The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

This generation

Upstairs in the basement
 This generation
This generation

This generation

Winter. Doesn’t that seem like eons ago? We’ve warmed up as of late, all of us. There’s a little change, I sense; a subtle yet undeniable difference dwelling in the youth of our country.

Case-in-point: the students of the NCAA basketball champion of 2002, the University of Maryland. The Terrapins. The crazy and wild town of College Park, Md. rioted like it was as commonplace as grabbing a brew on an August afternoon in Atlanta. Though mounted police attempted to halt the anarchic behavior, several fires were lit and other such riot-like festivities were pursued.

On that same night, as a matter of fact, I left my apartment right before the big game to pick up a 12-pack of soda. The dark night’s air, like a fart in the shower, was peaceful. It remained dark, but not quiet, when an old Volvo raced around the corner with no lights, laying rubber and coming as close to losing control as a Jerry Springer guest.

“Um,” I said, watching eight siren-flashing vehicles of Dallas’ finest follow the Volvo.

Being from the land of the car chase, I’ve grown up almost immune to its meaning. O.J. Simpson must be given credit for this, murderer that he is. I saw the “Run, O.J., Run” signs on local news. Police chases in L.A. are like bars in Dallas: so many, you just don’t notice.

Be that as it may, I’ve never seen one occur on the street where my cozy little apartment sits in Amesbury Parc – where car chases end.

Quoth SNL’s church lady, “Isn’t that special?” As it happened, this fleeing genius apparently watched one too many ’80s action flicks because he tried to dive-roll from a car doing no less than 60 mph. Thankfully, none of the neighborhood’s (think this word may be a bit of a stretch, but it definition suits the phrase) youth were on the street. After being smashed by the runaway Volvo, the iron fence became as bent as the old campaign finance laws.

My quiet little complex filled with all the locals who heard the ordeal. Like mounted police to a riot scene, my neighbors gathered around the area without doing much. I heard someone start three consecutive sentences with “Shoot, man.” As if that weren’t enough to toss me to a fit of laughter, I noticed two rather ironic bumper stickers on the totaled Volvo. A giant peace symbol adorned the windshield, right next to a “Protect our Earth” sticker.

That same night, much later, I caught an episode of MTV’s “Jackass.” I wish someone could tell me why I laugh more in one half-hour of “Jackass” than I did watching American Pie 2, Death to Smoochy and Legally Blonde combined. One jackass fought an “ultimate fighter.” One compact left hook and one concussion later, I laughed so hard that Sinbad asked me to be in the audience of his next comedy concert.

What does it all mean? Kids today are just crazy. Cliché#233; aside, our generation is far more outrageous than previous ones. This is what I’ve deemed as “The Tolles law of youth one-upping the past.” And we can thank the television camera for it. In Europe, riots after soccer games have been around as long as the snooty Frenchman. Here in the United States, however, after-game riots are a new phenomenon. Granted, there were a few riots in the early ’70s after baseball games because of 10 cent beer night (wow), but those nights of drunken revelry were banned years ago. Nowadays if you hear that the Maryland students rioted after their team’s win, you just say, “Oh.” Car chases? “Yeah, one ended in my apartment complex.” I’ve watched some Monty Python television shows lately. Edgy? Maybe then, perhaps, but today we’ve got people wearing a diaper made of crawfish on MTV.

Beat that, next generation. That is, if you can.

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