Generation Y

Generation Y
December 13, 2017

Is Minnesota going to be OK?

By Brett Yates

If you had asked me in 2015 to name three people from Minnesota, I probably would have thought for a moment and then come up with iconic pop star Prince, Senator Al Franken, and the public radio raconteur Garrison Keillor.

In 2016,…

Generation Y
November 8, 2017

Improper nouns

In late 2017, we all still have days where we wake up and the realization hits us afresh that the only thing separating millions of innocents from nuclear devastation is the dementia-addled, TV-addicted brain of a 71-year-old narcissist.

We may find some cold…

Generation Y
October 11, 2017

Perfect lines: an anniversary of sorts

By Brett Yates

I was hired in 2008 as a youth culture columnist for the Mountain Times, just a few months after my 20th birthday, and one of the earliest articles I wrote was an impassioned denunciation of emo music, as feverishly and embarrassingly over-the-top…

Generation Y
September 20, 2017

Product review: Tropical Sour Patch Kids

By Brett Yates

Sour Patch Kids, the iconic child-shaped treat invented in the 1970s by a Long Island man named Frank Galatolie, are, in my opinion, perhaps the greatest mass-produced American candy. To me, their astringent artificiality best captures the essence of what “candy” means…

Generation Y
September 6, 2017

Repeal and replace

By Brett Yates

I’m aware that nearly everyone is probably tired of hearing about Confederate statues by now. But before I finally move on from the Unite the Right fallout and restore this column to its regularly scheduled programming, I want—for one very particular reason—to…

Generation Y
August 31, 2017

Empathy, part two

By Brett Yates

Last week, I wrote a column whose conclusion I myself found, at the very least, debatable. Fortunately, my conception of my job here has never included a requirement to be correct—every week, I try my best only to put forth a single…

Generation Y
August 23, 2017

Good things for bad people

By Brett Yates

This month, following social media pressure upon their employers, two workers in the San Francisco Bay Area were fired for holding opinions widely deemed abhorrent. The first was a Google engineer who circulated a memo criticizing certain internal corporate policies: specifically, the…

Generation Y
August 16, 2017

Spill your guts

By Bret Yates

In July, the Boston Globe published an article about the painter Helen Frankenthaler that contained the following sentence: “Frankenthaler’s effects are more visceral, more buzzy and demanding, than pastoral evocations of space.”

Every time I encounter the word “visceral” in print (which…

Generation Y
August 10, 2017

Save it forever

By Bret Yates

Some weeks ago I mentioned here, offhand, that I expected to hate the new “Spider-Man: Homecoming” movie, which was turned out to be totally wrong; I saw it, and I enjoyed it more than any other comic book movie of recent years.

Generation Y
August 2, 2017

We’ve come a long way from where we began

By Bret Yates

What does it mean that the music video for “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth is now the most viewed YouTube clip of all time?

First of all, given the initial conception of YouTube as a repository for user-created…