"With music created for — and especially by — teenagers, there’s a camouflaged vitality that makes the best stuff go fizz. It’s the common nucleus of hip-hop, punk and metal. It’s joy disguised as anger. It’s a laugh that sounds like a snarl. It’s ecstatic toughness.
This specific strain of kid-energy has surged through generations of rap music, but ecstatic toughness speaks to an almost universal teenage mode of being. Adolescence is a time when enthusiasm and defiance help us cope with an overwhelming sense of vulnerability — which is why kids get wild haircuts, pierce their faces, wear their pants funny, stake out turf in the food court, and play songs like “No Flex Zone” too loud on their earbuds. It feels good.
Youth may be the thing that adult fans of teen-centric pop fetishize most, but ecstatic toughness is what we actually value. You’re familiar with its powers if you’ve ever head-banged to Slayer’s “South of Heaven,” slam-danced to Black Flag’s “Rise Above,” or done both to Crime Mob’s “Knuck If You Buck.” These songs remind us of when our lives felt too small and our hearts felt too big. And because young people always feel that way, ecstatic toughness never goes out of style.”
“Your mom is the sweet spot for every TV exec and webmaster and car salesman out there. If your mom has heard about something, that means the whole goddamn world knows about it. And if your mom—who is constantly put upon with dinner arrangements and paying bills and various garden-club duties—can make time to sit down and watch the ninth inning of the World Series, then many other people will also make time for it. Golf wants your mom, man. Golf wants to bring her in and rub her shoulders and seduce her with wide panning shots of pretty landscaping around the course. AZALEAS. Your mom is crucial. I’ve worked in advertising, and the key question the client always asks is, “Hey, will this asshole’s mom buy this for him?” I’ve written books, and the key question publishers always ask is, “Hey, will some asshole’s mom read this book? And can you spare some change for us?” Everything is marketed to get your mother’s approval and/or awareness.”—Drew Magary on your mom.