SL 678

Quiet day here. I had to get caught up with some secretarial work. And I HAD to read all the Brangelina gossip. God, I wasted too much time today. Anyhow, here are some quick links. I need to get outside and get some steps in.

For some reason, I’ve been looking at homes of artists and musicians today. Check out Frank Zappa’s old house. And here’s an artist’s place in Brooklyn.

Joss Whedon has assembled one of his largest casts ever to speak out against Donald Trump, “a racist, abusive coward who could permanently damage the fabric of our society.”

Blacking Out Stress

A college student explains why college students are drinking to blackout. It’s the stress, particularly at the small, elite colleges.

But there’s something else in the mix, something that pushes them from casual drinking to binge drinking to blackout.

I think it’s the stress. It permeates everything we do as college students. Many small, elite colleges are insanely competitive to get into in the first place and they remain competitive as students try to outdo one another with grades, scholarships, extracurricular activities and internships. Having been one of those hypercompetitive students, I can tell you that it never feels like enough. The person sitting next to you in class is always doing more and doing it better. I became obsessed with stacking my resume, even more so than I was in high school. I saw it as a reflection of whether I would succeed in life. And I’m not alone. The obsession seems largely driven by fear — fear of a crumbling job market, of not meeting parents’ expectations, of crippling loan debt.

Spreadin’ Love 677

I’ve been hustling words for the past couple of weeks, because I’m combining my Atlantic gig with work for the education website, Edutopia. They are going to start running original feature articles on education policy later this month. The website is funded by the George Lucas Foundation, so I’m fulfilling my high school dream of working for the Star Wars dude. I also wrote two articles and three blog posts for the Atlantic this month.

I just finished my last interview for the day. I’m tidied up some loose ends, and then I’m walking away from the computer. Yesterday was a 14-hour day. I think that’s enough.

So, let me throw out some links for you guys to gnaw on.

I’m sure you all know about Brangelina.

Hundreds of thousands of disabled people are not receiving their government benefits for college.

Bryce Covert writes that working mothers have achieved a major cultural battle. Even the Republicans think that mothers should be in the workplace and deserve support.

No one in tech will admit that they are old.

Ah, New Yorkers. They solve crimes their way and aren’t rattled by bombs.

Andrew Sullivan says that technology has made us information addicts.

Trump and Clinton Polling

I’m damn well miserable this morning at I’m only about 20 minutes into the day and a half long preparation for that highly embarrassing, but necessary procedure that all middle aged people need to get when they have a family history of colon cancer. And I haven’t even gotten to the worst part of the prep. I’m just in the clear fluids part of the prep. I WANT PEANUTS. PEANUTS, DAMMIT. FUCK OFF WITH YOUR BROTH.

If the teenagers can be TMI on social media about booze and sex, I think the old folk can be TMI about colonoscopies.

Okay, I’m going to be pleasant to be around today. Might as well blog. I’ve cleared my writing schedule for the today, so I’ll be here.

Let’s talk about the new polling data that shows that Trump and Clinton are about neck and neck. WTF. Is all because Clinton’s pneumonia? Does it confirm every suspicion that people had about Clinton – secrecy, hidden weaknesses, female frailty, arrogance?

How To Not Raise a Bro

Steve and I watched Ryan Lochte and the asshole from Stanford this summer with a great deal of concern. Those privileged, good looking, talented boys/men are very much like the kids in our town. We desperately don’t want our kid to be a “bro” – a partying kid who thinks the rules don’t apply to him. But how do you counteract the general culture that they swim in it all day long.

Jonah got in trouble a couple of weeks ago. It was a relatively minor infraction, but it required a real punishment. He was grounded and his phone taken away. We then read every instagram note, snapchat story, and text message on his phone. Wow, he swims in dangerous waters.

He, like all the teens in town, are “friends” with hundreds of other kids. Kids he doesn’t even really know. These “friends” post pictures and videos of their parties gleefully recording every shotgun, every pong game, every blurry eyed drunk face. Idiots. And it’s not just the skateboarding, shop class kid. It’s the AP honors kid, the going to Harvard kid, the marching band kid.

And then a friend who has two teenage daughters warned me that I needed to watch out for the girls now that Jonah got so cute over the summer. She said that I would have to be careful, because girls would start launching themselves in his direction. So, we had lots of talks about all this over the weekend, but would I be a terrible feminist, if I asked the parents of girls to talk with their daughters about this, too? Perhaps teenage girls shouldn’t give themselves nicknames on their finsta-accounts that call themselves “hoes.”

Another parent in town was so dismayed by his kid’s behavior and the general culture of the town that he made his kid drop out of school and join the military. That seems a bit extreme. The parents who put their kids in fancy Catholic schools in the area say that the same problems exist there, too. In fact, the private kids are even worse, because their parents go away to Thailand for two weeks and leave the kids alone in their McMansions with an unlocked liquor cabinet.

As much as we would like, we can’t wrap our kids in cotton and lock them in their room until 25. How do you parent properly, when other parents aren’t? When other parents buy the booze for the kids? How does a kid make good choices, when he lives in a world where everybody else is making bad choices? Should we move to a cabin in the woods until everybody else grows up? Tell me, readers.