Okay, well, first things first. Alex Koroknay-Palicz, our executive director, got profiled in the Washington Post, for those interested in the article (its quite decent) it can be found here. Now, having been here while the article was written, we were actually expecting something more about the organization and less about him, but hey, it was a pretty friendly write up.
The response to the article has been much less than friendly. For a good laugh at how ridiculous some people can be, I recommend viewing the comments. They can be found on the main website for the Washington Post, found here. And my god, they’re pretty nasty. They range in their virulence from accusing Alex of being a child molester, to calling him a grown up adolescent (isn’t that commonly known as an “adult” in most circles?) to just creating the most transparent of straw-man arguments. It’s pretty obvious that the vast majority of these people aren’t that bright, and in fact, some of their posts prove that in fact, people who are only 18 can write more coherently than people twice that age. But don’t take my word for it. I ask you all to join me on a wonderful odyssey of discovery, where really foolish people get to stick their foot in their mouths and we all get to mock them, I hope you enjoy it.
The first comment has some really bad attempts at sarcasm that come across as just heavy handed and inane:
“Now we could see 14-year olds puking their guts out into the fountain after a few hours of social drinking at one of the many pubs in [Dupont Circle], skeezy old men hitting on pubescent nymphets, and the entertaining sight of a 16-year old wrapping the family Lexus around a light pole every few nights. Groovy, man. Just like the 70’s…and that worked so well!”
Where to begin, where to begin? I don’t think we’ve ever advocated letting 14 year olds into bars, but don’t let stupid things like facts stand in the way of making a piss poor arguement! And skeezy men hitting on young “nymphets?” I didn’t know we issued a “pro-child molestation” position paper, but I guess I don’t know our positions as well as “tdiaz” the distinguished author of this mindless rant. And 16 year olds can already drive the family car, and if they do wrap it around a lightpost that’s like due more to inexperience behind the wheel than it is from being an idiot teenager (I know I personally was scared witless of banging up the family car and drove extra carefully, but experience helps a great deal). Either way, lowering the voting and drinking age and enfranchising youth is not going to open the flood-gates of hell and fill the streets with an army of young, drug-addled youth just waiting to bring society to its knees. A complete and utter strawman arguement, based on no logic, no evidence, and no thought.
“I am certain most of the young people contributing an exorbitant $10.00 monthly to the National Youth Rights Association are doing so because they think it will allow them to legally purchase alcohol, and they stop contributing when they realize it doesn’t…
When the drinking age was lowered to 18 in the 70s, the teen drunk driving rate got out of hand, 18-yr-olds were buying beer for 14-yr-olds, and the politicians noticed that 18- to 21-yr-olds were drinking but not voting.
Almost everyone I ever knew who agitated for underage drinking stopped caring when they turned 21.
Alex Koroknay-Palicz wanted to be emancipated from his parents when he was 14 because they wouldn’t let him have a refrigerator in his bedroom. Some day when he overhears a 17 year old girl whisper to her girlfriend that he’s a “creepy old guy,” I suspect Alex will give up on the NYRA and get a real job. I just hope he dates within his age range.”
Yeah, that’s it, we’re just doing it to get booze. In fact, check our store section, we also ship out bottles of cheap vodka and absinthe if you donate over $50 a year. Oh, and The Post got the dues wrong, it’s $10 a year, and that’s hardly exorbitant. It’s also voluntary, most of our members don’t pay it, not because they don’t care, but because even responsible youth have lots of bills to pay, especially if they’re paying their own car-insurance, or tuition, as many do (contrary to the stereo-type). Now, a fact check. Teen drunk driving has never just gone away due to a law. In fact, examining the data reveals that it did nothing but shift the drunk driving fatalities to another age demographic, instead of reduce them overall. In fact, it’s possible the amount of drunk driving over all increased.I Oh boy! Lots of lives saved by that measure huh? (this was published in a study that we link to in the downloads section of our website, feel free to read the whole thing, quite a revealing bit of research) Oh, and while we don’t advocate for a mini-fridge for all our members, it seems kinda silly that a parent would deny that to their child if he was willing to pay for it himself. And as for getting a real job? Alex seems to enjoy himself greatly, finds his job rewarding, and spends his free time with his friends, (who are, shockingly, around 23-25).
“Explain in further detail why this is a civil rights issue. Responsibility and wisdom only can come with age, time, and experience. Society the world over has decided that as parents, we decide what is in the best interest of our kids, and that they don’t know it all and haven’t lived long enough to make tough decisions. Simply put, this is YOUR personal crusade, Koroknay-Palicz, and you ought to come to terms with it.”
Why this is a civil rights issue? Seriously? Have you even read a history book? How is a subset of the population being denied basic rights on account of an arbitrary standard that has no basis in fact or logic not a civil rights issue? Wisdom comes with age? Come now, I would say wisdom comes with experience and further knowledge and understanding of self, but while that is generally coorelated to age, there is no causal relationship. A person who leads an unexamined life will be every bit as vapid and shallow at 35 as they were at 15. It’s only through introspection and a desire for growth that people change and mature. That often comes with time, but just as often does not. Why in the world should a mature 18 year old be denied basic rights if he’s more mature and responsible than someone twice his age? Why is he penalized. And how in the nine hells can you say a 20 year old who’s served in Iraq hasn’t “lived long enough to make tough decisions?” I suppose you could make the argument that an Army Corporal just isn’t mature enough to drink – just kill people and watch out for the well being of his fire team. But then you’d be a moron, which I suppose makes sense.
It Gets Better:
“Ageism against 18 year olds? Quel horreur! At least discrimination against the young goes away as they get older . Just wait until this young man turns 45 and faces ageism that doesn’t go away for the rest of your life no matter what he has accomplished or is capable of accomplishing just because he has a little gray hair. Now that’s something to worry about!”
YAY! More bad logic! This just gets better and better. First of all, age discrimination in the work force is bad. My father actually experiences this now as he is over 50, trying to find a job that pays well and rewards his experience. I can certainly say, without any reservation, that this practice of corporations is twisted, and honestly not in their best interest. BUT, and this is a large but, comparing that to stripping away the ability to make medical decisions, ability to control one’s body, ability to vote in elections, ability to decide if they want to be sent to a gulag for “re-education,” does not compare to my father not being able to change jobs whenever he wants to. If you turned 45 and the government took away your ability to vote and to choose medical treatment, I’d certainly be willing to listen to your complaints. Since the government does not do that, I have little sympathy for you. That and I dislike faulty comparisons, though it does make my job easier, for which I thank you.
“This pied-piper needs a job and a more realistic cause.
Even where the kids have maturity, some of these rules are to protect you from the sleazy adults (Koroknay-Palicz). Just ran into too many of your kind before, I have a hard time believing this is anything more than your old self trying to hold onto childhood, not move the kids into adulthood…. “
Oh for crying out loud. Seriously? Are we really going the pedophile route? Aren’t we better than this? I guess not. Alright then, you sling mud, I’ll sling mud, sorry buddy, you brought this on yourself. The rules that protect kids from “sleazy adults” generally don’t deal with the people most likely to abuse them sexually. Do you know who those people are? Seeing as your ability to use the written word to communicate is a testament to the failings of the American education system, I will assume you don’t. The person most likely is that child’s mother. Second most likely? The father. Guess who else makes the top ten? That’s right! Blood relatives! And do laws protect children from these people? NO! They give these people almost complete control over youth thus making further victimization possible. Do you have kids buddy? If so, you’re infinitely more likely to be molesting them than Alex is. Hopefully child services will come by and take these poor, unfortunate souls away from you. Oh wait, you say you don’t? That I’m making claims on no evidence? That I’m just using statistics to extrapolate a likely, but theoretically untrue, statement? But wait… didn’t you just do that? Oh wait! You did! Only you didn’t have statistics on your side like I do. Heh, funny that. Idiot.
As much as I enjoy this, and I do. I really can’t get this indignant forever. There are a lot of really stupid people, who make incredibly ignorant arguments, and think they are the height of logical brilliance. They are not. And a casual appeal to rationality in a marginally mature individual reveals that quickly. I just hate how they’re allowed to make straw-man arguements and talk out of their asses with stereo-types and people don’t call them on it, while NYRA has to back everything up with 3 studies and a signed statement from Jesus Christ himself. Ageism much?