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One of the most surreal parts of being an adult is finding yourself in a conversation with other adults about "today's youth." It happens to all of us -- in my experience, the first one takes place roughly four seconds after high school graduation. But when you're old enough to have the conversation without being laughed at, stabbed, and then laughed at again, the subject takes a pretty dark turn. It's like a switch is thrown, and you view everyone younger than you as a drooling idiot just waiting to fuck up our country. You hear idiotic complaints like ...

"Stupid Kids Today Are Pregnant Before They Can Even Drive"

Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

The Complaint:

All kids do is eat, sleep, and fuck. It's like as soon as their genitals become active for something other than urination, they're whipping them out and mashing them together like they're in the Filth Olympics. When I was a kid, sex was sacred. We waited until marriage before surprising each other with our weird-looking shame inducers. Nowadays, if you don't rig up a car alarm to their balls, they can't be left with another teenager for more than five minutes without spawning yet another leech to suck away all of my tax dollars.

But Actually ...

Hold up there, old timers. It turns out that you were the fuck-happy dick slingers. We're not just comparing our grandparents' generation with the current one, either. The 1950s absolutely demolishes every other modern world decade in teenage pregnancy:

Via Guttmacher.org
Eat graph, grandpa. Then put away your overactive boner before you hurt someone.

With the exception of a small spike in the 1990s, teen pregnancy has been steadily on the decline since the only form of birth control was sobriety or homosexuality. Take note of those years, teens. It's not just your grandparents we're talking about -- it's also your parents. So there's two generations for you to give the finger and graph-slap into apologetic tears. But wait, there's more!

Those generations didn't just outshame you with their filth; take a look at that graph again. Your generation is sporting the lowest pregnancy rate of ... well, pretty much ever. And just in case your racist grandma needs her supremacy complex spanked, here's another one showing that the decline is mirrored across the board:

Via Hhs.gov
You should print that shit out and put it on a T-shirt.

"They're All on Drugs"

Doug Menuez/Valueline/Getty Images

The Complaint:

I have no sympathy for kids these days. If they want to improve their lives, they can start by getting off of the drugs. No wonder they're depressed all the time -- out their smelling their cocaine and taking their crack pills. Hell, the other day I heard that they're even using bath products for a high. One guy tried it and ate a man's face clean off. Clean off! That's exactly the problem with this country. It's gotten so bad that I can't go outside without worrying about some kid drinking a bottle of conditioner and getting hungry for my eyebrow.

But Actually ...

Want to see something pretty impressive? Check this shit out:

Via Drugabuse.gov
I guess I should have put a graph warning at the beginning of the article.

See that green line that goes up at the end? That's ecstasy, and it happens to be the only drug on the list that's seen a rise in use. Every other one has been in steady decline since people were saying, "Isn't that the drummer from Nirvana, singing and playing guitar? That'll never work."

I'm not saying that the teen drug problem isn't an issue. But the insinuation that it's getting worse with each generation is just ignorant bullshit. It's doing the exact opposite. Even cigarettes are seeing less use, and that used to be the epitome of coolness and rebellion. I guess kids are putting more emphasis on the "death" part of their pros and cons list. Pussies.

Via Drugabuse.gov
Did someone say "graph"? No? Well, I'm putting this here anyway.

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"Kids These Days Are Just Plain Lazy"

Image Source/Photodisc/Getty Images

The Complaint:

When I was a kid, we did four hours of farm work before we got on the bus for school. Then after we got home, we did another full day's work just for fun. On weekends, we fought in the Great War, just to do our part for the world. Today, if you ask a teenager to rinse off his plate before putting it in the dishwasher, he damn near bursts into tears. They're lazy little bastards who have been coddled into thinking the world is their servant. They should all be sent to boot camp so they can see what real work looks like.

Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
"You will complete your homework while running 20 miles, son -- move, move, MOVE!"

But Actually ...

Many of our parents had part-time jobs while they went to school, knocking off a few shifts of slinging grease during the weekends to support their massive cassette tape collection, but it sure as hell wasn't 80 percent of them. That's how much of the current generation (from high school to college) works while going to school.

Even if that was all they did, it would still be enough to cock-punch the "they're lazy" complaint, but when you consider that 80 percent is math for "almost all," you have to realize that this encompasses the kids who are already overloaded with shit to do: sports, academic clubs, school functions, band, drama, community service sentences, devil worship. If I had that kind of time-management skills, I'd own the United States and reshape it into a giant penis.

Satellite photos would be awesome.

I'm sure that, to someone who's seeing them during their off time, they probably do look pretty lazy, because they're fucking exhausted. When grandma visits, she's not seeing them at work or whatever function they're attending. She's seeing them stretched out on the couch in a classic "Don't ask me to do a single thing or I will fist-murder you" pose. Calling them lazy after seeing that infinitesimal slice of their life is a goddamn insult. You might as well wait until they fall asleep and post pictures of you teabagging them on Twitter.

"I Swear, Kids Get Dumber Every Year"

Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The Complaint:

I fear for our nation, knowing that the idiots growing up in today's education system will be running our country someday. Have you talked to these morons? It's like trying to have a conversation with the fish in my aquarium. And don't even get me started on their online conduct. Half of them can't type a full sentence in their own language. It's like they're trying to communicate with half a bag of Scrabble letters.

Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
"Crap, I ran out of Rs. I hate this old-ass phone."

But Actually ...

On the whole, today's teens are exponentially smarter than the generations before them. It's most apparent when you look at education completion rates. From 1970 to 2013, the number of kids dropping out of school has been cut nearly in half. They're getting the message that, without their diploma, the world is going to give them the finger and a mop, and they are collectively saying, "Fuck that. I want a fat check and a job that doesn't come with weird smells."

They've also realized that they're at a severe disadvantage in the workforce without a college degree, so we're seeing a significant increase in students completing their higher education. According to that link, one-third of 25- to 29-year-olds have a bachelor's degree or higher. For some perspective, that number was barely over 10 percent through the mid-1960s. So we're going to have to respectfully tell you to suck it.

David De Lossy/Valueline/Getty Images
Or maybe not so respectfully. You've been openly calling them dumb.

Don't get me wrong. I know as many rock-fuck stupid teenagers as I do adults. The world will never exhaust its perpetual supply of dumbasses. But saying that we're getting dumber by the generation is itself an uneducated statement. That irony has all the subtlety of a Bugs Bunny anvil.

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"They're Just Flat-Out Irresponsible"

Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images

The Complaint:

I just don't get kids today. All they do is play video games, get tattoos, and pierce their floppy parts. I saw a group of girls the other day, each with a different color neon hairdo. How do they expect to be taken seriously like that? Who's going to hire them? Take their phones away, and they'd have no clue how to function. They're all in their own little world, completely oblivious to even the most basic form of responsibility. We're all screwed when they take over the country.

But Actually ...

Give me a fucking break. Everything you've read in this article is the very definition of responsibility. Overall, the teens I interact with are as (if not more) responsible than their adult counterparts. Most of the ones I interact with online speak multiple languages and have traveled outside of their own country. They have jobs and bills. They're taking an active role in preparing for their transition into adulthood. I find that impressive as hell.

Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
"And the reason job benefits are important is bec- wait, are you taking notes?"

They worry about the future and stand up against injustices the way many adults should but often don't. I hope they carry that with them into their own careers, because it gives me hope that we might have more lawmakers who offer protection instead of oppression. That we'll have more people occupying big offices and less people occupying prison cells. But mostly, I want them to fix the video game industry because I'm running out of awesome shit to play ... because I'm an irresponsible child.

John is an editor and columnist right here at Cracked, with a new article every Thursday. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

For more things we might underestimate about kids, check out 13 Current Events as Understood by a 5-Year-Old.

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