Monday, November 23, 2015

Just between us Millennials

Oh Millennials. We're a screwy sort of breed, and getting screwier by the day.

Millennials haven't had it easy. A lot of us grew up in Dubya's years, so plenty of us have a nasty view of Republicans, which has come to guarantee a loyal voting block for the Democrats. But then we turned our brains off and voted in a nicer looking, though twice as ruthless, Dubya for a third and fourth term. But it's okay, he was a minority and on the "opposite team". Hope and Change, Yes we can, etc. etc. etc.

We did everything we thought we were supposed to do. We went to college (plenty of us spent this time being post adolescent children, so shame on those of us who did) to avoid a destitute life of flipping burgers, grueling manual labor and stocking shelves. We remember the warnings of such from our elders, who must have done something right - after all, plenty of them owned their own home by their mid twenties to early thirties.

Now, we find ourselves climbing over each other just to have a chance at one of these jobs. Thank goodness we got those degrees ( for the low, low price of $60,000 to $300,000 before interest) to prove we can stick out menial, repetitive tasks. I have sympathy for those who enrolled or were deeply invested in their education when the writing was on the wall, however those who came after don't have much blame to place beyond themselves.

We take a look at asking prices for residential real estate, consider the cost of a down payment, then look at our paltry savings, or lack thereof. The dream of home ownership gets shelved, and rightly so given our situation.

The marriages and families we imagined raising end up getting postponed, if they are to come to fruition at all.

Then, we look at the Baby Boomer generation, and fault them for their reckless abandon that's created a reality that we have to bear the brunt for. Perhaps rightfully so. But one could also argue they were duped much like the rest of us.

All that said, it's long past time to stop pointing fingers at everything except ourselves. It's beyond childish and runs risk of defining our generation just as much as our destitution.

I look at my fellow millennials, and I'm terrified for the future, and I'm tired of hearing the boo-hoo's from the rest of you. We are, after all, going to end up being leaders or enablers of varying degrees. Some of us will end up getting elected to public office, no doubt. Others will become participants in industry, whether as owners or employees. Then there are millions of us that are going to continue on as we have for the past decade: Brats that throw a tantrum over minor slights, real or imagined. These same people will continue to be conditioned and brainwashed into infantilization, to be shielded from the burdens of responsibility, reality, and adverse opinion. They will be coddled by their government, and by extension the rest of us who choose to produce, as a mother coddles her newborn babe. These same people will also have an expensive degree, proving they can perform their daycare activities with ease. They'll also get much worse than this as time goes on, making sure their Wall on facebook is completely aware of their infantile outlook. In between these outbursts, they may even post reaction gifs on imgur. Despite all of their education, they'll need pre-made pictures readily supplied by various media to define their emotions, having been handed a passing grade for their participation in higher-daycare. God help us all, it's safe to say that too many of you are going to be duped into voting. This is much more terrifying after I read something like this.

In case most of us have been asleep since 2007 (and I don't discount the possibility, in the literal or the metaphorical), I have a news flash for you: We have a right to nothing.

We do not have a right to expensive meals. We do not have a right to smart phones. We do not have a right to home ownership. We do not have a right to easy employment that allows us to live above comfort. We do not have a right to make demands of another person. We do not have a right to anyone's money, efforts or assets except our own. We do not have a right to be free from being offended. We do not have a right to a free education. We do not have a right to high speed internet. We do not have a right to iPods. We do not have the right to expensive clothes. We do not have the right to party our lives away.

We do, however, have the right to get off our asses and do better than this. While there are many of us who do, there are many more who do not.

You want a dialogue on minority relations (whatever this means?)? Then stop shutting down discourse and calling it "Hate Speech" when the conversation doesn't go in your favor. Better yet, stop allowing yourselves to be duped into thinking trivial aesthetics, ethnic origins and anatomies are how individuals should be defined. Even further, stop staging incidents like this one or this one to try and justify yourselves.

In fact, stop being duped in general. I'm blown away that we're so easy to dupe, despite our experiences over the past seven years.

You want a better standard of living? Stop waiting for everything to be handed to you. Don't wait for a "really good" opportunity.  Don't hinge on empty promises from people that are relying on you to chase the carrot on a stick (I'm looking at you, 2016 candidates - one in particular).  You have the internet - it's that thing you use all day every day. Plenty of people use it to address their needs. Cater to these needs, and monetize it. No more boss, no more of that oxymoron "wage slavery". If there's anything to say about Millennials, we're at least creative. Use that creativity to solve a problem, or fill a need, and I'm sure several someones be willing to part with some of their money.

Stop placing value on a degree. Companies that pay above industry standard, like Google and Starbucks Corp., are moving away from degrees being a hiring criteria. They don't care about what you spent money on, they care about what you can actually do. There's a great fountain of knowledge out there that you can use to educate yourself for free. It's called the internet.

We need to stop embarrassing ourselves pretty quick, or the future is going to be very grim.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you black flag, very sobering. Every one among our generation needs to hear and better yet realize what you've spelled out.
    Quite motivating for me thank you.
    I must admit in my late teens and early twenties I acted exactly as you describe.
    Conditioned for it I suppose...
    Thank god I woke up and pulled my head out of the sand before the tide came in, though my vision is still quite blurry.