Everyone always wants to know what kids are listening to, what kids are thinking these days. But who can possibly keep track of what’s cool, who’s hot, and what’s neither? beijingkids decided to take the easy way out and just ask four students from the British School of Beijing about how they define cool, what they listen to, and movies that define their generation. Like all cool kids, the students were a bit hesitant to talk. After all, nothing is less than cool than talking about being cool.
How do you define cool?
Luke: When someone’s got their own style that no one else has.
Patrick: If what they’ve done or said or recorded is memorable, it’s cool. Or someone in a group who doesn’t try to take the center or try hard.
Min Jung: When you’re really good at something, and you can show off.
Alice: I don’t really think there is a specific definition for cool; it’s just being unique or special.
What kind of people in the media or public figures are cool?
Luke: Thierry Henry, a footballer. The first football game I ever watched, he scored the only goal.
Patrick: I like AC/DC, because my dad was following them, and then I started following them when I was like 3. They’re memorable. They made the ordinary extraordinary.
Min Jung: Most of the girls like the actor Robert
Pattinson, who plays Edward Cullin in the Twilight movie. All the girls love him.
What’s considered cool at school?
Luke: We don’t really have cool kids. We’re all
wearing the same things. I guess someone who’s relaxed and really rich.
Patrick: There’s no individualism.
Min Jung: Kids at other schools have more cliques. They’re more wild.
What teen TV shows do you watch?
Patrick: I’ll start watching one and then immediately turn it off.
Luke: The new 90201. It’s kind of funny. It’s different because no one is that old and they’re all rich.
Alice: I’m not interested in TV.
Are kids in high school portrayed
accurately in film and TV?
Min Jung: There are too many. Twilight is too much of a fairytale.
Patrick: I stay away from those. Not Another Teen Story is about all the stereotypes thrown into one movie, and it’s nowhere near realistic. As for High School Musical, no one stands up on on a table and starts singing.
Alice: Everything always ends up okay in the end. It’s not realistic and gives people the wrong idea.
What’s your favorite music?
Luke: The Wombats, an English band. It’s indie rock, in between pop and rock. They’re just a bit different.
Patrick: I like more metal or rock. AC/DC and a band called Disturbed.
Min Jung: Any pop will be fine.
Alice: I don’t go for what’s exactly popular.
What influenced your tastes and what do you think is cool?
Luke: My sister. I kind of followed what she liked.
Patrick: My dad, probably.
Min Jung: It’s your friends. You listen to your other friends’ iPods. If you keep listening to it, you kind of like it.
Alice: I like Jay Chou. He’s not exactly that good, but he can sing.
Patrick: I can’t stand the tacky cheesy lines; it’s always about love or missing someone.
How is your generation different from other generations?
Luke: There’s just not one main band, like the Beatles. We have loads of choice.
Patrick: Computers can make horrible singers sound really good. They’ve been able to alter how people look by taking out blemishes.
Alice: Kids focus more on how the pop stars look and not as much as how well they can perform.
Min Jung: My parents love traditional music. Young kids like pop music.
What movie defines your
Patrick: All the good movies were in the 1970s and ‘80s. I don’t want High School Musical to define our generation. Tacky and unrealistic.
Min Jung: The Twilight movie.
Luke: It’s taken over. Everyone knows about it.
Who would you most like to meet?
Patrick: Johnny Knoxville, the actor. He’s always upbeat.
Luke: Thierry Henry, not David Beckham.
Beckham moved to America and just kept changing his hair. Everyone started liking him and when everyone liked him, I stopped liking him.
Patrick: Yeah, he sold out.
Patrick Walther,15, is American and has lived in Beijing for three years
Alice Zhao, 15, is Canadian and has lived in Beijing for three years
Min Jung Kang, 15, is from South Korea and has lived in BJ for nearly ten years
Luke Wertheim, 14, is British and has lived in Beijing for 18 months