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Assertion that all young people think they are special snowflakes.
July 2, 2012 7:05 AM   Subscribe

Vagenda Magazine sums up every article about graduate unemployment.
posted by mippy (62 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
(Also, touching on economic issues, the confessions of an ex-beauty journalist)
posted by mippy at 7:09 AM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Smugly employed journalist"? Hell, even "securely employed" is approaching unicorn level.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:12 AM on July 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wistful reflection about previous metameta-threads
posted by leotrotsky at 7:18 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obligatory reference to baby-boomers being the cause of it all.
posted by HuronBob at 7:20 AM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Highly favorited relevant personal anecdote encapsulating article's conclusion in witty fashion.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:23 AM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's no wonder you're unemployed when you write like that.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 7:24 AM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Smugly employed journalist"? Hell, even "securely employed" is approaching unicorn level.

Especially at magazines, which typically rely heavily on freelance labour.

The irony of so many of these pieces is that both vapid trend journalism and ThoughtCatalog-style navel-gazing are often the products of young adults who are perched on the bubble between adolescence, insolvency and oblivion themselves.
posted by bicyclefish at 7:24 AM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Pith.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:24 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obligatory reference to baby-boomers being the cause of it all.

See: 'American references to American things'.
posted by mippy at 7:25 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Vinegar.
posted by jonmc at 7:30 AM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Noting that Gen-X is invisible yet again.
posted by cgk at 7:32 AM on July 2, 2012 [6 favorites]



Metafilter comments section:

- Obligatory reference to baby-boomers being the cause of it all. Check.

- Snark about the disconnect between the ~30 author and the subjects
- snark related death of journalism Check.

- Diatribe on spiraling costs of university tuition
- tangents on controlling costs of tuition, reforming education system

- Lament from Gen X, Baby boomer of how they're also financially fucked, often from a recent layover or unexpected, sudden expense

- anecdotes from those comparing and contrasting their experiences from the article.
posted by fizzix at 7:33 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


God, Blogger's new design is the worst.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:33 AM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Angy contrarian denouncement!
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:34 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sheepish spelling correction.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:34 AM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: joke about Metafilter
posted by WidgetAlley at 7:35 AM on July 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


Single voice fruitlessly noting once again that "being predictable" != "being wrong"
posted by DU at 7:35 AM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was hoping we'd discuss media wankery rather than attempting pomo parody here, guys.
posted by mippy at 7:36 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didn't love the FPP article, but the one on women and science was pretty good, if short, so I'll be scanning the archives.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:41 AM on July 2, 2012


Furious reply to original poster at the suggestion they can control content of the thread.
posted by Jehan at 7:41 AM on July 2, 2012


barely literate rant about it all being Obama's fault. And birth certificates.
posted by localroger at 7:44 AM on July 2, 2012


Hitler.
posted by Behemoth at 7:44 AM on July 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Original poster considers that the gulf between those writing the media (generally people who could afford to get a foot in the door by working for free, or knowing people via family) and those being written about is worthy of comment.

There was another article on the site about internships, where one kid who couldn't buy the items she was told to write about was told to 'put them on your dad's credit card'. Pretty telling in terms of why the idea of young people being unemployed - and now at the risk of losing their housing benefit, because the Tories think that kids can just head on over to their parents' second homes while they complete an internship or start a bespoke manufacturing business - is completely alien to some.
posted by mippy at 7:47 AM on July 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Middleaged guy telling millenials to get the hell off his lawn.
posted by jonmc at 7:48 AM on July 2, 2012



barely literate rant about it all being Obama's fault. And birth certificates.


Yeah, that's really common on UK newspaper sites.

(Actually, it is on some of the Guardian articles about US news. I used to post on the Guardian forum (RIP) and the International section was some kind of crackpot creche.)
posted by mippy at 7:48 AM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I do not like this sort of wankery. The passive voice seems like a sneaky way of getting me to agree, and I don't like reading something that tells me what I would be reading if I was reading something with actual content. It's no longer an effective way to get a serious point across, if it ever was.

However I do think that pointing out that all these sorts of articles are getting it wrong is worthwhile, to an extent. I mean, I'm doing my part by not reading those other articles too.
posted by jeffamaphone at 7:53 AM on July 2, 2012


(Linguistic pedant pointing out that "passive voice" does not mean what you think it means.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:59 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obligatory birth-control advertisement.
posted by erniepan at 7:59 AM on July 2, 2012


The truth is, I realized years ago that most media is written by middle-class people who know fuck all about the working-class and what it is like to be poor for more than a couple of years during university. They think money is about buying things, and the major worry for these unemployed graduates is that they have no money to buy things because that is what money's for. I've rarely heard anybody write about control, the thing that young folk, poor folk, unemployed folk, disabled folk, really want and need. The middle class might have once or twice in their lives experience a lack of money while studying or working as an intern, but they've never lost control of their lives.
posted by Jehan at 8:00 AM on July 2, 2012 [23 favorites]


Noting that Gen-X is invisible yet again.

As a tail-ender of Gen X and a (finally!*) employed 30-something, let me just say how great it is to be the target-by-association of this wrath, as opposed to, say, the 40-to-70-year-old demographic that actually does all the hiring & firing everywhere and makes all the editorial decisions in most media outlets.

*spent a large chunk of my 20s being un- and under-employed, and it sucks, and I am with you, sister, and please let's think about the actual target of our attacks
posted by psoas at 8:11 AM on July 2, 2012


HuronBob: “Obligatory reference to baby-boomers being the cause of it all.”

mippy: “See: 'American references to American things'.”

Not an American thing. Not even an English-speaking-world thing.
posted by koeselitz at 8:13 AM on July 2, 2012


The website often targets women's mags, so I think this is the type of article that's now appearing in Glamour, Company or Marie Claire (I gave up reading them years ago, but last time I picked one up there was a two-page spread on how saving money by using coupon codes online is a hot new thing, as is painting your nails at home instead of having manicures if you're unemployed). The London newspaper, the Evening Standard, mostly chooses to ignore youth unemployment in favour of the offspring of the wealthy and 26yrold publishing workers having their flats remodelled.
posted by mippy at 8:16 AM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Though, after a breath, it is interesting to see that the same thing happens in the UK as here in the US, since this literally could have been something one of my friends wrote up until the "Why would the New York Times POV matter in this country?" bit.
posted by psoas at 8:18 AM on July 2, 2012


Tired and obligatory comment that when we attack each other over our age groups, our real enemies laugh.
posted by tyllwin at 8:18 AM on July 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Not an American thing. Not even an English-speaking-world thing.
The belief in "generations" is an US thing. Most of the world doesn't hold to such pop demography, or has built up such a folklore about it. I know it gets repeated in the US media an awful lot like the gospel truth, but it really is all just stupid nonsense. Worse, by claiming that age groups are important, we lessen the importance of economic groups, the real fundamental division in society.
posted by Jehan at 8:19 AM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Aye, koeselitz, but we don't have the 'blame the boomers' stock phrasing here. I think of the UK baby boom as being more of a mid-60s thing (prosperity, end of rationing fifteen years hence meaning people were better nourished, the '66 world cup win) than post-war when it's mentioned in media here, hence them being referred to in the same context as 'children of the sixties' rather than 'boomers'. Free university education here ended in the late 90s, property prices rocketed, and the kids who came of age in the 70s and 80s were seen as the lucky ones here.
posted by mippy at 8:20 AM on July 2, 2012


The middle class might have once or twice in their lives experience a lack of money while studying or working as an intern, but they've never lost control of their lives.

An intriguingly provocative comment, which made me think of a statistic quoted by Grayson Perry in his excellent recent series on Channel 4: that two thirds of Britons nowadays call themselves middle class, up from one third thirty years ago.

Can it really be true that two thirds of the population of the UK have never lost control of their lives? It seems unlikely. Surely something more complicated has to be going on.
posted by rory at 8:25 AM on July 2, 2012


Absolutely, mippy – and I even take your point. I don't dispute that it was an "American reference," without doubt. (And I agree, Jehan, that Americans have pioneered this weird divisionism between generations, and that it is more foreign to the rest of the world than we tend to realize.)

Mostly I was just interested by the idea that, as a sociological phenomenon, there might not have been an increase in the birth rate after WW2 in the UK. And I was somewhat surprised at the international nature of that (strictly sociological) phenomenon. I had thought that it was just a US thing, too. But apparently, just as a simple change in the birth rate, it was pretty widespread internationally. Which I guess makes perfect sense after a big war anyway, so that's probably a commonplace.
posted by koeselitz at 8:25 AM on July 2, 2012


I was hoping that 'vagenda' was coined by the writers of Fringe, but I see that it is earlier than that.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:28 AM on July 2, 2012


An intriguingly provocative comment, which made me think of a statistic quoted by Grayson Perry in his excellent recent series on Channel 4: that two thirds of Britons nowadays call themselves middle class, up from one third thirty years ago.

Can it really be true that two thirds of the population of the UK have never lost control of their lives? It seems unlikely. Surely something more complicated has to be going on.
The key here is "call themselves". I refer you to the idea of false consciousness and rest my case.
posted by Jehan at 8:31 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Inevitable reference to Nader and snowfl-
posted by newdaddy at 9:11 AM on July 2, 2012


Personally, I don't trust anyone economic perspective on class issues unless the speaker understands laundry triage. Some people can't understand sometimes there is a choice between a meal and a load of laundry.
posted by fuq at 9:17 AM on July 2, 2012


Brits feel the generational difference as much - if not more than - Americans, especially when it comes to university. Not only was university free for many (all?) in the 1960s and 70s, but students also got living stipends to support their room and board. My British mother-in-law came from a modest family, but was supported by grants through her undergrad and PhD, and left debt-free. It wasn't luxurious, but it would be impossible today.

Not to say that everything was perfect - the 11-plus screwed many people of that generation and the 70s crises hit them badly as young working people. But they still had better job prospects and more government support at critical times. And what makes younger British graduates angry is that the politicians who voted to introduce tuition rates were exactly the generation who had benefitted from cheap and free tertiary education. Their parents worked hard and paid taxes to support their education, but then they turned around and shafted their own children.

The fact that they (usually 50-something, rather than 30-something) then write articles wondering "what's wrong with kids these days?" just runs salt into the open wound.
posted by jb at 9:38 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


perched on the bubble between adolescence, insolvency and oblivion

Kickass, I'll play bass, who's lead guitar?
posted by furiousthought at 10:20 AM on July 2, 2012


Jehan: The truth is, I realized years ago that most media is written by middle-class people who know fuck all about the working-class and what it is like to be poor for more than a couple of years during university. They think money is about buying things, and the major worry for these unemployed graduates is that they have no money to buy things because that is what money's for. I've rarely heard anybody write about control, the thing that young folk, poor folk, unemployed folk, disabled folk, really want and need. The middle class might have once or twice in their lives experience a lack of money while studying or working as an intern, but they've never lost control of their lives.
Sort of agree... but you're overlooking the fact that magazine profits are driven directly by advertising, and only indirectly by copy sales. The business of almost all magazines is business, and moreover, mostly non-durable goods. Consumables and clothing.

Ergo, media has little motivation to write stories about saving on electric bills, cost-effective car repair, and dishes for the leftovers. Whether it's Playboy, Cosmo, or Popular Science, the articles focus on upscale Things To Buy. Then they'll throw in the odd article about "mending your credit score" or "repurposing last year's fashion", but these are the exceptions.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:28 AM on July 2, 2012


GCSEs stumped me for a while, being non-Brit. Basically they seem to be high-school diplomas/GEDs.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:32 AM on July 2, 2012


Sort of. You take GCSEs in all your school subjects - most take ten or eleven, less able pupils take fewer, and for someone to leave without sitting any is very unusual as schooling is compulsory until 16. Grades A-C are seen as the best grades for going on to further education or employment.

O-Levels were the old system - less able pupils took CSEs, which were less academic, and the 'clever' ones took O-levels. However, you were divided up into one or the other pretty early on, so if you were an academic late bloomer you were screwed.

University was free for all, and grants available, until the late 1990s. I started in 2000 and had to pay (then means-tested, not sure what the situation is now) tuition fees and take out a loan - my then-boyfriend started in 1997, paid nothing in fees and received a grant to cover cost of living and left with no debt whatsoever, compared with the £12,000 debt I had on graduation from student loans alone.
posted by mippy at 10:47 AM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, Pulp still said it best when it came to class cluelessness.

But yes, reading mainstream media about what's going on in the economy will make you afraid, confused, and self-hating.
posted by emjaybee at 10:47 AM on July 2, 2012


So, that difference in terms of starting out in your working life with a huge, essentially compulsory debt is something that is unfamiliar to those aged over, say, 32 or so.
posted by mippy at 10:49 AM on July 2, 2012


Vagenda Magazine

Banner that doesn't go away when I scroll, fucked-the-fuck-up scrollbar that makes Chrome barf, and annoying neologism in the name. DO NOT WANT.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:02 AM on July 2, 2012


Yeah, what must really sting if you're unemployed is knowing that the jackass who designed that fucking shit interface most likely isn't.
posted by enn at 11:09 AM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


That is the beauty of View/Style/No style. I find myself using it frequently these days.
posted by gregjunior at 11:19 AM on July 2, 2012


Reader bored to death, makes snark comment, wants his minute back.
posted by caclwmr4 at 11:22 AM on July 2, 2012


Canned rant about how setting various generations against each other is in the interest of the capitalist classes, earnest reminder that only a proper socialist revolution can change things.

Hope mixed with cynicism that the Occupied movement might be the start of this.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:22 PM on July 2, 2012


Reflexive disagreement by other poster, arguing that socialism won't work and anarchism is what's needed.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:23 PM on July 2, 2012


100 comment long discussion about this in which Bukakin, Lenin Troskyte, Trotskist, Spartacists, Living Marxism, neo-stalinism, reformist bourgeouis (sic) scum. soviet failure and such feature prominently, interspersed by a different 100 comment flamewar about socialism as being as evil as the nazis and in the US people don't like it and how we have to work within the Democratic party, interspersed by a different flamewar about Democrats, third parties and of course how Ralph Nader caused the economic crisis. Somewhere lost in the noise, a well thought out and well argued comment by one of the resident anarchists laying out that yes, anarchism and socialism have much in common and can learn from each other, while in the current economical-political climate it's folly to think people will switch en masse to either of these philosophies and not to expect miracle results, which everybody ignores.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:32 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


>Banner that doesn't go away when I scroll, fucked-the-fuck-up scrollbar that makes Chrome barf, and annoying neologism in the name.

Doesn't load anything with NoScript enabled, so I took that as a sign to not bother.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 2:48 PM on July 2, 2012


Jehan: "The belief in "generations" is an US thing."

I don't know what countries focus on generations, but it's not purely an American thing — the Japanese do it plenty as well.
posted by Bugbread at 4:12 PM on July 2, 2012


Derail about kittens.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:47 PM on July 2, 2012


I don't know what countries focus on generations, but it's not purely an American thing

I'm an Australian-born Gen-Xer, and we talk about the boomers and Gen X as well. Not so much the "Greatest Generation", though, which is probably a bit too grand a label for Australian tastes. I'm not sure how much traction the Millennials label gets there, though, as I moved to the UK over a decade ago.

Mark Davis's Gangland was the definitive read for disaffected Aussie Gen Xers in the 1990s.

In the 1960s and 1970s Australia was one of the most egalitarian countries in the world, and almost everyone called themselves middle class (which means something a bit different there to what it means in the UK). That probably gave generationalism more traction there.
posted by rory at 5:33 AM on July 3, 2012


The key here is "call themselves". I refer you to the idea of false consciousness and rest my case.

I can't help feeling that's a bit too glib. The middle class, especially, can't just be defined in terms of income levels or whether or not one is a wage-earner versus an employer. Part of it is about type of upbringing, type of education, type of employment, and self-identification. Things have changed enormously in the UK on those fronts since 1980: university education has gone mainstream, a lot of blue-collar work has been replaced by white-collar work, and a lot of people have been able to buy a lifestyle (earned or on credit) that makes them feel different from their working-class parents or grandparents. People travel more; they have access to far more sources of information and entertainment, if they want them. Suggesting that they're working class but just don't realise it not only ignores their own self-definition (and implies they're too clueless to know better) but also flattens out the complexity of the middle class itself.

I don't think control versus the lack of it marks a sharp dividing line between working and middle class, any more than middle and upper class. It's surely more of a spectrum, with different people feeling different levels of control over different aspects of their lives.
posted by rory at 5:33 AM on July 3, 2012


Comment expressing inability to appreciate purely genericized comment threads
posted by tehloki at 9:31 AM on July 6, 2012


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