Screenshot: Boston 25 News (Fair Use)
Whether it’s gross old men preying on younger women, binge drinking in college, or wearing stupid boots, there is nothing new under the sun. Even kids acting like they invented shit that’s been around for thousands of years isn’t new. You did it too. So enjoy this selection of new-old news, gramps.
Internet drags DiCaprio, but is it warranted?
Since this is a column about cross-generational popular culture, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that 48-year-old actor Leonardo DiCaprio was recently photographed at an L.A. party with 19 year-old-model Eden Polani on his arm. The internet, as you’d expect, responded with opinions, memes, and hot takes, like this one from @RohitaKadambi: “Leonardo DiCaprio’s girlfriend is so young her high school experience was interrupted by COVID-19.” And this one from me: “When Eden Poland is old enough to drink, Leonardo DiCaprio will be old enough to join the AARP.”
This widely shared photo of The Last of Us stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, who have roughly the same age gap, really highlights how gross the whole thing is. Or is it? An “unnamed source” close to DiCaprio told TMZ that ‘Nardo isn’t dating Polani, or anyone else, and the only reason people think they are together is because of a single photograph. So maybe the internet is jumping to an unwarranted conclusion—shocking, I know—but given Leo’s historical refusal to date anyone over the age of 25, it’s not exactly hard to believe.
What are Borgs, and why are your kids drinking them?
Get your fainting couch ready for this one, parents, lest you crash directly to the floor. According to breathless media reports, the rage on college campuses this semester is Borg binging. What’s a Borg (other than Captain Picard’s worst enemy on Star Trek: The Next Generation)? It stands for “Black Out Rage Gallon,” and according to MSNBC, it’s a drink made with half water, half vodka, and “a caffeinated flavor enhancer and a dash of powdered electrolytes.” It’s basically a way of getting drunk! In college! These kids are not studying, and they’re wearing skirts above the knee! Where will it end?
Seriously though, some harm reduction specialists point out that carrying your own Borg means you can control how strong your drink is, so it’s not all bad. That said: You can die shockingly easily from alcohol poisoning, and it’s not even that great of a drug. But let’s not feign surprise. Back in the day, we made our “Borg” with Everclear and Kool Aid and called it “Jungle Juice.” Our grandparents called their Borg “rum punch.” None of this is new.
Are your kids doing the knee thing?
Make sure your monocle is securely affixed to your eye for this one too, parents, lest it pops out and roll under the fainting couch. Videos tagged #Kneething have over 70 million views on TikTok. Here’s what that’s all about: Sex-crazed kids are making out and pressing their knees into one another’s crotchal regions while they do it! “The partner giving pleasure can use their knee as a way to create pressure and sensation by grinding into their partner‘s most sensitive areas, including the genital area and inner thighs,” Shannon Chavez Qureshi, sex therapist, explained to Elite Daily. These kids are not holding hands while drinking lemonade on the porch nor are they reciting the rosary at mass! Where will it end?
Seriously, though, this is some safe-ass sex, and it’s not like kids invented it. We called the knee thing “dry-humping” (but didn’t feel the need to talk about it too much) and our Victorian great-great grandparents called the knee thing “frottage.” None of this is new.
Are your kids wearing incredibly stupid boots?
Get your (INSERT OLD-TIMEY EXPRESSION OF SURPRISE HERE) parents, because kids today are wearing very stupid boots! The boots in question are from pop culture provocateurs MSCHF. They’re huge, and red, and patterned after the footwear of Japanese animate hero Astroboy, and they’ll set you back $350. Not that you’ll be able to find a pair or anything; they’re not the kind of thing they sell at PayLess. According to MSCHF, “You never design shoes to be shaped like feet. Big Red Boots are REALLY not shaped like feet, but they are EXTREMELY shaped like boots.” Can’t argue with that. They are also apparently extremely difficult to remove. (I’m not sure why you’d want to take them off, to be honest.) Oh, almost forgot: We had these too. We called them “moon boots,” our great-great-great-great (etc) grand parents in the Middle Ages called them brodequins. None of this is new.
Viral video of the week: Nintendo Direct 2.8.2023
You know what is new? The exciting and engrossing video games coming from Nintendo! As evidence by the 4 million views of the Ninetendo Direct announcement video, gaming kids are psyched for novel, of-the-moment games like Pikmin 4, Samba de Amigo: Party Central, Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania, Fantasy Life 2, and most of all, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom! Wait—all of these are sequels are add-on content for existing games, some of which have been around since the mid 1980s. We’ve been had! There’s nothing new! Time is a flat circle! We’re all going to keep running the same patterns again and again until we sink into our peaceful graves! (But on the plus side: There’s a new Legend of Zelda game coming out.)