RETRO DAVE. David Brooks has a truly bizarre column today citing the lyrics of female pop stars as evidence of America's "formless premarital life, and the anxieties it produces." Apparently songs by Avril Lavigne, Carrie Underwood, and Pink expressing anger at cheating boyfriends and too-slick guys at bars prove that today's "lone ranger" young women, "product[s] of the cold-eyed age of divorce and hookups... face a social frontier of their own. They hit puberty around 13 and many don’t get married until they’re past 30. That’s two decades of coupling, uncoupling, hooking up, relationships and shopping around. This period isn’t a transition anymore. It’s a sprawling life stage, and nobody knows the rules."

Hm. What would Brooks prefer? A world in which, thanks to social pressures to rush into marriage and motherhood, women stay with the first loser who crosses their path?

In any case, he missed the best entry of the angry-girl genre, Lily Allen's "Smile."

--Dana Goldstein

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