The Worst Generation
I’m the father of four boys. Two are in their early twenties and the other two are teenagers. Because of this, and because of their friends, I have seen my fair share of boys turn into men. The other day I came home from work to discover one of my kid’s friends (a hairy, transformed child in his early 20s) was visiting. We talked, we ate, and we laughed. It was a nice visit. At one point in the conversation we were talking about the current generation and I said, “Oh yeah, this is definitely the worst generation.” I then added, “Of course, it’s our fault. We are the ones who gave trophies to everyone.” The young man (we’ll call him Jared*) said, “I hear what you’re saying, but what specifically does this generation do that makes it the worst?” I could tell he wanted to debate me. Now there are two things you should know before I continue this story: A) This kid is SMART. I guarantee he has forgotten more than I have ever learned. Whenever he visits I try to bigger my words when I’m vocabularying with him so I can trickify him into thinking I’m smart two (the fact, in this day and age, people don’t know the difference between “to” and “too” is amazing two me). B) I’m an idiot. I have opinions, I have thoughts about things-n-stuff, but when I’m asked point blank, I freeze. So…I froze. I am not a debater. So I explained my level of dumbassery to him, how in person I require a five minute window for every point I want to make, told him I would think about it and probably write an article about it.
So here I am.
Now, I don’t want to beat a dead horse (although it does make a fascinating “thud” noise). I know complaining about the next generation is as old as time itself. I saw the play “Bye Bye Birdy” when I was a kid. The lyrics, “Why can’t they be like we were, perfect in every way? What’s the matter with kids today?” are ringing in my ears right now even as I type this.
I get it. And, I have had a change of heart. Sort of. There are still some things that are…hmmm…unique about this generation, generally speaking. (For my liberal friends the phrase “generally speaking” is a fancy way of saying I may not be speaking specifically about YOUR child. So if I say something and you think, “GASP!!! MY child doesn’t do that!!!” then rest assured, I’m not speaking about your child.)
Here is my list:
Most easily offended: HOLY CRAP!!! Can everyone PLEASE take an effing chill pill? Seriously. People are going to disagree with you sometimes. They may say something that doesn’t mesh with your belief system. Put on your big boy panties (or big girl panties) and GROW THE EFF UP!!! STOP LOOKING FOR THINGS TO GET OFFENDED ABOUT. Clint Eastwood was recently interviewed and he said, “Secretly, everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up. That’s the kiss-ass generation we’re in right now. We’re really in a pussy generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells.” Eggshells is right. Political correctness has run so far amok everyone is afraid of offending anyone, so no one says anything. It’s ridiculous. Fortunately there is a tiny glimmer of hope on the horizon. This year, the university of Chicago in a letter to their incoming Freshmen wrote, “”Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.” Holy crap, thank you!! It’s about time. Like I said, it’s a tiny glimmer of hope, but it’s something.
Too accepting: This may sound like a weird thing, because being accepting of others sounds like a virtue…But we have taken it too far. The “bathroom” debate a few months ago was the stupidest thing ever. If you sincerely believe you were born as the wrong gender, and are willing to legally go through the steps to have your gender changed, then you get a pass. Otherwise, if you were born with an outie, you go to the men’s room, if you were born with an innie, you go to the women’s room. If you self-identify differently and aren’t ready to make the change legally, you suck it up until you can. That’s it. Both sets of restrooms have stalls. There are over 747,000 registered sex offenders in the US. It’s not fair to make a parent have to guess what the intentions are of the guy who followed their daughter into the restroom.
The following YouTube video shows a man progressively questioning college students about acceptance. Eventually he asks if they would accept his self-identifying as a 6’5” Chinese woman. Seriously. In my little brain I think it’s better to have common sense without an education than to have an education without common sense. That might be easy for me to say, as I ain’t no educated man. See what I mean? I just used a double negative!!! (Come on Danny, stop being stupid.)
If more Americans were willing to say, “Yeah, that’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard,” this country would be better off, but we don’t. Why don’t we? Because we awe afwaid to huwt othews wittwe feewings.
Ohmigosh, I have so much more to write, but I try not to make these articles too long. So just to list the things I was going to write about: sense of entitlement, living in vans, selfies, whiny, safe spaces, coddled, participation trophies (It’s 2016 people! How did everyone at the Olympics not get a metal?) micro aggressions – cyber bullying, bullying, trolling, catfishing, college degrees / debt, living in parents’ basement, lack of education of founding principles, not being held accountable any more, holding off on marriage or growing up.
BUT…all that being said, I see hope. I really do. I’m reminded of the finishing lines of one of my favorite poems “And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.”
Like I said…hope.
*That’s his real name
Lifezilla: You are truly a wonderful, Wonderful, WONDERFUL person for reading this article. And you know it’s true. I wouldn’t say that to just ANYONE.