Jewish World Review July 30, 2010 19 Menachem-Av, 5770
The Watch Me Generation Should Watch Out
By Roger Simon
That's because, in a sense, I already know who they are. In high school, they were the cool kids. They were the guys with great hair, the girls with great figures. They were wild and irresponsible, and they had cars, in which they did wild and irresponsible things.
They always got what they wanted. They never sat home on Friday and Saturday nights looking through their rain-smeared bedroom window watching the "in" kids go out on dates while they stayed home sucking on frozen pizzas because they could not summon up enough energy to microwave them. May be getting a little too personal here.
They were the people who, as Joan Didion once put it, always had the lights turn green for them. They were, in other words, not Joan Didion. They were the people who made lists.
And the rest of us hated them for it.
But why? We know what those kids turned into. We know where they are today. At best, they are on work release and wearing ankle bracelets. At worst, they are sharing a cell with Bernie Madoff or Lindsay Lohan.
Watch them? You bet we should watch them.
But who really wants to be one who is watched? Think of how the word is used: Watch out! Watch your step! Watch your p's and q's!
Is being watched a good thing? Ask John Edwards. (If you buy him an apple martini, I hear you can ask him anything.) Nobody sane wants to be watched. Ask Gary Hart, who said in a New York Times interview May 3, 1987: "Follow me around. I don't care. I'm serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They'd be very bored."
Oh, Gary, watch your mouth.
But if the baby boomers were the "Me Generation," we now all live with the "Watch Me Generation." Watch me on Facebook. Watch me tweet. Watch me blog. Watch me, watch me, watch me.
But everybody cannot be watched. So we have to narrow it down for you in lists. I asked what criteria Politico used in forming this list, what set of standards we employed, what measuring sticks, what guideposts.
I was told the selection process was "very informal." In other words, we picked whomever the hell we wanted to. Go sue us.
I was asked my opinion of one nominee for the list. I replied that she was "really terrific," which I hoped would be enough to sink her. (Honestly, would you put anyone on a list because I thought that person was really terrific?) Why did I do this? Because why should she be on the list and not I? What makes her so special? That she never sucked on a frozen pizza?
What happens to those who do make the list? They get to wear T-shirts that say, "Don't Hate Me Because I Made Politico's List."
But you know what? It won't work.
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