A Letter to Parents About the Fake 'Teen Crazes' on the News
They can't be trusted.Of course, you were a teenager once too, but not like this. Never like the current model. You were an eager and optimistic kid with a good head on his shoulders. But these teenagers are governed by something wholly different than intelligence, they are driven by impulse only. They run on the toxic fumes of burning hormones and gas station nachos. They swarm the streets even on school nights, huddling into their pulsing cliques, perpetuating one another's cruelty and confused sexuality while hopped up on
Look at them. God knows what's in their vaginas right now.And while it's possible that a teenager somewhere in the world tried these methods, this bizarre form of genital drinking is nowhere near the epidemic it's made out to be. At least, it wasn't before the news started teaching everyone how to do it. These stories spread like wildfire
"People mistake us for sisters all the time, don't they? DON'T THEY."This will be the hardest to acknowledge, future Soren, because it will change the way you look at your hypothetical kids: You're jealous. In each teenager there is potential and opportunity to achieve what you couldn't, not just in terms of affecting the world but in every quadrant of life, even sexuality ...Teens Are Partying and Having Sex. Hot, Young, Indiscriminate Sex. Think of sexuality as an ex-girlfriend. You're probably about 50 years old now and sexuality has since found someone younger and better looking to slam against. But because you still have emotions tied up in that ex-girlfriend, your worst fear is that whoever she found is better at everything than you. Together they are more experimental, more fun and they probably rearrange whole rooms at night by sexing hard against every piece of furniture. So now you're stuck in an awful position because even considering that prospect makes you sick, but even worse, it's also kind of hot. That jealousy is the same jealousy you feel for teenagers. The media panics surrounding teens are
Tell me again why we're furious, but slower this time.
In the past couple years, Rainbow parties and sex bracelets have churned up massive storms among parents. They are secret sex parties that teens are supposedly having and they created school bans on bracelets and lipstick. These sex ciphers had parents clutching at their chests, discussing each lurid and indulgent detail. They incited media controversies in which newscasters slowly described the twisted, no-ties sex lives of the nation's children. And they were also completely made up. Whether they were manufactured by teens or by adults, it's not clear, but the fact that the stories spread as fast as they did without any verification at all speaks volumes about how eager everyone was to believe them. School administrators, churches, parents and news outlets attacked the mythical sex codes under the pretense of saving the children, but the true reason was much more visceral: They liked it. It gave them a tangible reason to loathe adolescents while simultaneously letting them pen horrifying, sexualized fan fiction about their own teens.
"And then Margaret said, 'Fuchsia bracelets!? You don't even want to know what they mean.' Yessss."Scary, right? You can say yes this time, it's not a trick. I told you this wasn't going to be easy but once you understand every aspect of ephebiphobia, you can overcome it. Stick with it, we're almost done.
"This is all I know."Moral outrage is useful, even when it's built around imaginary problems because it gives you the context to say, "Wow, I'm a pretty good person in comparison to that." The stories about teenagers drinking vodka through their vaginas and having color-themed blow job parties are strangely comforting because you can set your moral compass by them. I'm assuming that even in your 50s you're a pretty good person, but you still need reminders of what's egregious just to know you're on the right track. Teenagers are the perfect choice because you already privately hate them and now you have a reason to make that hatred legitimate. It all works out, right?No! That was a trick again! You're terrible at this. Consider for a second what it says about you when you choose to believe in idiotic and absurd myths just so you have something tangible with which to compare your own moral fiber. How can you be proud of who you are when that pride is only in relationship to monsters that don't exist? Most importantly, how bad must your perspective on the entire world be if you're willing to believe the next generation is made up strictly of butt chuggers? Think it over, you're better than that.XOXO,Soren Bowie
Special thanks to David Wong for his help organizing this column.
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For more from Soren, check out 5 People Who Bragged About Awful Crimes Via 'Art' and 5 Hilarious Failures in the History of American Revolutions.