I am not a trendy man, children of the glade. It’s a combination of often just not knowing whatever is trendy right now, and when I do know, hating it because it makes me weep for humanity. (Yes, I realize it’s equally popular to hate on these things, but I don’t hate them because everybody else hates them, I hate them because I hate them.) That said, the newest trend seems to be not a vacuous reality show, or vacuous music, or vacuous movies, but a vacuous saying instead. This being the Word Palace, and me being a lover of words, it is in my interest to at the very least take note at whatever the current shway lingo all up in the peeps’ lexicon is for the mo’, my home slice.
That said, I really hate “YOLO”. For those of you not in the know, (and if I am and you aren’t then that’s kind of sad) “YOLO” is an acronym, standing for “You Only Live Once”. Now, I get the message, I do. It’s used mostly by teenagers, who of course are anxious to take control of their lives and start living. Hell, I’m halfway through college and I feel that way, but my definition of “living” is to start achieving my goals, and I’m still in the ground work you gotta do before all of that. And it’s true. As far as we know, you do only live once and nobody knows what comes after that (I am not interested in debating the afterlife or reincarnation right now). You’re here for a handful of decades to a century, if you’re lucky, and that’s it. It’s good to live a little, take some chances, do some exciting things. I could never do something like skydiving or bungie jumping, for example, but I do love water sports and relish the opportunity to partake in them. If it involves a rope and a speedboat, sign me up! Especially if it involves attractive women in swimwear.
Hey, I’m a straight guy coming into manhood, don’t judge me.
But let’s face it, that’s not what the people saying “YOLO” are saying. Their idea of having a good time isn’t waterskiing or base jumping. Well, maybe it is, but not when they’re using this phrase. How do I know this? Because the phrase originates from a rap song, and here are the lyrics. I actually really like rap as an art form, but it’s this kind of song that prevents me from listening to it: A bunch of assholes going on about how rich they are and having sex and doing drugs and whatnot. The kinds of teens that say “YOLO” are the kinds of teens that don’t realize that there’s more to being an adult than partaking in activities that aren’t featured on children’s television. These are the kinds of people whose idea of a good time is partying, sex, drugs, and alcohol. And I’m not trying to be a wet blanket or a moral guardian here, and I’m not saying that there’s anything inherently wrong with those activities. Casual sex is fine if you’re using protection, drinking and drugs are fine in moderation if you’re not hurting anybody, and hey, a party’s a party.
But the kind of kids who obsess over this shit are obnoxious. They don’t wanna feel a little buzz, they wanna get shitfaced. As far as drugs go, if they’re playing it safe, they’re just getting high, and God forbid they actually do anything dangerous. And, you know, sex is fine, although I frankly have trouble trusting these kids not to mess it up, getting STDs or pregnant in the process (Incidentally, using the terms “Preggers or “Preggo” is another thing I really fucking hate). And then these parties are just places where they can do all this shit, all while listening to terrible music, because it’s the only way they can think of to have a good time. I’ve been a nerd pretty much since middle school, and there were clear signs of it in elementary school too. I didn’t have an active social life, and there was nothing to do where I lived. For me, having a good time was getting together with my friends a few times a month and playing video games, eating snacks, and watching movies all day. It wasn’t exciting or dangerous, but we were all very happy, and we were never involved in any accidents resulting from mind-altering substances or wound up being fathers before we were legal adults (and even then, being a legal adult does not make you a real adult, something I’ve discussed in the past on my YouTube channel).
Teens who say “YOLO” are the kinds of people that make our parents say “I weep for the future”, or people my age say “I weep for my generation” (which you may remember me saying something similar to in the first paragraph). And then they’ve taken what is a fair viewpoint on life, “You only live once”, and condensed it into one of the most fucking obnoxious sounding phrases that they possibly could. The very first time I heard “YOLO”, I asked, “What is that and why does it make me want to strangle somebody?” “YOLO” isn’t some profound view on life, it’s the clarion call of obnoxious behavior, and a sign of why old people (and I) hate young people.
It’s true, you only live once. So stop using that to justify doing things that can ruin your life and making mine more annoying in the process.
On a barely related note in which I use the content of this article so far to segue into blatant self-promotion, here’s a new video of mine about a man who can’t be stopped by something like mere death, Kratos, as I react to the trailer for the next God of War game: