The Lamest Teen Moral Panic Ever

In the good old days of the culture wars, your teenagers, after years of being raped by Satanist daycare workers, were all organizing "Rainbow Parties" and smoking weed three times more powerful than the stuff you smoked all the time in high school. Now they are just hugging?

The Times investigates this startling new trend in wanton affection. When will the madness stop?

Girls embracing girls, girls embracing boys, boys embracing each other - the hug has become the favorite social greeting when teenagers meet or part these days.

Cats embracing dogs! Homosexuals embracing your child! And hey, what would a moral panic be without peer pressure, the proof that these are just good kids led astray?

A measure of how rapidly the ritual is spreading is that some students complain of peer pressure to hug to fit in.

Uh oh! But how does our dreadfully over-litigious nanny-state politically correct nation of lawyers fit in to all this?

And schools from Hillsdale, N.J., to Bend, Ore., wary in a litigious era about sexual harassment or improper touching - or citing hallway clogging and late arrivals to class - have banned hugging or imposed a three-second rule.

A three-second rule! Like your bro is a mere Jolly Rancher dropped in a hallway!

Ok we are not even going to get into the armchair sociology of it (organized play dates are to blame!) or the pop culture culprits (MTV invented the "bromance"!). No, this article is too stupid and anecdotal and pointless even to continue mocking. Those are all the hallmarks of a classic teenage moral panic story, but this is about hugging.

Not Pharm Parties! Or "Fruit Salad Parties"! Or those magical evenings we all remember from our school days when the ladies would apply all manner of fancy lipsticks and fellate our peers in sequence. The fun we had! Well apparently Oprah ruined that for everyone and today's teens are just grabbing each other in hallways like fucking Italians or something.