Fudgebudget

Wherein I express myriad incredulities

Posts Tagged ‘generation x

Selfies for everyone!

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I made the mistake of watching an interview segment this morning about the Millennial generation. It was a panel of “experts” (a term I’m using liberally here, because it was really just a few Gen X’ers and a couple of hegemonically privileged Baby Boomers) debating the merits and shortcomings of the Millennial generation with emphasis on the latter – despite the title of the segment being “Why Millennials may be lazy, and why they may save us.” In the interest of full disclosure, I am technically Gen Y (I think?) or at the very upper end of the Millennials, depending on whose generation boundaries one chooses to accept. Regardless, I thought it might be interesting to watch a potentially positive take on a generation usually disparaged by mainstream media (they cater to us, but don’t like us, apparently).

There will also probably be more profanity in this piece that I usually use, because I’m angry on the internet.

If you’re interested in the segment in question and feel like being indignant with me, here it is: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3036789/ns/msnbc-morning_joe/vp/51828081#51828081

Thing that annoyed me #1: “We need these people to bail us out.”

A Gen X’er actually said this. As if they aren’t young enough and don’t have enough time to make a difference. You’re putting a lot of faith and trust in a generation that you apparently don’t even think capable of moving out of their parents’ houses, much less embarking upon a meaningful career. Sure, you know what? We’d love to clean up your mess. Between the general entitlement of the Baby Boomer generation and unfounded apathy of Gen X’ers, you guys have done a fantastic job running this country the last few decades. Which leads me to…

Thing that annoyed me #2: The misuse of the word “reverent.”

I’m sorry, but what about the contemporary leadership in this country is supposed to inspire reverence? There was one guy on the panel in particular that was very disturbed by a “lack of reverence” on the part of Millennials. He spoke about about how Millennials shouldn’t feel entitled to contact a CEO of a company, and how it’s not a good thing to have 7 jobs before we’re 26. A) The lack of access and accountability of authority figures is what led to the economic collapse, so fuck you, and B) Many of us would love to have a career at one company and get a pension at the end of it, but that’s NOT FUCKING REALISTIC FOR US. If we did anything differently, he would be criticizing our lack of adaptability.

Thing that annoyed me #3: General pessimism about our character and perceived self-centered-ness. Predictably, we were also criticized for a tendency to take “selfies.”

We came of age in an era of a misdirected war with a president who wasn’t intellectual enough to be our 9th grade geography teacher. We made it through an insane economic collapse and have watched both our jobs and our parents’ jobs be outsourced to countries with cheaper labor. We are afraid to go to the doctor for fear of how much it may cost us just to take care of our bodies when our finances are already so fragile. We are taking on more of a burden of debt to be educated than any generation before us, and we spent our middle school and high school years overachieving to pad our resumes in hopes of getting into the schools that put us into a position of being saddled with debt before we even have a chance to buy a home or invest our savings (side note: hahahahaha “savings.”). So you know what? If someone wants to take a fucking selfie, who gives a shit? There are a lot of times where it’s hard to find anything else to believe in besides ourselves.

And yet, despite all of this, we’re still progressive. We are accepting of the lifestyle choices being made by the people around us. We have bigger fish to fry than worrying if the guys next door are just roommates or in a committed and loving relationship. We see people succumb to the despair and futility of their circumstances – maybe they drop out of school, start a drug habit they can’t kick, have a child they can’t take care of – and it baffles us that there are still people who are willing to fight about the gays next door’s right to adopt children out of the foster care system, or a woman’s right to choose (hint: if you don’t have a uterus, shut up.).

What I’m getting at here is that denigrating the Millennial generation doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t make us feel any better about the world around us, and it sure doesn’t make us feel like there’s any point in trying to improve our country and our planet. Want to motivate us? Stop bitching. Be helpful. Stop caring about shit that doesn’t matter and start looking at the big picture. The Millennial generation is inheriting an unprecedented mess, and there is a lot that is too late to change. But not all of it. And the only way anything is going to get fixed is if people either start helping or fucking get out of the way.

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Written by fudgebudget

May 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm