A few interesting stories

AlterNet: Neo’s the Hero of My Generation: “For many of my peers, it’s not cool anymore to listen to Jay-Z, wear Gap clothes, or watch MTV all day. Those things are seen as being a part of our Matrix. My generation uses terms like “keep it real” and “don’t front” ? the worst thing you can be is phony. Everyone wants to be original; nobody wants to be a copycat.”

A trend that’s been building now for a while if you’ve been paying attention to pop music. Think of Avril Lavigne and notice how Pink has evolved. Note the use of bands on stage in hip-hop these days (thanks to Philadelphia’s own The Roots. Hugely influential). They are even declaring….

FoxNews: Metal is back: “So why metal now? Coletti attributed its resurgence, in part, to the current mood of the country. “Look at where the world is. Music is louder and harder in trying times,” he said. …But that doesn’t mean that Britney Spears can’t stay relevant. “She just needs to learn to play electric guitar,” Coletti said.”

Time: Goodbye, Soccer Mom. Hello, Security Mom: ” “Since 9/11,” Creighton says, “all I want in a President is a person who is strong.””

Whiners not wanted.

NYTimes: Trust in the Military Heightens Among Baby Boomers’ Children: “The idea of nationality, being a nation, is important to people shaped by 9/11. This is a generation that knows nations really matter. They trust government.”

Related to earlier story about Republican dominance in politics: NYTimes: Democrats Seek a Stronger Focus, and Money: “Norman J. Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute says Democrats may have passed a point where “minority status gels and makes it exponentially harder to get back in” because potential candidates and donors see only minority status in their future….Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution disagrees, seeing parity between the parties as likely for some time. He argues that even the lack of a coherent positive message does not matter too much. “Most decisive elections are a consequence of the public rejecting something,” he said. The most effective message, he said, usually is the simple “throw the rascals out.”…But Democrats these days lack the killer instinct that it takes to sell blunt, demagogic messages. As Bob Shrum, a prominent consultant for 30 years, said: “It’s probably a weakness that we’re not real haters. We don’t have a sense that it’s a holy crusade. We don’t have a sense that it’s Armageddon.””

Not related but a good read: Time: What Makes You Who You Are: “Only now is it dawning on scientists what a big and general idea it implies: that learning itself consists of nothing more than switching genes on and off. The more we lift the lid on the genome, the more vulnerable to experience genes appear to be. …This is not some namby-pamby, middle-of-the-road compromise. This is a new understanding of the fundamental building blocks of life based on the discovery that genes are not immutable things handed down from our parents like Moses’ stone tablets but are active participants in our lives, designed to take their cues from everything that happens to us from the moment of our conception. “