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There’s No Need to Bring Love Into It

This shocking story (at least it’s still shocking to me) about the so-called "cuddle puddle" at Stuyvesant High School (one of New York’s best magnet schools) offers some frightening insights into just how far gone things are getting in the culture wars--especially in the battle for the hearts and minds of teenagers. Of course, we’re talking about New York City. But if it’s happening there, it’s happening. The sexual ambiguity, the dabbling in homosexuality, the licentiousness and the unabashed assertion of these things in a public way have nothing over the saddest part of the story. These kids emphatically admit what I chose as the title of this post: "There’s no need to bring love into it." Mug -worthy but fill it with something stronger than coffee.

Update: I don’t know why but the link is not working well. Try this.

Discussions - 20 Comments

Broken link.

I wonder how these kids are going to do later on when the world/their professors/their bosses are both unimpressed by and uninterested in their blabbing to complete strangers about their sexuality, and inform them that no matter how stressful the day gets, they don’t get to hold a "cuddle puddle" in the break room.

the link has an extra "L" at the end.

edited link

Jules, Have you seen the Jan-Feb Atlantic Monthly? Maybe you have not yet begun to be shocked.

Don’t ’ya know, everything can be rationalized, justified or affirmed by the artful use of "whatever."

To which I say, whatever to "whatever."

It’s not the sexual exploration that is salient. It’s their idiocy, their feeble command of the English language. But beyond even that, it’s their naked BOREDOM, CYNICISM, jaded posturing.

They’re not even 20, and have a dispirited "been there, done that" attitude.

Wow. The lead singer of Marilyn Manson once said, "There is definitely a numbing effect to having seen and done everything. It’s sad that we’re in a day and age where something as ugly and big and scary as Marilyn Manson has to exist, that the simple taboos no longer have any magic." He thought the artist’s job was to shock society, as Lester Bangs recommended for rockers back in the 70s, but even by the end of the 80s the rock scene had reached a situation where "Nothing’s Shocking," and so the likes of MM really had to work at it. But now the second twist--life imitating the art that was supposed to shock us to life, resulting in, for one, these bundles of bi-teens. Yeah, they’re probably more a result of our sex-drenched culture than they are of shock-art, but we can see the same pattern of diminishing returns pushing the envelope in shock-art and in trangressive sexuality. And note the bi-teens’ mindset regarding what’s next--two of the girls mention that by the time they want to have kids, technology will allow two women to produce one mixed from their genetic material. But why only use technology for reproduction? Why not for the real holy grail, sex with more and more possibilities? Sex with the possibility of feeling dangerous even to those who done the bisexual scene. I will leave it at that...but a final observation: one of the parents of the most charismatic of the bi-teens is a manager for performance artists! A few perf. artists do interesting and even beautiful work, but the perf. art tradition has generally been dominated by the desire to shock. Perhaps there’s a horrible poetic justice here, with this parent having to submit to trangressivity, enacted not in some Soho studio, but on the stage of his own daughter’s life.

I wonder how these kids are going to do later on when the world/their professors/their bosses are both unimpressed by and uninterested in their blabbing to complete strangers about their sexuality, and inform them that no matter how stressful the day gets, they don’t get to hold a "cuddle puddle" in the break room.

HEY good point kimberly! everyone knows that people expect that when they become adults, they get to do whatever they did as teenagers! nothing changes at all, so they might as well get used to working boring jobs, paying bills and changing diapers while they’re still young! this is truly SHOCKING news you guys!!! we’d better do something about this extremely serious problem now before sexual curiosity sweeps the nation and good, decent christian heterosexuality is threatened at its very core!!!!! let us all thank mrs. julie ponzi for bringing this important bit of news to our attention... thanks a million!

Actually, Mr. Gravy, what I was more worried about is how sad and bored these kids seem. What’s threatened isn’t "decent christian heterosexuality" as you very feebly attempted to impose as the gist of my remarks, but love itself. These kids have no real love in their lives. If you have no love and you love nothing then there’s nothing worth living, fighting or dying for either. That’s what I find alarming. Teenage sexual exploration is nothing new--it’s this jaded view of life is new. My serious question, for those willing to overcome their prejudice and passions to ask it, is whether there might be a connection between the extent of teenage sexual exploration going on today and that jadedness. I think the inescapable answer is that there is.

Filos--yes, I’ve seen the Jan/Feb Atlantic monthly. I’ve been researching this topic for awhile. I’ve reviewed Ariel Levy’s Female Chauvenist Pigs for the upcoming issue of The Claremont Review of Books. Her book offers a similar take on things as that offered by the author of the Atlantic Monthly piece--but she’s much younger so it’s alittle different. Worth checking out.

"whether there might be a connection between the extent of teenage sexual exploration going on today and that jadedness."

Maybe it’s all of the lying and the corruption scandals coming from Republican leadership in DC?

Yeah, Chris. That’s clever. Scandal and corruption are a new phenomenon exclusive to Republicans. That explains everything.

Just kidding, Julie. Of course, the "inescapable" conclusion is that "jadedness" is causing the "extent of teenage sexual exploration." Neither you nor the author of the linked-to piece have provided a shred of evidence to back up the occurrence of this phenomenon, which is largely the stuff of urban myths, third-hand anecdotes and right-wing hysteria. It’s all just vague generalities. "Sexual exploration" and "jadedness" - yes, these are really historically novel things! Didn’t your parents tell you about those evil beatniks and the dangers they posed to our nation?

everyone knows that people expect that when they become adults, they get to do whatever they did as teenagers! nothing changes at all, so they might as well get used to working boring jobs, paying bills and changing diapers while they’re still young!

I didn’t say that, Giblets, so I’ll assume that’s your viewpoint.

I’ll just remind you that we do tend to send kids to school to educate them, and if we "educate" them to believe that, when they enter the adult world, anyone other than themselves will care to hear about their sexuality, or that it’s acceptable to have group gropes in the hallway, they’ll be pretty insufferable, not to mention bewildered adults.

Kids can experiment all they want on their own time. But it’s never to early to learn about personal boundaries and what separates a public from a private life.

Oh, if we encourage them never to put any boundaries on their sexual exploration, even to the point of telling them to keep hands off each other during school? Then they WILL be more likely to learn the hard truth about boring jobs and changing diapers while they’re young.

Kimberley - the main thing that strikes me as problematic from your first comment is that you seem to be operating under the assumption that the kids in the story sought out the writer to do an article about them. It’s doubtful that it worked that way. Probably the writer WAS interested in them. They talked about their sexuality because they were asked. That’s a crucial detail to this. Maybe it’s their parents’ business, but it wasn’t the writer’s. I have yet to have any professor or employer ask me about my sex life - and I hope it stays that way.

Kimberly (sans extra ’e’) - sorry!

Dear Chris . . . do you understand the difference between cause and effect? You got it exactly backwards. I think boundless sexual exploration (or should I say exploitation?) will leave a person jaded. It causes jadedness . . . not the other way around. If you have so little value for yourself that you give yourself to all comers . . . well, reasonable people see where I’m going here.

Some of you just don’t get it.

The soul longs for transcendence. Perhaps the only glimpse in this world that we get of that longed for eternal ecstasy, is pursuit of the erotic, the passionate, the entire self-giving. The story in the New York Magazine reveals that for these kids, and they are kids, who are exchanging bodily fluids in the hallways, that glimpse, that possibility of discovering passion, genuine passion, not faux, but bona fide, IS ALREADY DEAD AND BURIED.

These are the types of people like Paris Hilton, whose eyes are wholly souless, and to gaze into them, is to look into the face of death itself.

I don’t think Julie or Chris are right about this. Boundless sexual exploration will leave a person jaded. True. Also true, people who are already jaded are more likely to engage in boundless sexual exploration. Also true, not all people who are jaded engage in boundless sexual exploration. Also true, not everyone who experiences boundless sexual exploration will become jaded. Not true: "Paris Hilton’s eyes are wholly souless, and to look into them, is to look into the face of death itself."

But that is quite a zinger.

Perhaps, boundless sexual exploration with Paris Hilton, will leave you jaded and gazing at the face of death itself.

But even if that is the case where do you sign up?

Paris Hilton may have soulless eyes, but if you want to see some soulFUL eyes, check out Mr. Luther Vandross. Oh mercy!

Paris Hilton’s eyes reflect a lack of brain capacity, not death. Come on - she is pretty dumb, but not lethal.

Yea John, I’d be jumping on Paris Hilton too.

BUT, BUT, that doesn’t change the accuracy of my observations.

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