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Vermont Governor Vetoes Adult-Use Marijuana Bill

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has vetoed S. 22, legislation that would have legalized cannabis in the state for adults over the age of 21. The libertarian-leaning governor sent the law back to the legislature to develop clauses that further protect the health and safety of his constituents, he said in a press conference.

The proposed bill – which would have been the first to legalize cannabis through a legislative process rather than a ballot initiative – would have allowed adults to possess up to an ounce of weed, two mature plants and four immature plants. It also would have established a study commission to look at cannabis tax-and-regulate models in other states and make recommendations for how Vermont should set up its own market.

Though Scott said that he saw a “clear societal shift” on the issue, and reiterated his support for medical marijuana, he said that he was not convinced this bill went far enough to protect Vermonters from intoxicated drivers, and local children from being exposed to use of the drug. He announced that he was sending the bill back to the legislature with specific suggestions on how to amend it during the summer session. 

“Despite the veto, this is a huge leap forward,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, in a statement released Wednesday. “The passage of S. 22 demonstrates most members of both legislative chambers are ready to move forward with making marijuana legal for adults. Lawmakers have an opportunity to address the governor’s concerns and pass a revised bill this summer, and we are excited about its prospects.”

Medicinal cannabis has been legal in Vermont since 2004, when then-Governor James Douglas allowed a bill passed in the state legislature to become law without his signature. In 2013, Vermont decriminalized possession of one ounce or less of cannabis, but a May 2016 effort to fully legalize, tax and regulate it failed when the Vermont House voted against a Senate-passed plan.

According to a recent RAND corporation study, 80,000 Vermonters use cannabis regularly, while a separate Public Policy Polling survey of 755 registered Vermont voters found that 57 percent support legalization while only 39 were opposed. 

Maine and Massachusetts voted to legalize cannabis last November along with successful ballot initiatives in California and Nevada. Despite the continued shift in attitudes towards marijuana and America’s larger drug policies, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently threatened to go after the cannabis industry in legal states. 

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Ben Sasse on Bringing Adulthood Back

Ben Sasse’s The Vanishing American Adult is ostensibly a parenting guide, and indeed, it serves as an excellent one. “Our kids are not ready for the world they are soon going to inherit,” the Nebraska senator writes, offering practical ideas for cultivating children’s grit, work ethic, and independence.

But at heart, the book tackles a much deeper question: Why do you do what you do?

If you’re a standard overachieving American quasi-helicopter parent, you likely asked yourself this very question at 7:15 a.m. last Saturday. Remember? You were standing, eyes slightly glazed, hair mussed, on the sideline of a soggy, misty soccer field. You wore flip-flops, which you immediately regretted. You would be on that squidgy sideline for six hours, you see, for it was a tournament — a very serious tournament — for a team of seven-year-olds who regularly reap their most consistent soccer-related amusements from picking dandelions, pantsing their teammates, or contentedly watching one of their fellow future Olympians blithely scoring a goal for the other team.

Oh, and you also just realized with a sudden jolt that it was your day to bring the team’s gluten-free, paleo-friendly, carbon-neutral snack personally endorsed by both the Dalai Lama and Leonardo DiCaprio. You forgot. “Why?” you asked yourself, falling to your knees, face plaintive towards the unrelenting, unforgiving stratus clouds as a stray and unsympathetic park pigeon tottered by. “Why? Why? WHYYYYYY?”

Just kidding! Also, I digress. Sasse’s book is not particularly concerned with soccer — if you’re interested, I’ll be the one launching the Great American Youth Soccer Liberation Front next fall — but it is quite concerned with parenting’s bigger picture. “Our goal is for our kids to be intentional about everything they do — to reject passivity and mindless consumption and to embrace an ethos of action, of productivity, of meaningful work, of genuinely lifelong learning,” Sasse writes. “In other words, we want them to find the good life.”

Or, to put it another way: Why do you do what you do? For many American parents, caught up in a swirl of activity and competition, it might be difficult, if we’re really honest with ourselves, to find an immediate and satisfying answer. The Vanishing American Adult offers a grand opportunity to stop, slow down, and think.

American kids are often over-medicated, hooked on screens, failing to venture out into the world, losing touch with religious faith, and increasingly ‘intellectually fragile.’

Sasse quotes former Yale professor William Deresiewicz, who once noted that many modern adolescents are “great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it.” Unfortunately, in many American circles, the tasks of building character and searching for meaning in life — tasks best guided by dedicated parents — have increasingly been outsourced to dubious parental substitutes, including the government, politicians, and various bureaucratic schools. The results have been dodgy at best.

American kids, Sasse notes, while citing plenty of disturbing statistics, are often over-medicated, hooked on screens, failing to venture out into the world, losing touch with religious faith, and increasingly “intellectually fragile.” It’s a “coming of age” crisis, he argues, and “these problems are very significantly the result of broader cultural assumptions that made parenting, paradoxically, more time consuming and ever-present” — cough, cough, 17-hour soccer tournament, join the revolution, cough, ahem — “and yet simultaneously less goal-oriented.”

The Vanishing American Adult lays several such goals on the table, all in the quest for “intentional” parenting — or to “live deliberately,” as Thoreau put it.

Among other things, Sasse argues that kids need to understand mortality, mix with older generations, develop strong reading habits, put production before consumption, nurture a strong work ethic, and travel beyond their comfort zones. Specific ideas for doing so close each chapter. (Here, as an aside, I must quibble with one piece of Sasse’s travel advice, in which he advises becoming “obsessed” with “lean packing.” No, no: The secret to great packing involves waiting until the last minute, falling into a mild panic, tossing everything you can think of into an oversized bag — with at least six pairs of impractical shoes — and then asking your husband to carry said bag. Voila! Works every time!)

The Vanishing American Adult offers repeated praise for the American experiment, exploring the unique nature of the American project in a way many of today’s college students might find foreign or even quaint. This, Sasse argues, is another part of the problem: “Many Americans coming of age today don’t understand the country they’re inheriting” — and too many, it turns out, think that politicians or the government can solve our most pressing personal and cultural problems.

These days, too many politicians — and the 24/7 reality show that surrounds them — seem best at distracting us from the important questions, not answering them. “The meaning of America is not in its government or its elected officials,” Sasse writes. The meaning, of course, is in the American people — and a stronger America means more Americans who think seriously about why they do what they do.

The Feminization of Everything Fails Our Boys
The Harvard Soccer Incident Echoes Today’s Hollow View of Manhood
Trump, JFK, and the Masculine Mystique

— Heather Wilhelm is a National Review columnist and a senior contributor to the Federalist.

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South County Adult Day Services showcases improvements at Laguna Woods center

About 250 people attended the South County Adult Day Services open house in Laguna Woods on Friday, May 19.

Though the site at 24260 El Toro Road opened in November, the open house last week came as the center’s services are “in place, intact and fully functional,” said Jim McAleer, president and CEO of Alzheimer’s Orange County.

McAleer’s organization partnered with South County Adult Day Services last year to offer more services to seniors. The center is also open to people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, in addition to those who have a history of strokes.

Since November, McAleer said, some of the improvements include an outfitted gym and the food being served on dishware instead of paper plates.

McAleer said the center’s goal is to “provide a positive environment for seniors with medical needs.”

“We have to provide quality health care and socialization for seniors who need it while giving the family a break,” McAleer said.

Other features at the center, in which about 60 seniors are currently enrolled, include an activity room, quiet room, patio and kitchen area.

The center also offers physical therapy, speech therapy and medical supervision for seniors.

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Ask Amy: Trying to parent an adult daughter





Freeville native Amy Dickinson answers your questions on relationships, family, work and more. Look for a new column every day and send your questions to

Dear Amy:

My daughter has been seriously dating a young man for about the last six years. They are both 25. He is an immigrant/refugee from a war-torn country and has struggled with serious psychological issues relating to his childhood experiences. He recently totaled his car and got a DUI, confirming that he is an alcoholic. He is on probation and cannot drive, so my daughter now often drives him.

I’m quite sure she feels deep compassion and a desire to rescue him. I believe he is a good person with a good heart — and lots of problems. My daughter has a college degree, a good job, lots of talent and potential. She’s moving ahead in her career. She is attending Al-Anon and counseling.

What is a mother to do? I have talked to her about my thoughts and feelings, pointed out the obvious difficulties and heartache being in a relationship with an alcoholic. She asks me to let her heal from this, and she continues to date him. I have been to Al-Anon, and I hired a life coach to help me devise strategies on how to “allow” all of my adult children to be adults.

Why is this so hard for me to do, Amy? I pray a lot. I want to tell my daughter she is dragging around a ball and chain, enabling him, making the biggest mistake of her life, wasting her time, seemingly changing who she is in order to “help” him cope.

I think about the many other successful guys out there who could be so much fun for my daughter to be with. I drive myself crazy thinking about all of this, but I bite my tongue.

Do you have any advice for me on how to let go?

— Distressed Mom

Dear Distressed: Keep this idea in mind: Whenever you attempt to coach your daughter away from this man, what she hears is, “You’re so incapable of making good choices that you require my constant worry, omnipotent help, and guidance.” The harder you push her to leave, the more she will try to prove you wrong by staying. If you stop trying to fix her, she may stop trying to fix him.

It isn’t until you completely detach that she will fully come into her own. And in order to detach you will have to find a way to accept that your daughter may not ever become the version of an adult you insist she must be.

Parenting at this stage is counterintuitive. You must first trust that you did your best as a parent, and then you must accept your adult children as they are. The rest is really up to them.

Dear Amy: I have recently become engaged. I am close to my fiance’s sisters. One of his sisters is six months younger than me, and we have always gotten along.

Recently, she has been really bitter and selfish. She freaks out if any of us don’t drop everything to help her. She threatens to commit suicide and storms out.

My fiance and I have helped her countless times, whether it be with her car, or her two sons, who are 1 and 2.

I want to reconcile with her, but she won’t apologize to anyone, and thinks she has done nothing wrong.

We think she might be bipolar, but again don’t know how to bring this up without upsetting her.

What should I do to help her, and fix her relationship with us?

— Scared for Her

Dear Scared: Any mom of young children who threatens suicide should be considered at high risk. Your fiance’s sister might be suffering from postpartum depression, or high stress. Her family should urge her to get a medical screening because of her alarming behavior. Compassion is called for. You don’t need to give in to her manipulations, but you should express your concern about her well-being. Don’t insist on an apology, just yet.

Dear Amy: The letter from “No Win” concerned an elderly couple where the wife announced that she wanted to move to be near her family.

I think you missed the real problem. This isn’t about equity or fairness. This woman has effectively said: “There’s nothing for me here. I’m leaving and I don’t care what you do.” When a spouse says that, it’s game over.

I spent more than 30 years as a divorce lawyer. I heard that sort of statement many times.

— Experienced

Dear Experienced: I fear you may be right.

You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, LLC., 16650 Westgrove Dr., Suite 175, Addison, TX 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or “like” her on Facebook.

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8 Adult Coloring Books That Are Way Better While High

Good news for all the creative types: Coloring is an excellent way to de-stress. Gone are the days when coloring books belonged solely to kids and only showcased cartoon characters and silly days at the beach. Now, there’s an entire market housing an array of adult coloring books that are funny, raunchy, magical, and everything in between.

So pack a bowl of your favorite strain and sharpen your colored pencils. Below, we scoured the internet to bring you some of the best adult coloring books around—especially ones that are best to color while high.

Have a colorful creation of your own? Show us your best high coloring masterpieces in the comments below!

The Stoner’s Coloring Book

This list wouldn’t be complete without the quintessential coloring book dedicated to cannabis lovers. The Stoner’s Coloring Book is made up of psychedelic art created by nine talented artists!

Sweary Coloring Book


If you’ve been having a particularly stressful day and would like to take out some of your frustrations in a non-verbal way, consider the Sweary Coloring Book. Not only will you feel better without having to scream into a pillow, each swear word comes adorned with butterflies, flowers, and animals to further soothe your soul.

The Mindfulness Coloring Book: Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People


On the other end of the coloring book spectrum is the Mindfulness Coloring Book. No swear words here—this pocket-sized mindfulness aid easily goes wherever you do. Feeling a bit stressed or weary? Wherever you are, you’re all set.

Outside the Lines: An Artists’ Coloring Book for Giant Imaginations


This incredible coloring book isn’t for the faint of heart. Each page of Outside the Lines is an explosion of creativity that is perfectly suited for full minds and artistic hands. Packed with illustrations from 100 illustrators, this doorway to a magical wonderland is a great choice for a chill night in.

Unicorns Are Jerks: A Coloring Book Exposing the Cold, Hard, Sparkly Truth


Designed by Theo Nicole Lorenz, this hilarious look into the lives of unicorns will keep you laughing for hours. Unicorns Are Jerks is the perfect rebuttal to the unicorn craze that’s swept the nation, so instead of the magical beings emitting a line of sparkles wherever they go, you get to color them in just as they are: terrible jerks. For another laugh-out-loud coloring book, check out Dinosaurs With Jobs by the same artist!

The Art of Nature Coloring Book

Unlike the fantastical illustrations usually seen in coloring books, The Art of Nature Coloring Book boasts realistic yet whimsical images mirroring the art of classic botanists and scientists. Spark up a pre-roll and nab this book full of vintage prints for an endearingly elevated experience.

Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined


If you’re tired of all the nature-forward coloring books, you’ll love a break in Fantastic Cities. This book includes familiar landmarks as well as imaginary scenes of never-ending buildings. If you’re more of a city person, you’ve found a match in this lively book.

The 1990s Coloring Book: All That and a Box of Crayons (Psych! Crayons Not Included.)


For a blast from the past you’ll get a kick out of the very 90s illustrations in The 1990s Coloring Book. Each page brings you back to simpler times full of grunge music and Friends marathons; and don’t worry, it isn’t restricted to “only 90s kids.”

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Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception and the Coming of Age of Adult Games

There’s an early moment in Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception where my amnesia-stricken character—dubbed Haku by a cute animal-hybrid girl—makes an accidental pass at the girl who saved his life, wondering aloud if it’d be appropriate that they’d share a room. “Planning to molest me, Haku?” inquires Kuon, the girl with white fluffy ears poking out of her raven-hued hair.

The scene singelhandedly reminded me that the game I was playing wasn’t always in the realm of this jarringly comedic and dramatic (with no means of balancing the two) visual novel and (extremely light) strategy RPG hybrid. At the series’ humble beginnings back in 2002, it was merely an adult visual novel. So, sorta-interactive porn.

Utawarerumono isn’t the only adult-skewing series that has reinvented itself for a broader audience. Last week saw the release of Akiba’s Beat, the latest in the Akihabara-based game series. Where once the series pegged players with destroying the clothes of others’ backs as its primary gameplay, now sees it turn elsewhere. Consequently, Akiba’s Beat hardly looks attached to the games before it at all: it quite literally strips away the clothes-removal mechanics of its predecessors Akiba’s Trip and Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed, and ushers the series into a more typical action JRPG direction.

This is part of an ongoing trend with the adult games that become accidental hits in Japan. There are times when adult visual novels get ports to consoles, and take away all the sexual content (leaving everything to innuendos and imagination), such as the Playstation 2 and PSP port of School Days. School Days, both the game and the anime adaptation, are renowned not for the inherent sleaziness of its protagonist, but the consequences he faces after sleeping with seemingly every girl in sight. (Spoiler: it gets extremely violent.)

Fate/stay night, once just an adult game for PC, has since spawned a massively popular multimedia series encompassing anime spin-offs, video games, light novels, and more. The once sexually charged-nature of the series has long been left behind, as it’s followed a similar path as Utawarerumono. The once-adult-focused series have since emerged beyond the genre into something else entirely, though with its flirtatious nature kept in tact.

Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception isn’t a great game, at least not for players that aren’t already fans of the series. My favorite visual novels are often of the otome (dating sim) variety (so yes, admittedly very much more in my demo than the Utawarerumono series). My favorite dating sims and visual novels have a key element to entice the player: choices. Choices to determine how a relationship develops, sculpting your own character’s personality, and even directing where a story goes.

Utawarerumono offers no such satisfaction. Often, I found myself traipsing through hours upon hours of dialogue with little to no interaction other than moving text along. And while the characters were sometimes charming (Kuon, in particular, grows beyond her initial stereotypical cutesy anime girl tendencies into a sassy, strong-willed heroine), feeling like I had little to interact with them in terms of dialogue options made the visual novel parts of the experience a huge drag.

It doesn’t help that the strategy RPG parts—the typical tiled battles similar to what you’d find in Fire Emblem or Disgaea—are few and far in between. As I would wade through hours of text, I’d eventually be dropped into a strategic battle. Then, usually within minutes, the battle would wrap up victoriously, and it’d be back to the visual novel slog. In the hours I played of the 50-hour game, nothing engaged me to wanting to see more of it, even as I grew to like Kuon and others, and as the surprising, tense violence caught me off guard.

Given the eventual climactic cliffhanger moment the game supposedly culminates to after 50 hours (the direct sequel, Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth, will see this conclusion through in September of this year, with another 50+ hour game), it’s disheartening to realize all the non-interactive text and fleeting SRPG battles it will take to get there.

After playing Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception for awhile, I wondered what the series has lost and gained in doing away with its once explicitly sexual imagery, as other series have made a similar change. Are women less gamified rewards, and given more room to be characters outside of the male gaze? Or does getting rid of sex as a reward instead damage the relationships between the player and the characters they surround themselves with, now that the very intimate connection is virtually nonexistent? I’m not convinced of either—given the dense boring text and the poor first impressions upon meeting various characters, but it’s a development that shouldn’t be ignored in games that come from sexual beginnings. Because sometimes, maybe the lewdness mixed with everything else is what probably set it apart.

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Book excerpt: Ben Sasse’s ‘The Vanishing American Adult’ – ABC …

Excerpted from THE VANISHING AMERICAN ADULT by Senator Ben Sasse. Copyright © 2017 by Ben Sasse. Reprinted by arrangement with St. Martin’s Press. All rights reserved.

A Work Ethic Isn’t Inevitable

When I was little, mom would leave detailed lists of chores on the kitchen counter each summer morning for my siblings and me to complete before we could play baseball, ride bikes, or go swimming. And when I arrived at college, basically everyone with whom I became friends, a group from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, had also done real work growing up. Not everyone had worked in the field like I had—most had spent summers in retail or taking orders at a fast- food place or sorting the mail or doing some other kind of grunt work at a local office—but it was at least a job with certain expectations and set hours. Because these new friends were from all regions of the country and because they confirmed my own childhood experiences of regular toil, I arrived at young adulthood in the early 1990s assuming that work was a near-universal component of American upbringing and maturation. I didn’t presume everyone was as gritty as Elda Sasse, but I knew that my siblings and I hoped we would one day prove as perseverant as she was—and I honestly believed that this was a universal aspiration. Without deliberate reflection, I assumed that basically all young people everywhere had similar placeholder role models in their minds, and thus that the transmission of a work ethic to each next generation was more or less inevitable.

This chapter is about how painfully wrong I was in that assumption. It’s also about why failing to transmit an ethic that productivity is essential to human flourishing will leave us at odds with how America and Americans came to be. Finally, this chapter aims to persuade you that there is almost nothing more important we can do for our young than convince them that production is more satisfying than consumption. Indeed, a hallmark of virtuous adulthood is learning to find freedom in your work, rather than freedom from your work, even when work hurts.

My passive assumption that all kids have some meaningful work ex- periences as teens was shattered in late 2009 when I arrived as president of Midland University. The university’s board of directors had hired me, as a 37-year-old, not because I had any special insight into shaping 18- to 22-year-olds, but because I was a “turnaround” guy who specialized in helping troubled companies become solvent. This liberal arts institution was in big trouble, in terms of both finances and enrollment, the latter at its lowest point in a century. My job was to tackle the college’s unsustainable deficits, skyrocketing debt, enrollment shortfalls, and flagging morale among faculty and staff.

None of my initial charter had anything to do with current students and their emotional health. Immediately upon arrival, however, it became apparent that in addition to dealing with other so-called “big picture” concerns of a university in crisis, I would also have to reshape the student affairs leadership and structure. It’s an odd experience arriving at a college as president in your thirties. In the first year I was regularly mistaken for a student, and not just by other students. Two visiting professors once asked me if I thought I had made the right choice—to enroll at Midland as a current undergraduate, they thought they were asking me. For many reasons, I didn’t have a conception of myself as an old guy, but I soon discovered that my experiences matriculating into college half a life ago, at age 18, were vastly different from those of our students.

When my team and I arrived at Midland, the school had been on the verge of missing payroll four months in a row, which would mean that families would miss mortgage payments. That’s a pretty urgent cri- sis. Yet finances might not have been the biggest problem at the school. More stunning to me was that it was an atypical experience for an in- coming freshman to have done really hard work, not even the sorts of elementary farm tasks common to Nebraska kids from the homesteaders of the 1860s until just a few years ago. Teenage life, I soon learned, had been stunningly remade in the two decades since I’d gone off to college. Elda’s and Elmer’s childhoods were far removed from these kids’ experiences and understanding.

Let’s be clear that there were many wonderful human beings and delightful students at Midland, but many of the teens I met upon arriving on campus also had an outsized sense of entitlement without any corresponding notion of accountability. For example, a student staged a sit-in in my office one day, announcing that he would not leave until I resolved a scheduling problem for him. He was upset that the registrar wouldn’t be offering a particular course he needed the following semester. Obviously, college presidents don’t usually solve the Rubik’s cube of course scheduling. The student was emphatic that he wasn’t leaving, and while I was clear that the course registrar had a job to do and that she did it well, I realized it might be a teachable moment, a chance for the student and me to have a conversation. At one point he proclaimed, “You need to figure this out. I pay tuition to go to this school, which means I pay your salary. So you work for me.”

Well, ummm . . . no. That isn’t how it works at all. My job did include serving him, but in a defined way. It was not my job, for instance, to wash his car or fetch him pizza on Friday night. I patiently explained that Midland exists for many people and many purposes; the board of directors hired me; and I serve at their pleasure—but that my leadership of the institution as a whole relies on my empowering a team of people to fulfill their specialized vocations. (Parenthetically, the registrar was right and the student wrong—the course in question was to be scheduled only every other year.) I then gently pointed out to the student that he was at- tending the university on scholarship. In truth then, he worked for—or had a debt to—the generous donors who made his scholarship possible. But even if he’d been paying for his education himself, the college is a living institution of partners, with thought-out, intentional divisions of labor. He was approaching the situation and this whole living-learning- working community only as a consumer. He was not thinking or talking or acting like a maturing young man aware of the dignity of the work of the many other people in the equation.

During the five years I was president, we conducted surveys annually about the highs and lows of students’ university experience. The survey takeaway that repeatedly woke me in the middle of the night was the aching sense not just that the students lacked a work ethic, but more fundamentally that they lacked an experiential understanding of the difference between production and consumption. Dispiritingly, stu- dents overwhelmingly highlighted their desire for freedom from responsibilities. The activities they most enjoyed, they reported, were sleeping in, skipping class, and partying. A few mentioned canceled classes as the best part of their four years. I too love a good Midwestern blizzard, but I loved them in college so that we could explore the beauty, or ski, or snowmobile—rather than merely be free from class. Almost nowhere did the student surveys reveal that they had the eyes to see freedom to categories—to read, to learn, to be coached, to be mentored in an internship.

If you have done any real work, you begin to see a broad range of work differently. And if you’ve been reflective about your and other people’s work, you start to ask questions about where goods and services come from. Who did the work that got these non-Nebraska items to this store in this Nebraska small town? As hard work is baked into your bones, you begin to feel great gratitude for the other workers who built the stuff and plotted the distribution system that got these toasters and sneakers and books to this place. On the other hand, if you’ve never worked, you are more likely blind to the fundamental distinction be- tween production and consumption. And these students, I learned from interviewing many of them, had mostly not done any hard work prior to arriving in college.

Although it is not universally fair, millennials have acquired a collective reputation as needy, undisciplined, coddled, presumptuous, and lacking much of a filter between their public personas and their inner lives. As one New York Times story about millennials in the workplace put it, managers struggle with their young employees’ “sense of entitlement, a tendency to overshare on social media, and frankness verging on insubordination.”

“Well, what’s the alternative? Are you asking us to be fake?” one young woman asked me after a speech in which I’d made a passing comment about the virtues of “deferred gratification.” No, of course not. Of course we all struggle with selfishness, and of course there are times to simply have fun, avoid responsibility, and seek escape—or perhaps, as noted in the last chapter, to pause the daily churn to reflect. But growing up involves coming to recognize the distinction between who we still are today and who we seek to become. Our hope is that our young people will begin to own the Augustinian awareness described in chapter 1— that not everything we long or lust for is something we should really want. Healthy people can admit that there are unhealthy yearnings. It is not “fake” to aim to mature. And it is not fake to begin modeling the desired behavior even before it is a full and fair representation of who you are in the moment. I remain selfish and impatient today, but it is surely not fake or wrong to seek to sublimate these traits. I want to grow beyond who I am today, and I aim to begin better modeling that idealized future right now.

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This Week in Fiction: Samanta Schweblin on an Adult Man’s Infantilization

Your story in this week’s issue, “The Size of Things,” involves an adult who seems to regress to childhood. Should we read it as a supernatural story or a metaphorical one?

There is a gesture at the end toward the fantastic, it’s true, but it’s only a wink, and the story could all be read as merely a feeling of the narrator’s. It could be the story of an adult man trying to escape his mother’s control, who, in his desperation, becomes infantilized and takes refuge with another family. Really, if there is anything beyond that, it’s an idea that I’d like to trigger in the reader’s mind, but that isn’t formally written on the page.

We have the sense that Enrique’s mother has resisted his growing up—that she tries to keep him a child by asserting her power over him, physically and verbally. Is that what’s going on?

Yes. Even though we only actually meet that possessive and authoritarian mother in the final lines, it’s something that we can gradually deduce from Enrique himself, from the beginning of the story.

Do you think the couple who run the toy store are complicit in what happens to Enrique—or just innocent observers?

Their intentions are good, but they end up being passive accomplices to Enrique Duvel’s regression. Maybe it’s because for them it’s easier to deal with a child than with an adult, or maybe—because they seem to be a childless couple—they have a need to care for someone else, to feel needed themselves. In any case, it’s a strange relationship that clearly fills a need for all three of them.

Were you thinking of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” when you wrote this?

I wasn’t thinking of it, but, it’s true, the two pieces have points in common. It did occur to me, rereading the story for this publication, that the last line is very much like the ending of Roald Dahl’s story “The Man from the South”: both narrators have a revelation while looking at another character’s hand. And it’s strange because “The Size of Things” is an old story—I must have been twenty-two or twenty-three when I wrote it, and I read Roald Dahl many years later. I love it when those things happen. I like to think that at some point Roald and I passed through the same place—some corner of the collective unconscious—that caught our attention in a similar way.

In Argentina, the story appeared as part of a collection of stories, in which many things are not exactly what they seem or undergo transformations. Is the idea of metamorphosis important to your work?

Yes, it was for that book in particular. Writing it, I was at a stage when I felt as though ideas, to be strong, needed the power of more classic forms. It was a learning stage—though I’m still learning, really. But I do feel that, although the things I’m interested in writing about haven’t changed in the slightest, the forms through which I approach them have, and doors have gradually opened.

Do you have any models when you’re writing short stories? Any favorite stories you keep going back to?

I have my list of favorite stories, of course, although it changes every year. But I am fairly intuitive in my writing, and I feel that the clues to how each story should be written lie within the idea for the story itself. Even so, I think that past readings, even the stories I have ostensibly forgotten, are always there working silently in my mind—even if, when I sit down to write, I’m not thinking of them directly.

Your novel “Fever Dream” was recently published in the U.S. How does the experience of being published here differ from your experience in Argentina?

Being translated into English, for a young Latin American author, is a kind of prize; in the eyes of Spanish-speaking critics and readers, it’s almost a consecration. And this, along with the novel’s nomination for the Man Booker International Prize, has given it an unexpected push, which likewise led to translations into other languages. If the book had remained in the Spanish-speaking world only, it would have been difficult for it to reach so many readers. So I feel very grateful for and happy about everything that has happened since the book’s English translation.

(Translated, from the Spanish, by Megan McDowell.)

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Child and adult killed, 3 others injured in NC crash

ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. (WNCT) – Two people are dead and three others seriously injured after a car crash in Halifax County Saturday night.

Police say the collision between a car and SUV happened around 9:15 p.m. along Hinson Street near the Public Works Department in Roanoke Rapids.


Roanoke Rapids Police said one of those who died was a child.

The pair who died were in a westbound Crown Victoria, which collided with a Honda SUV that was going east on Hinson Street, the online publication RRSpin reported.

The names and the age of the child and other victim have not been released.  The other victim was an adult, according to RRSpin.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

– CBS North Carolina contributed to this report

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Boat explosion at Black Point injures 3 kids, 1 adult | Miami Herald

A boat explosion on Sunday in South Miami-Dade sent four people to trauma centers, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said.

Two children were taken to trauma centers by helicopter and another child and an adult by ambulance.

The cause of the explosion, which didn’t cause major damage to the boat, remains under investigation. The incident, which happened between 8:30 and 9 a.m., called over 10 Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units to Black Point Marina, 24775 SW 87th Ave.

Late Saturday night, a boat crash in the Intracoastal near a Fort Lauderdale bar injured four people.

National Safe Boating Week started Saturday and runs through May 26. The National Weather Service is promoting a different safety tip each day, including wearing life jackets and having fire extinguishers on board.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue recommends that each privately owned or rented vessel do a thorough safety check before leaving the dock, spokeswoman Erika Benitez said.

Also, Benitez passed along a few boating safety tips:

▪ Vapor explosions and flashes can occur without warning.

▪ Once there’s a problem, identify the source, seek safe harbor and relay any emergency concerns via cellphone or over VHF Channel 16.

▪ Eliminate any possible sources of ignition, including electronics and anything you smoke.

▪ Open hatches to increase ventilation and allow ignitable fumes to dissipate.

▪ Have proper U.S. Coast Guard-approved safety equipment at the ready.

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