- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 6, 2001

Teen scene
"For the past five years, whether in music, movies or TV, teen-agers have been the darlings of the entertainment industry… . Yet no matter how all-encompassing and profitable the streak has been, we all know you cant spell trend without e-n-d. Countless Britney wannabes and nine Freddie Prinze Jr. movies later, there are signs teens themselves are growing weary of bouncy beats and well-gelled young casts.
"Maybe its the topsy-turvy economy: The giddy economic times of the late 90s helped spur the love of boppy tunes and frothy films, much in the way the early-90s recession informed gloomy grunge… .
"Or maybe its real-life growing pains. Many of the hottest teen stars are barely clinging to their early 20s, and it will only get harder for younger fans to muster a shriek for idols like [N Sync singer] Joey Fatone, 24, and 98 Degrees Jeff Timmons, 28, whose female fans now include their baby daughters… .
"Teen-agers are hardly fading away — quite the contrary, there will be 35 million 12- to 19-year-olds in 2010, compared with 31 million now, according to Teenage Research Unlimited. But the comparative crotchety adults in charge of producing records, TV, and movies believe the voice of this increasingly fickle generation has changed, and it will no longer cheer for the same formulas."
—Josh Wolk, writing on "Pop Goes the Teen Boom?" in the June 8 issue of Entertainment Weekly

Prodigal youth

"The group that religious institutions are especially eager to attract is young adults in their so-called 'pre-household formation years. It is in this spiritual stage — the years between leaving the nest and building ones own — that adults are most likely to experiment with religion, and the least likely to commit to one church or synagogue. In fact, according to the Gallup Organization, just one-third of 18- to 29-year-olds say theyve attended a religious service in the last week, the smallest share of any age group… .
"A key reason for the drop-off: The time between leaving the nest and starting a family has lengthened. Since 1960, the median age of first marriage has increased by four years for men, to 27, and by five years for women, to 25. And as marriage gets pushed into later life, so does childbearing. In 1960, 80 percent of women aged 25 to 29 had a child at home. By 1998, just 57 percent had a child at home. Because todays young adults take longer to establish their own stable households than young adults of decades past, they are also taking longer to return to active religious practice… .
"he problem looks worse today because of demographics: There are fewer young adults overall than during the days of the Baby Boom. In fact, between 1997 and 2000, the number of adults aged 25 to 34 declined by 6 percent."
—Alison Stein Wellner, writing on "Oh Come All Ye Faithful," in the June issue of American Demographics

Stereotypes?

"I hate that Eminem is allowed to spout anti-gay propaganda, and that the head of his record label, Interscope, is Jewish and defends Eminems right to free speech. If Eminem was insulting Jews or blacks, he would be run out of town. I am sick of hearing that his music is clever. I was called a 'faggot on the school playground at 5 years old, and thats not clever. Joni Mitchell is clever, Bob Dylan is clever, David Bowie is clever. I believe that artists have a responsibility to challenge stereotypes — not celebrate them. Eminem could have been 'The Great White Hope, but instead he is 'The Great White Dope.
"I hate the fact that I find Eminem sexually attractive."
—1980s pop star Boy George, writing on "Boy Oh Boy," in the July issue of Detour


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