You can stop whining about how hard it is to be young now.

More and more often, I’ve been seeing articles bemoaning being in your twenties (in particular, Thought Catalog and the HuffPost Blog love making lists on this topic). I wrote a goofy version (at least I like to think so) myself–far less, well, serious and doom-y. But I’m really, really, REALLY getting tired of people bitching and moaning about being twenty-whatever in combination with one of the following:

A. Not having a job. I get that this is frustrating. I do. Having a degree that you worked hard for and that you can seemingly wipe your ass with sucks. However, there is not some sort of cosmic significance to your lack of employment. We have a shitty economy. We are, realistically, in a rec(depr)ession, and you’re pretty much at the bottom of the ladder. It is, yes, adversity that you have to work through, but plenty of other people have worked through it before you. It is not something special for our generation, it does not make you better/unique/more self-aware. You’re also the one who refuses to do menial labor because you’ve been fore fed some bullshit about it being below you for the last two decades. You annoy me. Shut the hell up already.

B. Being single. And drunk. And single. Okay, I get it. You’re lonely. And you’re verging on being a full-blown alcoholic. This has nothing to do with being in your twenties. Being drunk and lonely is not a profound experience, nor is it the special property of the young.

C. Feeling directionless and using your blog to whine about it. Blogging always straddles that strange line between making your point and getting whiny in order to elicit sympathy from total strangers. One thing that is true about many people in their twenties (but also true of many teens and even a boatload of baby boomers) is a need for constant reassurance/confirmation from their social circle. Why else would social media be so addictive and so conducive to the humblebrag?

D. Being too far or too little self-aware. It depends on who you ask on this one, but for all the time you, author of blogpost/article, are spending reflecting on being in your twenties (instead of oh, I don’t know, living them) I sure hope you’re erring on the “too much” side of this equation. Honestly, quit taking yourself so seriously. Chances are, by the time you hit your mid twenties, you’ll experience something that will change the way you see the world or yourself. That’s healthy and appropriate. Whether that’s losing a beloved grandparent, having to break off a long-term relationship, or even getting a first phone call from a collections department, all of these things can force you to crawl out of your (supposed) vodka-induced coma from part B of this list and re-evaluate your shit. It’s called life, and it is not special or particular to being a young adult.

E. Whining about being broke. Your parents are paying (or stopped paying) your rent/grocery bill/phone bill/bar bill/healthcare bills (think Lena Dunham à la Girls). You live in New York/L.A./Miami/Chicago. Um. What did you think was going to happen if you moved to a HUGE metropolis and had, if we refer to part A, NO JOB? Shit is expensive! I hope your parents have already paid off the house they have in Happytown, USA because even a shitty studio apartment in some of those places is probably going to have them forking over twice as much as they did for their mortgage. Give me a break. Stop acting like they’re obliged to be paying for your dumb ass to live the high life while remaining totally oblivious to all of the benefits you do have, like parents who are not only willing but able to help you with your rent.

F. Jerking off to your own perceived intellectual, social, and cultural superiority. We get it. You have clever Tweets. Who knew so much wit could be packed into a mere 140 characters? Your Instagram photos each have the perfectly selected filter for the five hundredth picture of your cat, or the one where you’re holding up a half-drunken PBR at some skeevy neighborhood bar you like because it’s “pure” (that is, you’re the only person under forty inside of it). Your Tumblr is both thought provoking and delightfully cheeky in the 21st century intarwebs sort of way. You’ve read (and get) Derrida and Naked Lunch. You need to remind your Facebook friends how brilliant and unique and clever and unique and underground and unique and unique and unique you are. Did I mention you’re unique? And your blog, OH! Your BLOG. It is so deep and meaningful and there’s just so many feelings you need to discuss.

The biggest problem is that there’s a good chunk of “twenty-somethings” who aren’t anywhere near this obnoxious, self-righteous, self-absorbed, and arrogant.

We live on our own. We have jobs. We pay our own bills. We might have put ourselves through college. We aren’t stressing that we don’t have the newest version of the iPhone. We still don’t really “get” Twitter. We’ve (self-consciously) learned how to resist the humblebrag. We take care of our parents, financially, physically, or emotionally. We appreciate cheeky internet humor as much as the next guy, but don’t feel compelled to base our entire self-worth on it. We, too, sometimes drink to much, have a crisis of conscience and confidence, and really–really–enjoy watching Girls. We just don’t take to the virtual streets and feel it’s necessary to tell the world each passing detail of our lives, or record them in photographs, preferring to experience them without a camera lens in our face or our fingers racing across the touch screen of our phone to check-in on Facebook 24/7. And quite frankly, we’re sick and tired of getting lumped in with people who do act those ways and do those things. I’m looking at you, New York Times.

So, let’s be real. Being in your twenties, like being in any other conveniently-named age range, has its ups and downs. Sitting around pampering your bruised ego on the internet or looking for affirmation of your feelings and your self-worth from your peers, known or unknown, is a (bad) choice, not a feature of an age group. It’s okay to feel pissed off because you’re unemployed or because you can’t find a boyfriend; it really is. But it has nothing to do with your age.

NBC, you’re sucking up the Olympics like your primetime schedule.

There are lots of things I like about NBC. Brian Williams is awesome. Richard Engel is super badass. They hired Howard freaking Stern as a judge on America’s Got Talent. Bob Costas pretty much got Jerry Sandusky to confess on the air. Those are pretty awesome things.

HOWEVER. They are sucking up their coverage of the Olympics.

  • Why did I never get to see ANY footage of American men or anyone else on the rings for the men’s gymnastics events?

    Apparently, this wasn’t worth showing.

  • Why did they completely cut Gabby Douglas’s and Aly Raisman’s routines on the balance beam (purportedly Raisman’s best event after the floor routine) in primetime coverage? Yet they showed the two Russians and the Chinese woman in their rotation…
  • Every single interview goes essentially thusly: How is it winning [insert level medal here]? How does that make you feel? To which everyone responds in some variation of “It’s overwhelming; I can’t put it into words.” And if I hear the Today show hosts ask one more kid if they slept with their medal under their pillow last night, I will strangle all of them, even though I kind of love Savannah Guthrie.
  • Only showing major events in primetime kind of sucks because it’s too easy to spoil it for yourself… *frowns at Twitter.*
  • NBC can’t even keep their own spoilers under control: see Missy Franklin’s first gold medal:
  • Moments before airing Missy Franklin’s tape-delayed Olympic victory in the 100-meter backstroke, NBC ran a promo for Tuesday’s edition of “Today” that said this:

They’re waiting for NBC to show the missing balance beam routines, too.

“When you’re 17 years old and win your first gold medal, there’s nobody you’d rather share it with.”
The network had yet to show Franklin’s win when it ran the “Today” teaser that included this photograph of the teen sensation standing on the medal stand with the gold draped around her neck.

  • Local coverage of the Olympics is nonsense. It’s like a giant masturbation fest for local news sportscasters who are all running amuck in London. I feel awful for Londoners; I felt particularly awful when our local sportscaster thought it’d be hilarious to ask everyone in the vicinity of Big Ben what time it was in an effort to get them to look at the giant clock. That’s worth a fork in my eye.
  • NBC decided it made more sense to cut a tribute to the victims of London’s 2005 terrorist bombings. They showed a clip of Ryan Seacrest’s interview with ass kissing of Michael Phelps instead.
  • Ryan Seacrest. Enough said.

    NBC: sucking up the Olympics since 1964.

Once Again, How Is Chris Brown Still Successful?

Chris Brown is a terrible dude.  Disagree?  I’d love to know why.

Chris Brown beat up his girlfriend – Rihanna – a few years back and was convicted.  He does not deny what he did.  Yes, he feels remorseful (allegedly).  Obviously, he is a troubled young man.  I know that some people will consider this unsympathetic, mean, or rigid; I don’t care.  He beat the shit out of a woman.  He should not be successful in an industry so driven by image.  It makes no sense.  It makes me so damn mad.  Abuse is unforgivable.  We let him become an example.  We’re teaching American children that as long as they’re really good dancers and singers, they can hit women and still be accepted as a role model.  You can hit your girlfriend AND maintain a successful music career.

He should be far too shamed to be back on the radio or performing at the Grammy’s.  We should be shaming him.

Now, Ms. Miranda Lambert spoke her mind in February and I completely concur.  She started quite a twitter war with Mr. Brown with the following tweets:

She is being hyperbolic because she thinks it so ridiculous that Chris Brown was invited to perform.  “Gun Powder and Lead” is a song about a woman who plans to kill her husband after he beats her up.  I love that she’s being sassy and bold here.  She told her fans at a February concert: “I just have to speak my mind, because where I come from, beating up on a woman is never OK. So that’s why my daddy taught me early on in life how to use a shotgun.”

I don’t think she meant it literally, obviously.  Meeting violence with violence is not the best way to deal with it.  Her point in the song is to empower women, and to free them from a submissive role that traps them, represses them, and puts them in harm’s way.  Her point is that we, as a culture, should be outraged by Chris Brown’s success.

I am outraged by Chris Brown’s success.

This should not be allowed.  In his position as an entertainer, as a very successful entertainer, there are thousands of people who LOVE him.  Thousands of people who went on twitter and defended him.  Thousands of people who want to be like him.  Therein lies the problem.  When a person is rich, famous, beautiful, talented, and successful, that person will be idolized and emulated.  We should not encourage anyone to emulate an abuser.  Abuse is so scary, so traumatic, and so entirely vile.  The fact that Chris Brown has been forgiven and accepted into his “comeback” makes me sick.  I am offended.  I am horrified.

Victims of domestic abuse often blame themselves and make excuses.  They forgive their abuser and leave themselves in harm’s way.  Being a victim, being attacked by someone who claims to love you is incredibly complicated.  It is so hard for people to leave their abuser.  They love them.  They want to be with them.  They want to help them.  If it is already difficult for a woman to leave an abusive boyfriend or husband, imagine how much harder it is after this precedent is set.

If our culture forgives Chris Brown for beating the crap out of his girlfriend, aren’t we telling women everywhere to forgive their abusive boyfriends and husbands?  Aren’t we forgiving and excusing abuse?

What has also been very public about this incident is that Rihanna has forgiven Chris Brown.  In fact, the two collaborated on a recent song of hers called, “Birthday Cake.”  It is an incredibly dirty song.  It is so deeply disturbing to me.  Here is this woman, Rihanna, in this presumably very difficult situation, which is also a very public situation.  The man she loved hurt her – beat her up.  I can understand having issues with just cutting him off and letting go of the relationship.  It was meaningful for her, and then he suddenly showed he was a scary and dangerous man.  It is hard to imagine.  It is so hard to love someone and then suddenly have them attack you.  Her situation is unique because it is so public.  I am glad for her that she was able to move on and forgive him.  That is big.  That is healthy.  However, I find it to be very irresponsible, very dangerous for her as an example, as a role model, to then publicly accept him and work with him again.  Little girls want to be like her.  Does she want little girls to have that lesson, to believe that abuse is forgivable?

I don’t necessarily think it is fair to put this all on her.  After all, she is the victim.  I just strongly believe that if a person is in a position where thousands or millions of people are looking up to them and looking to them for an example, then that person has a greater responsibility.  That is probably not fair, but it comes with the territory.

I am genuinely frightened that our culture has forgiven Chris Brown.  Abuse is unforgivable.  How have we accepted him back to success?  This is so damn dangerous.

Wanna see Miranda Lambert SLAM Chris Brown for being a convicted felon?  Click Here!