I confess that I had to google “I’m shmacked” to see what it meant. Turns out, it’s 20-something-speak for being drunk. (Remember when it was all about “getting wasted”?)
Wow, do I feel old. As a seemingly well-informed member of the media who frequently writes about rock bands comprised of members half his age, I expect more from myself. At 47, am I really that out of touch?
Read Michael Bradley’s “Party Boy,” and you’ll know how I feel. It tells the story of Jeffrie Ray, a 20-year-old Lower Merion High School graduate who stands to make six figures this year by organizing college soirées at campuses nationwide, filming them, and posting the clips on his website at imshmacked.com. “When I first heard about I’m Shmacked from my children, I reacted the way many parents do,” says Bradley, who’s even older than I am. (Sorry, you’ll have to guess.) “It sounded appalling and hardly something I thought high school kids—and even collegians—should see.”
But after Bradley finally tracked down Ray (it wasn’t easy) and spoke with those who understand and research the habits of today’s college students, he changed his tune—somewhat. “I realized that I’m Shmacked is less of a bad influence and more of a chronicler of what’s happening,” he says.
But that doesn’t mean Ray’s enterprise isn’t culpable in some way. “I still think it plays a role in encouraging unsafe behavior,” Bradley says. “But I’m Shmacked isn’t all that responsible for the activity, just as it isn’t quite the window on the college world that Ray and his partner purport it to be.”
And besides, says Bradley, “who’s to say this same stuff wasn’t going on during my tender years at the University of Michigan—just without the technology available to document it?”
Thank heavens for that.
Staff Changes: Starting with this month’s issue, Melissa Jacobs has signed on as our new assistant editor. Formerly in charge of our Living Well section, Jacobs will continue to write about health and wellness as she also takes over our Main Events section and parts of our Frontline section, including 60 Seconds. A published novelist, Jacobs is also a longtime contributor to the Jewish Exponent.
Also in This Issue: This year’s 23 Power Women are another auspicious bunch. Join us in honoring them at our annual Women on the Move Luncheon at Drexelbrook on Oct. 10. The keynote speaker is Lisa M. Buckingham, executive vice president and chief human resources officer of the Lincoln Financial Group.