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Malachi_Constant




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Honestly, I found this insulting. I'm sure Chris Erskine meant this to be somewhat humorous, but I pride myself on maintaining a sense of personal integrity, as all responsible adults should. The fact that I am in my twenties does not mean that I am unreliable, self-absorbed, or obnoxious. After working jobs where I have been the oldest person on staff and one where I was the youngest by twenty years, I've found that people in general are often lazy, unreliable, and take themselves too seriously.

That being said, I can think of a lot of people I knew in college who could use more than a few of these specific suggestions. I do think a lot of privileged adult children in their twenties and early thirties are a special breed of morons compared to older generations. At least people that have managed to stay alive for a few decades have some common sense, emotional depth, and experience with adversity. They also find it easy to look down on people whose biggest disappointment in life so far has been a bad breakup, not getting into the college they wanted, or having mommy and daddy refuse to pay for their ridiculous lifestyle. While this really only describes the hipster scene of young urban professionals and wealthy children and college students, they are incredibly visible in popular culture and in major cities.

The problem is that my generation is represented by these people in the media and popular culture, and it makes people think we're a bunch of insufferable twats. They're right; the people Erskine mocks in this article are annoying drags on society. I work in a retail store in Bulington, Vermont, a small town which has a disproportionately large population of these people and I see them every day. Rich college kids and some people in their late twenties and early thirties dressed in stupid clothes with stupid haircuts and entitled attitudes. I hate living here. I had to move back in with my parents for financial reasons five months ago and I have had difficulty making new friends two thousand miles away from where I used to live because I find so many of the people my age who live here insufferable, and the ones I don't are busy working two or more jobs to try to pay the inflated rents in the area. Rent is more expensive here on average than in Seattle, a city with twenty times the population of this little town because of wealthy parents from urban areas mindlessly paying inflated rents for their children who are in college or who have recently graduated.

I think that the reality is that most young people today are seen by people born from 1955-1975 as too uninteresting and unmotivated to be bothered with, except as employees performing menial service, manual labor, and retail positions, and as a target for advertisers. While most young people are worth much more than all that, there is a small and highly visible portion of the population that is good for little else.

However, at the very least that small, vapid group is a lot less focused on personal financial gain at the expense of others because they rely on their parents and friends for their living arrangements and lifestyles. That makes them instinctively more community-minded and collaborative, and I'd rather have that be the image of my generation than the later Baby Boomers and Generation X, who outsourced American jobs, forced national politics far to the right, and restored corporations to levels of power they haven't held in this country since the early 1900s. Only now, the corporations aren't really American anymore, and this isn't only an American problem, but a problem throughout the Western world. Their obnoxious children are just blowback.

That was a lot more than I meant to write. Basically, I think this guy's kind of a jerk, but I can absolutely see where he's coming from. I'd be interested on what you think about what I've written since you said you were a member of an older generation.