Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that yesterday Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams made an announcement urging teenagers to run for community board positions. “Teenagers play a vitally important role in our communities, and it’s time they sit on these boards as well, so our government reflects the opinions of all people,” Adams said.
City Council reps nominate half of the community board nominees, and Borough Presidents pick from the selections and make their own appointments to the board. Members must be active in their community and, according to the city, “must reside, work, or have some other signifiant interest in the community.”
The Borough President’s announcement comes after a new law was passed in Albany that drops the minimum age for Community Board members from 18 to 16.
In the wake of a brain shattering interview that appeared in the never-not-brilliant T Magazine, Adams’s suggestion is more than a little frightening. Sibling teenagers Willow (14) and Jaden Smith (16), offspring of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, reminded us just how far the prefrontal cortex is from being fully developed at such a tender age.
Willow: “I mean, time for me, I can make it go slow or fast, however I please, and that’s how I know it doesn’t exist.”
Jaden: “When you’re thinking about something happy, you’re thinking about something sad. When you think about an apple, you also think about the opposite of an apple. It’s a tool for understanding mathematics and things with two separate realities. But for creativity: That comes from a place of oneness. That’s not a duality consciousness.”
Willow: “Breathing is meditation; life is a meditation. You have to breathe in order to live, so breathing is how you get in touch with the sacred space of your heart.”
Jaden: “When babies are born, their soft spots bump: It has, like, a heartbeat in it. That’s because energy is coming through their body, up and down.”
Willow: “Prana energy.”
Jaden: “Anything that you can shock somebody with. The only way to change something is to shock it. If you want your muscles to grow, you have to shock them. If you want society to change, you have to shock them.”
Their hallucinatory jabber is sort of Sun Ra cool, until you remember that it can probably be attributed to their Scientology upbringing. Or if you’re blindly optimistic, their loopy responses could just as easily be an indication Willow and Jaden are just trolling. We’ll go with that one, because if teenagers are anything like they used to be when we were in their shoes, these kids definitely thought this interview was a joke.
Or maybe this whole weirding out adults with pseudo-philosophical blither thing is just what the kids are doing these days. In that case putting teens on Community Boards will end not badly, but rather hilariously. We’d be down to see teen board reps turn down development proposals because the renderings aren’t “shocking” enough or because affordable housing units failed to include meditation rooms. We’re guessing teenagers could make the city a lot more interesting.