The Subtle Thief of Youth


Our Daily Correspondent

selfie stick

The beginning of the end?

Yesterday I saw my first selfie stick. I had read of such things, but I’d never seen one in the wild. It was being wielded by an extremely chic Japanese tourist who held her iPhone at, well, stick’s length, her face shaded by a floppy-brimmed hat, a cigarette drooping from her lips. People tell me such sticks, or “Smart Phone Boom Arms,” are ubiquitous in other countries, and I’m sure they’re all over the place here, too—but it still seems to me that it would take a lot of chutzpah both to carry an implement so explicitly dedicated to the pursuit of narcissism and then to publicly voice-activate it for good measure. “They’re all over the Vatican,” reported one friend.

If you prefer a more private form of solipsism, may I suggest you search for your own first name on The rabbit hole that led me to this was a long one—I was curious about the name Beryl, if you must know—but, shamefully, it ended in my finding such reader-supplied entries as:

A word that describes someone really cool, hawt, funny and apparently an awsome cook. She wouldn’t take shit from anyone, and tends to love kids named Mike.

That sadie kid is fucking awsome.


A name for any beautiful girl with a great sense of humor. Sadie’s tend to be really funny and short. They are also smart and don’t take crap from anyone. A Sadie is a girl that you can’t get enough of and whenever you see her you can’t help but smile and watch as she smiles back. Her smile is also great. I happen to love a Sadie.

Boy 1: Hey, did you hear about that new girl? She is really beautiful and funny.
Boy 2: Duh, her name is Sadie.

Boy 1: Did you hear the Beatles have a song called “Sexy Sadie”?
Boy 2: Duh, all Sadie’s are sexy.

Hours of fun await you! Or at the very least, hours of regression.

Back when the Internet was young and dial-up was the order of the day, I made the mistake of looking up my first name; I remember not knowing what I was supposed to do with the Internet, or what was supposed to be so fun. Back then, one of the first hits was the site of a BSDM aficionado called “Sensuous Sadie.” I didn’t look my name up again.

And then in college, reading Milton, we learned about the origins of the word “sensuous,” and how the poet coined it specifically to avoid the sexual connotations of sensual. I thought, How dare she. And, Poor Milton. We didn’t yet have sad emojis.

Freakin awesome, real tight, someone who displays desireable characteristics …

Man that dude is totally Milton.