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Somebody, pinch me

If you don’t know, I love GQ magazine. Yes I know it’s a men’s magazine. Yes I know I’m not a man nor do I want to be. I’m not a tomboy, I’m straight and I like girly things, I just also like GQ. Here’s why:

  • It’s well-designed.
  • There are good articles.
  • There are great photos
  • There are hot men on the covers.
  • I LOVE the letters from the editor.

Also, most women’s magazines have at least one headline on the cover advertising a crash diet or making yourself look younger or your hair shinier, which I find distracting and depressing. Also, the celebrity articles tend to be written from the angle of paparazzi instead of a  journalist.

Anyway, I want to share some blurbs from one  of my favorite things I’ve read in the magazine. It’s an open letter that snuck in on the last page. It’s called “Dear (Possibly Doomed) Class 2010.”

We’re all on our way to graduation, and people are suggesting to stay in school because the job market sucks. If you want more schooling, fine, but if you’re trying to avoid facing the cutthroat world of classifieds, it seems like you’re just delaying the inevitable and racking up more student debt in the process. That’s where I stand and here’s where GQ stands (It’s quite a bit of text, but trust me, it’s worth it):

“Well, you finally made it. You graduated! You spent four years (or eight, or ten–no judgments!) and eleventy billion dollars of your parents’ money, and now you’re a bunch of learned-ass adults. Or maybe you just spent five minutes on the University of Phoenix Web site, clicked ‘print diploma’ and went downstairs to do a couple of pre-Family Guy bong rips, because hangin’ out on the quad with a bunch of losers doesn’t fit into your life-plan right this second.

………..

“Now for the bad news. You’re joining the workforce in the middle of a jobless recovery, which is basically the O’Doul’s of economic rallies. It’s  no picnic out here. Or, okay, it’s a picnic, but it’s a Cormac McCarthy The Road type of picnic, there’s not enough canned peaches in the shopping cart, and everybody’s calling dibs on the one bullet. And also there are fire ants.

Mighty institutions people once took for granted–banks, newspapers, American Idol–are crumbling, and while most of them deserve to, the problem with a world without mighty institutions is that mighty institutions used to employ a lot of people. You could always get The Man to finance your lifestyle. No more. That unpaid internship you’ve got your eye on? Be prepared to flight somebody for it. Possibly your dad.

………..

“Frankly we’re wondering if you guys are going to be able to handle Malaise 2.0. Most of you were born in 1988, which means you were 3 years old when Nevermind came out (which makes us 826). You’ve never known hardship. ..You’ve also never lives in a world without Intenet, which means you’ve grown up with an exaggerated sense of your own self-importance…you posted ‘response’ videos on YouTube; poured out your every typeable thought on a  glittering, blinking MySpace page.

You had access to all the machinery of self-promotion before you really had a self. You thought of fame as a birthright.  And now you’ve been booted into a world that will LOL at your sense of awesome-life-entitlement, then offer to ‘hire’ you to blog for free.

………..

“We know how we sound, Oh-Tenners. We sounds old. Carson Daly old. Eddie Vedder old. And jealous. We did not, after all, actually graduate from college. We went, and then we went less often, and then we decided we were finished…But once we made that decision, we set about starting a life, secure in the knowledge that–because we’d never actually done anything–no one gave a crap about us or our burning conviction that we were too good to make some dude’s latte.

We advise you to proceed under the same assumption, graduates. Having a thousand Facebook friends means about as much in 2010 as a personalized-license-plate key chain meant in 1990. We live in a moment when anybody can make a name for themselves; the game you’re suiting up for is about making  that name matter.”


There have been many disputes about the entitlement generation with our iPhones and our constant Googling. Well here’s the long and short of it: Every generation will attempt to make information, transportation and communication more instantaneous and accessible. Whether with the invention of the iPhone, the Internet, the mobile phone, the car, even the written word, we’re all trying to move things along, and why shouldn’t we?

Do we feel entitled? To a certain extent, yes. But are we apathetic? Are we lazy? Do we have a superiority complex? I think not. When we feel we are entitled to certain technology, certain information, or (in the art world) certain design that isn’t available, we think, “How can we make it better?” “How can we make the things we want and need?” And that’s the start of progress.

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