October 3, 2002

Sex, Drugs, and Spoiled Brats

Print More

We live in confusing times. TV is saturated with the super-pop shallowness of American Idols and force-fed reality shows, while violence is prolific, guns find their way into suburban schools, Britney Spears is amassing a midriff-bearing pre-teen army, and the drugs are more potent and easier to get than ever.

At least, that’s what they say, right? Parents are concerned, people want to know — does listening to Marilyn Manson incite suicide? Who will speak up for our generation, adrift in a sea of violence, known simply as the “Columbine generation”?

According to the hype, someone has an answer. Meet Nick McDonell, eighteen years old, Harvard-bound, and, oh yes, published author of Twelve. Released this summer, Twelve was surrounded in media-blitz, among cries of “accomplished first novel” and “authentic voice.” Even Hunter S. Thompson contributed to the book jacket, so modestly saying, “the ratio of age to talent if horrifying