There’s a reason we see so many articles bemoaning the case of the millennials, including the inevitable swipe at avocado toast (which is fucking delicious).
The elderly, while enjoying their single-payer healthcare (Medicare), basic incomes (Social Security) and pensions, want to understand why these mooching, lazy, takers want single-payer, affordable college, and decent wages. “Why in my day,” they say, “we didn’t have these fancy phones—all we had was a can with a string tied to it and that worked just fine!” And then the nurse comes to give them their noontime meal and medications before wheeling them back to their apartment at the old folks home, all paid for courtesy of the government.
Boomers, similarly, want to know why their kids are still living with roommates or at home and can’t afford to get married, buy houses, and become real adults. Then they turn on Fox News, vote a strict Republican Party line on their ballots—including Trump and a “No” vote on the corporate tax increase to fund schools—then head to the country club to plan their next European vacation over cocktails with their friends, Margot and Chaz, who made a killing on Wall Street in arbitrage.
The millennials? Well, it’s about our favorite topic: us.
And I’ll admit: a lot of criticisms about millennials are fair. Yes, we like to use our phones: to text, listen to podcasts, socialize—hell, even to bank and exchange money. Might there be a problem with how digitally obsessed we are?
It’s also true that we’re less likely to buy products, cars, houses, etc. than are previous generations (oh, don’t worry, we’ll get to why that is), and that many of us are un or underemployed, not equipped either in education or training to do a lot of the jobs that are currently available, and less likely to view capitalism in a positive light.
But you know what the bigger problem is—you know the question we ought to be answering: Why in the fuck is everyone so worried about millennials when baby boomers on up—basically, a significant majority of Americans over 50—have been voting Republican for decades, including the worst possible vote in US history, which was for Donald Trump in the last election?
Because you know what? The problem we have in this country isn’t that 24-year-old millennials can’t stay off their phones during dinner.
No, the problem we have in this country is the fact that the party in control of it is utterly craven and corrupt. The problem we have in this country is that Steve Wynn, casino billionaire, can tell Republican Senator Dean Heller of Nevada how to vote on healthcare, and Heller will do it. The problem we have in this country is that multinational corporations and megalomaniacs control our government so that it functions exclusively for their benefit. The problem we have in this country is that while the party in control of our government figures out how to screw tens of millions of Americans out of healthcare and rewrite the tax code so the fantastically wealthy can get even richer, they ignore our aging, inadequate infrastructure, an education system that’s chronically underfunded, a healthcare system that’s complex, corrupt, and ridiculously expensive, and a host of other very real problems that rob opportunities from hundreds of millions of Americans everyday.
And the worst problem we have, inarguably, is that conservative media (Fox News, Rush Limbaugh-style hate radio, Breitbart, etc.) have so effectively propagandized and brainwashed our citizens—particularly those over 50—that even though all the problems I’ve described above are painfully obvious, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because the Clintons are involved in any number of tinfoil hat conspiracy theories, Colin Kaepernick is a disrespectful no-good jackass (can you believe we’re still talking about this bullshit?), and millennials are lazy assholes who are obsessed with their phones and avocado toast.
Never mind the near 100% certainty we’re going to experience some sort of international and/or economic disaster due to climate change in the next 5-10 years, or the fact Donald Trump is an incompetent, narcissistic asshole with his hand on the nuclear codes, or the fact that democracy is being trampled all over the globe in places like Turkey, Poland, and the Middle East.
No, no, what’s really problematic are those goddamn millennials, what with their podcasts and the fact they don’t act like normal consumers.
Has anyone ever thought to stop and think: gee, maybe it’s because they don’t have any fucking money? Maybe it’s because our society has saddled them nearly $1.5 trillion in high interest student loans? Maybe it’s because housing prices are skyrocketing anywhere there are decent paying jobs?
Get the point?
Millennials aren’t responsible for our problems–they haven’t been around long enough–and whatever we don’t like about their behavior is completely secondary to the behavior of their parents and grandparents, who’ve systematically taken the United States from the greatest, most wealthy nation on the planet to one in which we complain about our young even as we’re eating them.
So the next time you see a fucking article bemoaning millennials, don’t click. Instead, give them a piece of your mind, or give them mine by sending this URL.
Because millennials are the least of our problems.
Note: my disdain for the Republican Party does not mean I think Democrats are wonderful. They’re most certainly not. They’re milk toast: their hearts are in the right place, but they often lack the conviction to the right thing–thank God they held steady on Obamacare. But also understand, milk toast is better than Satan’s sourdough, which is what the Republicans are serving up. If you want more on the two parties and the problems we face, read my last post, “Dear America.”
Also: I understand that not everyone over 50 is a Republican Trump voter. Please remember, if you aren’t, I’m not talking about you.
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Jeff Allen also writes at Medium, Confessions of a Manchild, and Is This Good–a blog that answers the question: is this good? That latest is on the Ketogenic diet and how I lost 45 lbs in 6 months. Cheers!