Denmark’s Controversial Teenage Muslim Superstar Poet
Yahya Hassan is an 18-year-old Muslim Palestinian immigrant to Denmark who has become a social critic, celebrity writer, and general shit-stirrer—all thanks to a slim volume of poetry. Since the release of his self-titled debut collection in October, he’s been all over the Danish media, at least in part due to his subject matter. His poetry, written in all caps in Danish, is full of rage directed at his parents’ generation, a group of Muslims he accuses of hypocrisy and abandoning their children. He’s penned lines like:
YOU YOU’RE A MUSLIM? / YOU YOU DON’T KNOW/ IF YOU WANT HALAL OR HARAM / YOU YOU KNOW YOU WANT HARAM / BUT YOU YOU PRETEND YOU WANT HALAL / YOU YOU DON’T WANT PIG / MAY ALLAH REWARD YOU FOR YOUR FOOD HABITS.
Some of his poetry documents an abusive childhood; Yahya grew up in a poor neighborhood of Aarhus, and flirted with crime from an early age. He blames much of that on his mother and father. “As soon as our parents landed in Copenhagen airport it felt as if their role as parents was coming to an end,” Yahya told the Danish newspaper Politiken in the interview, published on October 5, that turned him into a teenage social commentator.
A Woman in Alabama Tried to Get Toilet Paper Off Her House by Setting It on Fire
Cheryl Crausewell, of Dora, Alabama attempted, with the help of her son, to clean up her toilet-papered house on Monday afternoon. A persistent piece of toilet paper was stuck in a magnolia tree, so they tried a little of nature’s Hoover: fire. Now they have a burned down house, and the kids who TP’d their house over the weekend are, one assumes, getting laid non-stop.
Crausewell gave a moment-by-moment breakdown of the incident to a TV news crew, which I will paraphrase below:
They were out cleaning up their home that had been, in Alabama parlance, “rolled,” along with other houses in the Hickory Ridge community of Dora. They’d done a pretty satisfactory job, but there’s always that little bit left in the magnolia isn’t there?
Seventy years ago, teenagers didn’t exist. I mean, they did, but nobody called them that—they were called “our future workforce” and wore suits and smoked pipes and took elocution lessons when they were 13. You went to bed one day a child and woke the next morning an adult. But by the end of WWII, the idea of adolescence had evolved from a few years spent getting ready for a life as a coal miner or a lawyer into the Best Years of Your Life. Then, in 1945, the New York Times published an article defining this bizarre new word—”teenage”—and the concept became a part of the public consciousness.
A few years ago, music writer and cultural historian Jon Savage wrote a book about all that called Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1945. The film adaptation of his book, directed by American filmmaker Matt Wolf and with an original score by Bradford Cox, gets its UK cinematic release on January 24. I gave both of them a call to talk about youth movements new and old and how great life is when you’re a teenager.
The trailer for Teenage
VICE: At the beginning of your film you say that the idea of the teenager is a wartime invention. Were there any pre-war youth movements that you left out? Jon Savage: They weren’t pre-war, but the ones who didn’t make it in are the Zazou. They were a French group in occupied Paris in the early 1940s who loved black American swing music—which was forbidden—wore English clothes, threw hidden parties, tried to avoid forced labor and, you know, annoyed the Gestapo. They also did something else fabulous: When the laws came in about wearing the yellow star, they made their own stars that, instead of “Jew,” said “Swing.” Then there were others that we didn’t get into too much detail about—the back-to-nature movements of the 20s, like the Wandervogel.
Oh yeah, the German proto-hippies who got naked and hung out in forests. Did that movement start during the First World War? Jon:No, they actually began in about 1900 in Germany.
So it wasn’t a reaction to the war? Jon: Well, it was a reaction to the militarization and industrialization of German society. There was also a generation gap between adolescents and their parents, and by the 20s there were lots of different groups. In fact, it’s bewildering the amount of groups there were by then, ranging from proto-fascist groups to hippies.
Kamala isn’t sexed up—we mean not in the typical comic-book sense as her boobs are not bigger than her head, but she is totally badass, chock-full of ‘tude and here “to take out the trash.” Kamala comes from a family of four, with a tall brother named Aamir, her father Yusuf (who is always drinking tea), and her benevolent but stern mother, Aisha.
Over the past decade, prescription pills have become the latest drug-epidemic bogeyman. A study published earlier this year claimed that one in four American teenagers have misused medications at least once—a 33 percent increase from 2008—and OxyContin has been leading the charge. The painkiller’s active ingredient, oxycodone, gives users a feel-good high similar to heroin and is much easier to score than other hard drugs. But how did it get so popular in the first place?
Jihad Selfies: British Extremists in Syria Love Social Media
After being publicly sacked by al Qaeda leader Aymann al-Zawahiri and accidentally beheadinga fighter from one of their main allies in Syria, it’s fair to say the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)’s PR campaign has suffered in recent weeks. So, like any half decent group of militant extremists, they obviously want to address this slip. Unfortunately, a traditional media outreach is very difficult for them, given ISIS’s policy of kidnapping journalists. So they’ve turned, like many before them, to social media.
Over the past few weeks, foreign fighters from ISIS and their subgroup the Muhajireen Brigade have been busy uploading selfies across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, in an effort to publicize their cause and win more recruits to the Syrian jihad. They offer a bizarre and fascinating look inside Syria’s most feared and least understood militant groups.
On paper, the Muhajireen Brigade are separate to ISIS, but they’re considered by some analysts to be a front group for the larger jihadist outfit. The social media evidence seems to support this view.
This picture (above) shows British fighter Ibrahim al-Mazwagi in battle with Omar Shishani, a Georgian Chechen who formerly led the Muhajireen Brigade, and is now ISIS’s military commander in Northern Syria.
Al-Mazwagi was killed in battle in February, aged 21. This is a collage made to honor him as a martyr, along with his friend and fellow casualty, Abu Qudama.
Above are two other recent British martyrs, Choukri Ellekhlifi, 22, and Mohammed el-Araj, 23. The pair are shown here at a jihadist internet café in Atmeh, a Syrian border town that is now firmly under ISIS control.
When Asalah, her daughter, and her son fled the war and left their home, Damascus for Iraq, they found themselves on the Syrian side of a closed border. Two months later, when the border opened on August 19, Asalah, her children, and 55,000 other refugeeshopped onto buses and trucks and entered Iraq’s Kurdistan region. They and another 30,000 refugees camped out wherever they could: parks, mosques, and even schools. By the time UNHCR arrived a week later, they hadn’t eaten in 36 hours and disease had spread among the refugees.
Asalah didn’t have a say in where she and her family could go in Iraq but technically lucked out when they were randomly assigned to Arbat camp by the Kurdistan government. Arbat camp is a transit refugee camp established by UNHCR located in the Sulaymaniyahprovince about six hours from the border Syrian-Iraq border. Arbat houses a small number of the refugees currently in Iraq—with only a 1000 refugees living in 500 tents compared to the Za’atari mega camp in Jordan that houses 130,000 refugees. The refugees were told they would temporarily stay in the transit camp for a few days while another, more accommodating camp was built. They’ve been there for almost two months.
Hackers Blackmailed a Detroit Teenager into Pawning His Mother’s Jewelry
Hector Hernandez is a seemingly average seventeen-year-old kid in Detroit. Earlier this week, he stole and pawned his family’s jewels so he could wire money to internet blackmailers in the Philippines. He did this because they had threatened to publicize webcam video they had managed to get of him by hacking his webcam.
According to reports, this scam is becoming increasingly common. Hackers trick someone into installing a remote access application, switch on their webcam when they’re doing something “indiscreet,” then Facebook message them a copy of the video, and threaten to show it to their parents/significant other/boss/whomever the person in the video would least like to see it. In short, it’s a crime of that type of psychopathic genius I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
In the case of Hector Hernandez, the scheme paid off to the tune of $1,700 in three installments, money he was able to get his hands on by pawning $100,000 worth of jewelry he stole from his family (which doesn’t seem like a very good deal.) The scammers probably used a trojan horse to install the remote access tool or “RAT virus”, as they’re calling it on TV news, on Hector’s computer.
Chinese Teenagers Are Obsessed with Justin Bieber, Too
Right now, Justin Bieber is in the middle of the Asian segment of his “Believe” world tour. As well as playing some arena shows, he marked the occasion by making his groupies carry him up the Great Wall Of China and skateboarding around Beijing, as his own sweating bodyguards followed him. Unwilling to miss such a significant meeting of Western cultural imperialism and Eastern screaming teenagers, I headed over to the Mercedes-Benz Arena in the Pudong district of Shanghai to meet the local Beliebers.
Chinese people seem to be masters of the cult of personality and love famous people even more than the rest of us. When David Beckham was in Shanghai in June, for example, there was an actual stampede in his press conference and seven people were hospitalized. When was the last time YOU cared enough about a stranger to get covered in your own blood for them? If they were killing each other over a retired midfielder from England, what would they do for the most famous kid on Earth?
The first people I met were Crystal (left) and Amy. As Crystal booted up her battery-powered “Belieber” sign, Amy told me that she likes Justin because, “he has a dream”. However, she also warned me that, “You don’t have to like everything about someone – I don’t like his tattoos and he was a bit lazy on The Great Wall.”
Unlike many of her western counterparts, Amy never wanted Selena Gomez—Justin’s ex—to disappear. “I like her music,” she explained. “And anyway, Justin would not fall in love with me, he’s 19.” Amy has got her head screwed on straight. When she chased me across the street five minutes later and begged me to get Justin’s autograph for her, I wished I could help her.