July 20, 2008
Equal time: Gen Ys fight back.
Below in full is one of the several comments we received to the May 20 post "Who cares what makes Generation Y tick?".
The boomer's [sic] have systematically destroyed all that once made life bearable: marriage, traditional faith, the hope of financial security. In place of what used to be the societal superstructure, our generation has been force fed the consumer culture. We still feel empty. The money you pay is not worth it. When I pay off my loans (twenty years from now) you can kiss my ass.
And after you are dead, which unfortunately will take a while and cripple our generation financially, we can correct the gervious [sic] injuries that your generation inflicted on humanity. If the present election is any indication, boomer's [sic] are incompetent leaders who's [sic] malignant narcissism is only exceeded, at times, by their myopia. Take your second trophy wives, McMansions, and blinding self love with you when you shuffle off this mortal coil.
Dang. This guy let boomers do that to him? Here's help from a great boomer band that refused to give up.
Posted by JD Hull at July 20, 2008 11:59 PM
Had I known my sentiments would get "equal time" I likely would have proofed the text. No excuses I suppose.
Not that I need your help, but I know I am going to "make it," along with the vast majority of my generation. We are stronger than you think.
You seem to miss the fundamental conflict that underlies your complaints. I do not want your life or the life of my parents (sound familiar?). I will sell my labor to you, but I will not give an ounce more than I need to secure the level of compensation I am seeking (to pay off the above mentioned loans). This is not laziness; it is sound policy. I will not be a partner, and I shudder to think of my life as a partner.
You might want to ask yourself, while scourging my generation: past pecuniary interest, why do you deserve my generation's loyalty?
Posted by: Patrick Bateman at July 27, 2008 08:12 AM
I'm glad you wrote back (besides, Bret Easton Ellis is a favorite writer of mine; part of my firm's work is turning books into movies). We like your moxie. Start your own blog.
We don't want loyalty from Gen X and Y; however, we would like to see more self-respect, and higher standards about work and life, if only in the most general way, in the younger people we see at our shop. Even amongst the very talented in Gen X/Y, high standards about work and life are often missing. Maybe that's okay for some. So maybe no one will write a book any time soon called "The Post-Boomers: A Passion for Excellence". But what I am seeing is (1) a refusal to deal with life on life's terms and, worst of all, (2) no aspirations about anything at all. Just pretexts and theories.
People with talent, academic credentials and smarts in all generations are a dime a dozen; you need all that stuff--plus way more. Boomers were never perfect--but a lot of us had heart and determination.
Posted by: Dan Hull at July 27, 2008 10:46 AM
Your criticisms, which are valid, are largely the product the Huxleyian Anti-Utopia that is our reality. A reality that your generation has had a large role in crafting. Your generation tore down the pillars of our society and called the job done. It was not. We are not hungry or cold, but we feel a void in ourselves that we cannot articulate, like a child whose mother died during his or her birth. This condition of indifferent comfort is unlikely to change for the better. Chuck Palahniuk, who at times speaks to my generation said, "at some point 'the future' switched from a promise to a threat."
The high-fliers of my generation are very susceptible to disillusion. The Alphas, like your Gen Y associates, feel like the water that spills over a dam instead of pushing the turbines. We do not have a focused cultural movement because culture is now an instantly corrupted commodity (e.g, Boomer handlers pushing a pubescent Miley Cyrus into low-rise jeans, or taking the edge off 'less than zero' for the big screen). We are a new lost generation, struggling to become whoever we are.
I do take umbrage with your "The Post-Boomers: A Passion for Excellence" reference. It lays bare the narcissism of your generation. You cannot think of a world that does not measure itself by your shimmering image. My generation has to pull it together. However, it has to do so in spite of yours.
Your penultimate sentence is an incomplete thought: ". . . you need all that stuff--plus way more" to get _______. The Boomers *had* heart and determination, but those qualities only made a bigger mess when the Boomers failed to come up with a good answer to fill in that blank; other than, perhaps, a laughably big house, a flat tv, hair plugs, and a new wife ever 10 years.
Posted by: Patrick Bateman at July 29, 2008 07:29 PM