Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Teen-Speak and "Fashion"

I've been trying to figure out exactly why teenagers dress and speak the way the do and have come to this conclusion -- it's got to be intentional, because they can't all be mentally retarded, can they??? Intellect, and to a greater degree the appearance of intellect, can be easily faked, especially in brief encounters. Even Dubya can feign intelligence, and he has descended below them all.

In my brief, highly prejudicial study of teenage communication, I have arrived at one primary reason for their astounding ability to sound like complete buffoons in even the simplest verbal exchanges: They want to sound cool. Where are they getting this from? Their parents certainly aren't teaching them this. Even if you look up the word "cool" in the dictionary, even the slang definition says "Excellent, first-rate." My God, maybe it IS brain damage!

I would like to paraphrase Jack Nicholson, "We learn how to be cool at the movies," in the second part of my theory. These adult wanna-bes learned to be cool by watching unrealistic representations of adult behavior. They pause for emphasis in all the wrong places and it makes them sound like a 80MHZ Pentium trying to search a thesaurus -- it's just plain annoying. They lower their voices to appear strong and intense, but instead sound like they're intentionally trying to pass themselves off as retarded so they can get on SSI Disability. Rather than actually speaking, they will often grunt their satisfaction or dissatisfaction, as though they're Cool Hand Luke with a mouth full of his own teeth and a heavy case of the punch drunks---this ends up sounding like Britney Spears when she runs out of lyrics and tries to rhyme her guttural moans. Only mature men with naturally deep voices can grunt and nod properly (well, and porn stars, but that's another story for another time).

Non-verbal communication is almost as annoying. Watching a 6' 125lb tower of bones try to strut like Denzel Washington in the middle of a bustling Portland street pains me. You know the dude is doing his best; you know he's workin' the junk God gave him just as hard as he can but dizzang, dude looks stupid.

Strutting Rule #1: Don't do it. Just don't bother. Even if you do it right, there's so many who have done it wrong that the ground is soiled and it's not worth the effort. Leave strutting to the movies where the background music lets everyone know that this cat has got his strut on and da nizzle is propah!

Strutting Rule #2: If you have read Rule #1 and still feel the need to do it, don't copy somebody else's stuff. Find your own limping, lurching pattern and develop it to where it's hardly noticeable. People should feel your strut more than they see it. A proper strut is almost subliminal. If you're moving more than four inches in any direction, strap on a bag of water. Shift very far with that thing on and you'll tip over. Abandoned warehouses and discreet basements are the only places where you should train with the water bag.

Strutting Rule #3: You'd dang well better not be white. White boys, you have a head full of stylish, or at least styleable, hair and skin tones that can vary to suit your needs. You also get facial hair that doesn't become ingrown at that drop of a hat. You don't need the strut and the strut don't need you.

Strutting Rule #4: You dang well better not be a girl no matter what your color. Strutting is a highly sexist activity. Black girls, you get the head weave & jiggle along with the partially agape mouth & upraised eyebrows. Leave the strut alone. White girls, you get the same stuff as the white boys except the facial hair(hopefully). Leave the strut alone. Additionally, white girls, please don't try the head jiggle. You look foolish, sound stupid, and lose all your sex appeal, which is the only reason men put up with you.

The final symptom of this desire to be cool is especially devastating to the girls. The overwhelming desire to look cool. For men, looking stylish is pretty simple. Men's fashion favors classic cuts and as long as you don't go with the hemp knee-high socks and coolots or something equally "cutting edge", you should be alright. Women, however, are straight-up, no-holds-barred, full-fledged SUCKERS for whatever Christina Aguilera is wearing. If I never see another pair of hip-huggers in my life, I'll pay double communion on Christmas and every-other Easter. I promise I'll really do that. I mean it this time.

Seriously, and I'm talking to the overweight girls as well as any female over the age of 21, the crap on the racks at Banana Republic and GAP or wherever it is you people go to find this 100% cotton garbage is taking you for a ride. Those pants do not make you look stylish. They don't make you look sexy. And they don't make you look like Mary Kate & Ashley. They make you look like a stupid teenager who just worked 15 hours at the WalMart customer service desk so she could pay $80 to show her love handles and gratuitous gut. Cut your hours at WalMart in half, drop $30 into a health club, and spend the other $10 on some loose fitting jeans until your body is worthy of being viewed. If by some miracle you actually have the self-control to work your fat basket into shape, skip the hip huggers anyway. You will always have fat hips. The .05% of the population that don't are the ones in the 14' tall posters at The Gap. If your airbrushed grill isn't on that poster, you're not one of them, so buy some real clothing for crying out loud. No matter what you do, fat will be in your genes and should not be hanging over your jeans. Got it?

Now, kids, go out there and dress responsibly and speak normally, and maybe I'll address you with something other than hatred bordering on homicidal rage.

Oh JP, You Kill me! Just wait til your kid is a teenager and then we shall see how you rant. Im infested with teenage posturing now, especially with my son and all his jock friends. They think they are so cool, and Im just "old" (excuse me Im only in my early 30's). Funny post. C U
I know, I know. The problem is going to be that my boys will be bigger than I am by the time they're 14. I'm going to have to keep going to the gym so I can still scare the holy hell out of them well into their 20's.
Heh Heh - you go on that rant to anyone's face and you're asking for a full moon of their fat little heinies. I swear to god though, if I see one more butt crack...
Hello, I do not agree with the previous commentator - not so simple
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