Saturday, January 9, 2016

Best of '15: Dope

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I don't want to go to jail. I want to go to college!

I will turn 35 this year.... Ugh....  I'm reaching the point where many of my friends, coworkers, and associates are falling into the "kids these days..." trap. This is what I call the common idea that the current generation has it better/worse/different than in "our days". I have vowed to avoid these logical traps like the plague if for the simple reason that every generation has used them. I find it much more plausible that something changes in ones persona as they get older that makes a person think this way than there is actual, significant detrimental generational change occurring. I hope to never generally lament the work ethic, attitude, or respect of "kids these days...", but we also fall into the same trap with pop culture: "Music these days...", "Books these days... (or lack thereof)", "TV these days...", and ultimately "Movies these days...". I was never a huge fan of scripted television, so I feel pretty good about that one. I try to encourage reading regardless of the quality. Music I probably fail on the most (have you heard how terrible Justin Bieber's new stuff is and what passes as Hip-Hop today???), but I blame it on pop music always being bad and not having enough time to devote to the quality stuff which I am sure is out there. As for movies, I immerse myself into each year's offerings and have yet to even take a step towards any understanding of a specific generation's superiority. Movies like DOPE make this easier.

Three teenagers of color from the wrong side of LA unironically love '90s hip-hop style, have their own punk band, make straight A's, and have lofty aspirations of Ivy league university education. They get wrapped up in a drug-deal gone wrong and have to figure out how to unload thousands of dollars worth of meth without getting busted by the cops or worse the local drug kingpins that could have them killed on a whim. Movies like this give me inter-generational hope. True artists have never subscribed to the "kids these days..." trap, they are constantly trying to find originality, beauty, and emotional reflections on the fact that "kids these days" are just the same and just as different as they always have been.

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