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The Millennials

The Millennials. I was pretty mad when I saw that Time magazine cover story. I’ve been hearing and reading about the dumbing down of a generation a little too much lately. It seems to be something that happens once in awhile. Say, every 20 years or so.

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We all point our fingers at the generation behind us and we say ‘Ha! They’re ruining EVERYTHING!’ The same type of people who probably said that all these rotten kids who don’t want to learn the oral history of the world and are relying on reading things like books instead of just memorizing the way we used to are lazy bastards.

The same kind of people who said that the younger generation were just self entitled losers and wanted handouts because they wouldn’t go out and work on the farm from dawn until dusk, put in 18 hour days and be grateful for a 1/2 day off to go to church. Who expected Mom and Pop (or the Boss) to go out and buy an expensive tractor to do the work. Lazy bastards.

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But here’s the thing, they seem to think that WE, as in MY generation, tanked the whole thing. Created this shit show that they are going through. The truth is that it’s been tanking for quite a while. This shit show was on it’s way down the toilet when I got here in 1960. You think that it was our generation that poured the econmy down the toilet in wars, and golden parachutes for rich stockbrokers? Lemme tell ya, it wasn’t me. It wasn’t anyone I know either.

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We did our share trying to get this circus under control. All that crap that used to be taken as given, WE were the generation that did something about it. We didn’t whine and cry and point fingers. We went onto the streets and marched and rioted and VOTED and things are better. Not ALL better, I’m not your Mommy, I can’t make it ALL better, just better for minorities, women and workers.

Or, here’s an even better idea! How about if we stop pointing fingers at ANY generation and point them squarely where they should be pointing…the corporations, governments and institutions that are sucking us dry and distracting us with shiny new toys.

We were ALL here when Rawanda happened. Remember that? No? Here’s a refresher. The Rwandan Genocide was a genocidal mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority. During the approximate 100 day period from April 7, 1994 to mid-July, over 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed. Over ONE MILLION. In about 100 days. More died in the following months of sickness and starvation. The genocide was planned by members of the core political elite, some of whom occupied positions at top levels of the national government. Perpetrators came from the ranks of the army, the National Police, government-backed militias and the Hutu civilian population. Yes, that’s right. The government.

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Don’t remember anyone protesting that debacle. Why was there no response? No outcry? Because there’s no oil in Rawanda. Just people.

What about Chernoble? Remember that government attempted cover up? It was only when radioactive waste began to fall on Finland that they admitted they’d had a melt down.

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This is your chance to make a difference. This is YOUR generation. IT’s YOUR time. So rather than just complain about no jobs, a tanked economy and global warming, how about if you put down your phone, stopping Instagraming yourself for two minutes and do something about it.

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16 thoughts on “The Millennials

  1. Holy crap Laura….I left a crazy long comment and I don’t know where it went!! If you end up getting a crazy comment on one of the other posts and it makes NO friggin sense….sorry!! It was me….

  2. Thumbs up to you Laura, I don’t know anyone from that generation that didn’t work their #**&* off, and definitely they did not wish for the situation to be as it is now.

    • I wrote this post rather quickly but I think it’s healthy to vent, as it were. I, too, am tired of having the finger pointed at me. I still do what I can and I’m awfully tired of having 20 somethings using me as a dart board. Claiming that the ‘mess’ is due to apathy and greed that my generation somehow allowed to pass without comment. Maybe it’s the result of having a 23 yr old promoted into my position when I got sick. Now she’s making a hash of my department and there’s nothing I can do. Phooey!

  3. I think there’s a cycle of generational finger pointing which goes back as far as we can tell. This 1967 Dragnet clip I found four weeks ago. It gave me a good chuckle. Sometimes I feel like Joe Friday. OK, several times I feel like Joe Friday.

    I remember Rwanda; I remember plenty. I remember being 15 years old with no power what so ever. Just a kid; just a backwater prole with nothing to show for it but Value City clothing and a cold, indifferent town.

    With genocide, there seems to be a limit to how much the human brain can handle. Whether it’s a coping mechanism or limited processing capacity, the reality of high-volume death doesn’t register well. I’m prone to believe people need to be down in the thick of things. Experience the mass amounts of corpses. Smell the stench. Maybe then it will click and become meaningful. Otherwise, it seems to pass right through them much like a Channel One episode with Anderson Cooper or Lisa Ling.

    • I remember Rawanda well. I won’t ever forget it because the Canadians were one of the few countries that stayed when Clinton loaded his plane of Americans up, including his armed forces, and left. I remember Romeo Dalliaire, our general, standing there on the tarmac and weeping as they left him and a handful of Dutch soldiers to try and stop the killings. They showed it on TV. And it went on and on…for over 3 months they showed us in Canada what was happening. We had no coping mechanism up there. Everyone cried. No amount of rationalization could and ever will allow me to process that kind of killing, in those numbers. Poor brain…scarred for life.

    • God Almighty that’s a great CLIP! I used to love watching Dragnet when I was a kid and now I know why. Thanks for the share, it’s wonderful. He said it better than me.

  4. I am getting to an age where I use the phrase “our generation”which is already troubling but that’s another story. I think targeting entire groups born at certain times is cowardly as we are all individuals with power to change and advance things in our small way. There was only one Martin Luther King, one Nelson Mandela, one Bob Geldof, all representing different generations but with the to influence and change generations to come. Hell, I just read yesterday that the biggest charity doner among celebrities last year was Taylor Swift!

    • I heard that about Swifty, too! Good for her! Yeah, I thought that swipe that the Times took at the younger generation was a bit divisive, to say the least. I had a talk with a young person who complained that ‘we’ screwed everything up. I’ve been treated like a leper by a young family member who thinks “I’m part of the problem, not the solution.” I really want to encourage her to focus on the big picture and not on my personal habits. To say nothing of the fact that I am still battling ovarian cancer, which has kept me busy for the past year. grrrrrr…(I wonder if I was such a tit when I was 19? Can’t believe I was…)

  5. i’m a bimbo on this topic. i don’t watch tv or read news much but genocide is cruel and so is finger pointing. if everyone just do what is morally right… and again that depends on the morals we are brought up with. it is always easier to lecture on hindsight. good to let off steam Laura or we’ll all go crazy!

  6. This is an interesting post in so many ways. I’m 61 but probably identify with the younger generations more than my own. Nonetheless, I admit to feeling a certain amount of a disconnect with generation Y [?] I think they’re bored and unhappy, and that’s reflected in [some of] their behaviour. That judgement comes not from reading Time magazine, but from playing MMO’s online /with/ that age group.

    My daughter is only 26, but she feels the disconnect even more, perhaps because she is physically in contact with that age group more than I am.

    I suspect that what we are seeing is a generation produced by a society almost completely geared towards dual income families. Time is tight, money isn’t. -shrug-

    • I hate to admit I don’t know what an MMO is. Bored and unhappy can describe any generation. Don’t we all grow tired of the mistakes and tiresomeness of the previous bunch? It just seems that we’ve all been manipulated into finger pointing by evil geniuses who want to distract us from the real problems. Mind you no one from previous generations had to deal with iPhones and Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook and everything they have to. I just hope the genius of this new generation shows up quick. We had MLK and rioting in the streets and real change. What can they do? I was hoping for big things from the kids today. It remains to be seen, doesn’t it.

      • An MMO is an online game – think World of Warcraft – where thousands of players inhabit a digital world and basically have adventures. 🙂

        You’re right about the manipulation. Simply by giving something a name, we give it a life of its own. Unfortunately the sense of entitlement that seems to characterize Gen Y is real. Not all Gen Y-ers are like that of course, but we do love to generalize, and I’m as guilty as anyone.

        Perhaps Gen Y will come into its own when they have something to fight against, of for. I just hope it isn’t something catastrophic.

      • I think of what’s happening in the Ukraine right now and I want to cry. I wish it didn’t have to come down to violence so often now. And you’re right. by giving something a name we empower it. But can ignoring something steal it’s power? I need to think on that.

There is no sin except stupidity.

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