It's been really long since I've had a white night. It's been very long since I felt emotional listening to a Smiths song. It occured to me recently that it's been long enough since I read Jonathan Livingston Seagull that I should reread it, but I doubt whether it will strike the same way it did when I was younger. I have to admit it: I'm gotten old. Or maybe mature. I've shaken these zipper blues anyway. I have settled emotionally. I used to be all a-turmoil, now I am all a-calm. Well, not all a-calm, thank heavens.

In hindsight, it is quite remarkable how melodramatic the inner life of a teen-ager truly is. This unceasing storm of passions is alternately something I long for a return to and something I'm glad to have escaped from with only the scars that I have. And when I see and talk to and read from the pen of somebody whose storm still rages I feel similarly ambivalent. And here we get to the title of the post, for Scott Miller, of the band Game Theory, has written some of the pithiest words on the subject, particularly on the album Lolita Nation (which is sadly out of print and nigh impossible to get a hold of). So, since his words have influenced a lot of my thought on the matter, it is easiest to convey my thoughts with reference to his words. Take these lines for instance:

All you kids in your teens
May not mean to but you all impress me
I never try to sympathize, it's always such a strain
The only lesson learned is avoidance of pain

Those are my feelings exactly: these kids going through all that drama impress me incredibly. I empathize deeply, and am fully aware of the strength of will it takes to endure it. But I'll be damned if I can still sympathize with all of their indignities and hurt feelings. I've come through to the other side and I've learned not to take things to heart so much.

There is a whole self-contained world comprised of the emotional lives of the emotionally young, this is the Lolita Nation. Where it interacts with the world of the mature it is often marginalized and maligned, derided as non-serious. The powers that be are unduly and unfeelingly opressive toward the emotionally young. Whenever my orbit swings me back to a position where I can give advice or provide comfort to denizens of the Lolita Nation, I try to make the most of it. In Scott's words,

And when they ask who's giving the rides
I feel as if I promised I'd look out
For all the lonely souls who still go home without
When the shoulder upstairs gets cold
If he had his way we'd all be old
And he's got nerve
Asking this Lolita nation to bow and serve

And will you take on our age's dream
We love you Carol and Alison
And will you take us
'Cause it's still a green land
And it still works as planned
And 'cause the glory is at hand
Right at hand

Indeed, there is a vibrancy and a naïveté in the Lolita Nation that lacks in its graduates, who are just too scarred from their first go-round, and that makes it much more capable of taking on the dream, whatever Scott means it to be.

I do realize the oddness of this write-up, where I try to describe my own feelings using mostly somebody else's words, but I do feel that Scott's words encapsulate fully my own feelings and I couldn't begin to think of improving upon them. Therefore, think of this as a write up about the album, Lolita Nation, where I elaborate upon its theme by discussing my own feelings. And I hope I did manage to convey either the idea of the album or my feelings of ambivalence toward the emotional turmoil of youths. And to those members of the Lolita Nation who happen to be in the audience tonight, my (Scott's) parting words:

They can always put you down some way
But I can't see you being saved for one more rainy day

1 "The Only Lesson Learned", Game Theory

2 "We Love You Carol and Alison", Game Theory

3 "Chardonnay", Game Theory

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