Opinion: All politicians need social media to reach their voters

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Norm Kelly -

I help lead the 6th largest government in Canada and the 4th largest city in North America. I serve as the Councillor for Ward 40 (Scarborough-Agincourt). In this capacity I represent 60,000 residents who live in 20,000 homes across 10 communities. Social media helps me reach local residents.

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“Bye bye” Mu­ga­be

Nu­ma car­ta en­vi­a­da on­tem ao Par­la­men­to, Ro­bert Mu­ga­be apre­sen­tou a sua re­sig­na­ção do car­go de Pre­si­den­te do Zim­babwe. Em fun­ção dis­so, os Pre­si­den­tes de An­go­la, João Lou­ren­ço, e da Áfri­ca do Sul, Ja­cob Zu­ma, de­ci­di­ram anu­lar a des­lo­ca­ção a Ha­ra­re, que es­ta­va pre­vis­ta pa­ra ho­je “As­si­no es­ta car­ta de mi­nha li­vre von­ta­de e na ple­na cons­ci­ên­cia dos meus ac­tos”. Foi nes­tes mol­des que Ro­bert Mu­ga­be ter­mi­nou a car­ta que on­tem à tar­de en­vi­ou ao Pre­si­den­te do Par­la­men­to, Ja­cob Mu­den­da, e que, na prá­ti­ca, co­lo­ca um pon­to fi­nal a 37 anos de poder. An­tes, o Par­la­men­to ha­via co­me­ça­do a dis­cu­tir o pe­di­do de “im­pe­a­che­ment” apre­sen­ta­do pe­la ZANU-PF pa­ra des­ti­tuir Mu­ga­be da Pre­si­dên­cia do país, um pro­ces­so que se fi­cou on­tem a sa­ber po­de­ria du­rar vá­ri­as se­ma­nas da­da a sua com­ple­xi­da­de e pe­lo fac­to de ser o pri­mei­ro que ocor­re em 37 anos de in­de­pen­dên­cia. Mas, a car­ta que Mu­ga­be as­si­nou e en­vi­ou pa­ra o Par­la­men­to, se­gun­do o Jor­nal de An­go­la apu­rou jun­to de fon­te mi­li­tar que acom­pa­nhou o as­sun­to, con­tem­pla tam­bém uma sé­rie de ga­ran­ti­as. A pri­mei­ra des­sas ga­ran­ti­as é a sal­va­guar­da da in­te­gri­da­de fí­si­ca, tan­to de Mu­ga­be co­mo de to­da a sua fa­mí­lia e a ga­ran­tia de que não se­rão al­vo de qual­quer per­se­gui­ção ju­di­ci­al. Ou­tras ga­ran­ti­as têm a ver com a “in­to­ca­bi­li­da­de” nos bens que a fa­mí­lia Mu­ga­be tem no Zim­babwe ou no es­tran­gei­ro e ain­da a atri­bui­ção de um es­ta­tu­to es­pe­ci­al pa­ra o ago­ra pre­si­den­te de­mis­si­o­ná­rio que sal­va­guar­de tu­do o que ele fez pe­lo país. On­tem de ma­nhã, Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa, mais que pro­vá­vel fu­tu­ro pre­si­den­te in­te­ri­no do Zim­babwe, ha­via di­vul­ga­do um do­cu­men­to a que o nos­so jor­nal te­ve aces­so e no qual re­cu­sa­va ne­go­ci­ar com Mu­ga­be o que quer que fos­se. “A ho­ra não é de ne­go­ci­ar. A ho­ra é de Ro­bert Mu­ga­be ou­vir o que diz o po­vo e aban­do­nar o poder, pois se não o fi­zer, vai so­frer hu­mi­lha­ções que co­lo­cam em cau­sa tu­do o que de bom che­gou a fa­zer pe­lo país”, re­fe­ria o no­vo ho­mem for­te do Zim­babwe. Ain­da nes­se do­cu­men­to, Mnan­gagwa di­zia que es­tá tu­do es­cri­to. “Só fal­ta ele (Mu­ga­be) as­si­nar a car­ta e as­sim mos­trar que res­pei­ta a von­ta­de do po­vo”. A car­ta foi as­si­na­da ain­da a tem­po de evi­tar a sua des­ti­tui­ção por via ad­mi­nis­tra­ti­va, fi­can­do ago­ra aber­to o ca­mi­nho pa­ra a pre­pa­ra­ção das pró­xi­mas elei­ções. Is­so mes­mo co­me­ça­rá a ser fei­to ain­da ho­je, quan­do o Par­la­men­to le­gi­ti­mar a as­cen­são de Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa e fi­xar o tem­po de du­ra­ção do pro­ces­so de pre­pa­ra­ção elei­to­ral. Is­so mes­mo já foi on­tem pe­di­do pe­lo lí­der da opo­si­ção, Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai, que em de­cla­ra­ções à im­pren­sa dis­se es­tar pre­pa­ra­do pa­ra dis­cu­tir o fu­tu­ro do Zim­babwe e pa­ra pre­pa­rar a par­ti­ci­pa­ção do seu par­ti­do, o MDC-T, nas pró­xi­mas elei­ções. Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai era ape­nas um de en­tre mi­lha­res de pes­so­as que saí­ram às ru­as de Ha­ra­re mal sou­be­ram da re­sig­na­ção apre­sen­ta­da por Ro­bert Mug­be. A fes­ta que ti­nha co­me­ça­do às por­tas do Par­la­men­to, com ora­ções a pe­di­rem que o pre­si­den­te ces­san­te apre­sen­tas­se a de­mis­são, es­ten­de­ram-se de­pois pe­la ci­da­de, en­tran­do pe­la noi­te den­tro.

Mar­ro­cos, de Áfri­ca pa­ra o mun­do

O rei­no de Mar­ro­cos quer ser a no­va po­tên­cia re­gi­o­nal afri­ca­na e con­quis­tar um lu­gar de re­le­vo no ce­ná­rio in­ter­na­ci­o­nal. As­sim, e além de re­gres­sar à União Afri­ca­na de­pois de 33 anos de au­sên­cia, apro­xi­ma-se da Chi­na e da Rús­sia. En­quan­to is­so, quer re­e­qua­ci­o­nar as re­la­ções com os seus ali­a­dos tra­di­ci­o­nais, so­bre­tu­do a União Eu­ro­peia. Mas tem uma pe­dra no sa­pa­to: a ma­ka do Sa­ra Oci­den­tal.

Glit­ter­ing joy

Dancer Kala Devi (cen­tre) ush­er­ing in Deep­avali with lit lamps along­side film stars (from left) Ru­bini Kr­ish­nan, Shaila Nair, T. Shan­thi, G. Yamini and Vinita. KUALA LUMPUR: Singer-ac­tress Shaila Nair has many things to cel­e­brate about this Deep­avali, af­ter she was fea­tured in the block­buster Tamil movie Ka­bali with Ra­jinikanth, ear­lier this year. But the 37-year-old said this year’s fes­tive cel­e­bra­tion will be a small one for her and her fam­ily as a show of re­spect for the fire vic­tims of the Hos­pi­tal Sul­tanah Ami­nah – where she was born. “It really makes me think and be thank­ful about all that God has given me, be­cause it can be taken away just as eas­ily,” she said dur­ing a fes­tive pho­to­shoot with The Star. The ac­tress, who also pro­duced and starred in an­other film ti­tled Mayan­gaathey this year, said her fam­ily’s cel­e­bra­tion would in­clude prayers for loved ones who have passed on and a low-key open house. “This year, my fam­ily will also be vis­it­ing a few homes and give out clothes and food to the less for­tu­nate. This is what we want to do this year. “I am very thank­ful this year be­cause I got to have my de­but in my first Tamil movie, which sort of made me be­come known in cir­cles out­side of Malaysia. Next year I plan to re­lease my own al­bum, so I’m look­ing for­ward to a lot,” said Shaila, who is wife to MIC trea­surer-gen­eral Datuk Seri S. Vell Paari. For for­mer karate ex­po­nent G. Yamini, 35, this will be her first Deep­avali with her fam­ily af­ter years of com­pet­i­tive sports. “Usu­ally this time of year I would be com­pet­ing over­seas and last year also I was in In­done­sia for a com­pe­ti­tion. Thank­fully Sukma has fin­ished and I can cel­e­brate with my fam­ily,” she said. The two-time Asian Cham­pi­onships gold medal­list said she was also thank­ful for a suc­cess­ful 2016 for Malaysian sports in the Rio Olympics and Par­a­lympics. Yamini, who now coaches karate, said Malaysia is poised to turn in more medals in the next Olympics, now that karate has been of­fi­cially recog­nised as a sport in the com­pe­ti­tion. “I feel a bit sad that it didn’t hap­pen dur­ing my time but I am happy be­cause it is fi­nally in. My stu­dents are still young and we are go­ing to work very hard to get into the Olympics,” she said. Hav­ing left the sport in 2013, Yamini has be­come an ac­tress, lend­ing her mar­tial arts skills to three movies this year. IPOH: Com­pared to the quiet at­mos­phere in Lit­tle In­dia here sev­eral weeks ago, last-minute shop­pers have been flock­ing to shops and stalls set up in the area. Spot­ted with the most num­ber of cus­tomers were those sell­ing In­dian snacks and sweets, Deep­avali dec­o­ra­tions and prayer items. Even jew­ellery shops were packed with peo­ple. Kedai Emas Zain Sdn Bhd owner Siti Zubaidah Vari­sai Mohd said there were many cus­tomers in the last few days. To ac­com­mo­date shop­pers, es­pe­cially the work­ing group who can only visit af­ter of­fice hours, Siti Zubaidah said they ex­tended trad­ing hours to 7.30pm from the usual 6pm. Ka­cang putih seller R. Jaya Parathi is de­lighted with the last­minute crowd. “Thank good­ness busi­ness is fi­nally pick­ing up. And the weather has been kind,” she said. Spot­ted buy­ing some In­dian sweets from the Ja­lan­dar Pun­jab stall were mother and daugh­ter, P. Ka­malam and 21-year-old A. Rash­mini. “This is my third trip here. I’ve got­ten mostly what I need ex­cept for some snacks and sweets, which I usu­ally buy when it’s near the fes­ti­val so that they re­main fresh,” said Ka­malam, 55, who also bought her­self sev­eral blouses. At the cen­tral mar­ket here, peo­ple were seen stock­ing up on raw food in­gre­di­ents. Busi­ness­man B. Deva, 33, was seen cart­ing bags of fish, meat and veg­eta­bles, enough for 20 guests. “No doubt prices of food have gone up but Deep­avali only takes place once a year,” he said. Hos­pi­tal cleaner R. See­niamah, 38, said her fam­ily would be feast­ing on mut­ton, chicken, veg­eta­bles and fish. “Once a year, my sib­lings and I pool our money to­gether to pay for the food,” she said. Re­tiree S.M. Vishu, 68, said he would be cook­ing chicken now in­stead of prawns, which were more ex­pen­sive.

‘ Gone ’ Til Novem­ber’ chron­i­cles Lil Wayne’s time in prison

Lil Wayne is an open book — at least when it comes to one chap­ter in his life. On Tues­day, the pro­lific rap­per, who in 2010 was sen­tenced to eight months in New York’s Rik­ers Is­land on weapons charges, re­leased the di­ary he kept dur­ing his in­car­cer­a­tion. Gone ’ Til Novem­ber: A Jour­nal of Rik­ers Is­land ( Plume Books) was Wayne’s way of find­ing “joy in hell.” Now, it stands as a rev­e­la­tion to fans who get a peek be­hind the cur­tain of celebrity. Here are seven things we learned from our sneak peek. 1HE WAS A SUI­CIDE PREVEN­TION AIDE ... BRIEFLY. Af­ter earn­ing a per­fect score on the pre- em­ploy­ment screen­ing test, Wayne was tasked with mon­i­tor­ing the tier to en­sure in­mates didn’t try to com­mit sui­cide and to alert the on- duty of­fi­cer about at­tempts. The rap­per soon bowed out to fo­cus on self- care. “It’s truly a new re­al­ity for me,” he wrote. “I was ac­tu­ally there when this kid that was in men­tal iso­la­tion tried to hang up. What’s re­ally ( ex­ple­tive) up is that it all could’ve been pre­vented if the COs ( cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers) would’ve just brought him some wa­ter.” But, as Wayne goes on to ex­plain, of­fi­cers are used to in­mates bang­ing on their cells — so much so that it doesn’t trig­ger alarms. 2HE HEARD HIS SON SAY ‘ DA- DA’ WHILE BE­HIND BARS. Wayne’s first son was only a year old when he be­gan serv­ing his sen­tence. As such, the first time Wayne heard Dwayne Michael Carter III — fondly re­ferred to as D. M. C. III — say “Da- da” was on the phone, a bit­ter­sweet mo­ment. 3HE WAS ANX­IOUS WHEN HE PLAYED IN PRISON. Wayne may have rocked stages in front of mil­lions of peo­ple, but rap­ping in front of his fel­low in­mates was an­other story. “I was ner­vous as hell,” he ad­mits of his per­for­mance for tier mates Char­lie and Jamaica. 4HE CON­SID­ERED CHRIS­TIAN RAP ... BRIEFLY. In ad­di­tion to a land­slide of fan mail, Wayne re­ceived a com­pelling let­ter from a church, urg­ing him to use his artistry to spread the gospel. And for a mo­ment, Wayne con­sid­ered it. “I would truly have the power of hav­ing pop cul­ture turn to God,” he wrote. “I would have straight killers in church ev­ery Sun­day.” 5HE MADE $ 20 MIL­LION WHILE IN PRISON. In the months pre­ced­ing his sen­tence, Wayne recorded new mu­sic at a fever­ish pace to stag­ger re­leases through­out his sen­tence. As a re­sult, the rap­per out­paced his 2009 earn­ings, rak­ing in an es­ti­mated $ 20 mil­lion, com­pared with 2009’ s $ 18 mil­lion. 6JAMAICA WAS DE­PORTED DUR­ING HIS BID. Wayne may have been re­luc­tant to use the “f” word in jail, but by all ac­counts, Jamaica was a friend. And when Wayne re­counts how Jamaica was hauled away, you can sense his guilt. Wayne ad­mits that Jamaica had re­peat­edly asked if he could con­nect him with a bet­ter lawyer, but the rap­per didn’t take it se­ri­ously un­til it was too late. 7JAIL MADE HIM RE­AL­IZE HIS CRE­ATIV­ITY WASN’T DE­PEN­DENT ON EX­TER­NAL IN­FLU­ENCES. For a book that mostly deals with the day- to- day and only oc­ca­sion­ally scratches be­yond the sur­face, Wayne gets par­tic­u­larly in­tro­spec­tive at the close. The night be­fore his re­lease, he re­flects on the crutches he used to lean on for in­spi­ra­tion: drugs, cars, women. “Once that was all taken away from me, my cre­ativ­ity was put to the ul­ti­mate test,” he writes. “And I passed that ( ex­ple­tive)!”

Never Mind the Gap

LAST YEAR, for the first time in his­tory, mil­len­ni­als out­num­bered boomers in the Cana­dian work­force. That’s not go­ing to change. The over-50 co­hort has, un­fairly or not, pegged the younger gen­er­a­tion as be­ing rather de­mand­ing and en­ti­tled on the work front. So will the as­cen­dancy of the un­der-35s only deepen the gen­er­a­tion gap? Or is it time to re­tire the G word and the whole dusty no­tion of a de­mo­graphic that’s ruled by the cal­en­dar? Can’t we all just … get along? Let’s eaves­drop on a multi­gen­er­a­tional scene to find out. It’s early on a Thurs­day night in Toronto, and three peo­ple walk into a bar called Lo-Fi. Wen­del is 29 and black. Don is 64 and white. An­gela is 45 and from south­east Asia. They work in the same ad agency and they’ve come straight from the of­fice to cel­e­brate – Don has de­cided to post­pone his re­tire­ment yet again, and Wen­del’s go­ing to be pro­moted. Their agency, InOV8, has been try­ing out a new cam­paign that tar­gets both mil­len­ni­als and boomers, and they re­ally like this “age-ag­nos­tic” ap­proach. Don hap­pens to be a co-owner of the bar. (Di­ver­sify, his ac­coun­tant urged.) He or­ders a mar­garita – Tromba, no salt. Wen­del has a craft beer, and An­gela asks for some­thing called a Crown and An­chor, made with rye whisky, crème fraîche and maple syrup. It’s on my tab, says Don, smil­ing. He en­joys th­ese fleet­ing mo­ments of se­nior­ity. Be­hind the counter is Rooster, a 30-year-old mu­si­cian-slash-bar­tender from Van­cou­ver. He’s got a beard the size of an oven mitt, an MBA from Queen’s and his re­cent startup (home de­liv­ery by elec­tric bike of fruit smooth­ies) has not taken off. He’s also learned that most mu­si­cians earn less than pan­han­dlers. So like many of his peers, Rooster sur­vives by bar­tend­ing. Which he kind of en­joys. But he keeps a USB of his songs handy in case some­one im­por­tant drops by. Luck­ily, he has an intern, Sofi, 22, who helps stock the bar. Sofi is from Iran and is study­ing to be a phar­ma­cist. Don is old enough to re­mem­ber paid in­tern­ships, so he pays Sofi min­i­mum wage, for which she is grate­ful. This means that by work­ing four other part-time ser­vice jobs, she can af­ford to rent a tiny apart­ment above a Sub­way shop. The bar has a big poster of Grimes on the wall, Ja­panese anime play­ing on small TVs and a chrome karaoke stage up front. It’s pretty hip for some­one Don’s age – but then, he and Wen­del like to think of them­selves as a slightly less hip ver­sion of an­other cross-gen­er­a­tional pair of bud­dies, 29-year-old mu­si­cian Drake and Norm Kelly, the 74-year-old Toronto city coun­cil­lor. De­spite their age dif­fer­ences, Drake and Kelly share sev­eral core val­ues, in­clud­ing full-out civic pride in their home­town and a pas­sion­ate be­lief in the Rap­tors. Drake tu­tored Norm in the power and glory of Twit­ter, and Norm fi­nally learned the mean­ing of the word “diss.” Just like Wen­del got Don to stop hold­ing his phone ver­ti­cally when he takes pic­tures. Re­verse men­tor­ship: it’s the way of the fu­ture. Drake’s in­ter­na­tional suc­cess has also demon­strated a mil­len­nial par­a­digm: he went global by stay­ing close to home. His lyrics are rooted in the lo­cal. He could have shot his most re­cent video any­where in the world. In­stead, he chose The Real Jerk, a fam­ily-friendly Ja­maican restau­rant in the city’s east end. Metaphor­i­cally speak­ing, Drake is still liv­ing in his par­ents’ base­ment – but look at how it worked out! Let that be a les­son to doubt­ing boomers. Back at the bar, An­gela texts her hus­band to let him know she’ll be late. No big­gie, th­ese out­ings are part of the job. In the Mad Men era, of­fice and home were kept sep­a­rate, but now the work/life bound­aries have dis­solved: it’s all work and all life all the time. Emails fly back and forth on Sun­day morn­ing or af­ter mid­night. When you’re on the dig­i­tal time clock, no­body punches out. In fact, as they wait for their drinks, all three pull out their phones. An­gela scrolls while Wen­del swipes. The soft blue light from their screens bathes their faces like moon­light. It’s a peace­ful scene; here they all are, to­gether but sep­a­rate. Wen­del looks fully en­gaged with his phone in a way that eludes him in con­ver­sa­tion. Af­ter check­ing her Twit­ter feed, An­gela texts her dog walk- er to make sure the house key is back un­der the planter where it be­longs. Wen­del is pon­der­ing his op­tions for later on Tin­der. Don leans across the bar to show Rooster a YouTube video of a dozen adorable baby sloths in a red plas­tic bucket. This dig­i­tal mul­ti­task­ing is what our so­cial­iz­ing looks like now. Tech­ni­cally, there are only three peo­ple here, hav­ing drinks in a bar. But when you add up the mes­sages fly­ing in and out of their de­vices, there’s a whole crowd of vir­tual ghosts in the room. Where Don and his peers grew up scarcely both­er­ing to phone their par­ents once a month, mil­len­ni­als are in con­stant touch with each other and their fam­i­lies. The mil­len­ni­als are surely the most con­nected gen­er­a­tion ever, and many of their val­ues – au­then­tic­ity, work­life bal­ance, in­clu­sive­ness and tol­er­ance – are ad­mirable. The only prob­lem is that the eco­nomic realities have not caught up to their val­ues. The sys­tem is set up for a fixed hi­er­ar­chy ar­ranged in cu­bi­cles, but many of the young pre­fer to work from a cor­ner ta­ble in a café. And if they have a job-job, when they get a per­for­mance re­view, they re­view their boss’s per­for­mance. They don’t have much pa­tience for author­ity. The dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion has cre­ated a new democ­racy, a level play­ing field where any kid with an iPhone can leap to the top of the tal­ent pile with a sin­gle post­ing on YouTube. The mem­brane be­tween anonymity and global fame has be­come ex­tremely thin, and the con­cept of “work­ing your way up” has less ap­peal. Mean­while, the po­lit­i­cal ideals that once de­fined the boomers have faded – or are they just be­ing re­born, as mil­len­nial self-ex­pres­sion writ large? Bey­oncé at the Su­per Bowl, evok­ing the Black Pan­thers with mil­i­tant Thigh­Master chore­og­ra­phy. Rap singer Ken­drick La­mar elec­tri­fied the Gram­mies with a fiery pageant of African-Amer­i­can his­tory. The very last (we hope) all-white Os­cars took place, shame heaped on its head by the with­er­ingly funny Chris Rock. In Canada, pop mu­sic will never be the same af­ter a show-stop­ping per­for­mance by Nu­navut­born throat singer Tanya Tagaq at the 2014 Po­laris Mu­sic Prize awards. Slowly, our cul­ture be­comes more mul­ti­cul­tural. Af­ter decades of bub­bling un­der, is­sues around race and gen­der have come to dom­i­nate the me­dia. In­deed, the great­est and most promis­ing dif­fer­ence be­tween the boomers and the next gen­er­a­tion might be the young’s com­plete em­brace of di­ver­sity, whether it re­lates to race, gen­der, or sex­ual iden­tity. When her drink is done, An­gela slips on her coat; she wants to get into the of­fice early the next morn­ing. Like most gen-Xers, it’s her dili­gence on the job that al­lows her col- leagues to leave work early and hit the bar like this. Gen-Xers, born be­tween 1965 and 1979, are the hard-headed re­silient adults who qui­etly run ev­ery­thing. They put up with the sporty boomers who never want to leave the party and the stub­born mil­len­ni­als who want to telecom­mute to work. It’s the gen-Xers who re­mem­ber to put out the re­cy­cling bins – in­deed, they in­vented re­cy­cling. They just don’t get credit for it. That might change with the in­ter­na­tional sparkle of one mem­ber of their co­hort – Justin Trudeau. The 44-year-old prime min­is­ter has el­e­vated the selfie-with-a-cit­i­zen to a por­trait of a more open, warm-blooded style of gov­ern­ing, and his fo­cus on abo­rig­i­nal is­sues, cli­mate change and a gen­der-bal­anced Cabi­net has set an ex­am­ple for the rest of the world. Gen-Xers tend not to com­plain about gen­er­a­tional dif­fer­ences be­cause they’re too busy get­ting on with their lives. (They rode the tail end of a friend­lier econ­omy, too.) But the young have good rea­son to com­plain; they are up against a harsher, more com­pet­i­tive and un­for­giv­ing world. The boomers were born into a care­free young adulthood, with jobs that grew on trees and a stable econ­omy. Mil­len­ni­als now face the anx­i­ety of cli­mate change, un­pre­dictable global mar­kets and a world in vi­o­lent po­lit­i­cal flux, gripped by wars and civil­ian up­heaval. The only thing the boomers suf­fered in their youth was an ex­cess of folk mu­sic, STDs and bad cof­fee. A word about those STDs here, though. The ar­rival of the birth con­trol pill in the 1960s, com­bined with the ridicu­lous con­cept of “free love,” cre­ated the sex­ual rev­o­lu­tion, a be­lief that two peo­ple (or more) could fall in and out bed with­out obli­ga­tion, guilt or con­se­quence. Dream on! That fantasy era was swiftly fol­lowed by the lethal early years of the HIV/AIDS epi­demic, when the word “con­se­quence” ac­quired a new and tragic weight. The pen­du­lum swung back, gen-X had to sweep up af­ter the party and sex­ual be­hav­iour took a con­ser­va­tive turn. Un­til the mil­len­ni­als, Tin­der and hook-up cul­ture came along. Ca­sual sex is back with a vengeance – made even more ca­sual by our handy dig­i­tal es­cape hatches. Get­ting “ghosted” by last night’s Tin­der date (when s/he won’t re­ply to your texts) is prob­a­bly just as painful as the days in the so-called sex­ual rev­o­lu­tion, when women had care­free one-night stands and then sat by the ro­tary phone, pa­tiently wait­ing for him to call. Sex doesn’t al­ways obey gen­er­a­tional rules. And when did we be­gin to think in gen­er­a­tional terms, any­way? The whole no­tion of a sharply de­fined, age-re­lated co­hort only goes back as far as our la­belling of the “post-war gen­er­a­tion.” The chil­dren of that wave be­came the boomers, and it was their re­bel­lion against the risk-aver­sive val­ues of their par­ents that cre­ated the first gen­er­a­tion gap. The gap was real. As a boomer in my 20s, I wouldn’t have dreamed of shar­ing my thoughts and fears with my per­fectly lovely par­ents, who stood for ev­ery­thing I wanted to change about the world (then, didn’t). But was that gap a prece­dent for fu­ture ones – or just an aber­ra­tion spe­cific to that era? “Talkin’ ’bout my g-g-g-gen­er­a­tion,” sang The Who back in 1971. (And we never stopped talk­ing about it!) But now, when I no­tice how close many young adults are with their par­ents or when I watch a cam­pus rally erupt­ing in ap­plause for 74-year-old Demo­cratic can­di­date Bernie San­ders, I won­der: maybe the phrase “gen­er­a­tion gap” should be re­tired. Maybe even the word “gen­er­a­tion” has lost its rel­e­vance. As one 20-year-old wo­man in­structed me when we met to talk about this sub­ject, “No­body thinks in terms of gen­er­a­tions any more. I have friends of ev­ery age.” Back at the Lo-Fi, it’s later in the evening. An­gela has gone home. Sofi, the intern, has fin­ished her shift and is do­ing some home­work at an empty ta­ble. Wen­del and Don have moved a lit­tle closer to the bar. Rooster’s play­ing some ob­scure R&B Don re­mem­bers from high school that Wen­del is happy to dis­cover. They’re watch­ing the big flat-screen TV over the bar, where a Rap­tors game has just be­gun. The two men agree – if you’re over 40 on the basketball court, well, that’s a prob­lem. But ev­ery­where else, age isn’t what sep­a­rates us any more.

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