Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, December 14, 2021

Charles Blow can’t fathom the modern teen and twentysomething relationship scene:

It turns out that everything is the opposite of what I remember. Under the old model, you dated a few times and, if you really liked the person, you might consider having sex. Under the new model, you hook up a few times and, if you really like the person, you might consider going on a date…

So why is there an increase in hooking up? According to [college professor Kathleen] Bogle, it’s: the collapse of advanced planning, lopsided gender ratios on campus, delaying marriage, relaxing values and sheer momentum.

There was just barely a hint of this dynamic when I was in high school and college, a decade-and-a-half ago. Looking back now, I guess it was a transitionary period back then: Sex had gotten casual enough that the old rituals of committing to a partner for the long haul (marriage or living together) didn’t necessarily apply; but it was understood that a physical relationship usually inaugurated at least an attempt at exclusivity.

But somehow, this new it-takes-a-village approach to working up to a one-on-one pairing has, paradoxically, made dating an even bigger deal that it used to be. Not that old-style dating was pressure-free — far from it — but now, it’s preceded by what amounts to pre-dating, all toward eventually building up to a next-level interpersonal connection. Very drawn-out for what’s supposed to be an attempt at quality time.

In this respect, I’m glad I’ve passed the expiration date on this drill. When you’re in your mid-to-late 30s, it’s understood that you don’t have as much time to waste on an exhibition season. Plus, your circle of immediate friends tends to shrink anyway, so there aren’t as many playmates to foster this sort of nonsense anyway.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 12/14/2008 06:42pm
Category: Society
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Twenty years ago, the Great Spotted Owl Controversy set battlelines between two seemingly diametrically-opposed groups: Workers in manufacturing and heavy industries, and environmentalists.

So it’s odd to see that now, the gritty United Steelworkers and the tree-hugging Sierra Club would join forces to form The Blue Green Alliance, an advocacy lobby that’s promoting the growth of renewable energy resources in the U.S.

It turns out that the two sides have found concrete common cause:

Environmental protection and labor rights have intersected before, especially in past battles to eliminate toxins and other pollutants from the workplace.

But the two sides have also found themselves at odds. Unions have often seen nature lovers as idealists willing to sacrifice American jobs for the sake of endangered species. Some coal industry workers remain hostile to efforts that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by closing down coal-fired plants.

But both groups also have felt growing pressure over the past decade because of manufacturing job losses in the American heartland and what they see as an erosion of workers’ rights and weakening environmental protection.

Environmentalists want clean energy — such as wind and solar power — to reduce gases that degrade the environment. It is in their interest that new jobs in the sector offer good pay and benefits, to win labor’s support for their agenda.

I guess there have been stranger bedfellows on the economic-political scene. Just shows how much issues and context evolve over a relatively short timespan.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 12/14/2008 06:00pm
Category: Business, Politics, Society
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Because I’ve been humming it and playing it both in my head and on my iPod all weekend, here it is: Britney Spears’ new single, “Circus” (off the album of the very same name):

Britney Spears |MTV Music

Catchy, I’d say. Primo use of the circus motif to double as a subtle-but-not-quite sadomasochistic atmosphere — “when I crack that whip” and all that. (With apologies to PETA, of course.)

Not that the three-minute regular version is enough for me: I’ve also indulged in a couple of remixes. The “3 Ring Circus” mix is pretty good, although I’m still looking/waiting for extended dance reinventions, at least eight minutes long.

And of course, you can’t load a remixed track onto your iTouch without whipping up accompanying album art. Might look like a lot of work, but really just a few minutes out of a (thankfully) long weekend.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 12/14/2008 04:50pm
Category: Pop Culture
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