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Youth

From Chile to Guatemala: A Gringo in Latin America

Reviewed: Gringo: A Coming-of-Age in Latin America, by Chesa Boudin, 240 pages, Scribner, 2009.

In Gringo: A Coming-of-Age in Latin America, Chesa Boudin writes of sleeping in a hammock on his way up the Amazon River on a 200 foot boat, working as a translator in Hugo Chavez’s presidential palace, witnessing the rise of President Lula in Brazil and traveling through Argentina during the country’s economic crisis. His reflections and reportage on such experiences provide an exciting road trip through pivotal moments in Latin America’s recent history. read more

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Youth

Savagery and Silence in the First World

In America – in my country – I fear we are losing the battle for our humanity. Some say we have already lost it.

Deep down I think they may be right.

Such is the level of violence, voyeurism and detachment displayed this October in Richmond, California, when at least two dozen students cheered, laughed or simply stood by and watched as a 15-year old girl was repeatedly raped, beaten and brutalized by an “unknown number of assailants.”

This horrific act of terrorism took place in the parking lot of Richmond High School, just yards away from where the school was holding its annual homecoming dance. read more

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Youth

US Workers Starved Into Military Service

It was only a matter of time before the nation’s skyrocketing unemployment translated into new recruits for the most powerful military force in the world.

With the official US unemployment rate at 10 percent and climbing (that’s more than 15 million people struggling to put food on the table) and nearly double that number if you include part-time wage-earners who need full-time jobs, never mind all of those ‘discouraged workers,’ it’s little wonder that so many of the nation’s jobless are flocking into its military recruitment offices. read more

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Youth

In Defense of Hipsters

This article is a response to “Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization” (Adbusters #79, Cover Story).

At a bar a few months ago, I overheard a conversation between two women who, to my mind, were the very epitome of hipsterdom.  Their asymmetrical haircuts, tight jeans, vintage T-shirts, fashionable jewelry, Parliament cigarettes and bottles of Pabst Blue Ribbon formed one seamless ensemble of hipster aesthetic so perfect that I knew that one of them had to have a Vespa parked outside.  They were engaged in a vigorous debate, striking charismatic poses as they gestured to underline points.  I turned my ear to them and strained to decipher their words through the thundering sound of a Journey song somebody had chosen, no doubt in a moment of ironic inspiration, to call forth from the jukebox. read more

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Youth

Commercializing Childhood: The Corporate Takeover of Kids’ Lives

Source: Multinational Monitor

Susan Linn is associate director of the Media Center at Judge Baker Children’s Center and instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is also co-founder and director of the coalition Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC). She is the author of The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World (2008) and Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood (2004).

Multinational Monitor: How much advertising and marketing is directed at kids in the United States? How has this changed over the last 20 years? read more