn’t care, they kept right on bidding. I thought it was brilliant.
This is the future, my friends.
Frank Sanitery and the Pads.
Oh F. Should have been “Frank SANITARY and the Pads.”
i’m constantly amazed at what other people just don’t know. not just young people, either. and i think it’s weird to me because although i have to explain everything i ever mention being interested in, i always know what other people are talking about. it i’ve heard of what you like, how can you be completely oblivious to my interests?
case in point, taking my ipod to work. this was like 2006, and the amount of people who came up to me “what IS that?” was staggering. more staggering was the fact that no one understood the concept of an mp3, either.
then of course there was the comment from a coworker when she saw me reading “the historian”. after seeing the size (it’s a thick book) of it, she said “wow, that would have to have a lot of pictures to get ME to read it!” go away, please.
as for kids, i blame the whole “kid culture” for their ignorance. with several networks dedicated to kid only tv and crap like kidz bop cds, they can live in their own little sheltered world that lets nothing else in. i remember being young and thinking it was cool to learn about culture that came before me, like i was becoming an adult. is it not cool to be an adult anymore? are the older kids not the cool kids?
greg t says
Dan, Who is Michael Jackson??
Father Bob says
It should be cool to be smart, or at least knowledgeable. The more you know the more money you should make. The more toys you can acquire. Watch the news kids… Watch how it is made kids… Watch the learning chanel kids… There is really no excuse for todays ignorence as all the information is spoon fed to us. Not like it was 50 years ago and you had to read a book to find the answers to something. God forbid they do that these days.
Turdsday updates are typically delayed.
I think Thursday is JK’s Friday, or something like that.
I’m thinking update in about 3 hours or so….
Shiny Rod says
I hope the kids don’t think the Rat Pack is a new rap group.
Tammie, my 11 year old son has a case of the preteen alzheimer’s. For instance if I send him upstairs to fetch a diaper for the 2 year old he’ll forget what I told him to get once he’s up there, roughly 10 seconds from the time I originally told him what to get. But I remember my brother (11 years younger than me) having the same problem at this age and my dad would say things like “he’s got a brain the size of a gnat’s ass”. He’s now a straight A college student majoring in psychology. But he still calls my mom from the dorm to ask for simple advice such as “where can I go to get a shower curtain?”.
I asked my 11 year old if he’d like to go see Mt. Rushmore with my parents this summer and he responded “mom, isn’t that like in Asia?”. I’m now determined to make sure he goes on that trip.
I was so blissfully ignorant as a teen – complete lack of interest in anything that didn’t involve myself or my social life. thank god i am a survivor at 40.
peple in their mid 40’s are just intimidaded by us teen, thinking we all are bad asses and always end up doing drugs and shit. So how do they cope with being so afraid? they just call us dumbasses. go ahead keep dissing us, and you wonder why some of us disrespect our elders and the law. a fire only burns if you give it fuel.
Thank you for serving as a perfect example of the exact point everyone here is making, Anonymous.
Have you ever heard that old saying “It is better let someone think you are an idiot than to open your mouth and prove it”? It would behoove you to take that to heart for next time.
It is hard to teach history when the books are so terrible. One paragraph about WW 2, 3 pages about Marilyn Monroe.
Send your ids to private school. Anyone who pays for their kids education will be concerned about what they are learning.
Otherwise, you can count onthe public schools producing idiots.
Cindi K in VA says
Classics Major, Berkly says
You washed-out stay-at-home moms are pathetic. Masturbating all over a blog from a clearly sub-par prose ‘writer’, you pretend some kind of insight into a generation with which you share no commonality.
Many of us are in fact shallow and ignorant. Unfortunately for you, we are your children. Birthed by the materialistic and godless slobs of your dreamless generation.
You are responsible.
Marcus Rahl: 19 says
“Just the other day I was telling a nineteen and twenty year old about my Spock encounter and the twenty year old said, “What’s a Spock?”… I’m going to chalk it up to stupid.”
I can tell you why “The Decameron” has literary/critical merit, but if I don’t know a character from an outdated television series, I am obviously uneducated. Go die alone.
Half of the enlightened adults commenting on this blog cannot construct sentences properly, much less spell.
It’s no wonder your kids are as dumb as you.
Aww…poor little classics major, berkley. How sad that you feel it’s necessary to insult people to get attention.
My kids don’t do that.
Glad I’m not a complete wash up as a mother.
My kids might be dumb but they’re not assholes….
Cindi K in VA says
My kids could beat up “classics major, berkly”; and they’re girls!
I think that everyone has a role to play in a childs life. (Sorry for the lack of some punctuation as this post is being typed on a cell phone). When I say everyone I mean teachers doing their jobs to teach our children, parents playing a role in their childrens academics (no matter if it just means asking them what they’ve learned that day), and then, of course, students taking responsibility in their education. I always remembering what a great mentor used to tell her students, me included, that the only one responsible for your education is YOU. Most kids these days though seem to be in the world of technology and instead of picking up a book to read for class they would rather pick up their cell phones or get on their computers to IM their friends. I have seen the lack of intelligence decline immensely since I was a high school graduate 11 years ago.
Todays kids, or teenagers for this matter, are more interested in new bands,clothes, and trivial shit more than important stuff. Sadly, I go to school with them. I am only 13 years old, and I see these people all around me. Most don’t know the difference between Rome and Romania, or even Where the country of Norway is Located.
Here is a conversation I had a couple day earlier with one of these “scene kids”
Kid: Why do you talk with that accent?
Me:Oh,me? I was born and raised in Norway.
Kid:Where is that?
Me:(sigh) Its in Europe.
Kid: So, its like in London?
Me: No, that is England, England is a country and Europe is a…oh never mind, Lets just say I’m from Germany, ok?
Please, Fellow non-idiots do not judge me on my age,English(or lack thereof). I know I was not around for the 70’s and 80’s but I have learned a lot and experienced quite a few memorable things that have helped turn me into the person I am today, unlike most other people, who give teenagers like me a bad name. They spend all day on Myspace and out at the mall, while I am here, enthralled in fantasy and history, something I know they would shun off as “r3t4rded!”
I’m crying. I thought I was the only one who do this…
You are the reason I continue to do my job. Thank You.
If “the lack of intelligence” is declining, as Anonymous states, then people are getting smarter.
as a fresh graduate of high school all i can say is that teenagers of no idea of the real world. their standards on things is lower then expectation. they prefer appearance of performance like wearing fingerless gloves and like wearing one glove on one hand and not the other :/
Before the 20th century and the introduction of youth culture, teenagers were considered young adults and they looked and acted the part (suits for men, manners in speech, etc). Today adults worship the altar of youth with a pop culture that glorifies being young, beautiful and in love. When ‘adults’ dress childishly, like men who wear shorts, baseball hats and T-shirts with dumb slogans or women with mini-skirts, tattoos and flip-flops how can teenagers be expected to learn about maturity? We all hate in others that which we loath about ourselves and however justified it may be, our resentment towards teenagers is triggered by feelings of identification and jealousy for their youth.
As a 17 year old myself i am deeply disappointed by the complete stupidity of my generation, all the drugs and drinking and sex. do they ever think of anything besides the here and now? i am by no means a genius, but i still am going to do my best in this life to succeed, but it seems my peers are content being the bottom feeders of society. my suggestion is to THINK! its not that hard have an idea of your own, gain some knowledge and understanding you will benefit i promise.
I am 15 years old and I am, frankly, ashamed of my generation. We are supposed to be the future of the world yet most teenagers can hardly read, spell, or find a country on a map. Not surprisingly, the kids in my high school are more concerned with how they look and how many friends they have than what grades they’re getting. They live in their own little worlds that consist only of what’s happening NOW, what’s cool NOW, and doing whatever they think will impress their peers.
This generation really needs to step up to the plate and take on some responsibility. Obviously, “teen stupidity” is not just a result of poor parenting. By the time a person becomes a teenager, they should be mature enough to make their own decisions based on what they know is right. It’s really quite sad to see kids throwing away a good career and a healthy life by making poor decisions early on in life.
teenagers are stupid thats all I can say
I’m 16 years old and agree so much that I decided to do Junior and Senior year of highschool at home. You aren’t the reason but you get what I mean
I hate my peers says
At 23 years old I’m not a teenager anymore, but can still see the stupidity of the people in my and the younger generation. The only thing my generation cares about is drinking, partying, and f*cking up their lives. They simply don’t have any perspective on life and think that the only things that matter are trends, fashion, and pointless bullshit. What about getting a job? Supporting yourself? Being independent or responsible for your own life? I think parents have, en masse, been far too easy with their children and shelter them from the realities of life. Why are today’s kids so stupid? I think it’s because they CAN be, while being shielded by their parents from the natural consequences of it.
I don’t really know where I fit in the whole scheme of things, but I can definitely say that I’ve learned how to be personally responsible by being raised by parents who were not. I have suffered the consequences of my parents financial irresponsibility my whole life, so I know now how to and why to avoid it.
I don’t really think this problem rests squarely on the shoulders of the education system. Public schools can teach you facts and how to read and study, but it can’t (and didn’t teach me) why you need to know this stuff in the first place. Without perspective on what you are learning, it becomes pointless to learn at all. I don’t care if you don’t know who Frank Sinatra is or what the capital of Pennsylvania is. I don’t care about any one particular thing that you do or do not know. What I hate to see is when people have the asinine attitude of thinking that important things aren’t important: when they have no perspective on life.
I don’t think the advent of internet socializing is helping anybody either. It just gives kids ever-more chances to socialize with other stupid people their own age, producing an echo-chamber effect where voices of reason are quickly shunned. I think the whole of American society is gradually becoming more stupid and immature. I cringe almost every time I see a new movie coming out. Has anybody heard of the Virginity Hit? I haven’t seen it, but seeing the trailer alone is enough to piss me off. This is the kind of sh*t the youth of today like to see? Entire movies centered around having SEX? It’s official: immaturity and shallowness rule the media. Weren’t the American Pie movies enough? Now this garbage? What else is next? I wouldn’t be surprised if the human race does eventually turn into Idiocracy (great movie, btw).
Hipsters are pretentious for a reason. Which is why the groups of teenagers are extremely polar in their attitudes and common knowledge.
You know what I think, as a thirteen year old girl? I think that this happens with every generation. I mean, come on, doesn’t every parent, whether from the 1920s or from 2011, say at least once, “What is going on with today’s generation?” How many times have your parents said that the future generations are doomed? In my opinion, there is always a point in someone’s life where they go through the transition from idiot to adult. Plus, no offense, but how many of you (the people I’m addressing are those who think that all teenagers are idiots, especially the ones who believe that this generation is ruled solely by the here and now) sat in high school and college, diligently studying and working, never partying or acting stupid? Are you trying to tell me, that you never one felt concerned about how you look or about your popularity, even to the point where it seemed like your entire life? In my opinion, it doesn’t matter whether or not you know who Frank Sinatra is, because in one hundred years, who will truly remember him? The fact of the matter is, people judge others way too easily. I know I must sound hypocritical, but think about it. If you see a group of teens, hanging out, laughing, cursing, how many of you would automatically think: “another group of brainless kids”? I did that a couple weeks ago; I went out on a Friday afternoon to the mall, and we were laughing, screaming, cursing, etc. Basically, we looked like fools. But, ten out of twelve people in that group have an A average. Sometimes, during our young years, we just want to sow our wild oats, even if we look stupid. By the time we are older, and we must take on responsibilities and stress, we want to be able to sit down and enjoy fine memories of our young adventures. Of course, I am worried about how stupid we seem, but, a lot of people who appear to be retards are actually pretty smart. Two of the biggest idiots I know are honor roll students, and no, not because they cheat. They know about what’s going on in the world, they have opinions on it. Almost every day I have a political discussion about Libya, healthcare, and Haiti. My classmates listen to all different genres of music; just today I was talking about classic jazz. We also have to think of our futures, because frankly, by thirteen you have to know what you’re doing, or at least have an idea (seriously, you need to know if you’re going to be an engineer, actress, or if you want to go to standard high school). So, yeah, the younger generation can be total morons, but a lot of them have some brains. We can’t just focus on one side of the teenage population, and call the entire group idiots.
Well, at least they should be more sympathetic, or nicer, to other people. Most of them don’t, just ‘whatever’.
I’m fourteen, and I am in the top 10% of my Pre-AP eighth grade class.
I am definitely not stupid, and neither are any of my friends. We may not know the capital of Pennsylvania, but I am fairly sure that most adults can’t draw a complete diagram of an animal cell almost entirely from memory or figure out an intelligent solution to the debt ceiling crisis.
We think differently, we are always joking around and acting foolish, but we may be one of the smartest generations yet. And as for knowing nothing about computers….I grew up on one, and I can tell you three different ways to access a blocked site on a network, create a website, and once I even helped my history teacher with a dead hard drive to back up her things on a mobile account. I can certainly click ctrl/command+copy and then ctrl/command+paste a link. Also, there is usually a small button or link for attaching files to an email…..
So, yes, my generation has no common sense…but we’re still intelligent.
I believe every generation has its “stupid” teens. Its just that those teens grow up and don’t want to admit any such bad thing ever happened in their day. Kind of how some adults are doing here now.
I started reading this blog to cheer me up after a day at a high school that was jam-packed with abhorrent behavior from my teen students. I was angry because I know that I’m not an old person and I coudn’t understand how young adults like these could be so disrespectful of a fellow young person(me), straight off the bat. I was also unable to fathom a reason for their unabashed ignorance of anything they should have already learned in school. I was, yet again, amazed and dismayed at the seeming pride they took in being gererally unaware.
I wanted to read what people had to say that would affirm my disgust with this generation abutting my own. I got that. And I laughed really hard at a lot of it.
But then some actual teenagers started to chime in. And they reminded me why I continue to do my job, day after day. Not all teens are idiots, no. And it is these few who aren’t; who conduct themselves with dignity, who have cheered me up with their words. Not the original “kids these days” comments I thought would.
Thanks, Teens Who Think.
I have a spelling error: I mean “generally”.
Yes teenagers can be extremely stupid and sometimes never grow out of it. But as parents it’s our responsibility to teach them;we are they’re major influence for the first five years of their life and help shape their personalities during that time. Also persistence and independence for children is key to help them grow. So while you sit here and whine all day and wonder why you’re children aredumb as rocks or calling from jail of they’re lucky,I’ll sit here and help my children and when they have children I’ll always teach them not to be narrow minded dumb fucks like most of you here”10″!
Hello everyone, I’m a 20 year old student from India. I can’t recall how I came to read this post, but I’m glad I did read it in its entirety.
I want to offer a different perspective as a representative of the same generation being discussed here; albeit from a different cultural / educational point of view.
I’m absolutely petrified when I do get a chance to interact with people my age. I’m a blogger too, which means I’m lucky enough to interact with people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. One thing in common with today’s teenagers, irrespective of the country is the sense of entitlement. We demand where it is absolutely imperative for us to get something for ourselves. And this feeling of being entitled to certain things is ruining everything. I read a comment where a person said that Asians are flooding the good universities. True. Absolutely true. But think for a second: if a student from a ” third world” country can beat you to a university in your own country, in your own language, whose fault is it? Believe me when I tell you the education in India or any developing country is far worse than what you have in the USA. I’m a computer science major, yet i can see my classmates struggling to open a CPU cabinet.however, the trophy culture doesn’t exist in asia and that is what makes asians competitive.
the state of teens today definitely a issue of parenting, I know that from my personal experience. You can’t just consider a child to be responsible for themselves, you have to teach them through your own example. Don’t complain about awful role models. Chances are, your child might consider you to be their role model. Be one and majority of the problems may be solved.