This generation is lazy, self-entitled and ungrateful. This generation is full of narcissistic, sex-crazed and drug addicted wannabes who only want what is given to them. They don’t know hard work, they don’t know tough times, and they don’t know war, oppression and hunger. This generation needs discipline. This generation needs to be told that they are killing our past and our future. This generation… This generation…. This generation…
Generalise all you want and you will hit a few truths. Of course you will, it is just how the cookie crumbles. I can generalise about races and it will be true about certain people within that race. Black people like watermelon and hip-hop, white men can’t dance and Asian people eat everything with four legs. It’s pretty easy to flesh out a few ideas from a few lazy generalisations. Then you start to look at the generations. Western world, eastern world, we’re all the same, right? The Baby Boomers lived through the post-war period, earning their way up the corporate ladder because the world was becoming privatised and the layers of social repression were being peeled off to reveal things that they hadn’t even considered. As we watched them grow we saw the development of greed, the personal becoming the political and the origins of the nuclear family disintegration. The times were good though. Vietnam came to an end, a time of social upheaval. People fighting for and against abortion, gay rights, minority rights, racial equality. And the clothes were groooooooooovy baby. Then Generation X became the disillusioned school kids with their grunge, the boredom despite the fruits of their parents’ labor so close to hand, their desire for an individual identity. The gulf war, the conservative governments, the sarcasm, the publicised car chases and suicides, the yo-yos and the party drugs.
Now it appears that the whipping boy has become Generation Y. Financial difficulties have come, uncertain futures pervade our thoughts when we just want to have a good time. We don’t care though, we’re here to party, have a good time and get fucked up. But what about your careers, what about your future? Go to school and work hard. Get a job and follow around someone who knows what they are doing. You’ll learn. Get experience to get a job. Get a job to get experience. Don’t be an individual because individuals cause problems for the company. Don’t say anything out of turn and your thoughts are your own, they don’t reflect the company’s ideals. Buy your music; support the industries that we helped create because otherwise they won’t exist in the future.
We’re willing to work hard but apparently we cannot have our cake and eat it too. We will work for money; we will even put on a smile and wear a stupid uniform because that’s how far we are willing to go to earn money. 4 dollars for a coffee, service fees for everything and a 500-dollar fine for urinating in public or raising our voice. Sure, the world isn’t free but everything keeps going up with no intention of being reduced. So we need to work our asses off for 15 dollars an hour to eventually get ourselves a house. We ask our parents for help because it isn’t possible without them. There are those who mooch off their outrageously rich parents and those are the kids who will become our CEOs because it is who you know, not what you know. I’m proud of what my dad has achieved and I will forever be grateful for the fact that he sent me to a great school that has benefited me because I enter an exclusive network. Hey, it’s all about networking. But I’m broke and I’m not doing that well at university. Just like a lot of my friends. None of us can get cadetships because our mum and dads are still in the workforce and they’re going to have to work until they are 70 to be able to afford retirement.
Don’t say anything out of the ordinary because you’ll offend someone who is important or a whinger. But it’s political correctness gone mad if it doesn’t suit your needs. Comedians being told they are too offensive. Defamation cases, paparazzo chasing you around relentlessly. Apologise to me for that comment. Make an apology at a press conference. Feign sincerity because it will publicised to a large audience. Misogyny from white bread politicians, suspended sentences for repeat woman bashers and offense at the use of the word black, brown, yellow, white, red in the wrong context. You Tube advertisements, Facebook privacy infringements, we need to know and therefore judge everything you do.
We see politicians scream at each other for the smallest indiscretions with focus on nose picking, shaking sauce bottles and tone of voice when the debt ceiling is about to be smashed. Do they think we are stupid? We know that they cannot handle a problem that has swirled out of control. Not all of us are so easily distracted. Except by 7 second videos and 140 character tweets from celebrities and norms alike. Models being placed on our screen because people don’t care what is being said anymore. Songs about popping bottles, getting loose and getting as much action as we can get our hands on. I hear friends speak about the craze of infidelity. Hey, if movie stars, sport stars and big corporates do it, why can’t we? We’re told to persevere but no guarantees. Where does that leave us when we fail to get the job? Follow what we are passionate about. But there’s no money in the industry so have a back up plan and put more time into that. Then live an unhappy life except from Friday night to Sunday morning and nurse a hangover until Tuesday.
Are you depressed? Do you feel unfulfilled? Take some tablets. Pay a man 300 dollars to listen to you. But don’t bother your friends about it because they’ll start to feel uncomfortable and see you as the problem. ‘She’s always complaining’, ‘he’s just a hypochondriac’. Let’s just fuck and the problem will go away. Let’s just drink and the problem will disappear. Let’s snort this and you’ll be happy again. Then it all rushes back the next day. So our generation actually thinks about our problems and fleshes them out. They’ve always been around but now they’ve been amplified. Consistent drug use ruins a developing brain. Drinking all your life rots your liver. But here it is advertised on TV, in this movie, on this billboard. Do it. You’ll be cool. Sure, you’re 25 and above and you will see through the soulless advertisement but if you’re 16 and you can access the stuff, why wouldn’t you do it? You’ll be fucking cool man!
Newspapers preaching impartiality yelling at us to not make a mistake in voting for a certain candidate. Public relations’ experts telling us it is all about image. It’s all about keeping your product, your person, and your company in the right light. Fuck considering the bad. Don’t worry about honest, brilliant journalism. That’s old school man. It makes people unhappier than they already are. Although hearing about how our kids are playing up makes me feel better about myself. Look at these narcissists on my television doing anything to be famous, anything to get laid, anything for a laugh. We’re all prostitutes, consumers, a person carrying a few dollars.
These kids don’t understand how good they have it. They get to wake up at midday and go to bed at 3. They get to party all night and eat eggs and bacon in the afternoon. They get to go to the best schools and the best universities. They get to be young again! I remember when I was young… But they’re such narcissistic pricks who only care about themselves, they never do anything for anyone else and their problems are the only ones that truly exist…
And yet, we still see the problem. Property prices soaring, employment options dying, environmental issues being snubbed, being passed over for someone better looking, anorexic models being touted as demi-gods, being told to return to the church to find ourselves again. Violence in the streets, the powerful pushing their own agenda, the kids just watching the time go by. We’re just waiting. We’re not even sure what we are waiting for and if it is worth it. The quarter age crisis. We’ve been told we are not good enough. We’re told what to do to succeed. We’re still told to be an individual but not too much of an individual to be singled out and attacked. We’re told not to be homophobic, racist and sexist and yet it is so clear that political policy, journalistic bullshit and conservative agendas pushes us to see them as inferior.
So I sit at my desk listening to classic Van Morrison, looking at the notes for my next exam. I’m just another number of my generation. One of those kids who is a cheating bastard, a narcissistic wannabe, an angry kid on the street who hates everyone, the plastic who chain smokes, the club promoter who snorts coke off a toilet seat, the model who vomits after dinner and the loner who is plotting to open fire on the kids who pick on him. The one who didn’t earn his job, the one who lives off his inheritance, the one who hates his life, the one who is a dreamer, the one who sleeps all day and parties all night. Just another generalisation that we seem so fond of. Don’t worry about the truth, it doesn’t really matter anymore.