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By now, you've probably read the Willow and Jaden Smith interview that triggered a worldwide giggle fit and united us in our derision of rich teenagers. We may not agree on how to handle ISIS, but we all believe that kids who think they understand philosophy are the WORST. If you didn't read the interview, Will Smith's progeny said things like:
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At which point the interviewer stopped the conversation to hunt for hidden cameras and Ashton Kutcher while the Smith children kept themselves busy by creating shadow puppets across each other's auras. When no hidden cameras turned up and no one from The Onion gave the interviewer a knowing wink, the kids stopped hovering in the air long enough to continue with their hard-earned wisdom.
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Thanks to this interview, readers have generated so many heavy sighs and eye-rolls that wind gusts from our faces have triggered the 2015 hurricane season six months early. With the vocabularies of perpetually high heroin addicts and the self-awareness of potatoes, the Smith kids have delivered enough comedy gold to get us through the holidays, which is certainly a Thanksgiving Miracle if there ever was one. Thank XENU for some much-needed levity in between Broad City seasons.
Now that we've ingested and pooped out our best jokes on the greatest (Pulitzer Prize-winning?) interview of the year, I'd like to step back a moment and remind everyone why kids like Willow and Jaden aren't so bad. In fact, I wish we had more of them.
#4. We're Way Too Obsessed With Entitlement
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Every time the child of a celebrity or rich person tries to do something in this world, we're quick to poo-poo their efforts, as if the very fact that their parents are noteworthy negates everything the kid will ever do. But that's not our job -- life itself will grind every one of us into the saddest version of ourselves before it's all said and done. Nobody needs public opinion to do that for them before they've even gotten out of the house.
Here's the thing that Jaden and Willow will find out on their own, as every human in the history of ever has also found on their own: you can't fake being good at things. Being rich or well-connected doesn't make you a good performer, and the second either one of those kids fails at their endeavors THE WORLD WILL MAKE THEM HURT FOR IT. Just ask Sofia Coppola. Or, for that matter, all the Coppolas.
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There are so many Coppolas to choose from.
When Sofia Coppola was woefully miscast as Mary Corleone in The Godfather: Part III, the entire universe threw up on her face and made her eat it for ruining an otherwise mediocre movie. We weren't mad that they cast a bad actress, we were mad that they cast a bad actress who was the director's daughter. Does anyone mind that Talia Shire (aka Connie Corleone and Adrian Balboa) is Francis Ford Coppola's sister? No, because she's a good actress. And her son, Jason Schwartzman, is a good actor. No one is mad at them for existing as actors who happen to be Coppolas.
So, if it turns out that Jaden Smith is a terrible actor with zero charisma and negative 30 likability, we won't be seeing Jaden Smith joints for very long. "Entitlement" doesn't actually exist when it comes to talent and convincing audiences to spend money on your work. True, the Smiths have resources other people would kill for. ALSO TRUE: Jaden Smith is absolutely stellar in The Pursuit of Happyness, and Willow's "Whip My Hair" is maybe the greatest song of all time. Maybe.
Show us on the doll why you're mad at children who aren't half bad at what they do, Internet.
#3. We Collectively Forgot Our MySpace Accounts
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Have you ever fallen so in love with a philosophy that you would stake your life on it? No? Are you sure? Do you need me to pull up your message board activity from 1998 to 2001? Was there ever a time in your life when you were 100 percent sure Atlas Shrugged had all the answers and everyone who couldn't see that was a complete idiot? Again, before you answer, remember that LiveJournal, Blogspot, and MySpace are still things that exist, and everything you've ever said on the Internet is findable.
Using the coordinates where you buried grandma as your Pinterest login wasn't the best move, grandpa.
One of the joys of being a thinking human over being, say, a fart, is that you can absorb ideas, process them, outgrow them, and move on to the next thing. Thank God we move on, right? Otherwise, I'd be living on a Libertarian island trying to figure out how to build a toilet from scratch and wondering why I was so mad at taxes in the first place. And, unless you've been immersed in the ideology of Libertarianism, as I was in my 20s, the previous sentence about moving to an island because of taxes probably makes zero sense.
When Jaden and Willow talk about Prana energy and pulsating baby heads, they're finishing each others' sentences like they're coming from the same place. That tells me there are snippets of real philosophy there and these two made the mistake of assuming we've been reading the same books and speaking the same language when, duh, we haven't.
Actually, I take that back. Some of the stuff they were spouting sounded a lot like phrases that were calmly intoned in my direction while I was at a yoga class in downward dog. And not by 14- and 16-year-olds, either. Also, please don't act like you never wrote a poem about the "melancholiness of the ocean," because I know you did. I had it transcribed to Sanskrit and then tattooed on my ribcage.