The Out-of-Touch Adults' Guide to Kid Culture: What Is 'Corecore' and Why Does It Make Me So Sad?
In this week's kids-report, the children of post-everything America take a look at the world we built for them and offer a verdict. Spoiler: It's not super positive. Luckily, development of flying Taser robots is proceeding rapidly; hopefully they'll soon be deployed to our nation's schools soon to offer a forceful morale boost.
Taser-equipped robot drones are coming to schools
I have seen the future of school security, and it is awesome. Scottsdale, Arizona's ominously monikered Axom Enterprises is diligently at work developing remotely controlled school security drones equipped with Tasers capable of "incapacitating an active shooter in less than 60 seconds." Nothing will make children feel more secure than filling into school past an army of weaponized flying robots ready to electrocute them if they step out of line.
In a report on the drone development program, Axon's Ethics Board recommended that the company, "never release a drone with an autonomous weapon," and indicated concerns that Taser-robots might be employed more heavily in black, brown, and other marginalized communities. (Ya think??), so maybe the company should listen to itself and stop trying to do this insane thing? Axom responded with, basically, "Thanks for all the work, fellas! But we're going to go ahead and make killer robots for schools anyway." Unsurprisingly, nine of 12 ethics board members have since resigned. Apparently these latte-drinkers don't want to live in a straight-to-DVD science fiction movie from the 1990s.
What is "corecore" and why does it make me so sad?
Trendy TikTokers and and heavy metal fans alike love their 'cores--there's cottagecore, deathcore, normcore, hardcore, etc. The new thing is "corecore." It's a little hard to define, but, from an outsider's perspective, it seems to consist of videos that mash-up snippets of media about technology to comment on the isolation and alienation we're all experiencing in this boring dystopia. Corecore is smart, depressed kids asking, "how did we get here, anyway?"
It is to 2023 as Radiohead's OK Computer was to 1997. Which is to say: It's bleak, but it's also vaguely encouraging because at least some young people are refusing to swallow everything they're being served. Some of these videos are distilled alienation so potent it will stop you dead or at least make you call your mom or something. If that sounds like your thing, check out the hashtag. It's brutal, but addictive.
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Gen-Z workers look at office culture and find it lacking
Speaking of young people noticing the absurdity of just-before-the-collapse America, young office drones (the human kind) who entered the workforce during the "everyone works from home because no one wants to get the plague" years are being asked to go in to the office, and many of them are not pleased about it, to put it mildly. This video from TikTokers Phil & Daw says it all in 11 seconds. Many employers are asking their employees to return to work "for the culture" (definitely not because they signed a lease on expensive office space!), and this video shows you exactly what "the culture" is like. It's relentless. Commenters are piling on with their own observations like, "The culture: a ping pong table we can't use because people are working and it's in the middle of the office," and "The best part is driving 45 minutes each way to have meetings on Zoom," and "You can just feel the creative energy and spontaneous exchanges that spark innovation!"
Why aren't young people drinking?
You'd think all this alienation would lead to alcoholism, but nope: Gen-Z just doesn't drink as much as previous generations. Americans overall are drinking less, but the drop is most noticeable among younger people. The number of college-aged people who don't drink any alcohol has jumped from 20% to 28% over the last ten years.
While some attribute the drop to financial pressures, I think it's more likely that young people are not as thoughtless as older people--other risky behaviors like drug use, smoking, and crime are also on the decline in the younger demos. Certainly all I did in high school was drink, scheme to get my hands on alcohol, and drink some more. The only silver lining was that by the time I got to college I was pretty much over drinking. I think younger people are smart enough to skip the whole "drink until it gets boring" step.
Viral video of the week: "The Waffle House has found its new host" explained
Enough seriousness! Let's gawk at a harmless troll that got out of hand. This week's viral video is about the concept of virality itself. Have you noticed the phrase "The Waffle House has found its new host" popping up randomly on message boards and comments sections lately? I saw it once and thought, "weird." Then I saw it pop up in the comments of three different videos on YouTube and got curious. After extensive research (consisting of of googling), I tracked the phrase back to YouTuber Jonny RaZeR Shortsm and determined that the phrase itself doesn't mean anything--by design. Mr. RaZeR Shorts and his followers were playing a prank. The idea was that everyone in the super secret club should post the vaguely ominous phrase on every comment section beginning on Jan. 31. Then, after a couple days, everyone would delete the comments, leaving nothing behind but the mystery. But according to RaZer Shorts, it worked too well. Nobody waited until the 31st and it got way more popular than he expected. Here's a video of RaZeR Shorts explaining the whole thing in detail.