Friday, October 12, 2007

The Tyranny of Cool

Ask them about what's important to them and they'll parry your enthusiasm with a nonchalant shrug and a mumbled, "I don't know." You can predict it ... somewhere between kid-dom and adolescence, your child stops asking inquisitive questions and starts acting like everything you care about and they used to care about is now completely useless.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head, The Tyranny of Cool. How can we understand - and help - our teenagers?

Listen, I know I'm dangerously close to sounding like every other person from the older generation here, lamenting the lost younger generation. But at the risk of sounding like every parent you've ever heard, I'm going to go out on a limb and propose that really, today, something is different with our teenagers. I'm open to the consideration that maybe it's just a matter of degree, but I think something is dreadfully wrong in the soul of our young people.

Of course, we can't separate that from the corruption in values we've witnessed in society, and that process has been aided and abetted by, among others, my generation, so I don't mean to separate myself from the problem and suggest, "Hey, we were wonderful, what the hell happened to you guys?" I have rather sobering memories of Mrs. Kent coming up to me in the halls after English Lit. class when I was surrounded by my basketball-loving friends and asking me embarrassingly, "Richard, wasn't Milton´s Paradise Lost wonderful today?" My response was not particularly full of gratitude and enthusiastic agreement.

So, it's always been somewhat this way. But I still maintain that the adolescents are in worse shape today.

Let's analyze this a little. Selma Genzani is one of the lead analysts at Norberto Keppe´s Integral Psychoanalysis clinic here in Brazil. She has vast experience with adults, children and, of course, teenagers.

Click here to listen to this episode.

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