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April 12, 2005

Dr. Johnson on These Girls These Days

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

The other day, I treated myself to a short trip to a nearby Borders. There I found a good deal on a 1970 Jess Franco psychedelic-horror Euro-exploitation film entitled "Vampyros Lesbos" (buyable; Netflixable).

What caught my attention, though, was the woman behind the checkout counter to whom I handed the disc. She was a slim, young Asian-American. Her hair was multicolored; she had piercings and tattoos; she wore a hippie-Goth, cut-and-paste outfit; her expression was sweet and serene. She was a multicultural, cyber-generation cutie, in other words.

The girl beamed -- beamed! -- when she saw the disk. "Wow, this looks like a really fun campfest!" she exclaimed. I muttered something not very witty and she laughed. Then she called out to the checkout girl next to her (who had neo-hippie hair). She showed her the DVD, and the neo-hippie beamed back. "Haw, haw, haw," they both laughed, much cheered up by the idea of a druggy, psycho-vampire, sex-alicious lesbian horror film.

Off I went for the rest of the day on a chaotic inner monologue. It ran along these lines:

Wow, not only has camp lost all its devilish charge, it's become mood-fodder for inane girls. And lesbianism -- or at least what hip young girls think of as lesbianism -- has become mainstream-ified too. Who'd have thought it would come to this? ... Cute girls ... With untroubled expressions ... Gaffawing at camp and lesbianism, both of which seem to strike them as kicky, silly fun ... It's really all out there, isn't it? ... And once it's all out there, the inner life comes to seem obsolete ...

Funny that I find nothing sexy about these girls, happy though I'd be to see them naked ... Partly it's the tattoos and the piercings, which kill the vibrancy of the flesh ... I wonder if other guys my age find the tattoos and piercings offputting ... Is it a generational taste? ...

Part of what's not-sexy about the new girls is the way the total lack of inhibition is crossed with a complete lack of depth ... Boomers thought that something good would come of uninhibiting people -- that problems would be solved, that health and happiness would finally prevail. But did they imagine that inanity and depthlessness would result too? ... Why a culture should set up "uninhibitedness" as a moral goal is beyond me ...

The new girls lack poetry and allure, sweet though they probably are and attractive though they certainly are ... They're able to remain kids forever, endlessly playing, endlessly changing channels ... Life is about nothing but pleasing yourself ... Which is heaven -- but only in a happy-masturbator way ...

So does that mean there's a connection between poetry and inhibitedness? I'd hate to think that's the case, but maybe I'm a sentimentalist ... OK: let's stare the question in the face: Does uninhibitedness have to mean lack of poetry? And a corollary: Does unihibitedness have to result in tattoos, piercings, and guffaws? ...

Nothing very coherent, in other words. As it happens, though, I've been reading Samuel Johnson's 18th century philosophical novel "Rasselas." (Quick verdict: Dr. Johnson was emphatically not a natural-born writer of fiction. That said, the witticisms, observations, and ruminations that pour from his pen are awe-inspiringly trenchant and amusing.)

In the novel, Johnson's princess heroine looks for the meaning of life among rural people and shepherdesses. Here's what she finds:

Airy and cheerful ... Childish levity, and prattle which has no meaning ... Their affection was seldom fixed on sense or virtue, and therefore seldom ended but in vexation. Their grief, however, like their joy, was transient. Everything floated in their mind, unconnected with a past or future, so that one desire easily gave way to another, as a second stone cast into the water effaces and confounds the circles of the first. With these girls she played as with inoffensive animals ...

"Inoffensive animals" -- that's exactly how the cyber-kids strike me. They're so post-modern that they're almost pre-modern; they're so transhuman that they're almost nonhuman. They're sweet, clever, cute, and charming -- but they're also more like puppies than like people. Well, puppies with cellphones.

Trust Dr. Johnson to come through in a clinch.



posted by Michael at April 12, 2005


"Funny that I find nothing sexy about these girls, happy though I'd be to see them naked ..."

I was right with you up to here. The Blowhards reads like Harleys, Cars, Girls & Guitars today.

The kids take forever to grow up now. It's the truth. They don't even think seriously about marriage until they are 30. I grew up poor, and marriage was not only a legal and spiritual issue... it was also a survival issue. Poor people know that marriage means a better financial life. Marriage does not mean the same thing to kids who've always been well-to-do.

The kids are not driven by the survival issues of the past. It's freedom. Freedom has its downside, too.

Posted by: Stephen on April 12, 2005 7:14 PM

I cherish my inhibitions; they are the spice that makes everything taste better, the regulator that keeps me in line, the oulipo that enhances my creativity, the convenient excuse for my natural squareness, shyness and timidity.

Kids today, what are we going to do? I, for one, will be closely observing them and their uninhibited ways. From a purely, uh, anthropological and sociological perspective, of course.

Posted by: Outer Life on April 12, 2005 7:23 PM

No one stays a "kid forever", and one day those girls will be looking at their own kids and going "what the.."
Your assesment reminds me of all those well, blowhards, in the Village Voice condemning punk rock in the late seventies/early eighties--twenty years ago everything I did, or wore, or listened to, was subject to the exact same kind of smugly condemning exegesis.
I look at young women today and part of me is resentful that the piercings' and tatooes they purchase and exhibit so freely today once got me beaten up and/or terrorized on a weekly basis, but hey, that's the amoeba of culture tends to work.
As for superficial and shallow, why? Because they hadn't gotten so hip that camp was no longer new to them? They are KIDS for heaven's sake. And those tatoos' that turned you off? Long, long ago, that was one of their original purpose, to repell middle aged would-be satyrs.
You know exactly nothing about those two girls, except for the superficial cultural trappings they display because that's what there is for kids to display. Which seems to make you guilty of the same superficiality you attribute to these little kids. As for the litttle kids in question, they are probably guilty of wanting to fit in with a peer group of some sort--can you say you never did the same? Does it make them monsters of vacuity?
As for Samuel Johnson, he was quite a wit, I agree. But the "princess" who treats the shepardess' like "inoffensive animals" is simply talking about class. In today's world she would go the talking heads route and ironically ape their mannerisms and taste, but it all comes down to the same thing, people with a liberal arts education making fun of people without one. Kind of tacky, if you ask me. Like Marie and her friends dressed as shepardesses, extolling the simple, rustic virtues as if one of them could have even liften a milk bucket.
I've been reading this blog for some time now, and it's dissapointing to see someone of your obvious thoughtfullness devolve into mere contempt. Come on, give the kids a break.

Posted by: evilyngarnett on April 12, 2005 7:31 PM

So these girls were laughing at what you were holding in your hand, something they thought was going to be a "really fun campfest!" and you decided that "inoffensive animals" was the appropriate horse collar. Any bon mot in "Rasslas" to cover the purchaser of a psychedelic-horror Euro-exploitation film entitled "Vampyros Lesbos"? I don't know if cinephile is the mot juste.

Posted by: DarkoV on April 12, 2005 8:48 PM

Right on, evilyngarnett.

Michael, you should have been second-thinking this post long before you got to the "they're almost inhuman" part....and even if you weren't, typing that particular phrase should have set off loud warning bells. What a revolting thing to say.

Posted by: jason on April 12, 2005 8:52 PM

Tattoos. I have no theory of tattoos. All I know is that they fascinate: how else to explain their popularity.

When The Lady Friend and I took a Greece-Turkey cruise last fall, there were two couples from my town. Both men were physicians at a major clinic. Turns out that both physicians and one wife (the archetype of the 50-year-old former-LA-gal) had gotten tattoos. One of the physicians had a daughter who went to Air Force Academy and was flying tankers in the Gulf, so I can't say the whole family was ex-hippie. I lacked the guts to ask them why.

I have to admit that, when I was a kid, tattoos fascinated me too. Back then people with tattoos were sailors or wannabees. Though I recall that there was what passed for a gang at junior high whose ID was an amateur (fuzzy, crudely drawn) tattoo on a tricep of a scimitar piercing a section of skin: even some girls sported such a tattoo.

Oh, the Marlboro Man! He hit the scene about the time I was in high school. I'll let somebody less lazy or with a better memory sort this out definitively, but either the original M Man or an early one was a cowboy with an anchor tattoo on the back of one hand. Cowboy? Sailor? That guy had History! Talk about being terminally cool.

So I'll admit the idea of getting tatooed crossed my mind. Plus, it would have been easy because Seattle had several tattoo parlors down by the waterfront. But I never got one, and still don't want one. Why? Because I had just enough sense and self-understanding to know that no matter what tattoo I got, I'd probably not want that particular design or subject later on.

My name is Donald. I'm a square.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on April 12, 2005 9:13 PM

M. Blowhard, like you, I have no problem both finding people "almost inhuman" and wondering what they looking nekkid (and wondering if looking at them like I'm wondering what they look like nekkid will get me a free latte refill.) This is because I, like most people, lack poetry.

Most people lack poetry and this is why we need social rules that allow us is to appear as though we might.

One needs to really really like someone before finding out about their innermost thoughts and feelings.

In the area of disclosure and discourse, the average teen on the street should be, in my opinion, a little closer to a 19th century Japanese man, and a little further from a 21st century street hag. Don't let it all hang out, please.

Posted by: j.c. on April 12, 2005 9:20 PM

I loathe tattoos on women. On a purely logical level, I am fully aware that many trendy young women from perfectly respectable backgrounds choose to get them as a sign of individuality, self-expression, etc. But note that's on a logical level. My immediate visceral reaction, upon seeing a tattoo on a woman, is "She must be real trash." I've never been able to avoid that reaction and probably never will. Guess that makes me some sort of old fart ...

Posted by: Peter on April 12, 2005 9:33 PM

I don’t even have my ears pierced. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be tattooed, scarified, punctured, or anything else. There is one particularly repellent primitive society in which progressively larger labrets are inserted into the lips of adolescents.

Michael, why not try reading Irwin Shaw’s classic “The Girls in Their Summer Dresses”?
--to satisfy your baser instincts? It's set in your neighborhood, and the character's name is Michael.

And if you must have lesbians, try the German oldie, “Maedchen in Uniform” (1932):

Posted by: winifer skattebol on April 12, 2005 9:37 PM

The new girls lack poetry and allure, sweet though they probably are and attractive though they certainly are...

What kind of statement is this? I think you've become what you started out parodying. (an old blowhard)

Posted by: Cryptic Ned on April 12, 2005 11:07 PM

Having a tattoo is a sign of mental retardation or chronic bouts of roofie-esque drunkeness. I have never seen a tattoo attractive enough to decorate the wall between my basement-ceiling waterstains and the cat litter. How anyone could allow a crack-addicted art school drop-out to wallpaperize their skin is beyond me... And even wallpaper can be stipped off, if need be!

And there can be no repentance! Once a person has a tattoo, she is as bad as a born-again Christian. "Doubt the beauty of ink stains/Jesus? How dare you!"

Posted by: onetwothree on April 12, 2005 11:35 PM

Stephen -- That's a great distinction, tks. I suspect a lot of what feels different about many young people these days has to do with the whole abundance thing, as well as its extension into the world of culture. The cornucopia always pours forth -- so why sweat it?

Outer Life -- And I cherish my feelings of shame. Hard for me to know what the thrill of erotica (or art) would be without shame providing the spice. But I think life for many of these kids has become a matter of self-expression, brand-identifying, and button-pushing, don't you? Or maybe I'm just spinning my wheels.

EvilynGarnet -- Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I don't mind if anyone disagrees, but I do think that the changes we're seeing in the basis of culture -- switching over from analog to digital, from Dewey Decimal to databases, from meaning to impact -- are having an effect on the kinds of minds many kids are growing up with these days, and the behaviors that result. I'm halfway envious of the kids where this is concerned: good lord, the bliss of just floating through it all, pleasing yourself. On the other hand, nearly everything that's brought me pleasure in life hasn't been a matter of mere button-pushing. So I wind up wondering about the kids, and observing them, and trying to take a little note of how things are developing. Does there really not seem to be a dividing line between people who didn't grow up with computers and people who've known compuers all their lives to you?

DarkoV -- I'm not sure what le mot juste would be either. But I'm puzzled -- do you think I'm trying to get my own back at the girls? Why would I want to do that? But maybe I misinterpret you.

Jason -- My, what a sensitive soul you have. BTW, I think my postings over pretty throughly -- you'll notice that this is a posting of personal reflections and reactions. This is all about how these girls strike me. It's the diff between saying "Apples taste like lemons" and "Apples taste like lemons to me."

Donald -- I didn't know the original Marlboro man was a sailor, though it certianly makes sense. Interesting the way the meaning of getting tattoo'd has changed over the years. Although it seems like the "I'm tough" part of the statement may be the same. As far as I can tell, wearing tattoos (for young girls) has its roots in the "I'm tough/I'm cute/I'm tough /I'm cute" thing that girls started doing about a decade ago -- miniskirts with romper-stomper boots, that kind of fashion. My only other theory about girls and tatoos is that it's all about females and self-decoration and nudity. Girls today are so bare -- so much of their bodies are considered public property -- that what does a girl who wants to decorate the goodies wind up doing? She can't put as much over the skin as gals once did. So she winds up putting the decorations into, through, or under the skin. Kind of like the pubic-hair-trimming thing: every part of you now has to be ready for primetime.

JC -- Maybe looking like we have poetry is the secret to having poetry. Maybe poetry is all about seeming to have it, kind of like confidence is all about appearing to be confident. I'm not sure all those ballet-dancer-style French women of tradition had an ounce of actual poetry in them, but with their style they certainly knew how to cast a spell. And who says you don't have any poetry in you?

Peter -- Welcome to the old-fart club. I agree about the tattoos. That awful blue color ... The sense that the skin has been turned into something dead ... The image I get of the future, with lots of ancient Gen Yers in nursing homes, with collapsing flesh and lots of tattoos ... Yuck. I guess a small one carefully placed can have the effect of a jewel, and can set off the flesh well, but it seldom works that way in practice, at least in my eyes. (Maria Bello's tiny butt-tatoo was pretty cute in "The Cooler," though.) But finding tattoos and piercings sexy is generally something that really lets me know how out of synch with current fashions I am. I find navel rings and navel jewelry very off-putting, for instance. Looks at first glimpse like navel lint that's gotten unappealingly out of control...

Winifer -- I've read "Girls" and watched "Madchen"! Liked 'em both, although Madchen much better than "Girls"...

Ned -- What led you to think I was ever parodying an old blowhard?

Onetwothree -- Amen to that. "Wallpaperize" -- that's really good.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 13, 2005 12:10 AM

In response to EvilynGarnet: there is something of an ethical egoism about your response, and I think it is exactly this manner of thinking that was the point of the original post. It is the juxtaposition of these ethical system (or lack thereof) and their respective evaluations that even allow for the commentary. To deny the problematic nature of the girls' existence is to subscribe to their manner of thinking, or lack of thinking for that matter.

Posted by: J.Peterson on April 13, 2005 12:47 AM

ok wait, as a "young'un" (disclosure no tattoos, no piercings, i'm such a prick that i find them especially un-individualistic)
What is camp supposed to be if not goofy and inane? Are you telling me there's more to John Waters, and Showgirls than simple amusement?!?

point two: I'm very intrigued by this link between inanity and depthlessness, and uninhibitedness: but I think there are some other explanatory factors: the survival thing mentioned above? or maybe the fact we never have to take anything seriously. My person filter is automatically looking for dept first. Sometimes I'm off, (especially among those few girls who have been actively socialized to act "inane" even though they might have the potential of being smart, thoughtful, deep down...)

Maybe its individuals needing to compete with popular culture, if the girls on those videos pull their shirts up...

I'm wondering if you guys have read any Thomas de Zengotita: much of what he writes is on the changes that humans undergo to media and culture change.

salon interview

Posted by: azad on April 13, 2005 2:39 AM

And lesbianism -- or at least what hip young girls think of as lesbianism -- has become mainstream-ified too. Who'd have thought it would come to this?


Part of what's not-sexy about the new girls is the way the total lack of inhibition is crossed with a complete lack of depth

Hmmm. The unbearable lightness of being...

Here's an article which takes the opposite view to the usual brow-furrowing stuff - the culture's not too sexy, but too vapid:

"[T]he fact that a prepubescent girl might now dress like Britney and embarrass everyone with dirty dancing at a wedding reception isn't a sign that children are being sexualized - it's a sign that sexiness is being de-sexualized, so it can be sold to children."

More sexual revolution stuff from Becker and Posner today too.

Posted by: Brian on April 13, 2005 2:51 AM

Let me tell you what sexual revolution needs to be fought and one. Every man should have a choice of at least 7 females of mating ability. These females would have to be screened to see which could produced the best offspring, however the majority will be effectively controled. A man deserves his pick of a new woman each night of the week to keep his hormone levels in check, and his agressive tendancies moderated. The sexual freedom resulting from this revolution will enable world peace and heaven on earth. Women will get to have their own colleges to get educated in best pleasing men. Colleges will be fully state supported. All females that lack breedability skills will focus their efforts on cooking and cleaning and taking care of the kids. The world will be a much happier place for mankind.

Posted by: blowmeHard on April 13, 2005 3:40 AM

i don't get it. you are buying a movie on vampire lesbos...what exactly do you expect? That's not exactly "deep" Oscar winning material there.

You should be happy they were cool about it. Lucky for you, they didn't arch an eyebrow and snicker afterwards at the dirty old man buying lesbo porn in broad daylight. All the cool kids are downloading it these days, you know.

PS: But did they imagine that inanity and depthlessness would result too?

Women have been inane and shallow since the dawn of time. :) [Insert similar, balancing bash of men here]. I prefer the shallow kind with tribal tattoos on their lower back to the shallow kind who want me to marry them before they put out, but your mileage may vary.

Posted by: blah on April 13, 2005 4:01 AM

Well, you sure seem to have stirred up some dissenters with this posting. I think you are right on the money with almost all of these observations.
I think Brian's reference to the unbearable lightness of being is indeed quite relevant. Though I'm setting up a false example here in relating it to these two girls-- what happens when you lose even the ability to feel the unbearable lightness?
I also like onetwothree's recognition of tattoo-culture as a form of pseudo-religious belonging, replete with the self-righteousness implied in that. Take a look at Tattoo and Piercing magazines and you realize how apt of a comparison that is (it also is interesting to see how they consciously adopt actual religious ideas to fit their ritual, something Religious scholars have believed is how Religion develops happening right before our eyes).

Posted by: . on April 13, 2005 8:05 AM

Interesting post. As a Gen Xer there is some definite truth to Michael's comments. However, the girls he might be describing might not be Gen Xers, but part of the Millennial Generation which many sociologists tend to think of as the next great generation. If I get a chance I'll post some links to that subject.

As far as tattoos I dislike them as well. As far as the length of time for young people to mature, I couldn't agree more on that for us Gen Xers. Heck my brother who is two years older than I is having a teen crisis in his marriage (not even a real midlife crisis since he is running away from everyone). But hopefully this next generation might be a little bit better than us.

Posted by: khh on April 13, 2005 10:12 AM

I agree with blah on this one. Would you have felt better if there were an old librarian type at the counter, scowling and handling your purchase with tongs? I'm not sure that shame makes such a good spice for erotica. I prefer the tattoos to the shame.

I do sense a shallowness in the girls (and boys) of my generation and younger. (I ended up marrying a woman seven years older than myself, and deep enough to drown in.)

But ogling the girls at the bookstore doesn't have to be such an unpleasant experience. Evilyn's right on this: we know absolutely nothing about those girls. And, aging married guys that we are, we never will. (And odds are we'll never get to see them naked, either.) Maybe they have some depth they're not putting on display, maybe they're all surface. Who cares? Since all we get to do is fantasize about them, go ahead and fantasize all the depth you want.

Posted by: Nate on April 13, 2005 12:37 PM

Hmmmmmm, couldn't you just have written: but they are young? And they are. That's all. Young. I'd be more creeped out if you, at your age (what I imagine your age to be from briefly reading this site) were entranced by these young things, Lolita-like. Young twentys-somethings, when you are not twenty, always seem a bit unformed.

As you said, they seem sweet. That does not preclude that they may have deep souls 'underneath it all' or develop into really interesting women over time. Experience has a way of doing that, doesn't it?

We don't know their stories from this snippet. Maybe they were trying to cover up for their embarrassement? Seem hip? Just saying the first thing that came into their minds without really thinking? Anyway, I have to compliment you for being honest in your post, even if I do think it leads you into some dodgy assumptions :)

I'm not too worried about the lack of poetry in these youths - life will happen and they will learn. Let's hope the price for poetry is not too high for these young women.

Posted by: MD on April 13, 2005 12:39 PM

J. Peterson - Actually, the main thing I'm interested in is comparing notes with people. We're living through what many people suspect is the biggest shift in the basis of culture since the printing press -- that's quite a remarkable thing, and an amazing opportunity to observe how these changes are affecting minds, personalities, behaviors, tastes, etc. Fun to take a little note of it from time to time. Fun to learn what other people notice and find themselves thinking too.

Azad -- Neat links, thanks. As for camp ... The cultural meaning of camp has changed enormously in about 40 years. My mid-American parents, for instance, had no idea what camp was. It's a kind of attitude towards stardom, pleasure, trash, pop culture (a way of taking it all) that would have made no sense to them -- they'd never have been able to find that groove. Even in the late 1970s, camp attitudes were still a largely vanguard/downtown phenomenon -- and were taken by many to be radical, subversive, etc. Since around the early '80s, though, camp has swamped and even overwhelmed the mainstream. As far as I can tell, that coincided largely with MTV, maybe the first bigtime media phenomenon to make a point of being shameless about loving trash. Multicult/PC educations have contributed to the mainstreaming of camp attitudes by undermining traditional culture. By now it's beyond-banal as an attitude. It's lost its charge, and it even seems to have lost its meaning. At its origin, the camp stance was a sophisticated attitude -- it was an educated, sly person's way of appreciating commercial culture (ie., it's trash, but I love it, and it has its virtues and powers too): it reversed the usual high-low hierarchy for a few seconds and threw commercial culture into perspective. The new post-MTV, post-computer kids (like the girls who checked me out at Borders) don't have any traditional sophistication, no background in traditional culture -- they've got no hierarchy to upset. Camp for them is just giggle-giggle, ain't-that-a-hoot. It's just a somwhat-noncommittal, somewhat-amused way of being within pop culture. Which is OK: I've got no desire to be judgmental about this. It's probably got a lot of survival value. On the other hand I see no reason not to take note of it either.

Brian -- Yeah, I agree: it's funny how sexiness-saturated the culture is, while (as far as I'm concerned) largely missing the point of eroticism in the larger sense. We're all apparently mean to be happy little solipsists, out there being aggressive about getting our buttons pushed. That's got the same relationship to eroticism in the larger sense as masturbation has to do with sex in the larger sense. I mean, it's OK, why not? But why be limited to it? I often grumble to myself that the upheavals of the '60s largely seem to have been about creating a world in which we can, as adults, go on being masturbating children. A funny conception of liberation, no? And thanks for the links too.

Blowmehard -- That's certainly a point of view.

Blah -- I wouldn't have minded being laughed at, and I certainly didn't mind my interaction with the girls. They were sweet, cute, and funny. You write "Women have been inane and shallow since the dawn of time," and I know you mean it as a joke. To be straightfaced for a sec, though, a simple fact of art history is that women have in fact seldom been seen as inane and shallow. Fairly or not, they've usually been seen as the source of all mystery, poetry embodied, the creative principle, demon/saints, etc. They've almost never been found to be depthless. The fact that the physiological basis of intercourse is that the woman takes the man in always seemed to imply that men were outgoing and action-oriented (and hence often not very deep), where women were mysterious, full of folds and inwardness, and hence mystery. The new outgoing, button-pushing, depthless girls are, as far as I know, something new on the face of the planet. Which doesn't mean I don't find them cute, sweet, funny, etc.

"." -- Interesting thoughts about tattooing, religions, tribes, etc. Interesting too how all this eoexists with a culture in which branding sometimes seems all-important. Brand-names, logos ... Attitudes are what many new kids seem to have in lieu of personalities. Maybe tattoos are a way of branding yourself (or at least advertising your chosen attitude). Maybe both are taken on as a kind of substitute for personality and depth ... I dunno. Maybe?

KHH -- I think you're probably right. The GenXers seemed to have their own dramas, and they certainly didn't seem to be untroubled. The younger kids (circa 20 years old) seem to be a different band altogether. The GenX thing puzzled me -- I found many GenXers hard to get on with. The new kids seem, however vapid, much more sweetnatured. Fair, do you suppose?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 13, 2005 1:01 PM

Oops, hit the "post" button at the same time Nate and MD did ...

Nate -- I wonder if I misrepresented my anecdote. I'm not indigant about the girls. I found them sweet and funny, I've got nothing against them, and their service at the counter was fine. On the other hand, they're a new kind of creature (as far as I can tell, they're a kind of female that has never before been seen in all human history) and it's fun to muse about them -- what they are, what formed them, what might (or might not) be going on inside them, etc. We're certainly gaining something with the new extraverted, nothing's-a-mystery young women. We might be losing some things too.

MD -- It's certainly fair to point out that young things always seem unformed. What's somewhat different about the new young things is how complete they seem in their unformed-ness. I'll draw an example from the media biz, the field where I work. Kids showing up in the field never knew very much. Not so long ago, though, that unformedness was then shaped and deepened -- they learned, they acquired skills, they took on the information they lacked. And they were willing and able to do this. The new young kids, that's not true of. They don't know anything, and that's fine with them. Knowledge (let alone traditional skills) might get in the way of being the fizzy, spontaneous, childlike, performance-art things they are. Is there an upside to this? Sure: they're often clever, quick, and amusing. And there downsides? Sure: there's nothing behind any of it, including (as far as I can tell) the ability to develop over time. The capability to acquire depth over time seems to be something that traditional culture (and traditional upbringings and educations) seems to have encouraged, whatever its other drawbacks. The new culture/upbringing seems to result in young adults who are very, very childlike, in both the good and bad senses. (I'm a long way from being the first person to notice this -- viz., all the articles about young people going home to live with mom and dad after college, and viz. too all the articles about soccer-playing tomboy-girls and metrosexual boys.) The main question -- IMHO, of course -- is whether these new young adults will be able to develop (ie., deepen). They've been given upbringings that demonize much about depth, and they've been encouraged to be as childlike as possible. There are windows for developmoent, it seems. If you make it past five years old, for instance, without learning language, you'll almost certainly never be able to pick much language up. (I think the key age is five, anyway.) Perhaps past a certain age, people lose the ability to develop depth. I guess we're going to find out. An interesting, large-scale sociological experiment, in any case.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 13, 2005 1:16 PM

I just remembered that in JANE EYRE at one point they read RASSELAS. So you're in good company with Charlotte Bronte.

Posted by: winifer skattebol on April 13, 2005 1:29 PM

I see what you mean about this type of female as a first in human history. I guess my reaction to it is just a lot more positive (but probably more shallow too) as in: whee, hey, isn't that fun. The whole self-promoting piercing and tattoo porn e.g. SuicideGirls really works for me, probably doesn't work for you. (Have you checked out SuicideGirls? I have a feeling you could give us a thoughtful post on that phenomenon, too.)

Not that I would want a steady diet of that kind of woman. But I have to wonder, too, what would it be like to date one of them? Do they have any sense of romance? Are they as easy as they advertize, and if so, is the sex any good? Were I in school now, would I be partying with them, or would I be bored to tears?

Quick to note, though: just celebrated our eight-year wedding anniversary, so I'm safely beyond "seven-year-itch" territory. But it's fun to have these new women around, too.

BTW: my niece is one of these easy-on-the-eyes megabookstore employees. I think I'll talk to her about being on the other side of the counter. She's already told me it can be quite frightening, the way creepy customers feel they can open up in conversation with you just because you're trapped behind the counter. You become their buddy, their companion, their confessor, and you can't avoid it since you're just trying to earn your $8.50 an hour and the customer is always right. Maybe a lot of this apparent "shallowness" is projected, like armor. "Hey, here's everything you need to know about me. Are we done now? Next, please!"

Posted by: Nate on April 13, 2005 2:21 PM

Another BTW: "The Wife" must be pretty understanding, what with you buying dirty movies and posting lascivious reflections online. I appreciate that. When I post about the pretty goth-girl I saw at the bookstore, my wife tends to raise an eyebrow. But than I say, "Hey, the 2blowhards blog about stuff like this all the time, and they're happily married. And blogo-famous!"

Nothing like having a celebrity to back you up.

Posted by: Nate on April 13, 2005 2:32 PM

These girls are perfectly human, just more comfortable then you with the fluidity of culture that mass communication has allowed. Kitch isn't kitch any more when it's all over the place. it becomes another language for interpreting life.

This doesn't mean, necessarily, that they are vapid animals, just that they process in an a-linear fashion. Just because they can appreciate the surface aesthetic of kitch and nod in knowing satisfaction to one another they they get the cultural shorthand for the innuendo, doesn't mean they don't go home and curl up with proust. They may, or they may not.

I worked at B&N for two and half years. I met goth girls working on their English Masters degrees and bisexual punk rock baristas who were hardcore James Joyce fans. I also met total squares who thought these same people were wacky, cute and dumb as dirt because the kids these days, they don't get the Left behind books and can't recognise what a good artist Thomas Kinkaid is.

The under thirty crowd has a unique perspective but just because they look funny doesn't mean they haven't got a comparable education or life experience to that of their elders.

Posted by: Keith on April 13, 2005 2:37 PM

Only one way to make this thread really vibrate:
find those little kids, tell them to read the posts (they might not have the formal education to understand a lot of it, but people will read anything if it's about them) and let them respond, if they care to. Perhaps they will prove your point for you, perhaps you will make them cry, perhaps they might have something to add...point is, wouldn't it be interesting?

Posted by: evilyngarnett on April 13, 2005 2:42 PM

Oh, come on. Who is deeper, the person buying the lesbian vampire movie or the person who laughs at them doing it? And old people have always had a tendency to find young people shallow and carefree.

Adolescents have a hard time doing anything right from the perspective of the elderly. If these girls shared deep, tortured thoughts with you then you'd probably find them pompous and sophomomoric (probably be right too).

Posted by: MQ on April 13, 2005 3:38 PM

Two thoughts -- I see a lot of these kids every day, at the university, and I think they do have depth, and that the pierced-goth-pink-haired-tattoo'd ones are more interesting, generally, than the just-give-me-my-business-degree-and-let-me-out-of-here ones. More interested in the arts, pop culture, philosophy,etc.

Second, I am a fan of American Idol, and this year I've been shocked a couple of times to hear that these extremely talented kids, who have clearly spent many years working in music and developing their talent, are extremely impoverished when it comes to musical history and their musical ancestors. In case you've never watched (!) they have theme weeks, and on the '60's week, several of them said that they weren't that familiar with the music of the 60's, and last week, when they did Broadway musicals, they seemed completely unfamiliar with that whole area of music -- said they'd never seen a musical, never heard the classic songs. And these aren't the run of the mill unsophisticated kid -- they are top of the heap. It just really surprises me. My son the musician at age 20 has a vast musical history -- jazz, big band, 50's and up, 70's soul/R&B he esp. likes, just about the only thing he hasn't delved into as much as I might like is classical. But he still knows a fair amount there.

Posted by: missgrundy on April 13, 2005 3:41 PM

Nate - The Wife has lots of great qualities, one of which is being very unpolicing. I'm always surprised by how many wives/girlfriends are very controlling of their hubbies'/boyfriends' voyeuristic pleasures, aren't you? The classic one being the "if we're going to live together then you've gotta get rid of your porn collection" move. A good topic for a blog posting, come to think of it.

Keith -- You're certainly right that these girls are much more comfortable with the electronic-media culture-universe than I am. Ease with it seems to come standard with the young-person package; bewilderment at it seems to be part of being over 40. And exceptions certainly have to be allowed for: no doubt there are some young people who have both a deep traditional-style familiarity with culture and a broad-based ease with electronic-media culture. But I think it's pretty rare. Generally there seems to be a tradeoff; you generally get broader, or you get deeper, but you don't often get both. Here's hoping that everything (including trad culture) will eventually wind up accessible via Google.

Evilyngarnet -- That's a fun idea. I do suspect, though, that the girls are already running tiptop blogs of their own ...

MQ -- The girls weren't laughing at me, they were companionable and friendly. And I've got no desire to put them down for anything.

Missgrundy -- That's a fascinating combo of observations: depth on the one hand, plus big gaps on the other, even where popular-culture history's concerned. I've noticed some of that too: kids who know an amazing amount about one thing and nothing at all about something related. I wonder if the easy accessibility of info (crossed with the general please-yourself ethic) has something to do with that. In other words, if you develop an interest in something, there's never been a time like now for learning everything there is to learn about it. At the same time, since you don't have to pursue anything you don't want to, gaps can exist and it can become hard to connect a lot of dots. (On the other hand, the kids seem to live very easily in a world where information's just rushing by them all the time.) I've suspected for a while that a good intro course for many college kids would be a history of popular culture. Since so many of them seem to know nothing but popular culture, maybe that'd be a way of starting to give them a little perspective. A bad idea, do you think? A good one?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 13, 2005 4:02 PM

My belief is that sophistication is largely a function of age. Young people just aren't as sophisticated, yet, as their elders, and this is neither good nor bad; it just is.

As an older person, when I encounter young unsophisticates like this, I have the dual reaction of melancholia about their youthful lack of understanding matched by admiration of their innocence. It's nice to see someone before the baggage of life starts accruing. And I recall being that young unsophisticate behind the till. I of course had no idea of the range and complexity of reactions the old farts had to me, though I could detect something was going on there. Now that I know it's mostly affectionate disdain over the sheer natural ignorance of that age, and I hope that I'm able to exude the affection and mostly hide any disdain.

Also, each new generation seems to embrace as fashion elements of the exact things that the prior generation finds ugly. For instance, my generation grew long hair, and anyone who shaved their head was a "skinhead" who were self-described white racists. Now the rage for young guys is shaved heads, even for those who aren't bald. I have to remind myself that they aren't skinheads, but in addition, I can't get past the vague impression that they're all suffering from cancer treatments. Tattoos to my generation, with the exception of military guys, were considered tacky and trashy. Now they're considered mainstream. I still think of non-military types with tatts as trashy. I doubt I'll ever get past that. My bad.

In other news, I once endured the very reaction that some posters here said you were glad you didn't get. When Paula Jones ended up in a skin mag - a rather explicit one at that - I got a copy for all of us (<Lawrence Welk Accent>da boys and da girls</Lawrence Welk Accent>) to giggle over and oogle at the next neighborhood party. The young lady at the counter white-lipped me when I handed it to her to ring up. (White-lipping is that condition caused by compressing one's lips into a little, wrinkled tight ring, causing the whole area around it to turn white, race notwithstanding.) I tried to diffuse the uncomfortableness by saying that I'm just amazed that THAT particular person, considering her history, would end up in a skin mag. She shot back that she was constantly surprised over what people would pay good money for - like skin mags for instance - loudly. My my, I thought, turning crimson. "What a bitch," my wife said when I told her the story. If only smiling tattoo-festooned young ladies had happily handled that transaction for me, bless their little goth hearts.

Posted by: Yahmdallah on April 13, 2005 4:14 PM

Michael: "Maybe tattoos are a way of branding yourself (or at least advertising your chosen attitude)."

Tattoos as bumper stickers for the body -- it works for me. I don't do tattoos or bumper stickers; too permanent. Instead, I have a button maker.

An aside: People often decry bumper stickers, etc. as "shallow", but I think your characterization of them as a brand-identification tool is more apt. They are a way of advertising group membership and personality traits -- sometimes entirely too effectively. Besides, my buttons are "pithy"; it's other people's buttons that are "shallow".

Michael again: " who know an amazing amount about one thing and nothing at all about something related."

Ah, budding "experts". (An expert is someone who learns more and more about less and less until he knows everything there is to know about nothing -- I wish that were original, but it's shamelessly ripped off from I know not where.)

Posted by: Doug Sundseth on April 13, 2005 4:43 PM

I would like to take this opportunity to say how extremely disappointed I am in the attire of young men. I blame Michael Jordan. If everyone saw his legs in short shorts he wouldn't be the star he is today. I firmly believe all this bagginess on men his his fault. I like Magic better. And Elgin Baylor the best.

As to how young people are or are not connected to the past culture, my 15 year old niece can sing along with Sinatra. She is also an A student. There are so many kids and so many possibilities. This time of their lives is still just practice - I love what you said about survival - there is almost no need, and there hasn't been for kids of middle classes it seems - there wasn't for me. Sadly, I wish I would have made better use of my time. Who needs to know as much as I do about Errol Flynn? Glad I do, though. But I made horrendous economic and educational decisions I'd take back in a minute. But yes, many Americans have the luxury of being able to make life interesting just for the sake of being interesting. It is a luxury to have that choice.

Posted by: bridget on April 13, 2005 6:52 PM

I'm still trying to figure out what reaction those girls are /supposed/ to have had, since my own reaction would have been the same as theirs. Since I'm 37, I'll see if I can bridge the gap:

In my experience very little that made a movie "scary" in 1970 is still scary today. In watching an old horror film my overwhelming experience is amusement at the idea that anyone could once have been scared by THIS. Much of what was "sexy" or "shocking" on film in 1970 is similarly silly today.

One problem is that it's too hard for someone who didn't live through that era to maintain willing suspension of disbelief. In order to accept that what you see on the screen is scary or shocking or sexy, you have to identify with the characters or the situations. But you can't, because there are too many false contextual clues. The people on the screen don't really act or look or think like anybody you know, and it takes you out of the moment to notice how bad their hair or outfit or teeth or taste in interior decorating is.

Another problem is excessive familiarity. The few scenarios that still work for a modern audience have been retold in remakes and parodies and homages to such a degree that they are now cliched. Or they've been made /better/, so the old efforts now look clumsy by comparison. Older creature effects now look like cheap muppets and guys in rubber suits. When older "sexy" actors or actresses show skin we notice how flabby they look compared to modern-day actors and actresses. When sexy actresses have a closeup we notice that the director switched to the "soft focus" filter.

Some films can still be appreciated at the level they were made, but most can't, and your movie looked like the sort of thing that would have aged especially badly.

Posted by: Glen Raphael on April 13, 2005 7:49 PM

I think Nate is on to something: shallowness as defense mechanism. They're stuck there making a buck, and being attractive women they probably have to deal with a fair amount of weirdos who want to talk to them because maybe they haven't talked to a woman in a while. So the attitude is probably something like "ok weirdo, move along, nothing to see here. . ."

Posted by: Brian on April 13, 2005 9:52 PM

I must second Brian's pointer to Becker-Posner. Posner argues that "to the extent that as a result of economic and technological change, sex ceases to be considered either dangerous or important, we can expect it to become a morally indifferent activity, as eating has mainly become (though not for orthodox Jews and Muslims). At this writing, that seems to be the trend in many societies, including our own." (my emphasis)
I can't help thinking that the attitude of the young cuties may reflect not a lack of inhibition, in the sense of liberation from something restrictive, but rather a genuine downgrading of the sense of the danger and importance of sex. Sex for them really is something casual. MvB's beloved French are, in a sense, less inhibited than we N. Am. puritans, but surely they don't view sex as undangerous and unimportant...yet. And hence, they still have "poetry and allure". But if Posner is right, technology and economics may very well make even the French (quelle horreur!) as sexually fascinating as "inoffensive animals".

Posted by: PatrickH on April 13, 2005 10:50 PM

Yahmdallah -- Yet they're bewilderingly sophisticated too, don't you find? Been there, done that (or at least, given the Web, seen that), etc. I wonder if one consequence of the Web (and ever-increasing availability of so much) has been to make many things seem less special. A gadget might have some zinginess or "cool," but the allure passes in a few months. Maybe in these conditions you develop a kind of all-encompassing blaseness ...

Bridget -- The young men do look pretty lame next to the young women, don't they? At least where I am, it's either the metrosexual/interesting-eyeglasses thing, or it's slobitude. Steve Sailer has a plausbile-seeming (to me) theory that the young guys who opt for slobitude are mainly saying "I'm not gay." I get the impression that many young guys take it for granted that it's the girls' world now. The girls are the dynamos, the confident young stars, and the guys just hope to swept along in their wake and maybe snag some sex along the way (if the girls should so see fit). They seem to veer back and forth between feeling neutered and a kind of cartoon-ironic (or cartoon-crude) enactment of masculinity. Very odd. I wouldn't imagine it'd be very attractive to the young women, but what do I know?

Glen -- I'm agnostic on what their reactions should have been. They were polite and friendly and efficient, so I was happy. I just found it interesting what their reaction was. Not so long ago tattoos and colored hair (and cut and paste fashions) weren't all that common. Neither was openly and casually referring to (and giggling about) a movie as a camp hoot. (Incidentally, Jess Franco's a litlte more than a camp hoot, but that's maybe a little to one side.) Or casual "lesbianism." It's interesting that these patterns have emerged at roughly the same time. What do you make of it? My theory's that they're all functions of a kind of deracination -- various forces (including cybertech) have set us free from a lot (tradition, history, conventional sex expectations, perhaps an ability to lose ourselves in traditional fiction), and have maybe set us free from biology too. As someone once said, "It's a liberation, yes, but is it a desirable liberation?"

Brian -- That's probably an element too. On the other hand, the girls were being friendly, and I certainly wasn't coming on to them -- she opened up the little bit of "ain't it a camp hoot" banter. It was all very casual. If I were young and free, I'd have taken it as a little bit of an opening. But into what?

PatrickH -- Neat musings, tks. It all does seem to have become something very casual -- almost optional, if perhaps an attractive option. Leaves me wondering what, if anything, the young kids care about. Any hunch? Life as a matter of drifting along, being amused, decorating yourself, and getting your buttons pushed -- is that enough for them? Part of what I find amusing and interesting about them is how square and conventional they often seem to be, despite the apparent total lack of inhibitedness. They're sometimes easily shocked by anything that isn't ... casual, slightly campy. I thought I detected some of that watching "Sin City." There's some hardboiled carrying-on in the movie that you're finally asked to be a little moved and shaken by. It's carton and exaggerated, but not to be laughed off finally. And the kids seemed startled and alarmed to have this demand placed on them. It was upsetting. Yet it seemed to be a kind of turn-on for them too. Walking out of the movie, I thought I could feel them feeling pleased with themselves for having made a bit of a grownup adjustment. Which would suggest that maybe they crave something that's a little real, in the sense of having some guts and substance -- maybe they want (whether they know it or not) the trancey cyberbliss to get violated from time to time. But I could be projecting...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 13, 2005 11:56 PM

Ah, now, Michael, you were always catnip for at least a certain subsection of the ladies. Are you entirely sure that sweet young thing wasn't coming on to you? I can remember some unconventional young women who were definitely coming on to you (granted, that was a few decades ago.)

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on April 14, 2005 2:03 AM

"it's trash, but I love it, and it has its virtues and powers too)"

Well to me and my friends, that's just normal culture! I suppose that's what happens when most shows become self-referential and you're simply trying to improve on the high point Simpsons (of 6,7 years ago?)...

interesting history lesson though...

Posted by: azad on April 14, 2005 5:45 AM

Self-display in young women is nothing new. In Jane Austen's day women soaked their (white, linen) garments in water to make them clinging and transparent.

It's okay on the young, slim, and cute. Not okay: older women in clothing that reveals more of their anatomy than anyone would care to see, particularly belly rolls of fat.

Posted by: Miriam on April 14, 2005 11:48 AM

Wow, really hit a nerve here, didn't we? This 20-something has the following to contribute:

1. I share Michael's visceral reaction to the look of tattoos in general. Probably similar to James Kunstler's distaste for pictures of buildings painted on the sides of ugly buildings. It's all very cartoony-pomo. If you are looking for a jewel-like effect, I hear that jewels work well.

1a. However I agree mostly with the posters who say "Kids are kids." Our parents are the Boomers, were you expecting inhibition or exhibition? Actually, current inhibitions are toward feelings of trust, love, or any feelings generally considered wholesome... not things you can really see.

2. There have only been passing references to punk rock, so I'll point out that tattoos are part of the ever-more-popular "punk rawk look" as much as moppish haircuts were part of the "Beatles look". (See, turns out rock-n-roll IS evil; breaking the rules starts trends.) It may start off innocently enough with a couple stars and some barbed wire, but before you know it there's a dragon flying out of your ass....

3. I can count on the fingers of one hand the 20-something female acquaintances I'd bet money on being tattoo-free. You'd be surprised.

4. If you let the kids dress up however they want, Fox News has an easier time proving that peace is for freaks.

5. My good friend (a neuropharm chemist btw) says his nosering works well in weeding out the narrow-minded. Perhaps I can convince him to stop by 2blowhards and elucidate the situation as

disclaimer: My knowledge of my generation is fairly second-hand since I usually feel like Alfred Russel Wallace after leaving the office. (Not that I'm down with the 'inoffensive animals' comment.) Guess I personally feel way too weirdo internally to change anything externally.... And yes, in order to be a well-dressed yet contemporary young male these days, prepare to dish out some serious cash.

I'm off to find a blog entry that goes "So there was this old guy at the store today buying this vampire lesbian movie and he was totally eyeing my friend, like at first we thought it was just an asian fetish thing but then I noticed he was staring at her tattoos...."

Oh, and what exactly is "casual lesbianism"? Should lesbianism strike any half-way intelligent person as odd, or am I missing something?

Posted by: Rob Asumendi on April 14, 2005 8:26 PM

As for "what do I make of it", I grew up in the 80s and can't really remember a time when tatoos and colored hair "weren't all that common". In my experience they've always been common /enough/ that they weren't particularly noteworthy. Unless the tattoos or coloring jobs were especially well-done or poorly-done, of course. It's just fashion. I don't see any more cultural significance in it than the movements of hemlines. All fashion trends start with a few rebels, become gradually more familiar, and are eventually played out.

Fish don't notice the water they swim in.

And I agree with Rob that lesbianism, like hair-coloring, has become fashionable enough that it shouldn't strike anyone as odd.

Posted by: Glen Raphael on April 15, 2005 7:00 PM

Mr. Raphael:

I can't claim to have made an indepth study, but the first time I noticed that tattoos had become popular (outside of nautical circles) was in the early 1980s. Trust me, at the time, this was a very radical reversal of values; the young ladies that graduated with me from high school in 1972 would have sooner died than do something so, ahem, working-class and socially marginalizing.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on April 15, 2005 8:30 PM

FvB -- You're making me feel vital and young instead of like a broken-down old perv. Don't stop.

Azad -- It's very odd and funny that the (or at least a) camp way of taking popcult has become so standard. I imagine that the people who originated camp would be stunned. They took it to be sophisticated and subversive, daring and outrageous, and probably imagined there was no way it would ever be domesticated.

Miriam -- Very true that self-display in young women is nothing new. On the other hand, varieties and kinds of self-displays change, mutate and evolve, and it can be fun to speculate about what (if anything) some of it signifies. You've got a good idea for a blog posting there in your thought about older women showing off skin.

Rob -- It's weird: comments pile up on many of these postings about "these kids these days." As far as I can tell, older people notice this stuff too and want to chip in with their own observations. Younger people too. And then there are the younger people who are defensive and offended (and who don't seem to realize that in acting like crybabies they're proving everyone else's point about how unformed and infantile a lot of younger people seem). Fun! Neat speculations about what's "inhibited" these days. I think you're onto something. In a world where everything has quotes around it, maybe directness of expression (and directness of feeling) becomes ultra-rare and even frightening. I have a small theory that another thing that may be repressed is feelings of impotence. Popular culture is so stoked and pumped these days ... Everything's so poppin' with energy ... Well, where do you find images that reflect other states of being? (Of which there are many, of course.) How about moments when you don't feel like expressing yourself, for instance? Not too much sign of that in popular culture, where even fatigue has to be "expressed" in a big way. As for attitudes towards lesbianism, my wee point here isn't whether they're good or bad (my impression is that most of the girls who smooch each other and carry on with other girls once or twice don't know much about actual lesbianism), it's that it's strange and new and of this time that everyday girls take the whole idea of girls romping together as silly fun and nothing more. It seems to be part and parcel of a general gestalt wherein hair gets colored at will, camp attitudes are widespread, and the flesh is routinely punctured and needled. My sub-sub point is that it's all "out there" now -- much that was once outside of ourselves is now in the ether around us. I'm not that interested in whether this is good or bad, but it is fun to take note of it.

Glen -- Some fashions are "just fashion" and some fashions seem to signify something more than that. The approach kids have to their looks and personalities these days, for instance, seems to jibe with a general move towards an electronic universe. You can dial up a look or a personality, you can cut and paste an outfit or an attitude, much as you can mess with imagery in Photoshop or surf the web. It's like what happened in math when everyone started using calculators, or what happens to people's memories when they stash all their info in their Palm Pilots. A shift of some sort occurs. Good or bad isn't for me to say, not that that'll stop me. But it's much more fun to take note.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 15, 2005 8:59 PM

ok im ... yeah its late and im too lazy to read through what everyone else has written but it strikes me that your going into a store and buying "vampiros lesbos" and then being pissed off that the people selling it to you are into it

i mean lets face facts what about you would make them think

"hey this guy whos come in here buying vampiros lesbos is the master of all that is depth, we should be awed to be in his presence"

just because someone can be open with there sexuality and enjoy things doesn't automatically make them shallow, as you yourself pointed out by buying something that only really has erotic appeal (and limited at that)

the thing is that we have all reached a point in time where we're finally free to do what we want, rights are equal and people can express themselves as they like... and although in some senses it can suck to deprive people of this right to do these things they do is tantamount to censorship

eh its late and im too tired to finish this thought properly, but why are you so quick to judge others?

and just because its campy 60's porn doesn't stop it from being far different from crappy cable porn

ok im tired and i stop now... jeez i hope this meandering ramble doesn't stand out too badly against all this intellectual diatribe

Posted by: jimmi-pop on April 23, 2005 8:14 PM

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