Elspeth Reeve Wins the Internet

For writing this, about the horrible link-bait PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE READ US story in Time magazine about how All Kids Today are horrible:

Millennials are the “ME ME ME GENERATION,”writes Joel Stein for the cover of Time magazine, which is apparently a marked departure from the Baby Boomers, who were the plain old “Me Generation” (one me, no caps) and who created the “Me Decade” in the 1970s, and who coined the phrase, “But enough about me…what do you think about me?” in the 1980s when they were raising the next narcissists, Generation X. Sometimes you get the sense that these magazines’ cultural writers have very little experience with the entire American culture, and prefer to make their grand analyses based on what people they know in the gentrified parts of cities like New York and Los Angeles were talking about at brunch last weekend. The type of young person that magazine writers come across most frequently are magazine interns. Because the media industry is high-status, but, at least early on, very low pay in a very expensive city, it attracts a lot of rich kids. Entitled, arrogant, spoiled, preening — those are the alleged signature traits of Millennials, as diagnosed by countless magazine writers. Those traits curiously align perfectly with the signature traits of a rich kid.Have you seen your intern on Rich Kids of Instagram? If so, he or she is probably not the best guide to crafting the composite personality of a generation that fought three wars for you.

Maybe this is me remembering how enraging it was to have everything I said discounted because I was young (and a girl, but it was my age old men cited more often in not listening to me), and to be told constantly how much more I would understand when I got older. By which they usually meant I’d become more conservative (no), more interested in talking about things like how Kids Today suck (nay) and more inclined to “settle down” in some giant house somewhere in the country (we will never be able to sell this condo).

It made me want to hit things. It certainly didn’t make me want to listen to anything else THEY had to say. This generational-warefare stuff is damaging, to all of us, because it cuts us off from one another, makes us unwilling to learn, and it lets older folks off the hook from having to continue to be great. It tells kids that they’re only as good as we say they are, instead of as good as they can be by the standards they invent, which are the only standards that will exist for them. It lets us make the conversation about what the younger generation is doing for us, and compared to us, rather than talk about what we’re doing now right now right fucking now today.

As if we don’t have any work to do anymore, and can just hand the whole world off and then bitch about how the next generation is caring for it.

A.

6 thoughts on “Elspeth Reeve Wins the Internet

  1. M31 says:

    There’s a great quote I read somewhere which was pretty much ‘kids these days all they want to do is dance and hang out with their friends they’re so irresponsible society is in decline’ and it was Cotton Mather or some other Puritan asshole in 1647.
    The headline of the original article should have been “When you’re a loser asshole, righteousness is super fun! Read this!”
    Oh, and apropos of nothing, here is a picture of a car in Japan dressed up like the cat bus:
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6407033/animalcar.jpg
    M31
    p.s. is this Elspeth OUR Elspeth who graces our crack vans?

  2. Harry says:

    Who was the first caveman to yell, “Hey you punks! Get off my gravel!”?

  3. Kaleberg says:

    M31: Is that the Nikobus from My Neighbor Totorro?
    Harry: It probably was a caveman, but that is hard to prove. On the other hand there used to be an ancient (Old Kingdom) papyrus letter on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art basically ranting about kids today.

  4. M31 says:

    Kaleberg, Oh yeah. With Totoro seat covers on the inside, lol.
    I’m sure there are cuneiform rants about “kids these days” out there.

  5. jame says:

    All the kids I work with (as an aging barista) are talented, hard-working people who are going to college while holding down a very demanding job.
    I feel like I can’t hold a candle to them.

  6. LC says:

    I’m sure there are cuneiform rants about “kids these days” out there.
    There’s an alleged Plato/Socrates quote floating around the internet that is basically “young people suck”. (I’m pretty sure there’s no evidence that particular one is from him, but in the Republic there’s a line how if you don’t teach kids right, they grow up being all disrespectful and whatnot.)
    I would love to find the Puritan quote, and there is one I vaguely remember from a book on the Renaissance that talks about kids being disrespectful and wearing flashy/awful clothes.
    I am pretty sure right after the University was invented, there was a kid writing their dad saying “I need more money for school books and such” and dad writing back going “I’ve talked to your teachers, and they say you are spending it all partying.”
    So yeah, I’m willing to bet there’s a cuneiform version somewhere.

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