What if they just stopped?
What if in a grand, scruffy stab at corporate disobedience, teenagers en masse simply stopped spending their money on the cynical crap that’s relentlessly mainlined to them:
the addictive and deadly cigarettes, the hateful music, the crude and desensitizing videos and movies?
What if they stopped buying that $#!%—just to cause trouble?
That’s the radical notion behind Like We Care, a biting, clever, and hilarious satire in which two endearingly subversive high school seniors set out to monkey wrench the recording industry, the cigarette industry, the junk food industry – indeed, much of the American money machine. Marrying the internet to corporate America’s own schemes and weapons, they slowly, reluctantly launch a grassroots campaign, with racial, political, and cultural implications, that harnesses the awesome, untapped power of teenagers flush with cash and inflamed by adult hypocrisy.
Drawn into their orbit are two key players: a beautiful but compromised executive for a contemptible music video network, who is torn between her career and the potency of the boys’ message; and an earnest, inspiring, but emotionally fragile social studies teacher. Can this odd foursome succeed? We’re not saying!
But we will say this much: Like We Care encapsulates the youthful callousness and crudeness, the ersatz disobedience, and even the sheep-like tendencies of the current unrebellious generation. By contrast, the book’s two main characters, Todd Noland and Joel Kasten, prove themselves to be true individuals. They send a message to adults: that some teenagers are wise to their games; that, if they must, they’ll lead the less enlightened of their age group; that teenage herd mentality can be a dangerous weapon when in the “right” people’s hands; and that there’s a glimmer of hope that the current lost generation is redeemable.