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Being a teen sucks, #10

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#10: Weed = Meth = teenage pregnancy, STDs, squalid life of living on the streets.

Scare tactics. Anyone who has smoked pot will become a heroin addict, because didn’t you know that marijuana is the gateway drug? Also, being stoned means you have no control over yourself.

The high feels great, the side-effects are relatively minor– marijuana is simply too attractive for some teens to pass up. And because making a legitimate case against weed is difficult (just look at the conflicting scientific results that come up when you Google “marijuana harm studies”), groups like the Partnership for a Drug-Free America take an increasingly alarmist stance in their PSAs, creating horror stories that link getting high with stealing, shooting up, being slutty! Even the most plausible ads, like those that stress the “altered perception” that results from marijuana, are risible. So… why were we smoking this, again, if not to reach a different feeling from normality? Does this mean that consuming large quantities of alcohol impairs my judgment? Should I not drink, eat three pot brownies, and drive??

The majority of anti-marijuana campaigns insult my intelligence and that of my classmates. In junior year I attended a mandatory assembly on National Meth Awareness Day (yes, it does exist), which covered all drugs in one go (lumping together all designated drugs, another thing I dislike). Somewhere in the PowerPoint presentation came a slide illustrated with The Cycle of Drug Use, in this case, weed. It proclaimed that smoking leads to poverty, which leads to dealing and prostitution, which leads to homelessness and ultimately more drug use. As stated above, I dislike the way these campaigns equate casual smoking with these serious problems, as well as how the campaigns judge the aforementioned prostitution and homelessness as demonic, dehumanized evils. I know some people in the projects who are proof that most of us are only one or two disastrous instances away from losing our homes… a parent walks away, grandma needs medical care but has no insurance, mom loses her job… and many of the homeless in San Francisco are veterans who never received help with their mental illnesses, simple as that. Hard drug use is more of a side-effect than a cause of homelessness, let alone marijuana.

Smoking anything is bad for your lungs, and may increase your chances of getting lung cancer. If you smoke several joints a day for fifteen years, you might have a greater risk of getting a heart attack or having a stroke. And of course, if you blindly take anything and consume it, there’s a chance you’ll consume other things along with it. But though pot smoke may possibly be more toxic than tobacco smoke, people who smoke weed tend to inhale a lot less than cigarette smokers– one wouldn’t smoke sixty blunts a day, the equivalent of three packs– thus diminishing the total toxicity in weed smokers’ lungs. And weed happens to be the least addictive of drugs: social addiction, yes; physical addiction, not likely. So the moral of this story is that anti-drug groups have to exert a lot of effort to market marijuana to teens as unattractive, and do so at the expense of logical, scientific, and journalistic integrity.

P.S. On that same Meth Day assembly, the speaker concluded that drinking alcohol is a valued tradition because the Romans drank wine, but that opium and marijuana are crass because they don’t have the same historical weight. Yeah… Eurocentrism, much?


Written by jane

March 28, 2009 at 1:01 PM

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I Hate Twilight, postscript

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Today, a bunch of helicopters woke me up.

You see, the Hot Topic at my local mall had the brilliant idea of hosting a meet-and-greet with Robert Pattinson, the star of the new Twilight movie. Apparently the first helicopters brought the star and his entourage; the second batch held reporters. The only problem was, about 2,500 too many fangirls showed up (it’s becoming more and more clear that when it comes to Twilight, they just keep coming and coming). I’m not sure what saddens me more: that fans who waited up to six hours to meet a guy who plays a vampire were turned away, or that they were turned away from Hot Topic. I noticed that about a third of my classmates were mysteriously absent from school today; I sincerely hope they were smoking or vacationing with their families, not at Stonestown.

Also, is it just me or does Pattinson look more like a werewolf than a vampire? I’m not sure if this is a promotion picture or how the actor usually looks, but I think he’s too brawny and tan to be a vampire.

Written by jane

November 10, 2008 at 6:44 PM

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Quick update

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The Democratic donkey consoles the Republican elephant.

The Democratic donkey consoles the Republican elephant, 1930.

Happy voting day (that is, if you haven’t voted early or by absentee ballot). I’m working the polls right now, happily missing school and thinking about voter fraud in Florida.

I saw wayyyyyy too many asses on H-day. While there were some really inventive costumes (the wardrobe from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Frida Kahlo, Michael Moore), the slutty sailors, cops, and cats quickly outnumbered them.

However, it was a good night. The weather was great, considering the rain forecast, and when my school’s major party turned out to be lame I hit a bigger, better one. And you know what? I did get some ass, even in my delightfully shapeless paper bag.

Written by jane

November 4, 2008 at 11:07 AM

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Being a teen sucks, #7

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#7: We can’t vote.

Technically 18 and 19 are teens, too, but right now I feel as though the country is separated into two spheres: those who can vote and those who can’t.

I mean, come on– I’m a citizen and I’ve never committed a felony. I’ve read and watched the debates, suffered through the monotonous conventions, and I even buy the New York Times because as much as I love the Chronicle, it doesn’t really have any news in it. I know not to trust the polls too much, because most of them are completely NOT random samples, and I know that as much as I root for Obama, he is really, really centrist.

Most of my classmates– the ones in the APs, at least– also know what I know. Some say that the VAP/VEP turnouts are not declining as the media claims, but the fact remains that the US has never had strong voter participation. I wish I could take some apathetic non-voter’s spot.

p.s. please, no more Joe the Plumber.

Written by jane

October 29, 2008 at 6:09 PM

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Being a teen sucks, #6

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#6: Halloween is just an excuse to get slutty.

You can wear anything at my school, within reason. Technically the school district has a dress code, but at my delightfully lax high school the only surefire way to be sent home is if you like, don’t wear a shirt. In fact, some girls regularly wear leggings in lieu of pants; just imagine what they wear on Halloween, the day of absolutely no wardrobe guidelines! Actually, it’s unfair of me to harp only on the girls, as the guys are often offenders, as well (a borderline obese band geek dressed as Tarzan in a skimpy, thong-y loincloth). The bottom line is, the majority of students get pretty damn trampy on H-day.

You see, excluding the puppies and unicorns bunch, Halloween– like most major holidays– is about sex. During the school year there are some parties on weekends, but they are mostly small affairs: moderate house parties, bonfires on the beach. And in the summer, so many people are out of town that it becomes difficult to build gatherings of any kind. On only a few occasions do high school parties really get crazy: post-prom, 4/20, and the more conventional holidays (New Years, Spring Break, and Halloween). These parties are about sheer scale: huge spaces, large amounts of alcohol, and tons of people, thus ample opportunities for hooking up. On Halloween, teens get drunk enough to do people they normally wouldn’t. But in order to make these catches, they first need to be really, really attractive.

Enter the slutty costume. Most of them aren’t horribly revealing, but I find the principle of sexy costumes simply too trashy to be fun– what would Alice say (Disney’s, not the star of the ’70s porn musical) if she saw the travesties girls wear in her honor? To me, Halloween is about assuming a persona through accurate dress, not sexing up a normally innocent character. Last year I went as Waldo/Wally, in a striped shirt from Ross, face-paint glasses, and a striped beanie I sewed myself. This year I’m going as the Paper Bag Princess— pretty prudish as costumes go. Maybe this is why I’m not getting much ass on H-day; when it comes to high school and the art of attraction, it pretty much uniformly comes down to showing cleavage and thighs. But for now, I’m sticking with my not-so-exciting costume. Sure, my boobs will never be as perky as they are now, but that doesn’t mean I should flash all thirty-two kids in my AP English class! I’m gonna go to a couple parties (finally, Halloween’s on a Friday night!) in my shapeless paper bag, with or without hookups, and pity my friends who have to take the ACT the very next morning.

I’ve accepted the fact that my peers will look like hos this Friday, but I still think it’s really sad, that when you google “slutty halloween costumes” you get 665,000 results. That’s two hundred thousand more results than you get if you google soporific! There should be more sleepiness and less sluttiness on Halloween.

Written by jane

October 28, 2008 at 11:11 PM

Being a teen sucks, #5

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#5: Phrase t-shirts.

I attended middle school from 2002 to 2005, when in my opinion Hot Topic really had its heyday. The tweens of the early 00’s wore pre-ripped jeans, studded belts, and phrase t-shirts; this explains why I kissed maybe two guys before I reached fourteen. Upon entering high school I hoped that my peers would outgrow the fashion, and to some extent my wish came true; most of my guy friends now wear plain t-shirts or button downs. However, there’s still a large contingent of teens who proudly display “If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling” on their chests.

Picture this scenario: you’re at a bonfire and a nice guy from a private school starts talking to you. He looks a little PacSun, but it turns out he’s reading Les Mis, which you’ve read three times! You’re excited. Things get warm by the fire so he unzips his jacket and suddenly, you’re staring at

Really, really not hot.

In my experience, the guys who wear these shirts tend to be douche bags. Example #1: In the eighth grade my very first boyfriend, whose trademark was his “Procrastinators unite… tomorrow” shirt broke up with me after four days to be with my gym-class enemy (come to think of it, she wore some phrase shirts, too!). Example #2: Soon after Procrastination Boy broke up with me, I got to know a guy whose spirit resided in a Spam shirt, which he wore at least once a week. On a group trip around Europe, Spam Boy lost his passport, delaying a good 150 people to the airport and eventually causing a chaperone to have to stay with him in Holland for an extra two days. It takes a certain kind of person to wear a phrase t-shirt, usually those who relish the notion of a shirt as a trademark, an identity.

While I’m on the subject of shirts, another chronic offender on my list is the manufactured vintage shirt, which comes in many forms: the acid-washed Woodstock shirt from Target, the Harvard ’75 shirt from Alloy, the ’50s roller rink tee. If your dad really was on the Ward Melville chess team in 1965, go ahead and wear the shirt. But otherwise, skip it.

You can shop at American Apparel without being a hipster; you can shop at Abercrombie without being racist. I mean, I bought a pair of green converses from Hot Topic in 2005 (it sucks, how few stores stock sizes smaller than a 6.5). But if you asked me what store I frequent, I definitely would not mention HT. Its association with phrase shirts is just too embarrassing.

Written by jane

September 15, 2008 at 6:22 PM

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Being a teen sucks, #3-4

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#3: Underage clubs as entertainment.

Underage clubs, or I should say, sad gymnasiums and Jewish Community Centers that host dances for sweaty teenagers once a month, are not cool. I live in San Francisco, a city that I understand has a pretty decent club life (though as a minor, I’ve only been able to get into a few places). So I’m actually kind of surprised that there’s only one crappy teen club here, the Glow, whose mission statement is “For you and your friends to have a Safe and Fun night out,” capitalization original. Even if the establishment is trying to suck up to parents, it should really know better than to market safety to a group of teenagers. Like, “Hey, Ron, do you wanna do something Safe and Fun tonight? I heard that Glow has a great reputation– it even enforces a dress code!” What allure. Anyway, because they check every bag and kick you out if you act too loopy, Glow has not exactly become a hot spot among my peers. Not to mention the music never strays from whatever’s on the Top 40.

#4: Energy drinks.

Glow and its siblings serve two main beverages: soda and an energy drink called Red Bull. First of all, I don’t know why one would ever want to serve this shit. You group a hundred hormonal teenagers together, the majority of whom are already tipsy but not drunk enough to raise any suspicion at the doors, and now you want to make them hyperactive? And the logistics are just bad. At 80 mg of caffeine per serving, Red Bull gives you about as much energy as a small cup of coffee with milk. So of course you have to drink three or four cans of the stuff, and then not only do you have to pee, but you also might have a stroke! If they’re looking to make their visitors jittery, I don’t see why teen clubs can’t serve espressos; exploiting South American plantation workers is almost preferable to experiencing the sickeningly sweet taste of carbonated teen juice.

Written by jane

August 31, 2008 at 3:24 PM