Young People

From the Archives: The Best of Reason on Youths

Not just for millennials


Reason October 2014 issue

Millennials! Reason-Rupe recently ran a much-talked-about poll on millennials' views on politics and government, and the October issue of Reason magazine focuses on the generation defined loosely as those born between the mid-80s and late-90s. But Reason has a long history of focusing on young people and youth issues. The magazine was launched by student Lanny Friedlander in 1968 at Boston University and has always had a focus on student issues.

Long before the student loan bubble became almost impossible to ignore, Reason's been exploring better ideas. Reason's been at the forefront in spotlighting the generational warfare entitlement programs represent.

In a 1987 article, James Harris wrote about a Vietnam draft dodger who served a six-month sentence in the late-80s, ending a nearly decade-long struggle against authorities.

Reason has been there to debunk all kinds of drug scares used to push the Drug War mentality, from butt chugging and vodka-soaked tampons to Ecstasy and techno music, and has been refuting arguments those who would use dangers to youth to control the Internet since back when it was called the World Wide Web. Just in June, Jesse Walker provided a short history of gaming panics in the video game themed issue of Reason. Thomas Hazlett explored the use of children to push stricter rules for television in a January 1991 article "Child's Play". Reason also pushes back whenever the appeal for mandatory "national service" to "fix" youth comes to the forefront of American politics. The June 1997 issue of Reason ran a cover story on "Child-proofing the World," and Hit & Run has explored how parents face increasingly interventionist

June 1997 cover

 governments at all levels of power. In April, Reason magazine spotlighted the "The War on Fun," while in the October 2006 issue an article on "The Real Mommy Wars" explored how both the left and right try to use government to interfere with parenting. In the April 1991 issue, John Hood warned about the "Curfew Craze." In 1987, during a surge in religious anti-rock sentiment, Leo Miletich explored hundreds of years of religious fear of the power of music.

In the August/September 2003 issue, Virginia Postrel explained why Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, the insta-cult Joss Whedon television show about a vampire slayer in southern California, "kicked ass." Reason has also granted critics of the digital generation the floor: In October 2008, Nick Gillespie talked to the author of The Dumbest Generation, Emory University Professor Mark Bauerlein.

Reason hasn't just focused on youth in America. In the December 2010 James Dorsey wrote about the role of American culture in the Muslim world in an article titled "Rap and Metal on Planet Islam." It predates the Arab Spring and its critical youth component.

NEXT: A.M. Links: Pentagon Preparing Military Options in Syria, CBC Members Want "Police Czar," Space Probe Crosses Orbit of Neptune

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  1. Some of those comment threads, at least in the 1987 articles, are totally virgin territory. Or were until I posted comments.

      1. Ooh, look, Paul Jacob, the draft-resister from that 1987 article, now writes for TownHall.

  2. Shouldn’t this be a blank post?

  3. Why is reason obsessed with yutes?

    1. I know, right? They don’t vote. They never vote.

  4. This joke never gets old.

    Someone at some point is going to have to leak the name of the person who made the call @ the quarterly/annual meeting that 2014 was going to be the year of the “Teen-Beat Reason”-makeover.

    “Millenials are where the money is! Nobody *reads* anymore! its all tweets and memes and stuff. What, you want to end up like Rolling Stone?! DINOSAURS IN THE MUCK!?! Also, this ISIS/ISIL thing? The latter is way more snappy, so….”

    I’ll be generous, and suggest its going slightly better than Foreign Policy’s web-‘facelift’.

    1. Foreign Policy is trying to appeal to Millennials?

      1. No… foreign policy had a complete overhaul of their web site in December. The apparent objective was to ‘fancy up’ a magazine that is otherwise…

        (what, a bunch blogs in various categories by foreign policy wonks?)

        …not very underlyingly ‘hip’

        What they rendered was, for at least the first 6 months, a completely unreadable mash of overlapping menu options that made simple navigation of said ‘text columns’ near impossible, and pushed browsers into crash-conditions simply trying to deal with all the fancy code going on. Go there now and wiggle your mouse around. Its a mess.

        Basically, they tried to make it ‘easier’ to navigate…

        ….and turned it into something resembling the “Cube” series of psychological horror movies, where you’re trapped in a complex maze where almost every path leads to painful death.

        I was a regular reader. After the 5th time they crashed my browser because they had 6 different javascript floating menus competing for the space i’d normally be ‘reading’ in… yeah, fuck that.

        I now get all my stuff from them via RSS: text only.

        Anyway, i still think of the FP ‘renovation’ as a case-study in everything wrong with a web-model update. They basically treated their core-value (wonky text) as an afterthought in an effort to ‘hip up’ the zine. They lost a few writers in the process.

        On the upside, i see mike weiss is there sometimes now.

        1. FP were probably trying to make it easier for people using fondle-screen technology to visit the site, and screw the rest of us. That attitude seems to fuck over a lot of sites.

          1. maybe. I can see that on the ‘endless scrolling’ navigation features.

            But then, just scroll down their front page, or wave across the menu options… nothing has any logical layout or flow to it. there’s no clear heirarchy of organization.

            I can only attribute shitty design like this to a PhD in ‘information management’ or something. Its like, ‘all concept’, zero ‘utility’.

        2. Yep. Used to read Stephen Walt’s blog before the site redesign made it more of a pain in the ass than I was willing to deal with.

  5. Here’s one of today’s youth – let’s ask him what he thinks about government and society.

    When Rodriguez asked her son why he left school, she said he told her, “I just wanted to go home. I just wanted to come home, Mommy.”


    Boorady said the school nurse was searching for the boy on the playground when the police car pulled up with him inside.

    The nurse then called the parents to say they had to get their son because he was going to be suspended, Rodriguez recounted.

    Do you realize how much aggravation that little 5 year-old monster maliciously caused those poor teachers? It’s not like it’s the school’s job to be keeping an eye on the little brat and teaching him stuff like not to wander off, is it?

    1. But they’re giving him free contraceptives!

    2. The article says the little boy has special needs. That makes the school’s decision even more insane.

      1. Special needs kids? Those kids the charters tell to fuck off?

        Go charters! Fuck retards!

  6. Good lord please make it stop!!

  7. Gillespie just said that the Smart thing is to vote Dem so is he giving up on this millennial stuff and the libertarian moment stuff?

  8. Reason – kissing up to Millenials for 30 years!

  9. my friend’s step-aunt makes $60 hourly on the laptop . She has been without a job for 7 months but last month her payment was $17917 just working on the laptop for a few hours. visit….


    1. On top of whose lap?

  10. Remember when Millennial Monthly was called Reason?

  11. The Progressive indoctrination is now reaping what it has sown.

    We have regular occurrences of school shootings. From grade school to the college campus.

    We have a fourteen year old who stabbed her own sister forty times because she felt unappreciated.

    We have the Knock Out game?where youth thinks it is entertaining to beat to death a human being.

    We have seven-year-olds who attempted to have oral sex when a teacher left the room for fifteen minutes in Oakland.

    We have twelve year olds having actual sex.

    We have a fifty percent divorce rate.

    We have an epidemic of obesity.

    We have a huge increase of alcoholism and drug abuse in our youth.

    We have widespread meth now?from city to small town.

    Our college engineering and medical classrooms are filled with foreigners who actually understand basic mathematics.

    And we have a dishonesty that is rampant from our President to Wall Street?both who are destroying our economy. We have a nation of the verge of collapse.

    If we continue we will fall as not only my fiction predicts but as another reliable source states we must. A source that looks at the patterns of other fallen empires who followed the same course.


    Charles Hurst. Author of THE SECOND FALL. An offbeat story of Armageddon. And creator of THE RUNNINGWOLF EZINE

    1. We have a huge increase of alcoholism and drug abuse in our youth.

      citation needed

      Our college engineering and medical classrooms are filled with foreigners who actually understand basic mathematics.

      You mean there are educated people coming into the US for careers in STEM research and medicine? The horror!

      And we have a dishonesty that is rampant from our President to Wall Street?both who are destroying our economy. We have a nation of the verge of collapse.

      OK. I won’t buy your book, but at least we can agree on something.

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