Teenage Wasteland | Letters | Chicago Reader

Teenage Wasteland 

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To the editors:

More than punk is dead ["Punk Is Dead! Long Live Punk!" August 20].

Starting with the first paragraph (arguably the piece's best moment), Jessica Hopper renders in flawless fashion the peculiarly postprandial esprit de corps of a youth culture which has itself been consumed by its own appetites for consumption. Two moments in film spell the rout of civilization as we know it: the first is in Deliverance, when Ned Beatty reduces the miraculous impromptu duel between the lad with the banjo and Beatty's friend (Ronny Cox) playing guitar to a prompting to "give [the lad] a couple bucks." The second is in My Dinner With Andre, when Andre Gregory says that in the future men will pay $10,000 to have their dicks chopped off just in order to feel something. From where I sit, any difference between the fulfillment of these nightmare visions and the somnambulist chewings of 2004 youth culture are qualitatively indistinguishable. I'm glad I'm too old to have lived through it.

A. Patrick Andes

Park Ridge

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