The (Not So) Latest
5/19/11: Teenager Discovers Cystic Fibrosis Treatment
Canadian scientist Marshall Zhang, 16, has discovered a treatment for cystic fibrosis. His discovery may save the lives of thousands.
Buy that man a well-deserved beer and you'll probably be arrested since our governments have decreed such a man does not have the wisdom to decide whether to drink alcohol. A middle-aged wife-beater with a record of drunk driving? Buy him all the beers you want. A teenager who saves lives with a scientific discovery? No can do. Just one more example of the stupidity of age-prejudice.
4/4/11: MADD Exposed
For years, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has led the push for tighter restrictions on young drivers. Youth advocates have asked whether MADD was motivated by a sincere concern for public safety or merely an ageist desire to hurt youth. Now we have a hint at MADD's true concerns.
A chapter president of MADD was recently arrested for driving drunk. Debra Oberlin, president of the Gainesville, FL MADD-chapter, was pulled over by police when they spotted her driving erratically. She proceeded to blow a .24 on the breath test. (The legal limit for middle-agers is .08 — the legal limit for drivers younger than 21 is even lower, thanks to lobbying by MADD in the name of public safety.)
4/3/11: Youth History Advanced
Cracked.com recently ran the article "5 Important People Who Were Screwed Out of History Books." Nicely enough, author Eric Yosomono did not omit youth. His list includes Claudette Colvin, Mary Louise Smith, and Sybil Ludington.
Surprisingly, Yosomono never suggests ageism played a role in screwing these teenagers out of their place in our history books. He even repeats the myth that Colvin was pregnant and unmarried when she was arrested and that this was why her case was neglected. Historian Phillip Hoose exploded that myth and has shown conclusively that Colvin and Mary Louise Smith were both abandoned specifically because they were teenagers.
While Yosomono fails to see the ageism (or else chooses to leave it unacknowledged), he clearly knows American history better than most history teachers do. It's nice to hear the increasing demand that youth be included in our history books.
3/12/11: New Content - Newt Gingrich Improves GOP Field
As the Republican Party considers whom to run against Obama in 2012, some feared Mitt Romney was the frontrunner. Romeny has terrifying ties to businesses that abduct and torment teenagers for money, so it's good news that Newt Gingrich may be ready to eclipse him. Gingrich was anti-youth as Speaker of the House; but since leaving electoral politics, a Gingrich has come out in favor of youth rights.
We've got the details in Which Newt Gingrich Will Emerge?
2/11/11: Alternative Dance Surpasses School Dance
Don't like the way your school runs dances? Tired of chaperones telling you how to dance? Humiliated by invasive breath tests? The solution turns out to be easy and even potentially profitable: organize your own dance.
In Medina, Ohio, a student protested his high school's increasingly un-fun dance by putting together his own. He charged less for tickets than the school did, and he still made enough to cover his costs. His only mistake was getting a small venue limiting crowd sizes to 455. Despite hitting the limit, he still sold more than twice as many tickets as the school sold to their dance, which took place in a basketball court that had to be partitioned to make it feel less empty.
1/23/11: New Content - Mark Twain Censorship
A publishing company is rolling out a version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with "the 'n' word" removed. They're butchering the classic pointlessly. As we reveal in Huckleberry Finn's REAL Controversy, the reason schools ban this book has nothing to do with racial sensitivity.
12/5/10: Would Jesus Obey the Fifth Commandment?
Just in time for Christmas, the Pro-Youth Pages is taking on Christians. Specifically, those "Christians" who distort the Fifth Commandment, misleading children into thinking God commands them to obey their parents. As our new essay Taking the Fifth reveals, that is a bigger lie than Santa Claus.
11/26/10: Soldier's Honeymoon Ruined by Bigotry
- ...when you take a cross-county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you ...
- — Martin Luther King, describing the indignities of discrimination in 1963
Here's one more reason Americans can give thanks if they're in the right age-group: having a place to sleep on your honeymoon.
U.S. Marine Jason Martin, after marrying the mother of his children, thought he could enjoy a honeymoon before he had to return for duty. What he and his bride didn't count on was that, while they were old enough to die for this county, they were not old enough to enjoy the same level of dignity given to most illegal immigrants.
They drove to the Padre Hotel in Bakersfield, CA only to be told that, because they were younger than 21, they would not be allowed to rent a room after all. After the media exposed this discrimination, the hotel's co-owner gave a limited apology, saying an exception to his policy should be made for soldiers.
Luckily the couple was able to find shelter in a more down-scale hotel. Had they been one year younger, they would have been forced to enjoy their honeymoon sleeping in their car.
10/24/10: Ageist Media Satirized
I haven't watched "Saturday Night Live" in a long time. But it turns out they've put together a skit that finally says what needs to be said about the way news broadcasts attack youth. Even "The Daily Show" has been unwilling to lampoon this ugly trend inflicted on youth for decades, but "Saturday Night Live" gets it. Follow that link or check it out right here:
7/28/10: TV Worth Watching
Television is drenched with bad sit-coms, but occasionally a good one breaks through. Ironically, one of the boldest, most ground-breaking, and funniest shows has yet to be released on DVD. "It's Your Move" was so edgy and ahead of its time, it was canceled in the first season.
A forerunner to Ferris Bueller, Jason Bateman here plays a high school con-artist who outsmarts everyone around him, young and old alike, except for his mother's boyfriend — and while the boyfriend is cunning, the teenaged anti-hero is clearly his equal. No wonder the show was canceled so quickly!
"It's Your Move" was not perfectly pro-youth nor perfectly egalitarian. The cunning teenager is portrayed as a force of evil (with a few redeeming qualities) while the cunning adult is an innocent, using his con-artistry only in self-defense. And in most episodes, the adult clearly wins the battle. But the adult doesn't always win. And that makes all the difference.
Though not yet available on DVD, "It's Your Move" is available on YouTube. Enjoy. (And watch the opening scene for a then-unknown River Phoenix as Brian.)
6/29/10: New Content
6/22/10: New Content