Friday, March 15, 2013

My Top 10! Young People Things I Don't Understand and I'm Only 30 Guess I'm Already Old That Was Fast, Now In Pictures!

I get it. I do.

I get it. I used to be one of those young people all I'm never gonna act like an old person because all acting like an old person is is being stuck in your time period and not opening your mind to experience new things and I'm like always gonna open my mind to experience new things... Hey Stacey, what's up? ...Um, yeah, so like I'm always gonna open my mind to experience new things and that's why I'll like totally never get old like whatever. Old people SUCK. Young people RULE! But now I get it. What is it that I 'get'? Well, I get how the universe, popular culture, entertainment, young culture, whatever you want to call it, the universe will appropriate new things and foist them upon you before you're ready or even willing to accept them. This often happens right at the moment you've just figured out all there is to know about the LAST thing that was foisted upon you. Thus, over time, you kind of get tired with all this foisting (I'm seriously having a love affair with that word) and you just give up, not to be stuck in your ways, but to refrain from learning about the newest thing until it is absolutely necessary.

It's the difference between introducing yourself to everyone at the party versus waiting for the hot new thing to introduce themselves to you, and right now I am the ultimate pop culture wallflower. I am The Wallflowers. I'm enjoying all the perks of being a wallflower.

I... can't think of any more "wallflower" references. Anyway, in effort to not fade into oblivion around young people (or at least understand them when they speak on the subway), I've put together a list of all the pop culture junk that I can't make heads or tails out of. If you know what any of this stuff is, help a brother out and tell me in the comments! Let's begin.


YOLO (pop culture)

I get that this stands for "you only live once." What I don't get is the idea that someone abbreviated that VERY OLD AND TIME WEATHERED IDIOM LIKE IT'S SERIOUSLY BEEN AROUND SO LONG IT'S AN "IDIOM" WHICH CALLING SOMETHING AN IDIOM IS A VERY OLD THING TO DO LIKE THEY SAY "IDIOM" ON JEOPARDY SO IT'S DOUBLE OLD and now it's a thing that people say when they want to sound cool except "you only live once" is so old I can't even. What's next? It's the early bird that catches the worm. ITEBTCTW. A penny saved is a penny earned. APSIAPE. Be kind rewind. BKR.

Seriously, what's next? SWN?

What I Originally Thought It Was: A new brand of yogurt, but like the kind that doesn't make you poop. Are there any yogurts that don't make you poop? I wouldn't know, I don't eat yogurt.

What It Actually Is (According to Wikipedia): "YOLO is an acronym for "you only live once". Similar to carpe diem or memento mori, it implies that one should enjoy life, even if that entails taking risks. The phrase and acronym are used in youth culture and music. The phrase and acronym were popularized by the song "The Motto" by Canadian rapper Drake."


Trolls (internet)

Here's the thing I don't get about "trolls"? If we all get that these are people who just say whatever to be... whatever, I don't really know, then why do other people on the internet give them the time of day. Similarly, why, when you try to make a comment that goes against the status quo, do you get automatically called a "troll"? Third question, how terrible is your life going when the responses in a message board make you think about life in general?

What I Originally Thought It Was: Those little dolls with the multicolored hair that stuck straight up that were so cute omg I used to have like six of them and they were a family and my mom once for my birthday gave me a box with all these compartments that I think she used to store her high heels in anyway it had all these compartments so I pretended it was their house and each troll had there very own "room." I was so gay and so adorable when I was eight years old.

What It Actually Is (According to Wikipedia): "In Internet slang, a troll (pron.: /ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is someone who posts inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[3] The noun troll may also refer to the provocative message itself, as in: "That was an excellent troll you posted.""


Macklemore (music)

Macklemore is a person (I hope this is at least right) who performs music for people who listen to it? For the longest time, I thought the person identifying himself as Macklemore was another person identifying himself as Conor Maynard so you can imagine my confusion when I saw the aforementioned performing on "Saturday Night Live" and... well, no wait, because I actually didn't know who on the stage at "SNL" was Macklemore so I... help.

Side discussion: I don't know what Ryan Lewis is either?

What I Originally Thought It Was: A hunting & wildlife store that also featured wearable casual clothes similar to Eddie Bauer.

What It Actually Is (According to Wikipedia): "Ben Haggerty (born June 19, 1983), known by his stage name Macklemore and formerly Professor Macklemore, is an American rapper and musician."


Molly (drugs)

I actually wrote something here before I read the Wikipedia page for Molly and now I'm changing what I wrote upon the discovery that "Molly" is just ecstasy in powder form! WHAT?! Because I'm so incredibly old at the age of 30, I've been watching all these news reports about how dangerous this drug is and ALL THE KIDS IN THE WHOLE WORLD are taking it and DYING and it's the worst thing since bath salts. Excuse me. I grew up with ecstasy. I've been to the clubs. IN THE 90S! I've never taken it because I'm not stupid (plus, this is me sober. Can you even imagine me on drugs?) but I clearly remember passing out water bottles while techno thumped around me while I proceeded to scream at people's faces "STAY HYDRATED!" This is not new. This is rebranding. Every generation thinks they're the first... Harumph. Side note: Don't do drugs, you guys. Crack is wack.

What I Originally Thought It Was: A nice girl, from just outside Columbus, Ohio, who moved to New York City two years ago because she got an internship working at a publishing company and she just can't believe how expensive New York is and sure I'll go halvesies on your bag of rice cakes, she's always super nice.

What It Actually Is (According to Wikipedia): "MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine) is an empathogenic drug of the phenethylamine and amphetamine classes of drugs. MDMA has become widely known as "ecstasy" (shortened to "E", "X", or "XTC"), usually referring to its street pill form, although this term may also include the presence of possible adulterants. The term "molly" or "mandy" colloquially refers to MDMA in powder or crystalline form, usually implying a higher level of purity.[3]"


Conor Maynard (music)

See "Macklemore" above.

What I Originally Thought It Was: A hunting & wildlife store that also featured wearable casual clothes similar to Eddie Bauer.

What It Actually Is (According to Wikipedia): "Conor Paul Maynard (born 21 November 1992) is an English singer from Brighton who is currently signed to EMI subsidiary, Parlophone."


Revirginity (pop culture)

Apparently, on the most recent season of ABC's "The Bachelor" (don't ask me, I do not know... except, remember when we all thought they were going to pick a black guy and they found the blondest most blue-eyed guy they could find, this show=the worst) the guy who is the bachelor except he must not be anymore because the season's over (I think) which means he must be the engaged to a girl he doesn't know, ANYWAY, the guy on the show is a revirgin, which is someone who's had genitals touch their own to produce orgasm, but because they've found the Way and are now celibate, they proclaim themselves to be revirginized. This word can also be applied to horrible surgeries and other methods for making the vajay tighter, but we are SO not talking about that. Here's the thing about revirginity everyone: you can have your cake and eat it too. Just own your sexual pasts and don't try to be something your not. I'm specifically speaking to anyone who typed "how do you get your virginity back?" into Google because that came up when I was doing a search on this and made me laugh for 20 minutes straight.

What I Originally Thought It Was: No, I pretty much got this one right off the bat. I mean. It's not hard. Well, it's hard. But it's not hard.

What It Actually Is (According to Wikipedia): Well, wikipedia doesn't really have an entry for "revirginity" so here's the link to "virginity" and you can sort it all out on your own time.


LTE (internet-adjacent)

I think I'll need the most help for this one. So, LTE, is like, um, a type of data service for your phone like 3G but better but not 4G except maybe like 4G sometimes, I think. Basically everything is faster and better on LTE except that some devices don't carry (is "carry" the right word?) it so you're stuck downloading cat pictures on your phone at reduced speeds.

What I Originally Thought It Was: Those guys that sang that "I like girls who wear Abercrombie & Fitch" song. Didn't one of them die? Much love.

What It Actually Is (According to Wikipedia): "LTE, an initialism of long-term evolution, marketed as 4G LTE, is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals."


"Pretty Little Liars" (television)

I get that this is a TV show. I'm not that old. I even know that the girl who used to be Abby on "Days of Our Lives" is on this show. What I don't know is everything else basically, especially why I always hear about this show but have never seen a moment of it, know when it's on or what channel, or why it exists?

What I Originally Thought It Was: I actually thought they were the names of three new Britney Spears' fragrances: "Pretty" smelled like lavender, "Little" smelled like jasmine, and "Liars" smelled like Cool Ranch Doritos.

What It Actually Is (According to Wikipedia): "Pretty Little Liars is an American teen drama mystery-thriller television series loosely based on the popular series of novels written by Sara Shepard."


Reddit (internet)

Because I read a number of pop culture blogs, I'll often hear people say "This was interesting. When I read it earlier on Reddit!" and I'm always befuddled because I couldn't tell you what Reddit is. Is it a website, a blog, an aggregation or a plane, a train, maybe an eel or a seal! IDK. Whenever I've ever visited the space that is I'm instantly regretful. There are words EVERYWHERE. Is there style? Is there substance? Can I haz finesse?

What I Originally Thought It Was: A new brand of microwave popcorn. Damn. Now I want popcorn.

What It Actually Is (According to Wikipedia): "Reddit is a social news and entertainment website where registered users submit content in the form of either a link or a text ("self") post. Other users then vote the submission "up" or "down", which is used to rank the post and determine its position on the site's pages and front page."


Harlem Shake (music?)

What I Originally Thought It Was: Nothing. I didn't think it was anything. I had literally never put the words "Harlem" and the word "Shake" into the same sentence until this very day. I've still never heard the song. Proud? No. I'm not a snob. Heidi Montag takes up space in my iTunes. Pleased? Yes.

Very much yes.

What It Actually Is (According to Wikipedia): The song: ""Harlem Shake" is a song recorded by American DJ and producer Baauer." The meme: "The Harlem Shake is an Internet meme in the form of a video in which a group of people performs a comedy sketch accompanied by a short excerpt from the song "Harlem Shake"."

That's my list! Now it's...

Question Time: Are there any trends or things or stuff or junk that young people do in pop culture nowadays that has you totally confused? Who else thinks this list is gonna be really fun to read even five years from now? I, for one, can't wait.


C. Paul Keller said...

I didn't intend for this to get heavy, but I have revirginity stories: When I was went to church youth group "revirginity" was even more grossly referred to as "recycled virginity." When I was 14 there was an unwed teenage couple who had a baby. The girl went before the congregation and apologized and "renewed" (another hot term) her virginity through repentance (and crying, lots of crying) but the boy didn't. They had a special Sunday School meeting with all the adults and teenagers to let us know we had to cast out the boy from the church, and even his parents and brother were supposed to not talk to him until he apologized to the church.

All of this came out of a weird time in the Christian parallel universe where extremely old fashioned sex and dating advice was given a fresh coat of paint and presented as cool and hip. Like there was an actual book called "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" about a young (very hot) Christian writer who decided courtship was "God's plan" and he would only visit girls in their parent's home and people shouldn't even kiss until their wedding day. This was a bestseller, all the teens at church were reading it. And we weren't like proto-Amish or anything, this was mainstream evangelicals with their guitar strumming youth leaders and snazzy tee shirts. It's so weird looking back and seeing the seeds of why I needed therapy to have an adult relationship.

On a lighter note... the "Harlem Shake" is one of the worst techno songs I've heard in my life and I used to listen to Christian techno.

Junior said...

I know this is serious and it happened to a real person and was probably very DRAMATIC but would have paid money to watch both the girl become "renewed" and the boy renounce that S because I'm sure, in some way, it was completely hilarious.

Side note, Paul, we are all so glad that you came out of all of that being such a wonderful person, no thanks to them!

Sam said...

I think this is fun to read six months later, much less five years. Hey, remember when the Harlem Shake was so big even Kathie Lee and Hoda talked about it? What was it again?

Junior said...

Hey Sam! I know, it's like everything on this list is already out of date!