Surfing, Skateboarding, Music, Photography, Travel, Culture and general antics of the youth on the run.

The What Youth Syllabus The books we’re assigning for the fall semester

What Youth Syllabus, Books

If you go to school, or went to school or tell people you go to school, you’ve seen a syllabus. A paper full of shit you’re supposed to read. You get it the first day of class and when you do you feel jazzed and promise yourself to read them all. Get A’s. Participate. Get smart. But that dream quickly fades. Usually by 3 p.m. that same day. And for the most part — aside from a few hidden gems — you might actually be OK. I’d personally recommend you do your fucking homework. But if you don’t, at least do ours. The world has a lot of problems and I’m starting to learn that deleting distracting apps and settling in for a few hours to read every day might be the only thing that saves me (and us all) from a series of serious panic attacks caused by mutilated social media brains and a world losing it’s fucking mind outside. So, here’s our medicine.—Travis

Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear

1.) Kingdom of Fear by Hunter S. Thompson

“There is a huge body of evidence to support the notion that me and the police were put on this earth to do extremely different things and never to mingle professionally with each other, except at official functions, when we all wear ties and drink heavily and whoop it up like the natural, good-humored wild boys that we know in our hearts that we are. These occasions are rare, but they happen — despite the forked tongue of fate that has put us forever on different paths…”—from Kingdom of Fear

Might wanna tell your “Social Studies” book to fuck off for the year and try this instead. Your teacher and the world at large (some of them) will thank you. And me. This book might be the closest thing we have to a memoir from Hunter. More or a less a paraphrase of his evolution and life as one of the most fascinating writers, journalists and political gatekeepers our world’s ever seen. All just a few years before he shot his head off and asked Johnny Depp to fire his ashes out of a cannon as a funeral — no time like today to realize Hunter was right all along, and this time it might be too late. But it’s always worth a shot. Or two.

David Foster Wallace, A Supposedly Fun Thing I"ll never do again

2.) A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace

“I have felt as bleak as I’ve felt since puberty, and have filled almost three Mead notebooks trying to figure out whether it was Them or Just Me.”—from A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again

It is equal parts hilarious and terrifying. The late (yes, him too :/) David Foster Wallace’s tone is as if he’s in your mind pulling out a narrative you wish you could relay but have always held inside. Dillon Perillo once told me, “Everything is so agreeable that you feel like you’re the actual author as you read him. You almost have to snap out of it.” And that’s a great way to put it. His writing is clearly genius, but he taps into observations and allows them to crystalize into paragraphs full of context and depth in the grand scheme of life when the thing he’s telling you about is the flush from a toilet on a cruise ship. This book is full of essays and I recommend every single one of them. Especially the one about the cruise ship at the end. His great novel Infinite Jest is for the avid fan, and takes a serious commitment to putting your phone down. If you can read it, I will give you a hug and we will have a drink together discussing it. Call me if you do. I’m serious.

Barbarian Days, William Finnegan

3.) Barbarian Days by William Finnegan

“What could rightly have worried my dad about me and surfing was the special brand of monomania, antisocial and ill-balanced, that a serious commitment to surfing nearly always brought with it. Surfing was still something that one did — that I did — with friends, but the club thing, the organized-sports part, was fading fast. I no longer dreamed about winning contests, as I had dreamed about pitching for the Dodgers. The newly emerging ideal was solitude, purity, perfect waves far from civilization. Robinson Crusoe, Endless Summer.” —from Barbarian Days

I hate reading about surfing in my “free time.” Usually. I spend a lot of my time doing it, and maybe that’s why, and it’s rarely (if ever) been documented all that well. There are a whole bunch of dudes out there who coined the worthless and self-entitled thing that is “surf journalism” which is as phony and pretentious as anything (see The Inertia). And it’s always left my mouth feeling icky. But then, then there is William Finnegan. I have never read passages as on point, sophisticated yet simple on a topic that has long avoided great prose. Surfing and traveling and figuring out existence. He’s got it all in there. Obama’s got it on his list, and it’s on the What Youth syllabus too. You’ve probably heard of this book, and now it’s time you read it.

Charles Bukowski, Love is a Dog From Hell

4.) Love is a Dog From Hell by Charles Bukowski

“there is a loneliness in this world so great

that you can see it in the slow movement of

the hands of a clock.

people so tired

mutilated

either by love or no love.

people just are not good to each other

one on one.

the rich are not good to the rich

the poor are not good to the poor.

we are afraid.

our educational system tells us

that we can all be

big-ass winners.

it hasn’t told us

about the gutters

or the suicides.

or the terror of one person

aching in one place

alone

untouched

unspoken to

watering a plant.” —From Love is a Dog from Hell

Charles Bukowski is cliche by now. And his novels are great, sure. Pretty entertaining reads. Simple. But effective. But it’s his poetry books and anthologies — which, yes, you’ll have to find in the poetry section — are where his words will leave you in a puddle of candle wax and wine. He will cut you down, build you up and pluck emotions out of your heart that you wish you didn’t know existed, but are happy to have revealed once the wine goes down. I’ve spent hours and hours and finished these books in one sitting and a bottle and a half of wine. All of them are good and necessary. There have been tears. Inspiration. Sadness. Laughter. Joy. And heartbreak. It’s like living a whole life in one bottle of wine and a few poems.

Kurt Vonnegut, Deadeye Dick

5. Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut

“My wife has been killed by a machine which should never have come into the hands of any human being. It is called a firearm. It makes the blackest of all human wishes come true at once, at a distance: that something die.”—from Deadeye Dick

I haven’t read much Vonnegut. But I read this one and a few others, but it’s still my favorite. Audacity, existential questions, morality, humor and politics, all rolled into one very clever book. And in a time when these choices and issues regarding guns, politics, race and kindness are all called into question, every single day, very few have put perspective around it like Kurt Vonnegut. Let’s keep trying.

 

 

what youth radical class cocktails with paul brewer

What Youth Drinks Building Blocks to a Great Cocktail

Did you know making cocktails is as easy as 1-2-3? Well, it can be with Booze-Acid-Sugar. In this brave new world of crazy ass cocktails, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all these circus dick concoctions. Artisanal aperitifs, flavored vodkas, and flair-full garnishes are all real fancy, but sometimes they cloud the basics. Because, when…

Radical Class: What Youth Reads Homage to Catalonia: a book seven decades young and still topical!

The Spaniards are good at many things, but not at making war. All foreigners are alike appalled by their inefficiency, above all their maddening unpunctuality. The one word that no foreigner can avoid learning is mañana.—George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia I bring books with me when I go on vacation for two reasons. One, I struggle…

Radical Class: “The Center Will Not Hold” Definitely watch the new Netflix documentary on writer Joan Didion

In a world full of chaos, absurdity, tragedy and Stranger Things, it’s always nice to find some larger perspective in a good old fashioned documentary. And the latest on writer Joan Didion is that. Few names have encouraged an entire generation of people and writers the way she has. And just a few minutes into the…

Radical Class, What Youth Drinks, Paul Brewer

WHAT YOUTH DRINKS: COCCI AMERICANO An Easy, Inexpensive way to Live that Riviera High Life

I snagged a bottle of this Cocci Americano stuff after seeing it on the shelf at a cocktail bar in Long Beach, CA. It was an impromptu buy — I didn’t know what it was or what to do with it, but thought I’d figure it out. Experiment! Cocktail jazz improvisation! While I’ll save the…

Radical Class, Berlin, Adam Warren

Radical Class: Hope from the Road Just when you thought it was all over: there is Berlin  

Turns out there is still hope out there. Out there, beyond your day-to-day, somewhere out on the road its not all politics, hurricanes, bad vibes and bad memes. In fact, the other day I found myself way outside the bad lands somewhere in Berlin. Just off the plane I walked around the Mitte District. I meandered…

WHAT YOUTH EATS: AGUACHILE Another Raw One: Sinaloa Spicy Shrimp

If you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve gone raw at WhatYouth.com for the last few weeks. We’ve played with raw tuna a couple different ways (here and here), and got fancy and fresh with a raw beef tartare last week. It’s been fun, delicious, and the whole experiment has opened up our late…

what youth eats, raw, radical class, paul brewer

WHAT YOUTH EATS: RAW BEEF The latest in our Raw Series: Steak tartare is the primest of the prime.

For the last few weeks we’ve gone raw. We’re doing it all for the flavor — an exercise to experience great ingredients at their root essence, with a secondary win of less time cooking and more time having summertime fun outside (making raw things takes less time, duh). So far we’ve focused on fish and…

Tuna Don, Adam Warren, What Youth Eats

WY EATS: Spicy Tuna Don Another hit from our RAW series — best washed down with ice cold Kirin

Its time to expand on our RAW capabilities here. And just like the Mediterranean version of the albacore crudo that you’ve already mastered, we are leaning on our Japanese influence of raw efficiencies for our next dish: The Spicy Tuna Don. “Don” is short for “donburi” which is a traditional Japanese dish where any number…

what youth guide to the bar

WY Guide: The Bartender Getting a drink in a crowded bar is an art. Here’s your paint set.

As Shane Dorian famously said in Loose Change: “What’s your poison man?” That ageless, sometimes slightly altered greeting has been heard by bar patrons since the first bar opened circa 900 AD. And after 1100 years of human interaction at these establishments one would hope there would be some orderly and respectful manner one might…

WHAT YOUTH EATS: RAW The first in a Series: Albacore Crudo

For the next couple of weeks, I’m going raw. This isn’t some nonsense trendy food fad out of Beverly Hills: this is all about efficiency and simplicity. Efficiency because eating raw means less time in the kitchen and more time outside shredding through summer. Simplicity because I won’t have to develop complex sauces and spend…

what youth dead writers shirt

The WY Dead Writers T-Shirt Before it’s gone here’s why it exists

We still read…actual books even. And while a lot of our favorite writers are long gone, their influence is still smothering us. They’ve left us with piles and piles of great reading, insight, fucked up situations, and maniacal living to read about. This shirt is an ode to them. Here’s a run through who they…

what youth drinks tequila

What Youth Drinks: The Paloma Cuz it’s just so damn hot outside

It’s officially summer now. And since we’ve already taught you how to order a margarita the right way here, now it’s time to learn how to make the G of all tequila cocktails best drank in the sun: The Paloma. If the margarita is the popular girl in high school that everyone knows, then the Paloma…

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