2013 Winter Issue 5 (February 15, 2013)
Fun.’s “We Are Young” won a Grammy for “Song of the Year” last Sunday, and appropriately so. It’s been played seemingly non-stop since its release, and the chorus—“Tonight, we are young / so let’s set the world on fire / we can burn brighter than the sun”—is undeniably catchy.
From the age of roughly 20 until 26, a period I will call the “twenty somethings,” one is stuck in perpetual, 6-year transition period of self-obsession; an era of modest responsibility, patchy ups and downs, frequent existential crises, blurred lines between romance and friendship, and a white future full of empty promises.
Language is deceptive. Economics hasn’t evolved the same way as etymology. There are roots—”re-” or “anti-” or “endo-”—that don’t mean the same thing intuitively as they do materially. That, I think is what’s at heart of the divestment issue, because “divest” is such a crisp, pure, upstanding word that it’s easy to get confused about what it really means.