Well, it’s time for another rant about the generation gap.
The Czar tends to be more accepting of the Millennials than his Castlemates, because by and large, the kids born between 1983 – 2001 are finally getting their feet on the ground and recognizing that life is pretty hard. They also are able to do a lot of really cool, neat things that has made life better—although their conflation of useful with necessary seems to need more maturing.
Unfortunately, a huge number of them are children of Boomers, the least useful and possibly most massively destructive generation when it comes to American culture. Born between 1946 – 1963 for the most part, Boomers are an unholy brat princess of self-indulgent foot-stamping and me-first line cutters. And as Boomers face the Great Dying Off over the next decade or two, they’ve gotten even more nostalgiac and narcissist as it dawns on them that their Whole Thing, Man, turned out to mean jack shit in the final analysis. Really, outside of some fairly decent music at the start and whole portions of the Internet, what have they accomplished?
World peace? Nope. A new Enlightenment? Nope. Evil-free Communism? Totally conned on that one. Actually, their accomplishments over time are a litany of embarassment: hippies, bell-bottoms, disco, cocaine-fueled yuppiedom, the Chevette, the fall of Irân, global warming and/or cooling, modern art, and autotuned retro hits over a disco beat. Basically, everything they have touched, they have made dumber and more crass.
Nostalgia is often a sense that you could have done more; by that metric, the Boomers ought to be the most nostalgic group of sad bastards on Earth, and generally that’s pretty true: during the Obama years, they wanted everything to be 1968 all over again. Under Trump, they want the fully 1969-1970 Nixon years, up to and including some inevitable Kent State shooting.
The problem is that most Boomers these days are in HoverRounds or riding StairLifts to push cops or throw flaming garbage cans at store fronts. So they’re getting their kids to do it. And just as they failed to provide the Millennials any real life coaching, they’re just letting their kids run around and make it up as they go. A participation medal—a pink pussy hat or Day Without Slackers pink slip—is the only goal here, as always.
As a result, the kids are making the same mistakes as the parents: too much with nothing to show for it but crap for someone else to clean up. “We’re making a difference, ma,” says pierced and inked Brandon, as 70-year-old Rose searches cable television for that remake of Room 222 featuring those sweet transgendered kids who kiss each other a lot. “That’s nice, dear,” says Rose. “Did I ever tell you about the time I read a Newsweek article about Selma? That was making a difference.”
Unfortunately, 80% of the country turns on ABC World News with David “Dan ‘Smug’ Rather But Somehow More Naive” Muir, where the lead story every single night is a bunch of cartoonishly dressed Millennials screaming obscenities at Trump because they discovered that the bank expects them to pay back their student loans, can you imagine? And the next day, more of the same—protests, but no results. That’s called a temper tantrum, and most people know how to deal with that—you roll your eyes and look the other way until it blows itself out.
Watching today’s protests is like watching children in some Indonesian jungle tribe attempting to recreate football after hearing about a game on the radio. Some of the motions are familiar, but overall it’s a pathetically juvenile attempt to copy somebody else’s Whole Thing, Man.
Unlike Boomers, who were consistently patted on the head and given candy for their systemic exploitation by the man, Millennials are adaptable. They’re going to see that heteronormative patriarchical microaggressions are nothing more than hippie technobabble, as every bit recycled and empty as today’s music and fashion. “Hey Jerryd, you comin’ down to the shopping district to throw urine-filled condoms at the fascist cops?” “No, Catelynn, I thought I’d actually go into work today. I’m saving for an apartment with working plumbing.” “Oh. Well, that’s cool,” she replies, as she launches SnapChat on her iPhone 7 to find out which Caribou’s they’re meeting at.
Maybe, when Millennials are in their 70s, they won’t feel nostalgic for pussy hats and tampon earrings. And then, their kids—assuming enough of them survive—won’t feel compelled to obey the demands of their miserable company-loving parents to imitate their mistakes. You don’t need to make a difference. You don’t even need to entertain mom and dad. You need to roll up your sleeves and take care of yourselves.