Tuesday, September 15, 2015

An Open Letter To Millennials

[Part Three in my recent series skewering the latest generation of young adults in the U.S. Millennials are no exception to the rule that every generation thinks way too much of itself, and as such, need to be talked down off the ledge before they hurt themselves.]

Millennials, you scare me. You have taken self-aggrandizing to heights never before seen in history.

Over the course of the past few years, reports have been rolling in from college professors across America that they can no longer challenge the ideas of their students without endangering their jobs. College campuses, once a place where you as a young student wanted to go in order to learn more about the world now go to college with the expectation that any and all of your beliefs will be confirmed because they are true and not because a college simply wants your money. Meanwhile, professional companies are reporting that when you enter the workforce, you as entry level employees, are expecting exorbitant salaries, corner offices and to come and go as you please simply because you bothered to show up for work in the first place. Granted, you fight for social justice will the zeal common to all young ideologues, but you only do so as long as you don’t actually risk anything such as bodily harm, your source of income or alienating your friends. This last point is most disturbing of all.

Certainly, you have raised your voice and won some important battles such as the right for gays and lesbians to marry. But as I said, you haven’t risked a whole lot in doing so, not unless you yourself are gay or lesbian. While I believe you are right that such an issue is an important one to fight for, there are other issues – non-social, global issues – that need attention that you have not unexpectedly turned a blind eye to such as climate change and the alarming and rise of militant Islam. With that in mind, imagine if you will that your generation has been transported back in time to 1939 to the onset of World War II; how well would you handle a fascist bent on talking over Europe while an Emperor stalked Asia and the Pacific? How well would you handle the entire world being on the brink of war? Would you tweet Hitler out of power or share on Facebook “epic responses” to Japanese propagandists? Or would you dare enter the trenches and provide the enemy with the largest and easiest targets they’ve ever seen? (And would you complain to your commander about the amount of aggression levied at you by the enemy? Your generation cannot even seem to handle even the most innocuous insult much less be asked to physically exert themselves.) I could forgive you for abstaining from violence, electing to stay home and protest a lion killer from the comfort of a cafĂ© with free wi-fi because like me you have given basically up on humanity, but your tenacity regarding social issues indicates you are not as misanthropic as I am. Maybe you would simply turn over the world to Germany and Japan, alleging that all cultures are equally worthwhile. Maybe then it will dawn on you that these ‘equal’ cultures have no respect for your opinions about social justice when you are incarcerated for dissent (if not summarily executed by your new overseers).

[*Name here withheld because I hurt this poor, young man's feelings], a Millennial who writes for the Millennialist website Mic.com, defends you by writing, “Young people these days are pigeonholed with all kinds of negative stereotypes: They're lazy. They're unskilled. They're entitled and narcissistic. None of these labels are actually true but they remain conventional wisdom the country over nonetheless.” Leave it to someone who was hand-held throughout their ‘education’ to miss why stereotypes become stereotypes in the first place. Much like any given person anywhere in the world, you tend not to take responsibility for your shortcomings. Or, like any given person anywhere in the world, when you do admit to any shortcomings, you feel as though this admission absolves you of any criticism or worse, you drum up the nerve to play the victim card as if you had endured ten years as a child prostitute in Thailand. I realize this is tough to hear, that you are typical of any given person anywhere in the world, but it’s true. Your Gen X parents may have told you you’re special, possibly due to their own lack of education that allowed for the misinterpretation of the word ‘special,’ but I assure you that your parents are kicking themselves now because they can’t get five minutes of your time before you turn away to coddle a device that you are so dependent on, you literally cannot function without it. Driven to dismiss these nagging faults about yourself you band together and communicating as one, at least when you can tear yourself away from news about a socialite who contributes nothing worthwhile to society other than her very presence.

Maybe someone, possibly a Millennial but more likely a comedian, said that you’re special because you grew up to survive the Great Recession. Do you think this is anything like growing up during WWII, the Vietnam conflict or even the Cold War? If you’re going to complain about, say, the Silent Generation (ask Siri) for feeling entitled to a program such as Social Security, think for a moment the degree to which that generation worked for it. Men went to war and women took over physically demanding factory jobs. Today, you seem to think that perfecting the art of the latte deserves more respect than it is given. As with any generation, you are bound to contribute the occasional genius or two, but I have heard of no genius arising from the slums of Starbucks. Yet you as a generation expect so much while contributing so little. While I agree in part with your overriding principle that life is better spent having fun instead of working, this doesn’t mean that when you are asked to work, you should put as little effort or skill into working as you can. One day your parents might die and leave you with nothing (since Gen X’ers were the first generation to stop saving money), meaning you might have to – gasp! – get a job you don’t like for a little while and be expected to be good at it in order to pay for that little rectangle piece of plastic and metal that serves as your brain. You might also want to consider the necessity of buying food before paying for a tattoo.

If you still think you are at all special, you may be right, but in the negative sense of the word. A special person (that is, intelligent person) would never come to the conclusion that the beliefs they hold are beyond reproach simply because they hold the belief. A ‘special’ person would, perhaps because your parents didn’t give you the tools to prevent mere words from causing you lasting psychological harm. You, as a ‘special’ person, supports socialism and sometimes Communism, though you are usually unable to describe socialism (without the use of a smart phone) or understand that Communism doesn’t work in real life. You, as a ‘special’ person also seem to think that being socially liberal means you are liberal, period, despite data that indicates the more money you make, the more fiscally conservative you become. And although you are rejecting the notion of God en masse, you are also rejecting science. Unfortunately we cannot vaccinate against stupidity.

Lastly, if you’ll notice, no self-respecting minority who doesn’t have a lot of white friends dares to identify themselves as a Millennial. (This should serve as a red flag and make you reconsider some of the things you believe about yourselves.) No minorities identify themselves as Millennials because while you as a white person can talk about injustice ad nauseam, minorities have to actually suffer it. Of course, this is the part where you bemoan the fact that you are white and call for the extermination of Caucasians, so long as it’s not yourself because you’re on the side of the disenfranchised. You don’t seem to realize that it was Renaissance ideals, brought to you by a few boat loads of white people, that allowed for social justice in the U.S. to ever take place. Do not think for a second that if the shoe were on the other foot, any other foot, that another ethnicity in power would think to build into their country’s constitution the idea of social equality. Today, the U.S. Constitution, written by a bunch of old dudes in funny hats – some of whom owned slaves – is what many foreign progressive wish their own countries would model their governments upon. Understandably, you dare not acknowledge this as it would undermine your belief in cultural relativism.

I’m sorry, Millennials, but you’re not quite as special as you think. IOW, omg ur not spcl rofl. You do have the opportunity to prove otherwise, but as a generation unique to the U.S. you come with all the trappings particular to Americans, meaning, you’re not number one in a whole slew of categories. One of those areas is reading comprehension: “Special - Better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.” So, are you special? And if all of you are special, wouldn’t that mean none of you are special? No, no, don’t ponder that for a moment. I don’t want to end up in jail for making you feel a little bit bad about yourself.

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