"Child actor-turned-maligned-Star-Trek-character-turned-geek-icon Wil Wheaton has been fairly open about his struggles with mental illness and depression. But for those who haven’t heard about that side of his life before, Project UROK spoke with the actor/writer about the way his anxiety affects him and why he eventually chose to seek help. We’re debuting that interview exclusively here on The A.V. Club." By Caroline Siede; direct YouTube link. [more inside]
Dr. Cassie Smith-Christmas writes about her brother, Ian, and the epidemic of suicides (trigger warning) at William and Mary College. The College of William and Mary hosted an open conversation on suicide prevention and mental health April 22 in response to criticisms about mental health on campus. [more inside]
Hysteria and Teenage Girls - How Justin Bieber, The Beatles, Morrissey, Franz Liszt, the Salem Witch Trials and the invention of the vibrator might all be related.
Raising Teenagers: The Mother of All Problems by Rachel Cusk [New York Times]
Children are characters in the family story we tell — until, one day, they start telling it themselves.
What's the scariest thing in the world? Ask your teenage daughter. Ninja Pizza Girl is a game from independent game studio Disparity Games.
I’m pitching my idea for "baddies" to the Disparity Games design think tank. It consists of me, my wife and however many of our daughters happen to be in the room at the time.… Raven looks up. "Robots aren’t scary Dad.… Zombies aren’t scary either."[more inside]
I’m getting a little tetchy with this unreceptive design group. I ask Raven, "So what are teenage girls scared of?"
Raven thinks for a moment. She looks sad. "Other teenagers," she says.
"Slipknot, Papa Roach, Soulfly, Disturbed, Amen and Mudvayne were all there, supported by the kind of bands that made every teenage stoner bunking off GCSE maths believe they too could one day play a half-hour set to a room full of disinterested teenagers. I charged to the front as if I was a Minotaur and not a young girl with developing boobs and easily breakable bones." How to be Nu-Metal in British Suburbia
"HVNGRY is an online publication for teen girls (and boys) wanting more from mainstream media. It’s a belly full of inspiration, motivation, passion, power, and taking-over-the-world." [more inside]
If the Beatles and their like were in fact what the youth of Britain wanted, one might well despair. I refuse to believe it – and so will any other intelligent person who casts his or her mind back far enough. What were we doing at 16? I remember reading the whole of Shakespeare and Marlowe, writing poems and plays and stories. At 16, I and my friends heard our first performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; I can remember the excitement even today. We would not have wasted 30 seconds of our precious time on the Beatles and their ilk. Are teenagers different today? Of course not.
Georgia Teens Develop App to Document Police Abuse - Five-O, allows citizens to enter the details of every interaction with a police officer. It also allows them to rate that officer in terms of courtesy and professionalism and provides the ability to enter a short description of what transpired. [more inside]
A 14-year-old Texas boy ran away from home on July 28. Rather then flee to a friend's or relative's home, or hiding out in nearby woods, the boy chose a location with more abundant resources. A Corsicana, Texas, Wal-Mart. The boy managed to remain undetected inside the store for roughly two and a half days (some reports count it as four days based on the dates) through some surprisingly sophisticated techniques to avoid discovery using the materials available to him. The boy is now back with his family, and Child Protective Services was not formally brought into the case as police report he did not appear to be suffering from neglect or otherwise living in a dangerous environment.
The Real Castaway (2001; 48:13) is a tense and awkward but sometimes beautiful documentary about a teenage boy moving to the Ulithi Atoll and seeking companionship to fulfill a romantic fantasy. [Via.]
"One night in August 2004, I awoke to a man and a woman in my room whom I had never seen before telling me that they were "escorts" and we were going to a place called "wilderness."...There is a legal process where parents can sign over custody of kids who need residential care, which makes sense, because if a kid has to be housed in a mental health facility, the staff needs to be able to make all of the day-to-day decisions for her care. But that same process works for "unruly" teens like me, which meant the company that ran my camp had total legal control over where I went and what I did." --Cracked.com takes on the Tough Love for Troubled Teen camps that, mostly unregulated, are "treating" more and more children every year. [more inside]
"Barely a week goes by without some old white man castigating the yoof of today on the shallowness/stupidity/etc. of their taste in music, art and culture in general. It’s a narrative as old as culture itself — adults throwing up their hands in despair because Kids These Days just don’t get it." But, contrarily, "there’s a subset of music criticism these days that seems to view the taste and aesthetic of teens (and teenage girls, in particular) as weirdly sacred. It’s a sort of creepy offshoot of poptimism, one that starts from an unrealistically monolithic view of teen culture — not all teens like Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus, after all — and is, in its own way, as deeply patronizing as claiming from on high that teens have no taste." -- Flavorwire's Tom Hawking on Critical Assumptions about Teen Culture.
Are your "friends" pushing illegal marijuana cigarettes? Don't let drugs get in the way of your dream car! Keep sober with these snappy comebacks to narcotics. [SLYT Australian PSA]
"Unlike most teen dramas, Buffy wasn’t a narrative about finding an identity; it was always about having a lot of them." Kim O'Connor for The Toast on Buffy Summers, growing up, identity, and how saving the world every week is a better model than just getting through high school.
'Loss is difficult at any time of life. It can be particularly difficult for teenagers, who are still navigating their way, sometimes clumsily, toward adulthood. They know they need help, but are sometimes reluctant to ask for it. And often, because of their youth, their loss may be the first death they have ever known.' For a year, a reporter from the Cincinnati Enquirer sat in on meetings of a grief group at Archbishop Moeller high school, for boys who had lost a parent... and learned The Rules of Grieving.
Zine-publishing 13-year old girls from 1996, outcast as "Dirty Girls", talk about their experience. [more inside]
Why Young Avengers #1, the "Perfect Pop" comic from Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, is the future of Suphero comics. Commentary Track: Gillen & McKelvie Discuss "Young Avengers" #1 - complete with the first few pages of script. Young Adult Library Association Names 2013's Great Graphic Novels for Teens.
"Jenni Greenwald, please commit suicide." In 1986, John Cook and some fellow eighth grade boys wrote an underground newspaper filled with bullying and racism, targeting other students and teachers in their school. He reflects on this, getting in touch with both his co-authors and victims, in Confessions of a Teenage Word Bully.
In October, 18-year old high school senior Ryan Romo was arrested for the sexual assault of a child (someone 16 or under, by TX state law). On October 31, CultureMap Dallas's managing editor, Claire St. Amant published an article asking, "Is this Highland Park baseball star a rapist?" St. Amant ended her article, stating: If it's a case of impulsive teenage decisions, remorse and guilt, then no one suffers more than 18-year-old Ryan Romo. [more inside]
Guys don't want casual sex: "This stereotype 'tells us that guys are primarily interested in sex, not relationships... This contributes to the notion that guys are emotional clods who are incapable of connecting with their partners because, hey, they’re just guys, and guys are only interested in sex.'... the Wake Forest University professor lays out the current data on young men’s sexual desires and behavior to make a case against this insidious stereotype." Salon interviews Andrew Smiler, author of Challenging Casanova: Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male. [more inside]
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
Teenage girls try to navigate the minefields of desirability, attractiveness, and self-objectification in the age of Facebook. [more inside]
Animator & copyleft activist Nina Paley sat down with a group of teenagers and asked them how they would prefer to support the artists they liked.
Bully is an unflinching new documentary about teenagers and bullying. Controversially the MPAA is giving it an R for "language", preventing it's subjects from seeing it, and refusing to change that rating. In response Harvey Weinstein is considering a leave of absence from the MPAA, 75,000 people signed an online petition urging the rating be overturned and now in retaliation the National Association of Theatre Owners is now threatening to give all Weinstein Company films an automatic NC-17 rating in future.
A fascinating collection of over 150 shrines, mostly made by teenagers. Readers and staffers of Rookie contributed these photos of mostly homemade shrines, featuring subjects as diverse as Frida Kahlo, Britney Spears, Japan, nail polish, and Grandma.
Children today reach puberty earlier and adulthood later. The result: A lot of teenage weirdness. Adolescence has always been troubled, but for reasons that are somewhat mysterious, puberty is now kicking in at an earlier and earlier age. At the same time, first with the industrial revolution and then even more dramatically with the information revolution, children have come to take on adult roles later and later.
Teaching Good Sex -- a profile of Philadelphia's Friends' Central School's Sexuality and Society course and its teacher Al Vernacchio, by Laurie Abraham, author of the book "The Husbands and Wives Club." (Descriptions in the first link may be NSFW.) [more inside]
One crime had been solved — but the chest of gold stolen from Patty Kingston's closet remained a mystery. The deputy heard the Brown boys knew who stole the gold — but suddenly, without explanation, they and everyone in the clan clammed up. [more inside]
A girl and her room. Photographer Rania Matar has taken dozens of pictures of teenage girls in their bedrooms, in both the US and the Middle East. (Slightly NSFW) (via)
Katie Granju 's 18-year old son Henry lost his battle with drug addiction in May 2010. Since his death, a scholarship fund to send teenagers to rehab has been started in his honor, a short documentary on his life has been posted online, and his mother is using her blog to seek justice for those involved in his death. The Introduction and Parts 1, 2, 3 of her quest have been posted, with more to come.
Tired of the hype around MTV's (and before that, the BBC's) modern teen drama Skins? Miss the 90s? Try Orange Juice in Bishops Garden, a web series, detailing the lives of a group of teenagers as they navigate high school in the year 1994. The show is set and shot in the greater metropolitan Washington DC area and is created by the DC-area filmmaker, Otessa Ghadar. [more inside]
On Friday, Bitch Magazine shared its list of 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader. This afternoon, the magazine announced three books had been removed: "A couple of us at the office read and re-read Sisters Red, Tender Morsels and Living Dead Girl this weekend. We've decided to remove these books from the list -- Sisters Red because of the victim-blaming scene that was discussed earlier in this post, Tender Morsels because of the way that the book validates (by failing to critique or discuss) characters who use rape as an act of vengeance, and Living Dead Girl because of its triggering nature. We still feel that these books have merit and would not hesitate to recommend them in certain instances, but we don't feel comfortable keeping them on this particular list." [more inside]
Growing Up Gay (Part 1, Part 2) is a two-part documentary series exploring the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people growing up in Ireland. As recently as 1993, homosexuality was illegal in Ireland. As the first generation born after decriminalization comes of age, this series seeks to establish how much has changed in Irish society in the intervening years. For young people, whose lives revolve around school and the family, is it any easier to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender today than it was 17 years ago?
In keeping with the holiday spirit, a story of a teenage boy doing right by somebody else, just because he can.
Figment.com is a new, free community and platform for young people to share their fiction writing, "connect with other readers and discover new stories and authors. Users are invited to write novels, short stories and poems, collaborate with other writers and give and receive feedback on the work posted on the site." (Via)
A major new survey of sexual practices in the US reveals that the kids are staying safe, but boomers overwhelmingly refusing to wear condoms. [more inside]
"We're not telling you what to wear -- we're just telling you what we, as guys, have to guard against." What 1600 teenage Christian boys think girls shouldn't be wearing.
Matthew Robson, aged 15 years & 7 months, was asked to describe how he and his friends consume media by the London research branch of Morgan Stanley, where he is a summer work intern. The teenager spent a day on the briefing note, after polling some friends by text message. His write-up impressed the right people (direct link to pdf report). "Without claiming representation or statistical accuracy, his piece provides one of the clearest and most thought provoking insights we have seen. So we published it." After being published, the note had generated five or six times more feedback than the team's usual reports. Lauded by professionals, his claims were met with disagreement from some peers. (via)
For this generation of teens hugging [video | 02:35] seems to be all the rage at high schools around the U.S. “A measure of how rapidly the ritual is spreading is that some students complain of peer pressure to hug to fit in.” And in some schools hugging has banned. “Touching and physical contact is very dangerous territory,” said Noreen Hajinlian, the principal at a junior high school in Hillsdale, N.J., where hugging has been banned for two years.
The Problem With Young People Today Is... Self-described "crabby old fart" Donald Mills has some colorful opinions about "God damned teenagers." Via.