If you read the New York Times T Magazine's joint interview with Jaden and Willow Smith — the first time the teenage children of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith had ever been interviewed together — and thought "Who do these kids think they are?" you weren't alone.
The responses from the aspiring 14-year-old and 16-year-old musicians were so self-aware, they seemed befitting of subjects well beyond their combined 30 years.
What have you been reading?
WILLOW: Quantum physics. Osho.
JADEN: “The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life” and ancient texts; things that can’t be pre-dated.
What are some of the themes that recur in your work?
JADEN: The P.C.H. being one of them; the melancholiness of the ocean; the melancholiness of everything else.
WILLOW: And the feeling of being like, this is a fragment of a holographic reality that a higher consciousness made.
The pair were asked what types of things they covet.
JADEN: Anything that you can shock somebody with. The only way to change something is to shock it. If you want your muscles to grow, you have to shock them. If you want society to change, you have to shock them.
WILLOW: That’s what art is, shocking people. Sometimes shocking yourself.
The famous Hollywood siblings were also asked about not going to school like other kids their age.
JADEN: Here’s the deal: School is not authentic because it ends. It’s not true, it’s not real. Our learning will never end. The school that we go to every single morning, we will continue to go to.
WILLOW: Forever, ‘til the day that we’re in our bed.
JADEN: Kids who go to normal school are so teenagery, so angsty.
WILLOW: They never want to do anything, they’re so tired.
JADEN: You never learn anything in school. Think about how many car accidents happen every day. Driver’s ed? What’s up? I still haven’t been to driver’s ed because if everybody I know has been in an accident, I can’t see how driver’s ed is really helping them out.
WILLOW: I went to school for one year. It was the best experience but the worst experience. The best experience because I was, like, “Oh, now I know why kids are so depressed.” But it was the worst experience because I was depressed.
Not surprisingly, reactions to the interview on Twitter ranged from bemusement to fear.
This Jaden/Willow Smith interview is parody. I will not be convinced otherwise. http://t.co/9CjLGWHep7— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlakeWP) November 17, 2014
Slightly terrified of Will Smith's kids, who appear to be kinds of higher beings. "Our learning will never end" http://t.co/1rHN4q4mo9— Dan Stewart (@thatdanstewart) November 17, 2014
Getting this whole interview tattooed on my back http://t.co/EEY7Xr9Pdj— Todd Olmstead (@toddjolmstead) November 17, 2014
the nytimes interviewed my 8th grade livejournal http://t.co/Ns4cUhmolH— Jessica Roy (@JessicaKRoy) November 17, 2014
@nytimes Best part of that piece: "This interview has been edited and condensed."— 8 & 8 (@SportsGeyser) November 17, 2014
Time magazine even produced a "Jaden and Willow Smith Poetry Generator."
Here's ours: "You never learn anything in school because living, that's what art is. The melancholiness of everything else. So teenagery."