15 May 2008

Gen X vs. Gen Y, Damn Kids These Days

Scholar of all things Gen X, Wek of Latchkey Man, has directed me to this most excellent article at Radar. The article slams Millennials for being a bunch of whiny, self-obsessed twerps , incapable of understanding that reality exists beyond their own narrow-understanding of current events, and that "They're like pod people with Facebook accounts" in their sheer number and influence. Having been born in 1980 during the Jimmy "Malaise Forever" Carter administration, I was pretty relieved to learn that I fell into the Gen X generation according to the article's classification. Maybe it's my general surliness towards the demographic of the young punks that egged my car, or my curmudgeon-like schtick on this blog, but I feel a world apart from the "The Millennial Generation", despite just a few years age difference. Here's why:
  • I do not subscribe to the belief that writing about my daily existence of mediocrity would be of interest to anyone (e.g. going to the bathroom BRB!, OMG! eating lunch, I just got another Anthrax shot LOL!)
  • I understand that work is supposed to be boring, dull, and laborious as opposed to a "super way" to boost an already inflated self-esteem and get kudos from the boss
  • Evenings of getting wasted and gambling away my paycheck are vice and not a sign of my independence that needs to get posted on a Facebook profile
  • I am incredibly skeptical of chintzy, expensive brand names and manufactured coolness that can be bought off the rack from Hot Topic
  • I am accepting of the fact that you don't have control over certain events that happen in society and "just putting your mind to it!" might not be good enough to solve the problem
  • I am not the most important person in the world

Consider this a disenfranchisement message from the Millennial generation, and I saw The Ramones before they broke up back in '95, ergo I'm cool enough to be part of the cynical Gen X, I sure hope.

Of course, it is not fair to paint such broad assertions of those born after 1981, so I'm willing to believe that some people younger than me are okay. One scary trend of the last decade has been girlie mags perpetuating the ideal of women as skinny and dumb as the bed posts at IKEA. GI Kate, Battle Dress U, and Gen Pink are all female millennials and they all provide a sharp counter-point to the ridiculous idealization that women are supposed to be dumb broads waiting for their frat-boy husband to whisk them away to a mansion in the Hamptons, while dressed up for prom riding a unicorn. A couple of my favorite blogs, Toy Soldier and Iraq The Purgatorium, show that millennials don't swallow the "company line" and are able to go on a Hunter S. Thompson style foray through a place like Iraq, viewing everything with a skeptical perspective (although I probably haven't heard of any of the music they enjoy). Unfortunately, these fine young men and women are most likely in the minority, and most millennials will be content to update their Facebook profiles compulsively as society collapses around them.

Weapons of Mass Distraction (h/t Marketing Nirvana)