Embrace the zeitgeist?

The world is complicated, heavy with the tensions of the human condition, weighed down like a lineman leaving a Chinese buffet. Ethnic divisions, genocide, fascistic governments, global recession, biotechnology charting and monetizing reproduction. Smash cut to the front page of today’s NY Times:

There is the basic friend hug, probably the most popular, and the bear hug, of course. But now there is also the bear claw, when a boy embraces a girl awkwardly with his elbows poking out.

That’s from “For Teenagers, Hello Means ‘How About a Hug?’” which says the emphasis on hugging is part of an “overall evolution of the American greeting, which has become less formal since the 1970s.” Our parents apparently stood at attention and saluted their teenage friends. By the way, did you know that black dudes give each other dap? What up with dat?

Of course, here I am blogging about the article, and it’s the number one most e-mailed thing on the NYT website, so of course we’re going to get 10,000 more pieces exactly like it. My bad.*

(*NYT writers: that’s something people say to express remorse for doing something wrong. Can I get a front page profile??!?!)


8 Responses to “Embrace the zeitgeist?”

  1. meghan Says:

    Ugh, I read that article this morning – dumbest thing ever. Sort of similar to their breaking news report on sexting not long ago. Great – a new term. Did you watch the video associated with the article? Also bad.

  2. indeedindeed Says:

    Actual quote from the video (which was produced by the Today show in some sort of partnership with the NYT):

    Kid: “You get closer to your friends that way.” [by hugging]
    Narrator: “That closeness is credited with helping to take Hug High from one of the worst schools in Nevada to one of the highest achieving.”

    What?????? Hugging leads to higher achievement? Can we get some evidence on that?

  3. zachary Says:

    i go for the bear squeeze when embracing women. go in for the hug then place hands firmly on butt cheeks and squeeze.

    its a great way to introduce yourself.

  4. Kenny Says:

    not.going.to.click.link. must abstain.

  5. meghan Says:

    Apart from the shocking conclusion that teenagers, gasp, hug each other – I like the mention that some schools have banned it (abstinence only ed?) or instituted a 3 second rule (teaching young Americans to be efficient?).

  6. indeedindeed Says:

    thanks ken. you’re doing your part.

  7. York Roberts Says:


    The Boston Globe is gonna die…for this?

  8. York Roberts Says:

    We always hugged in High School.

    Sometimes at work I ask my co-workers if they need a hug. It’s a pretty easy way to get fired.

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