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P.O.Y.A.: A Motherfucking Manifesto

By Maxwell Price

Section: Arts

September 26, 2008

Last fall New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote an article that dubbed the youth of today “‘Generation Q’–the Quiet Americans.” He explained that although the youth of today possess generous, passionate souls they lack the will or courage to express outrage at a time when anger seems to be the only reasonable emotion. Well, Mr. Friedman, here’s some anger for you: I’M FUCKING SICK AND TIRED OF YOU OVER-THE-HILL NOSTALGIA PROPHETS PROJECTING YOUR BULLSHIT STEREOTYPES ONTO OUR SUPPOSEDLY OVERMEDICATED, UNDEREDUCATED, SPOILED, INTERNET MINDFUCKED GENERATION. Print that in your column if you have the balls.

Since the slightly older generation—those allegedly timid thirty-somethings for whom Friedman’s label is accurate—failed dismally to enact meaningful change during the Bush administration, a bunch of Brandeis University undergrads (attending Friedman’s alma mater) decided to attempt the unthinkable. Why not pull an entire generation of kids out from behind their computer and television screens to get them out on the streets where the media, government and public will have no choice but to listen? With that simple goal, a movement was born. It is called Pissed Off Youth of America (P.O.Y.A).

You might wonder why this incendiary text first appeared in the format of a facebook “group” rather than a “cause.” The answer is simple: the word “cause” implies an agenda, whereas P.O.Y.A. may be the first truly agenda-free, non-partisan, pluralistic movement in American history. We have only one principle: we must use our precious First Amendment rights together to transform our nation or acknowledge that our apathy provides an opening for a machine to rob us of our most cherished principles. (Unfortunately, the word “change” is already been co-opted by one particular candidate whom our movement does not endorse.) The beauty of P.O.Y.A. is that YOU get to decide what the word “machine” stands for and what it means to you.

This movement is about giving you a forum for getting your voices, beliefs, hopes, and dreams heard, whether those beliefs are Democratic, Republican, fascist, bleeding heart liberal, socialist, moderate or none of the above. The First Amendment needs your voices ringing in the ears of President Bush, your fists in the air, your faces so fucking close to the corporate media aristocracy’s faces that they can no longer distort the flames in your minds and hearts to sear their propaganda messages into an entire nation’s consciousness. If they want to debate us they’ll have to face us all together, every anarchist kid, tree-hugger kid, disillusioned conservative kid, Christian kid, Muslim kid, Jewish kid, atheist kid, Buddhist kid, Hindu kid, citizen kid, immigrant kid, Native American kid, poor kid, rich kid, bourgeois kid, rural kid, urban kid, suburban kid, Democrat kid, Republican kid, female kid, male kid, heterosexual kid, homosexual kid, not-quite-sure kid, and most importantly the KID WHO REJECTS DEMOGRAPHIC LABELS.

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