Excerpted from a Salon.com interview of Marty Beckerman, author of Generation S.L.U.T. His book documents a generation raised by divorced parents, meaningless icons of success, and a corrupt, reality-distorting entertainment media that capitalizes on the psychological weaknesses of America’s young.
“What my generation lacks isn’t purity; it’s a sense of selfhood. Whereas America has traditionally been a culture of individualists, now teens and college students find identity through communal brand names (Abercrombie & Fitch comes to mind, but it’ll be something different in two years) and meaningless idols such as Paris Hilton and Justin Timberlake, who stand for nothing and inspire nothing in return. Youth identity is now coming from corporate entertainment channels and cultural icons of mediocrity — certainly not from individuals with any sense of purpose or passion for life.”