Young doesn't always mean stupid

Posted: Monday, July 03, 2006

As a high school student living in Juneau, I have always thought that it is important to be involved in the community, read the news, listen to KTOO etc. For the last four years I have been here, the Arts and Entertainment Weekly has been a thoughtful and educated publication that I have awaited with anticipation ever week. However, I am concerned with the direction that the paper has chosen with its newest edition, the Hooligan.

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First of all, I have a hard time understanding what needed to be replaced in the A&E Weekly. The regular drinking columns, Karaoke corner and the depressing dating stories present in the Hooligan beg the question whether or not the magazine is written by competent individuals, much less actual reporters. The Weekly was always progressive, helping to forward the artists and musicians presented within, however, as of the first, second and now third glance, the Hooligan seems to simply be aiming at perpetuating the hedonistic and nihilistic drinking lifestyle that is wrongly glorified throughout Alaska.

Secondly, I question the quality of the writing. I understand that a column written for young adults shouldn't require a dictionary to read, however, columns like Korry Keeker's use childish satire that is roughly equivalent, if slightly less comical, than that present in the ego, the Juneau-Douglas High School literary magazine. "With so many funny-looking people making babies these days - inadvertently and on purpose - it's unfortunate there aren't people handing out condoms and shouting out instructions on every street corner in America." Statements like this feel as if they are pandering to a generation that has been numbed by the sensationalism of South Park and reality TV. The lack of intelligence in the humor shows a loss of quality in the Empire, and I will not be supporting the paper anymore if change is not made.

I'm not asking for the A&E Weekly back. As a matter of fact, I fully support the Hooligan's original concept to be a section of the paper by young adults, for young adults. However, young does not mean stupid. I do not want to be a young person in this town if the Hooligan is representative of the social situation that my peers and I can look forward to, and I hope that the folks in charge of this train wreck will take charge and make the Hooligan into the publication that they hoped it would be.

Tyler Preston


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