Arts & Culture

How to Sound Smart This Week: Teen Angst Edition

  Wait, you mean you didn't spend the weekend reading the latest issues of The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, the Sunday New York Times, Harpers, The Nation, The New Republic, and New York Magazine? No worries! Here's how to … Read More

By / January 14, 2008

 

Wait, you mean you didn't spend the weekend reading the latest issues of The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, the Sunday New York Times, Harpers, The Nation, The New Republic, and New York Magazine? No worries! Here's how to fake it through a conversation with your snobbiest coworker.

 

Here's your opening line: "I'm concerned about the emotional lives of America's young girls." From there, segue into a discussion of this week's New Yorker article about the tragic and infuriating story of a 13-year-old girl who committed suicide after a friend’s mother tormented her on MySpace using a fake identity.

After that, you can mention that this month’s Harper’s Reading section reprints a 1935 letter by a bemused German dad whose seven-year-old daughter is carrying a major torch for the Fuhrer. (It's not online, but here's your take: "Wow, makes me feel better about the ubiquity of Zac Efron!")

Stay on topic with the latest instance of the Juno effect: Caitlin Flanagan's Times op-ed dispatch from a world where nobody’s ever heard of paring a condom with the pill: “Biology is destiny, and the brutally unfair outcome that adolescent sexuality can produce will never change," she writes. Plenty to work with there.

"Oh, and isn't it cool that TNR is keeping track of '80's abortion movies?" is your next logical comment, of course. Wrap up by asserting that Juno's Kimya Dawson-filled soundtrack is totally the Garden State soundtrack of 2008.

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