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 DRINKS: THE BROWN DERBY Three ingredients to make a perfect blend of sweet and sour.

It’s a drink that throws back to LA’s golden age (though, as we showed you in issue 2, LA is pretty damn golden these days). The Brown Derby, a nice blend of bourbon, citrus, and something sweet, was named after the famous Brown Derby restaurant, and invented in the `30s at the see-and-be-seen Vendome Club….

what youth radical class berlin

Radical Class: Wandering in Berlin Eat, drink and be blown away by the countries that like it cold (Pt. 1 of 3)

Travis told me to tell people about all of the cool shit we get to do (Editor’s Note: Yes, I did). Cool shit like going to visit Europe in the dead of winter. And trust me, visiting cities in Europe in winter is very underrated, because there are several countries that are very good at being…

Cilantro Margarita, What Youth Drinks, Paul Brewer, Herbs

WY Drinks: Herbs in our cocktails Herbs plus booze to raise your cocktail game

When you think of herbs, you generally think of food. And when you think of cocktails, you generally think of booze. That is, the spirit: gin, vodka, tequila, and so on. But combining the two, we don’t see that a lot. I heard of herbs in drinks long ago, but wrote off the idea. (Except…

the what youth guide to cuba

The WY GUIDE: Cuba Now that the red tape is mostly gone, should you go? Well, we did, here’s what we found.

It’s hard to have a conversation about traveling without someone bringing up Cuba. It’s long been the Holy Grail of American travel because, well, we couldn’t go there. But before heading out on his global kite surfing mission with Richard Branson, President Obama restored diplomatic relations with the Cuban government for the first time in over 50 years. A very…

Radical Class: Layover in Paris A guide to 48 hours in an overwhelming city

A lot of times when we travel, we’ll try to tack on a bonus location. A quick layover somewhere just because it’s the right thing to do. And during a recent trip to Amsterdam we tacked on 48 hours in Paris, just because. We happened to be with Adam Warren who writes the What Youth food…

what youth mexico city scott chenoweth

How To Drink Mezcal in Mexico City “For every ill, mezcal — and for every good as well.”

When you go to Mexico City, don’t order tequila. Or a margarita for that matter. Order mezcal. It’s the drink of choice and will earn you immediate respect from the locals. Mezcal is smokier than tequila, but with similar effects, and it pairs nicely with the spicy food and the flavors Mexico City is known…

what youth radical class book review alison gibson

Another What Youth Reading List This time with no dead white guys!

After checking out (and nodding along with) Travis’ recent fall syllabus featuring the literary heavy-hitters many of us have returned to again and again for inspiration, I had the urge to put together another reading list for you guys, made up of authors you maybe haven’t yet read or even heard of. With two Pulitzer…

What Youth Syllabus, Books

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

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…

what youth playlist for back to school

When morning comes too soon A playlist for the final dawns of the summer

Maybe it’s on the hardwood floor of a living room in Santa Cruz. Or the front seat of a tour bus, a towering New York hotel with a view, or a log cabin surrounded by mountains covered in snow. Or maybe it’s the backseat of a Volkswagen van in Venice. Or in the sand covered in fog. Mornings like these…

8 Jazz Albums To Make It A Little Better For more inspired and relaxing times

The other day, I heard someone say something about how if you’re white, and you are just saying now, amidst what is perhaps one of the darkest points in American history, that “the world is on fire,” then you have been ignoring the racial problems in this country for way too long and you should…

what youth guide to airports dane reynolds

The WY Guide: Airports How to expertly navigate the world’s transportation hubs

A necessary evil of being a venerable youth on the run is the time spent in transit. The hopscotch between your destinations. It can be exciting, but mostly it is a pain. But it should not be time wasted. Because with a little guidance, these stopovers in purgatory can actually become some of the most memorable moments of…

WHAT YOUTH EATS AND DRINKS this weekend Your guide to a delicious and multi-cultural Fourth of July

The Fourth is meant for equal parts fireworks, food, drink, babes, waves, and bad decisions. Cases of beer, they appear. Food, it arrives at the right time. America at its best! Do we want to eat and drink well on the Fourth? Yes! But do we want to work hard for our food on the…