Millennials, Quit Yer Crying

The Best Media Writing of the Week

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New York magazine dropped one of those what-it's-like-to-be-in-your-20's pieces this week. It's titled "The Kids Are Actually Sort of Alright" and, you know what, the article is actually sort of OK. And I say that as a (relative) oldster predisposed to be sent into a white (and old and male) rage at any sense of self-entitlement issuing from Generation Y. Of course, it helps that the Gchat-happy subjects of the story, however unemployable, seem more interesting and industrious than most Yers I've actually seen in a workplace or other real-life contexts.

But whatever. This isn't about the thing itself; it's a nod to the best comeback to the article, written by Gizmodo's Mat Honan. Here's the beginning:

Generation X is sick of your bullshit.

The first generation to do worse than its parents? Please. Been there. Generation X was told that so many times that it can't even read those words without hearing Winona Ryder's voice in its heads. Or maybe it's Ethan Hawke's. Possibly Bridget Fonda's. Generation X is getting older, and can't remember those movies so well anymore. In retrospect, maybe they weren't very good to begin with.

But Generation X is tired of your sense of entitlement. Generation X also graduated during a recession. It had even shittier jobs, and actually had to pay for its own music. (At least, when music mattered most to it.) Generation X is used to being fucked over. It lost its meager savings in the dot-com bust. Then came George Bush, and 9/11, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Generation X bore the brunt of all that . And then came the housing crisis.

Generation X wasn't surprised. Generation X kind of expected it.

Roger Ebert, for his part, gave a big thumbs down to both millennials and the future of journalism after a friend of his sent some raw, verbatim copy from radio scripts written by students assigned to cover the recent GOP debates. Here's a sample of the aspiring Murrows' work:

I think from the Republican debate since that Herman Cain is the most popular and at the top of the Republican poll he was the main target of the night.

On the other hand of the night, Rick Perry has dropped in the polls and is beginning to lose his popularity. One of the candidate's advisors felt that Perry is not even a threat to his candidate's presidency platform.

But throughout the debate, Perry was making comments regarding his plan for the economic problem that the country is have.

Bachman received a lot of attention on the campaign trail at one point has begun to lose steam.

Mitt Romney had an appearance that he was well prepared to speak about the economy and improved his standings, showing that he knowledgable [sic] and an able leader.

With clear hit and miss candidates, there were distinctive winners and losers.

Mitt Romney and Herman Cain were on the top of their game with less effective impressing Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann who both needed a certain spark they both didn't evoke.

A major point was the role of the Federal Reserve and its wanted audits.

You've probably often wondered what would happen if the U.S. Marines traveled back through time to try and unleash hell on the Roman legions. Largely unknown writer and former "Jeopardy" champ James Erwin shares your curiosity, which is why he wrote a story about such a scenario on Reddit. Warner Brothers spotted it and scooped up "Rome, Sweet Rome," but not without a little controversy.

After all, Reddit is a community message board with its own user agreement that basically gives Reddit rights to the content there. Could another studio swoop down and buy the same story and produce, I dunno, "Jarhead Maximus and the Roman Baths of Blood?" Maybe. The Hollywood Reporter's Eriq Gardner investigated:

Jerry Birenz, who is listed as the copyright agent for Reddit, says that this raises an "interesting issue" and that by a strict reading of the user agreement, multiple parties might be able to make a claim to a license if they chose to develop Erwin's story.

Birenz wouldn't speak further without getting permission from his client, and executives for Reddit didn't respond to requests for comment. (It's worth pointing out that Reddit is owned by a major publisher -- Conde Nast -- which has shown interest in more robust licensing activity)

Other lawyers also agree there may be room for another studio to ambush Warners' attempt at a film adaptation of a story posted on Reddit. This problem comes up, they say, because many social community sites want to encourage active sharing and thus maintain permissive licensing arrangements.

"These assignable, nonexclusive licenses are everywhere, and problematic," says Denise Howell, an IP lawyer in California. "Many professional photographers are eschewing photo sharing sites because they need to be able to grant exclusive licenses to their clients."

John Jeremiah Sullivan wrote a great, hilarious essay for GQ about his unusual path to owning a big house in Wilmington, N.C. To ease the financial burden, all he had to do was allow The CW's "One Tree Hill" to film there occasionally. It may or may not mean anything to you that the real Sullivan home was the pretend home of the character Peyton, played by Hilarie Burton, and her parents. Naturally, an affection for Peyton/Hilarie grew throughout the occupation, to the point that the Sullivans felt bad for her when they called off the deal:

Our only worry was that maybe we'd caused trouble for Hilarie somehow, affected the plotline in some way that made Peyton less essential to the cast, but when we ran into her some weeks later and voiced this concern, she was characteristically ultramature about it and said, "You know, I think you really helped her grow up." Her being Peyton. The producers had decided to zip forward the story line four years -- just skip college, go straight from right after high school graduation to right after college graduation, with the characters all back home, in order to avoid the dorm-room doldrums that have brought down other teen shows. Now Peyton lived downtown. She managed bands. "She doesn't live in her parents' house anymore," Hilarie said. "She has her own apartment. I think it's about time."

Over in England, Dutch engineer Vincent Tabak is on trial for murdering a 25-year-old girl. Turns out he is a fan of internet research, so much so that right after she went missing, he was checking out maps of where her body would later be discovered. And it didn't end there, as the Guardian's Steven Morris narrates:

In subsequent days Tabak looked at news articles on Shrien Dewani, the Bristol man accused of hiring hitmen to kill his wife in South Africa, and the case of Melanie Hall, who was murdered after leaving a nightclub in Bath in 1996.

Later, the jury was told, he researched subjects including: "How does forensic identification work?" and the location of CCTV cameras in Canynge Road, Clifton, where Tabak and Yeates lived.

He researched "body decomposition time" and an article about a man who strangled his wife and pleaded diminished responsibility.

When police revealed they were sifting tonnes of rubbish he looked up details of household waste collection in Bristol.

Tabak, who denies murder but admits manslaughter, also spent time finding out about prison life in the UK. In addition he searched online for phrases including the "definition of sexual assault", "definition sexual conduct" and "sexual offence explained".

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