We went into a Hot Topic yesterday. I felt old, but the young women working there with funky-ass hair and facial piercings proved to be some of the friendliest people we've met in Syracuse. Seriously. They were polite, articulate, and friendly.
Sure, Hot Topic is the ultimate appropriation and commercialization of punk.
But I pointed out to them that I still liked Hot Topic because it encourages nice young people to have funky-ass hair, pop-culture obsessions, and contrarian attitudes that result in frequently-upturned middle fingers. "Thats just HEALTHY for teenagers!" I ranted. "They SHOULD be telling their mostly-reasonable middle-class parents to @#$% off! It is only NATURAL and HEALTHY!"
The girls who worked there laughed and agreed. In hindsight, they probably were just being nice to the senile old fart who insisted that he "used to have teal chops exactly the shade of your bangs! Down to HERE!" They were very nice and discussed with me all the finer points of Invader Zim dialogue that no self-respecting person of my own age should sensibly admit to knowing.
Liz bought her brother a Boondocks Saints t-shirt before taking me home for my arthritis pill and bedtime. I yam sooooooo old. While members of the Hot Topic staff debate whether or not any facial piercings still shock anyone, I should start considering the most optimal form of fiber supplement for my lifestyle.
Every generation thinks it invented angst and alienation. At best, every generation merely reinterprets it.
DAVID FEELS OVER-EDUCATED
Met a guy at Bruegers today named "Chuck Angst." He was very good natured about it when I asked if it was really his name. After all, I said, we were on a college campus, and I would understand if he was just really into existentialism and took the name as a pseudonym while working at Brueggers. ('Cause, y'know, to the nerds I hung out with in school, that'd be frickin' cool.)
Chuck stopped smiling, looked confused, and gently told me "Angst means 'fear' in German".
I thanked him for my bagel and the German lesson and turned to walk to our table, muttering under my breath about Freiheit und Angst und Sartre und Schweinehunds.