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Snowflakes and screens… June 22, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Some interesting stats in this in the Observer last weekend which engages with research on attitudes in Britain. Such as the following:

Younger people feel a strong sense of injustice. Home ownership seems a pipe dream, even for the relatively well off. Secure employment can be elusive for them too, despite many being far better qualified than their parents and grandparents.
But our survey suggests they shouldn’t hope for sympathy. Many in the older generation dismiss them as “liberal snowflakes” who waste cash on “avocado toast and flat whites”, then waste away weekends “watching screens”. Seventy-eight per cent of over-45s and 82% of those over 65 believe British values are in decline, and many see young people as the cause: “They just don’t have the same values we do – or the respect that we had.”

Huh, waste away weekends watching screens? So unlike many (not saying necessarily most or all) in older cohorts like, gulp the over-45s, who of course would never watch (television) screens. I’m not usually one to bother too much about supposed intergenerational conflict, but this for some reason irritates me – the smug certainty that when younger people do something it is intrinsically worse than when older people do.


1. Dermot M O Connor - June 22, 2019

Talk to the GF Kelly next time she’s in Ireland (probably Oct/Nov, I’ll let you know). She’s 35, so the oldest of the millenial cohort.

The millenial generation of people (whatever their flaws) have been handed a shit sandwich. Saddled with student loans they’ll never repay (imagine having to dig up $400 or $500 a month for life, and no job to show for it), and graduating into an economy where job after job is being automated! Real estate racing away like a runaway train in engineered bubble after engineered bubble. Let’s not even get started on the environment! Raised by paranoid parents in a plastic bubble, denied access to a normal childhood, plonked down in front of a screen, with every second of playtime supervised by adults. No wonder so many of them have neuroses and worse.

Then to be told, on top of this, that it’s their own fault because they eat too many avocados. You’d think that generation emerged ex nihilo and raised themselves!

On the subject of hating a generation of people for their essential characteristics: the American Baby Boomer generation have to be the smuggest cohort ever to live, and the luckiest. If I never see that Boomer shit-eating grin again it’ll be too soon. Seriously, once you see it, you can’t unsee it. It’s the smirk equivalent of goatse bob. What’s the German word for “a face in need of a good punch”?


Some similarities to their equivalents in the UK.

This is a must-read: an article written ‘To the young, and their parents’, moaning in true ivy league high hand about the awful youngsters and how horrid they are:


…taken all together, you are more than usually incapable of facing, tolerating, or withstanding difficulty of any kind. From the time of your earliest childhood, you have stood in a relation to the world that can only be characterized as a refusal to be tested. … It shaped your attitude to play, to sports, to sex, to the reading of difficult books and the clarification of difficult ideas, to the assumption of serious roles within your families and communities, and to the consideration of possibilities for your future …

… there are certain interesting ways in which a number of you have latterly taken to making your living: you are pushcart vendors, taxi drivers, keepers of small neighborhood shops that deal in such commodities as dirty comic books and handmade candles; you are house painters, housecleaners, and movers of furniture … they are free, most of all, from any judgments that would be meaningful to you as judgments of success or failure…

…you are, again taken as a whole, more than usually self-regarding. No one who has dealt with you, neither parent, nor teacher, nor political leader, nor even one of the countless panderers to or profiteers from your cyclonically shifting appetites, can have failed to notice the serenity—the sublime, unconscious, unblinking assurance—with which you accept their attentions to you …

you are more than usually dependent, more than usually lacking in the capacity to stand your ground without reference, whether positive or negative, to your parents. So many of your special claims on this society are claims not on the distribution of its power but on the extension of its tolerance; what you so frequently seem to demand is not that the established community make way for you but that it approve of you.

Written in 1975. One type of comment I hate is the “it was ever thus” crap. Because it wasn’t! The boomers criticised here were different from those before – the middle class ones were the lucky sperms (vietnam notwithstanding). They rode the post war / energy boom like no other group of people ever will. That article describes them, in 75, as a generation of slackers, and they were! Nothing wrong with that, we need more slack. However, those boomers were able to do something that today’s young won’t: they were able to SELL OUT AND VOTE FOR REAGAN. And a good many of them did likewise in the UK and voted for Thatcher. They snagged jobs in the corporate system they pretended to hate in the 60s and 70s. Got mortgages, watched ‘Family Ties’ and ‘Wonder Years’, and got lulled into the ‘Morning in America’ phantasm, and Tory equivalent.


Now these same fucking sellouts want to wag their fingers, like the Patrician who wrote the 75 Atlantic article? Screw them.


WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2019

Yep. There’s a huge disconnect in attitudes to those in their 20s and 30s and the reality about their lives. So – for example co-living is seen as a sustainable option, though it’s not something those in older cohorts ever experienced, etc, etc. As you say hardly ‘it was ever thus’. And throw in a class angle as well – I’ve mentioned it before how I’ve heard people fret about housing ‘because middle class people can’t get it’ an attitude that can as easily flip into contempt for those and all people in that position.


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