Saturday, August 27, 2005

Sam Anderson rails most entertainingly at Brat Camp:

Though I'm normally a pretty empathetic person, I hate teenagers with incredible fervor. It's nothing personal: I hate them categorically, like I hate injustice. I hate the way they roam around in packs, wearing floppy, Technicolor clothes, sculpting their marginal facial hair, slapping and tripping each other, shouting strings of banal obscenities as if they were delivering the "Gettysburg Address." I hate the way they express personal inadequacy through car accessories and vandalism. I even hate the word "teens," which sounds like some kind of infectious skin fungus. When a child I love becomes a teenager, my love for him goes into escrow for seven years. I know that there are biological excuses for their behavior—their amygdalae (the brain's anger and fear center) are ballooning, their exploding sexualities have only secret and shameful outlets—but that doesn't change my instinctive revulsion any more than knowing that sharks eat people because they need the protein. The cast of Brat Camp—a tribe of self-absorbed, violent, coke-dabbling, pimply rage-aholics—isn't an anomaly: It is the fullest logical expression of the genus teen, the platonic ideal of the species.