Join 3,556 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Suddenly, I was rage-reading millennial trend pieces every day.
July 9, 2013 12:54 PM   Subscribe

In "Can We Stop Worrying About Millennials Yet?", editorial cartoonist Matt Bors highlights the absurdity of blaming millennials for inheriting a lousy economy.
posted by tonycpsu (170 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
As long as they stay off my lawn, I'm fine with them.

Seriously, though- they've been dealt a shitty hand, and as a card-carrying member of Gen X, they have my sympathies.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:58 PM on July 9, 2013 [31 favorites]


Panic drives up pages views.
posted by The Whelk at 12:59 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a good commentary. It's just a shame that it is inevitable discussion of it is going to go in the same lazy circles these conversations always do. Bors must have known that when he created it anyway. He is a very entertaining cartoonist at times, definitely recommend following his stuff.

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”
― Socrates

posted by Drinky Die at 1:00 PM on July 9, 2013 [20 favorites]


PEOPLE. People. Can't we please just come together and agree that people who are younger than us are just the worst?
posted by phunniemee at 1:01 PM on July 9, 2013 [14 favorites]


My favorite response to the mentioned Time story (which really was some of the dumbest laziest shit imaginable.)
posted by kagredon at 1:02 PM on July 9, 2013 [10 favorites]


Hahah mom playing bejeweled. It's funny because it's true.

I get a call at least once a month that bejeweled won't run. Good thing I'm not a millennial so instead of hanging up I just sight loudly and roll my eyes as hard as possible while saying "mom, why do you have to ruin everything". Us Gen Xers are great on passing the buck and laying on the guit. Unlike millenials, who do not seem to be capable of human emotions.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:03 PM on July 9, 2013 [25 favorites]


GEN X'RS RULE!!! MILLENNIALS DROOL!!!
posted by josher71 at 1:04 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


The only thing worse than those articles blaming "millennials" (and what a horrible name to saddle a generation with) for everything under the sun are the ones kissing their asses for being the generation that will save us all.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:05 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


We do have human emotions but they're all wrapped up in TV characters.
posted by The Whelk at 1:05 PM on July 9, 2013 [13 favorites]


man you genxers are just jealous cuz the boomers lost interest in you after it became clear that you were growing into well-adjusted people who were not going to murder everyone because of grunge
posted by kagredon at 1:05 PM on July 9, 2013 [56 favorites]


What if we make the millennials and the boomers fight it out in a cage match to the death and then take all their stuff while they're distracted.
posted by elizardbits at 1:05 PM on July 9, 2013 [36 favorites]


Generation X still doesn't want to hear it.
posted by HumanComplex at 1:05 PM on July 9, 2013 [40 favorites]


Always liked this strip of his.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:05 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I murdered someone because of grunge AND Oasis, so sell your millennial lies elsewhere.
posted by josher71 at 1:07 PM on July 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


What's funny about this as just as "grar, kids these days" stuff is as old as the hills so is the "hey man, back off, the kids are alright, and by the way you fucked everything up when you had your chance" rebuttal. It's the endless circle of intergenerational resentment.
posted by yoink at 1:09 PM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


As a Millennial I can only respond to this article via a series of animated gifs
posted by The Whelk at 1:10 PM on July 9, 2013 [45 favorites]


Hahah mom playing bejeweled. It's funny because it's true.

We got my grandma a kindle for her birthday, and the last few times I've called her all she's wanted to talk about is her high score on Angry Birds. This is vastly preferable to our usual conversations, which tend to revolve around how short my hair is with the subtext of and that's why you're not married.

But we haven't seen my mom since she got an iPad in 2010, so the family is pretty used to it by now.
posted by phunniemee at 1:11 PM on July 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


Haha, it's the millennials' turn to have stupid things said about them, yay!

I remember reading this book during slow times at my bookstore retail job. It was like a trainwreck. I knew it was stupid, but it was supposedly about My Generation, so I had to read it.

That was the first time I experienced that sickly-sweet nauseating feeling of being pandered to, knowing it was shit, but kind of craving more, and hating myself for it.

Too old for that now. I am pretty much entirely outside of any hot marketable categories. I'd celebrate, if it wasn't also a reminder of the steady approach of grim death.
posted by emjaybee at 1:12 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


So many of these articles about generations only pertain to conditions in the U.S. In Europe, never mind the developing world, millennials face even more dire levels of unemployment and economic insecurity. That's the stuff that brews civil disorder and political turmoil. It's not a pretty business.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:13 PM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Remember when they nicknamed us GenX because we were the generation without an identity, the generation to whom nothing had happened? Except, uh, you know, then we had AIDS, crack, two Gulf Wars, 9/11, some tsunamis, a shitload of hurricanes, the OKC bombing, umpteen school shootings, movie theater shootings, the Boston Marathon bombing, a whole mess of serial killers, a war in Afghanistan, a war in Bosnia, multiple recessions (at least one of which might reasonably be called a depression), bird flu, swine flu, the housing bust, the student debt crisis, the S&L meltdown...

I guess in hindsight: Generation We Will All Die Broke and Alone at the Hands of Psychopaths or by the Fury of Nature might have worked better, though it's a touch wordy.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:18 PM on July 9, 2013 [48 favorites]


So many of these articles about generations only pertain to conditions in the U.S.

Why do you hate Millenials in Europe? Here in the US we hate them because they wore bike helmets.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:19 PM on July 9, 2013 [10 favorites]


Why do you hate Millenials in Europe? Here in the US we hate them because they wore bike helmets.

I'm a millennial and I've always hated bike helmets. Can I get a raise now?
posted by breakin' the law at 1:21 PM on July 9, 2013


As a millennial I can tell you that our generation is the worst except for all the others.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:22 PM on July 9, 2013


DirtyOldTown, I think you just wrote the We Didn't Start the Fire of GenX.

I read this and thought, wow, it sounds just like all the articles about how shitty my generation was when I was coming out of school into a recession. Being middle-aged means I can tell the Millennials to get off my (tiny, drought-ridden because of climate change) lawn, but it also means I've been around long enough to have heard a lot of this stuff before.

The kids are all right. It's the social contract that's broken.
posted by immlass at 1:22 PM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


Seriously though, we did invent Facebook and for that I am sincerely sorry.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:23 PM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


Also skrillex.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:24 PM on July 9, 2013 [13 favorites]


Seriously though, we did invent Facebook and for that I am sincerely sorry.

Isn't Facebook reducing our capacity for empathy (or something)? You're not supposed to feel sorry!
posted by breakin' the law at 1:26 PM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


I also like how Ford's like "why don't you buy cars" and McDonald's is like "why don't you buy our food" and everyone's like "why don't you buy houses". Is it really that mystifying? “You’re going to see those big purchases starting to happen but they’re just not there yet.” oh, maybe it is.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:26 PM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


We do have human emotions but they're all wrapped up in TV characters.

That's your OED for "The Feels" right there.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:26 PM on July 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm a millennial and I've always hated bike helmets. Can I get a raise now?

You still had one though right? See it isn't the helmets, it's that our parents didn't care if we got brain injuries. We also ate peanut butter every damn day.

Perhaps it is all the spills I took without a helment that toughened me up and allowed me to experience emotions such as resentment, anger and distrust.A capacity which millenials seem to lack. Maybe it was the peanut butter.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:28 PM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


Oh, we can experience resentment all right #age25 #careerwhatsthatlol #hashtag
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:31 PM on July 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


Oh, we can experience resentment all right

Truly I tell thee, our forebears have named us aright! For what are we, the Millenials, but the Last Men, come finally to toll, with the bell of ressentiment, the apocalypse, the last end of Mankind's greatness?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:34 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Someone should make a movie about Gen X vs. the Millennials and and in it Gen X becomes really apathetic and gives up and Millennials forget about it because they're using Facebook on their smartphones. And then a Baby Boomer writes an article about how much their children's and grandchildren's generations suck. And then the Baby Boomers die and Gen X and Millennials have a party.
posted by ChuckRamone at 1:34 PM on July 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


You still had one though right?

I did, but I think I wore it once. Perhaps I willed myself to experience emotions despite being coddled by my trophy-waving parents? I do like peanut butter.
posted by breakin' the law at 1:37 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Us olds have a bad habit of forgetting how much help we got as youths and how damn lazy we were. Every once in a while I find myself thinking that my son should be more ambitious and then remember that he's got a university degree and is working in his field at 23, while I dropped out of school because of sucky grades and didn't end up getting my BS until I was 33. I wish that my dad was still around so that he could laugh at me and remind me about what a clueless slacker I was 25 years ago.
posted by octothorpe at 1:40 PM on July 9, 2013 [17 favorites]


I think the people who are writing these stupid pieces on the Millenials (in my experience typically senior columnists at magazines and papers close to retirement) feel threatened, and are writing for an audience that feels threatened.

I don't think the Millenials are threatening per se, it's just that, after the age of 40, I've noticed a creeping irrelevance about my life.

There are kids out there in their early twenties who are starting out and are ready to explore life. They are pretty disinterested in me and my life and my thoughts and my opinions.

Since I live an unassuming life, under the radar, that's okay, but I suppose for people used to deference (wealthy Boomers) or deference (newspaper columnists), the feeling of being "over the hill" has got to be pretty sickening.

Time marches on, towards the grave.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:44 PM on July 9, 2013 [10 favorites]


The notion of generations is almost as silly as astrology.
posted by pracowity at 1:44 PM on July 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


If we keep publishing articles does this please the Great Job Creators In The Sky until the money comes back? Cause last time I checked, we're out of money, all of it, it's just like gone.
posted by The Whelk at 1:44 PM on July 9, 2013 [15 favorites]


Generation X still doesn't want to hear it.
From there:
Generation X is tired. (...) Right now, Generation X just wants a beer and to be left alone. It just wants to sit here quietly and think for a minute.
Baloney! Generation X cannot be stopped!
posted by Flunkie at 1:45 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


1980 to 2000 is such a ridiculously long length of time in today's world as to be completely meaningless as a generational boundary.

Are we really to pretend that a 33 year old who was a teenager before the Internet really became ubiquitous shares significant cultural and demographic traits with a 13 year old who grew up with always online smartphones?

I mean, I understand the urge to create generations and track the changes across them, but 10 years is really the longest you should go.

And get off my lawn.
posted by madajb at 1:52 PM on July 9, 2013 [21 favorites]


Maybe some of you aren't really millenials. We need some kind of voight-kampff test.

You have 20$, do you spend it on coffee and cigarettes or to pay your boost mobile phone?

It is your friends birthday. Do you show up with a six pack or do you post on their wall?

Do you friend people you've never met?

Do you communicate with your SO via rage comics posted to your tumbrl?

Do you check in?
posted by Ad hominem at 1:55 PM on July 9, 2013 [12 favorites]


"Please determine which of these parings are proper fanon."
posted by The Whelk at 1:57 PM on July 9, 2013 [20 favorites]


Oh and my millennial kid is right now cleaning the basement and just fixed the dryer on his day off.
posted by octothorpe at 1:57 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Do you check in?" would be a great title for a plaintive alt-country song about having a hard time figuring out where your crush is because of your cracked smartphone screen.
posted by entropone at 1:57 PM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


The notion of generations is almost as silly as astrology.

If we're going to take responsibility for Skrillex, I want the Boomers to take responsibility for inventing generational theory (as it's popularly understood in the U.S.) more or less as a way to flatter and/or sell things to each other.
posted by kagredon at 1:58 PM on July 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


Good news, Gen X!
posted by COBRA! at 1:58 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


You have 20$, do you spend it on coffee and cigarettes or to pay your boost mobile phone?

Coffee. I don't smoke and don't have boost mobile (Christ, those ads are annoying).

It is your friends birthday. Do you show up with a six pack or do you post on their wall?

Depends on the friend.

Do you friend people you've never met?

No.

Do you communicate with your SO via rage comics posted to your tumbrl?

The fuck? No.

Do you check in?

No.

I am, admittedly, a rather curmudgeonly twentysomething.

(I also should really get back to work. I'd guess millennials really are lazy.)
posted by breakin' the law at 2:00 PM on July 9, 2013


i don't know what checking in means unless we are talking about flights
posted by elizardbits at 2:02 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's a thing that the people do on the foursquare. we hate and despises these people. these people are shunned.
posted by The Whelk at 2:04 PM on July 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


Foursqure

Shit, I think I may be a millenial.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:04 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


elizardbits: "What if we make the millennials and the boomers fight it out in a cage match to the death and then take all their stuff while they're distracted."

Wasn't that the point of the Iraq war?
posted by schmod at 2:04 PM on July 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


I wonder how resentful the kids will be when a cure for death is found and no one dies any longer. That's got to be worth an editorial cartoon.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:05 PM on July 9, 2013


It's a thing that the people do on the foursquare.

Is that still a thing? I feel like I never hear about it anymore.
posted by breakin' the law at 2:06 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wasn't that the point of the Iraq war?

Well, it got some millenials out of the way for a few years, anyway.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:06 PM on July 9, 2013


#YOLEternally

I'm sure some evangelical youth leader has already beaten me to this.
posted by kagredon at 2:07 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


We need some kind of voight-kampff test.

There's a band, playing a show in Austin. But they're pretty obscure. You probably haven't heard of them. Why haven't you heard of them, Leon?
posted by cortex at 2:08 PM on July 9, 2013 [59 favorites]


Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about your tumblr.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:12 PM on July 9, 2013 [18 favorites]


Let me tell you about my tumblr.

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻)
posted by The Whelk at 2:20 PM on July 9, 2013 [31 favorites]


If we're going to take responsibility for Skrillex

Ah, but you won't, because your generation takes no responsibility for anything.

(Says every supposed generation about some other supposed generation.)
posted by pracowity at 2:20 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder how resentful the kids will be when a cure for death is found and no one dies any longer. That's got to be worth an editorial cartoon.

I know how this one plays out. Our Boomer parents become the first generation to never die thanks to the miracle of SCIENCE! Because of this, they decide they can put off retirement indefinitely so as to perpetually renovate their house with travertine floors and heated towel racks in the bathroom, granite countertops and a viking range in the kitchen, and an infinity pool on the roof.

Meanwhile, the lack of turnover in the job market keeps Millenials stuck on an immiseration treadmill of service-sector part-time work, unpaid internships and debt from an ever-growing tapeworm of advanced degrees that only keep one qualified for being a barista where the clientele demand the snark with their macchiato be erudite.

The absence of death drives real-estate through the roof; rent everywhere but at the bottom of an ever-rising sea is prohibitively expensive. So the Millenials, to a person, end up living in their parent's basement, surrounded by piles of old newspapers full of complaints about their laziness.

The surprise twist at the end is that everyone is actually already dead, an asteroid having destroyed humanity back in 2008 when we were all preoccupied with the housing market and the financial sector.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 2:28 PM on July 9, 2013 [16 favorites]


Do you communicate with your SO via rage comics posted to your tumbrl?

WHEN THE REVOLUTION COMES WE WILL ROLL THE TUMBRLS INTO THE SQUARE FILLED WITH THE SMARTPHONES OF THE NONBELIEVERS.
posted by like_a_friend at 2:29 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I was born in 1982. Generation X was definitely older than me, I remember that pretty well, but I don't feel like I have much in common with anyone born in 1990, much less 2000. I thought we were 'Generation Y' for a while, did that die out?
posted by Kwine at 2:29 PM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


"only the good things that come into your mind about your tumblr."

User curated pornography galleries.
posted by Phalene at 2:30 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I know how this one plays out. Our Boomer parents become the first generation to never die thanks to the miracle of SCIENCE! Because of this, they decide they can...

[snip]

Meanwhile, the lack of turnover in the job market keeps Millenials stuck on an immiseration treadmill of service-sector part-time work, unpaid internships and debt...


Anyone who enjoyed this thread as much as I did would probably also enjoy reading Bruce Sterling's novel Holy Fire. One of my favorite Sterling novels, it explores the social implications of a gerontocracy created inadvertently through prohibitively-expensive techniques for life extension.

I'm probably mangling the description because I'm one of those aging gen x-er's and haven't read it since it was released ~20 years ago, but I still heartily recommend it.
posted by drklahn at 2:38 PM on July 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


I thought we were 'Generation Y' for a while,

I think the moronspundits who write this stuff figured out that they would have to start calling the post-1990 kids "Gen Z" and then there would be nowhere to go so they retconned us.
posted by junco at 2:40 PM on July 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


I'm still waiting for the homosuperior ( it might be Janelle Monae)
posted by The Whelk at 2:43 PM on July 9, 2013


To be fair, Millennials sounds like an awesome apocalyptic cult in a Megami Tensei game and Gen Y doesn't sound like anything, really.
posted by byanyothername at 2:44 PM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


a nice ngrams chart that unfortunately doesn't have data past 2008.
posted by junco at 2:45 PM on July 9, 2013


junco, you might want to update the ngram chart link to spell "millennial" correctly before the edit window expires
posted by tonycpsu at 2:48 PM on July 9, 2013


Has anyone considered the possibility that the youth of 5th Century Athens actually did suck?
posted by thelonius at 2:49 PM on July 9, 2013 [14 favorites]


Yes.
posted by kagredon at 2:50 PM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


there's probably a tumblr about it, even
posted by kagredon at 2:51 PM on July 9, 2013


i've never known a world without spell-check
posted by junco at 2:51 PM on July 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


Sigh. I moved out at 18, went to college, graduated and got a shitty job and a shitty apartment. I left an internship at a place I really liked because I needed to pay my own rent. I left an artsy job I really liked because I needed health insurance. I haven't lived with my parents since I graduated high school. I'm 43.

I have a 26 year old step brother. He came back from college, lived at home until he got a job (like 6 months) then didn't leave. He doesn't pay any rent. HE IS A FUCKING ACCOUNTANT. HE HAS A REAL JOB. My dad is leaving his mom because the kid won't move out.
posted by mneekadon at 2:58 PM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


Your favorite poorly defined group of people sucks.
posted by LogicalDash at 2:59 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


i've never known a world without spell-check

You're practically a dinosaur compared to those kids who haven't grown up in a world without auto-correct.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:00 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have a 26 year old step brother. He came back from college, lived at home until he got a job (like 6 months) then didn't leave. He doesn't pay any rent. HE IS A FUCKING ACCOUNTANT. HE HAS A REAL JOB. My dad is leaving his mom because the kid won't move out.

Isn't this, in fact, his mother's fault? She's the one who won't kick him out.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:01 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, my stepsister (daughter of my mom's husband) lived with them for like five years while her dad put the small amount of rent she paid into a bank account so she could make a down payment on a condo. She moved out when she was 31. Like four years ago.
posted by mneekadon at 3:02 PM on July 9, 2013


Isn't this, in fact, his mother's fault? She's the one who won't kick him out.

Yes, it is.
posted by mneekadon at 3:04 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


All that millennial, gen x or boomer hatred is wasteful, we should go after the real enemty, those bastards in the socalled greatest generation.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:05 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess I'm just a total loser as I lived at home after college for 3 years or so, even though I had a real job. And I'm 47 so that's boomer/X divide.

I can't be the only one who is so amazed at all the talented people writing, creating art, music, videos, games, etc that is now only accessible due to the internet? A lot of over cute (I'm looking at _you_ Uke players!) stuff, but undeniable talent too. I didn't see that with my peers at that age. Maybe it was harder to find previously but I think the kids are alright.
posted by jclarkin at 3:11 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have a 26 year old step brother...

If the dude is anything like me (I'm 26 and have a real job) he may just be being super financially conservative due to the clusterfuck of an economy that he has experienced for the entirety of his adult life. I'm essentially housesitting with my gf in her grandfather's run down, ex-hoarder's house. It is grim, and it sucks to be dependent (a little) on her family for housing, but paying half the rent I'd pay for a "real" apartment is well worth it to me.

I'm also one of those people who could afford a car but doesn't buy one. I'm driving the minivan that my family bought in 2000 to replace our Previa. My mom is always telling me to get a new car, because I could afford a car payment, but I always think, "Fuck that. I need to be saving that money in case I lose my job or for when I retire."

And that's all I have to say about that.
posted by Aizkolari at 3:12 PM on July 9, 2013 [27 favorites]


I'm pretty lucky, in that I have parents/grandparents who would be happy to take me in and support me if I lost my job. I'd pretty much sell my organs before I accepted, because they're all struggling as it is. I feel guilty even accepting Christmas money. I have other friends who are living at home to help their parents make rent and/or to act as a third caretaker for younger siblings or elderly relatives, because their parents can make more working overtime than they can.

It's rarely as simple as it looks.
posted by kagredon at 3:13 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Born in 80, I'm on the tail end of the Gen X cohort. I'm acceptably gainfully employed, but with no real savings or safety net beyond my salary, and then there's my parents in their late 50s early 60s, who are struggling in the economy, and finding no one wants to hire them, and my kid brother who did actually find a job, but busting his ass for less than 30k a year. Seems to me, all this generational rage, tongue in cheek though it largely is, is misplaced. Seems to me we should be pissed at the fucking wall street asshats who fucked us all over in the first place.
posted by stenseng at 3:28 PM on July 9, 2013 [16 favorites]


Seems to me we should be pissed at the fucking wall street asshats who fucked us all over in the first place.

Just tell us what generation they're from and we'll get started writing some articles to take their asses down.
posted by dogwalker at 3:31 PM on July 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


What stenseng said. Divide and conquer based on made-up marketing demographics gets us nowhere.
posted by Rainflower at 3:34 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


We are all in this together.
posted by The Whelk at 3:52 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah, after 9 months of looking in vain for a minimum-wage job after college, I was terrified of moving out of my dad's house because what if I lost my fucking job and couldn't find another one that made even half the money for another fucking year. The economy is not just like not enough money and not enough jobs, it's like terror once a week that the precarious house of cards you've built (and by house of cards I mean managing rent and student loans, essentially two cards leaning on one another) will be blown over by circumstance or a slip-up or just some asshole, and you will spend five years digging yourself out of the hole that will put you in, because you have no money and can't get any and every moment spent not getting money is putting you in more debt. Perhaps too much coffee today, but I'm still on edge about this and I've been financially secure again for six months.
posted by stoneandstar at 3:55 PM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


I also like how Ford's like "why don't you buy cars" and McDonald's is like "why don't you buy our food" and everyone's like "why don't you buy houses". Is it really that mystifying? “You’re going to see those big purchases starting to happen but they’re just not there yet.” oh, maybe it is.

We Have No Money Yet We Must Spend
posted by dng at 4:02 PM on July 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


I was born in the taint between Downtown Boomertown and the Gen X Ballroom. As such, I've often felt like a man without an identity. Who am I? What do I stand for? Why is it so dark in here, and what is that smell?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:02 PM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't know which cutesy label applies to them, but I do know that the university undergraduates with whom I share a bus to and from work are freaking annoying and selfish and need some manners. (I also know that their parents are my contemporaries, so I think my generation must be in desperate need of parenting skills.)
posted by mudpuppie at 4:04 PM on July 9, 2013


I was terrified of moving out of my dad's house because what if I lost my fucking job and couldn't find another one that made even half the money for another fucking year.

This fear is why I've lived in a cheap, beat-up studio apartment for the past six years, despite the fact that I've been fully employed the entire time. Next month I am taking what feels like the world's biggest, stupidest leap of faith and renting a one-bedroom apartment. I can't even get excited about it; I can only feel a lump in my stomach of "hoo boy, way to tempt fate, idiot."
posted by like_a_friend at 4:10 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't know which cutesy label applies to them, but I do know that the university undergraduates with whom I share a bus to and from work are freaking annoying and selfish and need some manners.

I've pretty much felt that way ever since I stopped being a university undergraduate, which was double confusing because at the time I was still the same age as most of them. Which pretty much just confirms to me that I have also been annoying and selfish and in need of manners at some point in my life (probably still am), and that in 4 or 5 years, those kids will have the ever-loving shit bugged out of them by new kids. It's the circle of "why the fuck do you need to play your music where I can hear it from three seats over."
posted by kagredon at 4:17 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Bors has been talking about Millennial-bashing for a while. His earlier not-a-comic piece was also pretty great.
posted by Peccable at 4:27 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was born in the taint...Why is it so dark in here, and what is that smell?

I think I figured this one out!
posted by curious nu at 5:11 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Dear Millenials:

I don't hate you. Really I don't. It's like trying to hate Troll dolls. I don't really like your music much, though. (I'll never be a Lumineer. HEY!)

And I don't cotton to the generational angst. I want to hate on Boomers, so help me God I do. They are going to be the MOST insufferably smug senior citizens ever. (Nothing will be more alarming than an entire swarm of 70-80 years olds whining about how they don't know how to use a computer, but REMINDING YOU ENDLESSLY THAT WITHOUT THEM, you wouldn't either.)

I"m Gen X to the bones. I'm cynical, depressed more often than not, and think earnestness is proof of dementia or worse. (I'm fucking serious here, I'm never, ever going to be a goddamn Lumineer. HO!) I'm still pissed about Cobain dying and wish it had been the Cranberries.

But as bad as we are, as X-ed out as the media paints us, look y'all - we gave you Kristin Hersh, Jane's Addiction, and the Smiths. Of course, we're also responsible for the Spin Doctors, Phish and white reggae bands. Mea culpa. (although, c'mon - the Samples are awesome, brah!)

Listen - take your earbuds out and watch where you're walking long enough to get drunk with me, okay? But remember - I gotta get up tomorrow early and look for work. Wait - you too? DUDE! Okay fuck it - we're closing this microbrew bar DOWN, kids!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:13 PM on July 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


CS graduate talks about career struggle, gets immediately jumped on. "You are doing something wrong." Why yes, you caught me. I'm not eating cake!
posted by fatehunter at 5:21 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


This has triggered my own bout of rage reading millennial pieces. The worst are the 'why aren't millenials buying expensive things HOW WILL WE GET OUT OF THIS RECESSION IF YOUNG PEOPLE WON'T SPEND MONEY' articles.
posted by geegollygosh at 5:44 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


While my comment above still stands (the columns about Millenials being self-absorbed etc. really point out the self-perceived inadequacies about whoever wrote the column in the first place), I'm not entirely sure if Millenials in Canada at least have it terribly worse than I did in 1994 when I graduated from university.

There weren't a lot of jobs. There had been a major recession in Canada. I can recall lining up to get a job as a short-order cook and as a dishwasher. So I left for Japan to teach English, making easily three times as much as I would have made back home.

I returned a couple of years later and there still weren't any jobs. Many of the white collar entry level jobs were farmed out to temp companies like Kelly and Manpower, and I recall fighting for (and ultimately losing out on) a job in the mail room of a government ministry. So I worked for a moving company, and, when fall came around, as a cook in a sports bar.

I got a ticket back to Japan as soon as I could and didn't come back for nearly a decade.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:47 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


That recession in the early 90's was no joke. It didn't bother me too badly, though, since I had no intention of getting a decent job (I was a slacker, dontch'ya know).

I knew it was not a drill when the boss told me to get out the ladder and put up "NOW HIRING DRIVERS" on the sign board outside the pizza place where I worked, when I wasn't busy doing bong hits or going to band practice or reading "Processed World" and "Exquisite Corpse". We got about 80 applicants. Many of them were experienced building contractors - the boom had seemingly left the boomtown overnight.
posted by thelonius at 5:56 PM on July 9, 2013


I would just like to say I always thought "Gen X" was named after the X games.
posted by kiltedtaco at 6:50 PM on July 9, 2013


as a millennial... fuck i need a job
posted by rebent at 6:53 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


paying half the rent I'd pay for a "real" apartment is well worth it to me.

We did this back in the day by getting a roommate. Or four.

Honestly your whole comment is a really good example of what people are complaining about. I could talk about walking to school uphill both ways, barefoot, in the snow, etc. etc., but to me this sounds like you never let go of the teat. I don't know anyone my age who was saving for retirement at 26. I spent several years temping. Moving home would have meant admitting defeat. It just wouldn't have occurred to me or to any of my friends to do such a thing.

It's just a different time now, I guess.
posted by mneekadon at 8:09 PM on July 9, 2013


As a Baby Boomer, I don't get the animosity and the endless bitching about the kids. They're not us or any other generation and guess what? That's fine. They'll rise to the occasion if they don't first sink under the weight of the massive college loan debt we've piled on them. Among other things. That Time piece is the worst thing I've read, at least this week.
posted by etaoin at 8:17 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Honestly your whole comment is a really good example of what people are complaining about. I could talk about walking to school uphill both ways, barefoot, in the snow, etc. etc., but to me this sounds like you never let go of the teat.

"Your terror of ruin makes you a baby."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:19 PM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Generation X (of which I am an early adopter, class of '66) got screwed over in favor of the Baby Boomers primarily because there were 3 times as many of them as us, and therefore they got all the attention and good stuff and at the same time owed us in Generation X nothing (because they were our older siblings, not our parents). Generation X was also known as the "Baby Bust" generation, because there were so few of us compared to the Baby Boom. So few of us, they had to close and consolidate public schools where I came from. We in Generation X got screwed over in favor of our older siblings, cousins, uncles and aunts because there were just so many of them, and so few of us. That hurt, but it was understandable, I suppose, and it's hard to blame the Boomers for that. Millennials number much closer to the Baby Boomers, perhaps even more of you than them. So, the rules have changed, yet you still are not getting the brass rings your parents (my older siblings and cousins) got to grab.

Millennials, I am sorry to say that it appears you have it significantly worse than did I or my "X" generation, because the 2008 recession surely is worse than the 1991 version. But ther is another perspective by which you REALLY have it worse. I fear your own parents (and the parents of your friends and of your other contemporaries) - i.e., the Baby Boomers - have fucked you over. My parents (solidly in the "Greatest Generation," born in 1925-26) never did that to me. That betrayal must really hurt. No wonder those Baby Boomers who have adult offspring that got fucked over at the expense of the Boomer Generation are willing to let them live in the basement; their guilt must be overwhelming.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 8:20 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


These lazy, predictable, fact-free non-essays always have some various twaddle relating to trophies, and why they were handed out.

Your trophy trope is lame, has been for 20 years, and makes you sound like a man in the street in the Onion.

It's like people don't even remember being kids, who never care about anything for more than 3 minutes, cause, you know, they're kids, so, what trophy?

How easily do you have to be willing to believe your own bullshit to become so willfully forgetful about stuff that you just did? Half the readers of this junk probably have children actively giving a shit about the wrong thing right now, but know not to worry because distraction.

Want to be a useful alleged grown-up? Don't deny to yourself your actual memories of the actual childhood you had. Good first step in trying to not be full of shit is to not help fill yourself up with your own bullshit.
posted by dglynn at 8:27 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't know anyone my age who was saving for retirement at 26.

Right, but the lesson of the last decade for "us" has been that our parents were screwed out of their retirements/jobs/houses by a game that was 1) rigged against them and 2) even when not rigged against them worked by conspiring to sell them cars/houses that were too expensive/they didn't need, and that if we don't want to be similarly fucked we (or those few of us who are lucky enough to have non-marginal employment) should save every dollar possible and not go into debt buying overpriced new cars/houses when there are perfectly servicable free/low-cost used alternatives available. Mom and Dad have big houses or even second houses that aren't being put to full use, and their old hand-me-down car with 200K miles still gets us from A to B.
posted by junco at 8:30 PM on July 9, 2013 [13 favorites]


It's just a different time now, I guess.

Yes, although I think historically, this just looks like a "correction." Only for a relatively brief period of modern history has it been the expectation that a young person could/should be able to move out and set up their own home without their parents' assistance. Even into the 19th century, if I am not mistaken, it was pretty much normal for multiple generations to live under one roof together. (Hell, just look at The Waltons for a more recent, televised example.) "Living in your parents' basement" was actually expected and tolerated; historians please correct me if I am wrong about this. Also, young women (and also men) were not supposed to leave home until married; the idea of fleeing the nest concurrent with college is a recent innovation, am I not right? So, yes, some of us did suffer because of the expectation to leave the nest and be self-sufficient immediately upon completing our adolescence, but it was not always that way, and the parents did not feel put out by it, either. That said, the fact that the current norm is to flee the nest at age 18 and never look back makes it very hard for the (super majority) of those who cannot make that happen.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 8:40 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


When the double digit inflation kicks back in, all of your hoarded dollars will be worthless. When currency loses all value, it will be better to live in a house than a hovel.
posted by mneekadon at 8:40 PM on July 9, 2013


I'm so tired of these generational wars. Baby Boomers want what they want because as children of Depression (and later) parents, we grew up with the certain knowledge that the possibilities were endless, that everyone would and could succeed and we'd get what we were promised all of our lives. That included a decent retirement, which would be a laughable concept if it weren't such a disaster for us. I do not blame my parents for raising my hopes or the society in general that taught us that the sky was the limit; neither do I despair about the younger generations' ability to contribute. I do fear we as a society have placed severe burdens on them but I don't see that as generational but rather a kind of society-wide refusal to acknowledge our problems and come up with a solution. I was happy to pay taxes--still am--to strenghten the safety net for all of us. That Social Security check that I mocked all my life as too small is looming more and more important after going through a 401(k) that first shrank and then went to pay the bills during more than two years of unemployment. So if you think that's greedy of me to insist on it, well, I don't know what to say.
posted by etaoin at 8:44 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


the idea of fleeing the nest concurrent with college is a recent innovation

Well the idea of everyone going to college is really only endemic in the middle class and beyond; working class doesn't assume any such thing. It didn't really apply to women until the 70s, and until around then it was very common for people to be married with kids by the time they were twenty.
posted by mneekadon at 8:46 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


When the double digit inflation kicks back in, all of your hoarded dollars will be worthless. When currency loses all value, it will be better to live in a house than a hovel.

No, it will still have a value of $X that is reducing year-over-year by 14% or so (if we go back to the post-war high of the early 80s). How is that worse than having no money but a big house that the bank will now repossess because I've lost my job? And if "currency loses all value", our housing situation is going to be a relatively minor problem.
posted by junco at 8:46 PM on July 9, 2013


their old hand-me-down car with 200K miles still gets us from A to B

I'm kind of gobsmacked that more than one of you consider this some kind of sacrifice worth mentioning. You're in your twenties. You're not supposed to have a fancy car. Get your used but functional cars off of my lawn.
posted by mneekadon at 8:56 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


plz buy a car and a house so I can feel validated in my own poor choices which not only left me feeling strangely empty and unfulfilled but also bequeathed a ruinous legacy to future generations. plzzzzzzzz :(
posted by threeants at 9:00 PM on July 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


Generation X (of which I am an early adopter, class of '66) got screwed over in favor of the Baby Boomers primarily because there were 3 times as many of them as us, and therefore they got all the attention and good stuff and at the same time owed us in Generation X nothing (because they were our older siblings, not our parents).

Yeah, my parents were not Boomers, they were born during the war. They had a mortgage by the time the Summer of Love rolled around.

I think the only bad thing about Boomers... well two bad things are Classic Rock and PT Cruisers.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:03 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


No, please rent an apartment with a couple of roommates and take the bus and stop spending your parent's retirement.
posted by mneekadon at 9:04 PM on July 9, 2013


Please increase my income so my debt doesn't eat half of it right out the gate.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:05 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


[Let's not make it personal, gang.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:06 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


... Because they're just as worried as you are about losing their jobs. And they can't retire to open up new positions in their companies for younger people because they are still supporting you.
posted by mneekadon at 9:07 PM on July 9, 2013


(Sorry, LM)
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:08 PM on July 9, 2013


That recession in the early 90's was no joke. It didn't bother me too badly, though, since I had no intention of getting a decent job (I was a slacker, dontch'ya know).

The slacker ethos of the time profoundly affected my life, at least until my early 30's. I was so slack.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:10 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of gobsmacked that more than one of you consider this some kind of sacrifice worth mentioning. You're in your twenties. You're not supposed to have a fancy car. Get your used but functional cars off of my lawn.

It's not a "sacrifice", it's a sensible decision, but one that invites derision because we aren't doing the "adult" thing and buying new cars.
posted by junco at 9:15 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Rustic Estruscan, millennials got sold the idea that student loans were worth it at the same time that college price tags started to get ludicrous, which really is a generational fucking-over. (though I ended up not going to my first choice college because of a really good finaid package offered elsewhere) That disconnect has been pretty much illuminated for everyone coming after. We have a college fund for my 11 year old but I'm under no illusion that we'll be able to cover tuition anywhere fancy.
posted by mneekadon at 9:16 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's not a "sacrifice", it's a sensible decision, but one that invites derision because we aren't doing the "adult" thing and buying new cars.

Who is being derisive? (about your car)
posted by mneekadon at 9:20 PM on July 9, 2013


That recession in the early 90's was no joke. It didn't bother me too badly, though, since I had no intention of getting a decent job (I was a slacker, dontch'ya know).

The slacker ethos of the time profoundly affected my life, at least until my early 30's. I was so slack.


I was about to say how much I was not part of your slacker contingent, and how I made sure I had a full-time job with benefits even though all I had was a philosophy M.A. in '91, etc., and then I realized how lucky I was to have a friend who was in the HR department of a major Chicago law firm in April 1992, and how I happened to bump into her one day after not having spoken to her for years but because we happened to work in the same building that was being evacuated due to the 1992 "flood" of downtown Chicago, and how she asked me for my resume and put it on top of the pile for a paralegal job because she remembered me and liked me from college ... and at this point, I realize it is time for me to shut up about Millennials. I was very lucky to get the job I got (that I then had to work like a MoFo to keep, but keeping a job is not the same as getting it in the first place).
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 9:21 PM on July 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


Who is being derisive?

that person who took someone's offhand comment about having a used car and then posted this:

I'm kind of gobsmacked that more than one of you consider this some kind of sacrifice worth mentioning. You're in your twenties. You're not supposed to have a fancy car. Get your used but functional cars off of my lawn.
posted by kagredon at 9:38 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Who is being derisive? (about your car)

I don't have a car. You quoted a commenter who said he lived in an empty house owned by his girlfriend's parents and drives his parents' old car and said that his was an example of someone being "unable to let go of the teat". If you needed further examples, look at any of the "why aren't they buying cars!!?" articles posted up thread.
posted by junco at 9:45 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


When the double digit inflation kicks back in, all of your hoarded dollars will be worthless. When currency loses all value, it will be better to live in a house than a hovel.

Nah, they'll be lending it to everyone else at exorbitant interest, like in the late 1970s.

And the "Greatest Generations" near me have all sucked- they move just outside of town so they don't have to support any schools or anything (with taxes), and then try to justify why they should still have access to the fire departments.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:48 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


If the dude is anything like me (I'm 26 and have a real job) he may just be being super financially conservative due to the clusterfuck of an economy that he has experienced for the entirety of his adult life.

I'm pretty sure my generation is going to be The Folks Who Lived Through The Depression Vol. II.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:05 PM on July 9, 2013


I'm pretty sure my generation is going to be The Folks Who Lived Through The Depression Vol. II.

Tell me about it. When I talk with my grandmother about money, I realize that I sound exactly like my great-grandfather, her father, who was so notoriously unwilling to get rid of anything that executing his will required a massive clean-out of his whole house.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:09 PM on July 9, 2013


I make $12,000 a year, I don't have to take anyone's shit.
posted by Redfield at 10:22 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Honestly your whole comment is a really good example of what people are complaining about. I could talk about walking to school uphill both ways, barefoot, in the snow, etc. etc., but to me this sounds like you never let go of the teat. I don't know anyone my age who was saving for retirement at 26.

Honestly your whole comment is a really good example of what people my age are complaining about. We did what our parents' generation told us to do. We went to college (taking on much more debt than previous generations were obligated to). We had it ground into us that Social Security would not be there for our retirement. We knew we would have to take care of ourselves. BUT WHERE ARE THE FUCKING JOBS?
posted by HumuloneRanger at 10:49 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I love Matt Bors, but I agree with the Time magazine piece he mocks. I'm a millennial and I really do lack empathy for other people and have trouble understanding other intellectual views.

But seriously, every generation writes this crap about the next generation. It doesn't matter, because in 10 years we'll be the old generation, and in 50 we'll be dead.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:25 AM on July 10, 2013



As a Millennial I can only respond to this article via a series of animated gifs


see this shit makes me angry. when i was a kid I READ stuff on the Internet. i posted long blogs with TEXT. I didn't reblog gifs on Tumblr
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:26 AM on July 10, 2013


also can we talk about how brilliant Matt Bors is? his style is so clean, his politics are so correct!
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:28 AM on July 10, 2013


As for the name, I'm pretty pleased with 'millennial'. Gen Y was an awful placeholder, something for the olds to call us before we were old enough to have any meaningful characteristics. Like someone already pointed out, this sort of explicit cohort naming was invented with the boomers, who took their name from what was already being discussed as a phenomenon. After them, generation naming became more speculative. Gen X worked because it resonates with the youth culture of the time, but Gen Y/Z is just a rote derivative of that. Millennial suits me fine, and even if you don't care for it, it's great in a sort of "oh god, anything but gen y, let's agree on it and move on" sort of way.

It really puts me off when I read stuff that still uses 'Gen Y', because it's just "gen x but younger", and that leaves me cold. No offense to you guys, but that never struck me as any kind of reasonable shared identity. No generation wants to be "the last one, but younger". We should head off any use of 'gen Z' and just wait 5-10 years for a real name to show up for the next one because no one needs that.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:42 AM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also it's all the boomers' faults forever, I love many boomers dearly but as a group they pretty much screwed up everything. We are all living in the shadow of the 60s.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:46 AM on July 10, 2013



Also it's all the boomers' faults forever, I love many boomers dearly but as a group they pretty much screwed up everything. We are all living in the shadow of the 60s.


Yeah, god damn them for having the best music and art.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:02 AM on July 10, 2013


I love the music and the art. If the counterculture had succeeded and we weren't mired in endless rehashings of it's backlash the culture wars, we'd be having a different conversation. But at best it was a partial success, and as a result it is proving very difficult to move forward until we deal with that unfinished business.

I'll balk at 'best'.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:12 AM on July 10, 2013


As someone who was born in 1985, I also like the label "millennial." I actually said that last time this came up on Mefi, and another millennial told me to speak for myself, but I guess that's the problem with these ill-defined concepts.

Still though, I first started becoming aware of the world, politics, society, relationships, and various other grownup concepts in the late 90s, due to my age as well as our family getting the internet at that time. To me, the year 2000 had been something I'd been thinking of since 1st grade, learning about the calendar and extrapolating into the future. This was back when a year was a long, long time. To my five year old self, the year 2000 was unfathomably far away. To my 13, 14 year old self, 2000 seemed something destined to happen, as if my coming of age was meant to fall upon a millennial shift that dozens of generations before me had not survived to see. I remember what it was like to feel like technology and the internet were going to solve everything, before the dot com crash and 9/11 put the kibosh on all that.

I mean, we could have gotten stuck with Generation Pog or something. I'll take Millennial.
posted by malapropist at 2:36 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


The best art? Are you kidding?
posted by thelonius at 3:42 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


see this shit makes me angry. when i was a kid I READ stuff on the Internet. i posted long blogs with TEXT. I didn't reblog gifs on Tumblr

as always, the whelk is being completely serious, and so should be responded to in total earnesty
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:05 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I believe the response is equally earnest.
posted by pracowity at 5:37 AM on July 10, 2013


> "Our Boomer parents become the first generation to never die ... Because of this, they decide they can put off retirement indefinitely so as to perpetually renovate their house with ... heated towel racks in the bathroom ..."

I have to say, though, now that I live in a country where heated towel racks in the bathroom come standard in every dwelling, it turns out that they are actually pretty awesome.
posted by kyrademon at 5:48 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was born in 1982 as well, and I think the prospects for me are a lot different than those born in 1990 or 2000. My agegroup are the first generation for whom never being able to own their own place is a serious reality - in cities at least, there are people in their thirties and even forties who are resigned to renting, often with flatmates, because raising a deposit is a LOT harder than it was ten years ago when the banks were giving out 125% mortgages. There is a definite split between Gen X and what we used to call Gen Y - my ex was born in 1978 and went to university for free on a full grant, I was one of the first years for whom tuition fees and student loans - no more grants for us - were a reality.

However, my youngest nephew was born in 1995 and things for him are going to be different. Tuition fees for us were a max of £1000 a year, depending on means testing - now they average around £9000 per year. Every year of students and pupils are told that their rising grades mean less than they did in 198X, so despite achieving more, older people are looking down on them, and assuming they cribbed all their work from Wikipedia. Facebook and Tumblr weren't a thing when we were teenagers - today's college students have their embarrassing teenage diaries live on in perpetuity through social networking, no option of destroying the negatives for their embarrassing photos, and bullying for them was something that could easily transcend the classroom thanks to more people having the internet. (Home internet wasn't a big thing here until I was in my early 20s, as it was expensive.) Food prices are higher, jobs are fewer, life feels more precarious, and they're telling us it will take a single person on an average wage 25yrs to save the 30% deposit needed to get a mortgage if they have to pay rent at the same time.

I'm nostalgic for many things of my youth, and I know there are many things I'd have done differently if I hadn't wasted my time with rubbish boyfriends/undiagnosed mental illness/not knowing how to look after my money properly, but good gravy do I not envy the people ten years younger than me.
posted by mippy at 6:36 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


paying half the rent I'd pay for a "real" apartment is well worth it to me.

We did this back in the day by getting a roommate. Or four.


To be clear, I'm paying half of what I was paying before when I had three roommates. My living situation is a huge privilege for me and I'm thankful for it.

What I was trying to get at, though, is that I do have the money to live in a one or two bedroom place alone with my girlfriend, rather than in her family's house with two other roommates. Frankly, between the two of us we make a ton of money. I just don't feel like spending the money for that measure of independence is worth it. I'd rather save to be ready for the unknowable future than have a nicer car and living situation now.

Finally this is just what I think. I have some friends that feel this way, and others that make what I do or more and spend pretty much all of their paychecks every month. It's not like every millennial is going to be frugal for their entire lives, but I think that I will be, mostly because of the economy and the fact that both my parents are bankruptcy lawyers.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:44 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


see this shit makes me angry. when i was a kid I READ stuff on the Internet. i posted long blogs with TEXT. I didn't reblog gifs on Tumblr

I really enjoy it when you cosplay a grouchy and bewildered octogenarian.
posted by elizardbits at 7:45 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I say it's the greatest generation's fault. They started the whole government handout scam, they let their lousy boomer kids run riot and vote Democrat. No wonder we're going to hell in a hand-basket.
posted by IndigoJones at 7:48 AM on July 10, 2013


I'm 31 and articles consisting of GIFs really annoy me, but only because my migraines are triggered by certain repetitive or flashing patterns and a lot of gifs feel similarly 'flashy'. ONTD was never exactly 'readable', but I can't look at anything on there now as gifs seem to have become the lingua franca of the snarkiest ends of the internets.

On the plus side, it means I have no qualms about staying away from Buzzfeed.
posted by mippy at 7:52 AM on July 10, 2013


Some thoughts on the general points of discussion:

1) I do think millennials will be, on the whole, more frugal than Xers or Boomers. Obviously, there will be exceptions. But the only person I know who seems comfortable making super-big purchases has a public-sector job with guaranteed security, and I think that's really the crux of it: I think we (at least those of us who are employed) are just way, way more cognizant of the ways in which our jobs could evaporate overnight than older folks. We hit the job market in a shit economy, and many of us saw our parents get laid off, even during so-called "good" times, for fuck-all. The idea that your job could just disappear, and you could be stuck living off unemployment checks for six months or a year or more is in the back of the mind of pretty much every gainfully employed millennial who works in the private sector, I'd say. That's a big, big mental impediment to slapping down 50k for a down payment on a house and taking out a mortgage.

2) I was born in '84. Like mippy, I do not envy the younger-millennial cohort. Average tuition at a public college here in the States has skyrocketed just since I graduated in '06. Also, while I think everyone will adjust to the ubiquity of the internet and social media, the idea that most teenagers today own cell phones with which their parents can contact them anytime...just...no. Man, I would've been terrified to do half the things I remember fondly at 16 if I knew my mom could just call me up whenever she wanted.

3) The fuck is wrong with getting a bit of help from your family? I'm not talking about being unemployed and living with your parents and mooching off them while your play video games. I'm not talking about thinking your parents will pay your Brooklyn rent while you pursue your artsy dreams. But, I know plenty of Xers and Boomers who got their parents' old cars or maybe help with a down payment as a wedding gift or something. I'm all for independence, but saying that watching your girlfriend's grandfather's house in exchange for cheap rent makes you "on the teat" is ridiculous. Families helping each other is not a thing that was invented in 2008.

4) 'Millennial' is a better name than 'Gen Y.' Though, let's be honest, 'Generation Pog' would be hilarious.

5) You know why we don't eat McDonald's? Because it fucking sucks, that's why.
posted by breakin' the law at 8:12 AM on July 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


What's really fun is being on the cusp between Baby Boom and GenX. I don't know whether to resent myself or be disappointed in myself. (So I do both!) Either way I can still be impatient and annoyed with self- and phone-absorbed Millenials.

Aside from generational concerns, the moving home thing just baffles me. In my twenties I would have sooner become homeless than move back home with my parents. And it almost came to that, sad to say. Fucking 80s.
posted by aught at 8:37 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aside from generational concerns, the moving home thing just baffles me. In my twenties I would have sooner become homeless than move back home with my parents. And it almost came to that, sad to say. Fucking 80s.

yeah between debt and homelessness and debt and shelter I'll take debt and shelter, thanks
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:42 AM on July 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


I barely use my mobile as I never got into the habit of using one - when I got my first in 1999, they were really expensive (I'd rather spend £5 on a couple of singles than a top-up), I really really dislike making phone-calls where people can overhear me, and text messaging was really counter-intuitive for me so I couldn't be arsed with it. I don't even have the mobile numbers for some of my closest friends as we just e-mail each other instead, and I only have a phone now because my boyfriend worries about me being stuck in an emergency. I don't have this in common with many of my generation - many many flatshares do not even have a landline these days, just as a lot of my friends don't have TVs and just watch shows online - but there was also a certain obnoxiousness about phones - the competing over what fascia you had, and people sitting on the bus playing through all their ringtones. (The later version of this is playing music out loud on your phone on the bus, which is probably the thing that most makes me feel like a crotchety old lady who wants to shout 'Can you kids not afford headphones?')

Someone born ten years after me will find the idea of not using a mobile phone as as weird as not having a landline was to me. They would probably have never bought a phonecard (unless they are immigrants looking for cheap deals) or used a phone-box to call their boyfriends in privacy. The idea of the mobile (or the internet) being an expensive utility rather than a simple fact of life is foreign to them. They will always have been contactable at all times, and they will not know a world without that.
posted by mippy at 9:30 AM on July 10, 2013


In my twenties I would have sooner become homeless than move back home with my parents. And it almost came to that, sad to say

As a person on the cusp between GenX and the Millennials, so would I. And so would my younger sibling, who is so millennial that his monthly student loan payment is higher than my rent. (Back when my crotchety 1982-born ass went to college we could still get these things called "Pell grants".)

But it's worth noting that neither of us has ever had comprehensive or consistent health insurance in our adult lives. And we're too old to have benefited from the ACA covered-by-parents-til-26 law. If either of us ever gets sick, we will have to take our high-minded pride and shove it, because we are FUCKED.
posted by like_a_friend at 9:47 AM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I barely use my mobile as I never got into the habit of using one

That is, I gotta admit, pretty unusual. I first got a mobile before going off to college in 2002, and only briefly had a landline (which I never used). I think I know one person around my age who has a landline. I don't have a smartphone, though.

Those people who play around with ringtones on public transit are tremendously irritating. I don't this opinion has anything to do with age or generation - I thought they were every bit as irritating when I was 19 as I do now.
posted by breakin' the law at 10:05 AM on July 10, 2013


Long story short, there seems to be a subtle but concerted movement by the 1%ers to roll back all of the social safety net components and general social progress made in the 20th century, while getting the young to resent the old, the dwindling middle class to resent the working poor, both to resent the jobless, and all divided by the same old tired, stale, cliched wedge social issues.

Meanwhile, Boomers can't retire, Gen Xers are struggling to stay afloat, and Millennials can't get off the starting blocks, as a result.

Why are we fighting with each other again?
posted by stenseng at 10:09 AM on July 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


stenseng: " Why are we fighting with each other again?"

Perhaps it might have something to do with the fact that the 1%ers own the media outlets running these phoned-in "which generation is ruining the world now" pieces?
posted by tonycpsu at 10:35 AM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Born in '83 here. My folks are Boomers (in their 60's now), my SO is GenX, and his kids are supposedly Millennials like me. Granted, my friends and colleagues run from my age to mid-50's, and most agree that I am probably 5-10 years older than my calendar age.

I have a career with two part-time jobs, a mortgage, a decent car (the first I've ever paid for completely by myself; '06 Taco represent), a divorce, a degree with student loan debt, and an IRA, 401k, and 457. I sit in my house in the dark with the AC on 78, eat out of the deep freezer, and work 3 jobs because I'll be damned if I'm going to put myself in the financial predicaments my folks and my SO are in. I know I'll never retire and I'll never have the comfortable life of my childhood as a middle-to-upper-middle class person.

Sometimes I'm bitter; sometimes I have a sense of entitlement. But I'm also a simple woman with simple pleasures, and I think that comes down to how I was raised; I never lacked anything, but I wasn't given anything extra, either. You saved money, made good investments, helped out around the house, and didn't bother to keep up with the Jones'. I was still afforded opportunities greater than many of the people I knew, and rather than blow them off, I worked at them. My parents made some sacrifices for me, but they are much more giving now than when I was growing up; they have told me it's the "Boomer guilt." Sometimes I let them help me, but I'm not keen on it. I'd never ask my folks for something I didn't really need.

My SO's kids though... Sometimes he comes to me and complains that I'm young enough to understand them when he doesn't. I gently remind him I have much more in common with him than his kids (I'm pretty much center of his age/their ages), and I really don't understand the world they were raised in. Additionally, his parenting and my folks' parenting are completely different. They come to him asking for most everything, expect him to be a friend, and sometimes the way they talk to him...if I had spoken like that to my folks, I'd not be able to sit down for a week. When I hit 17 and went to university, my folks were like "out out out!" He wants them to come back home.

I don't begrudge him his relationships with his kids; I don't understand them, but I think they're mostly great. They trust and have faith in him, and he has helped them, and they know how lucky they are. I think he's a wonderful father; they do too. But I can safely say that I don't have a damn thing in common with them, and it's difficult for me to have conversations with them and they confuse me as much as they do him.

TL;DR: I'm not so sure the net cast over the Millennial Generation is accurate. I think people my age are relatively responsible. I hope that the kids following us are, as well.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 12:33 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dude: Are you a Gen() ?
Edud: Yes
Dude: So am I. Are you Gen() from U.s.a?
Edud: Yes
Dude: So am I. Are you Gen() from U.s.a, Northern or Southern?
Edud: Southern
Dude: So am I. Are you Gen() from U.s.a, Southern and black?
Edud: Yes
Dude: So am I. Are you Gen() from U.s.a, Southern, black and like cola?
Edud: Yes
Dude: So do I. Are you Gen() from U.s.a, Southern, black, like cola and like doritos?
Edud: Yes
*BAM BAM BAM* DIE YOU ALIEN SCUM!
posted by elpapacito at 3:29 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why are we fighting with each other again?

Certain folks, not gonna name and shame any age groups here, are voting for a party that really likes the 1 percenter policies by a large margin.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:44 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Perhaps it might have something to do with the fact that the 1%ers own the media outlets running these phoned-in "which generation is ruining the world now" pieces?

Monday: "Look at the Olds, Stealing Your Retirement!"
Tuesday: "Hey Olds, Check Out these Millennials, Stealing Your Medicare with their ObamaCare!"
Wednesday: "Hey Millennials, Look How Cheap College Was for those Olds!"
Thursday: "Millennials, Lazy Ass Freeloaders Preventing You From Buying That Beach House"
Late, late on Friday night: "Senate Passes Estate Tax Cuts, House to Vote on Banking Deregulation"
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:46 PM on July 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


You can tell a lot about a person based on when they were born. Like Jesus, I'm a Capricorn. We both have beards. But in my day beards meant something. You don't even know.
posted by we are the music makers at 3:46 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]



see this shit makes me angry. when i was a kid I READ stuff on the Internet. i posted long blogs with TEXT. I didn't reblog gifs on Tumblr

as always, the whelk is being completely serious, and so should be responded to in total earnesty


nah i know he was joking but i do know so many people who interact in that style - even lots of publications aimed at my generation run gifs as articles


You can tell a lot about a person based on when they were born. Like Jesus, I'm a Capricorn. We both have beards. But in my day beards meant something. You don't even know.


if somebody in fiction is 33 its a clue they're a Jesus
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:34 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


And if they are 33 and 1/3, it's a clue they are a LP.
posted by Ripper Minnieton at 8:07 PM on July 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


if somebody in fiction is 33 its a clue they're a Jesus

I just realized that Zach Snyder is pretty much everyone's worst/most hated millennial stereotypes in slow-then-fast-motion.

(The Watchmen film wasn't that bad. It wasn't good, but it wasn't as bad as people make out. And that credits sequence. I've found even people who absolutely hate the movie will usually concede that the credits sequence was pretty brilliant.)
posted by kagredon at 8:35 PM on July 10, 2013


I never checked in because I have no dependencies or addictions but I empathise with those who do. Does that prove to you that I am not an andy (or skinjob, for the older folks out there)?

Seriously, I put this marketing-based generational stacking a tiny step-above astrology on the pyramid of quackery. I have a lot more in common with someone in their fifties who was or is a 99er in this day and age than I do with a trouser stain born within the same decade as I who's a myrmidon for the job creators. I still haven't really recovered from my wage being stolen from a venerated job creator last year; an act treated as non-criminal by the state whereas it would be a very serious crime if it were committed against the owners of, say, a retail establishment.
posted by samuelcramer at 12:10 AM on July 11, 2013


Spoiler alert, the reason many young people don't want cars is because we observed the world and noticed that cars are fucking bullshit death machines. A car is like a magic transmogrifier that converts large sums of money into sprawl, climate change, and civic isolation. Sign me up!!
posted by threeants at 4:01 AM on July 11, 2013 [10 favorites]


Unfortunately, a lot of those same young people get married, have a couple of kids, buy a house outside the city, and decide that they do indeed need two cars to drive back and forth between work and preschool and ballet class and the grocery store and her mother's house and the gym and...
posted by pracowity at 6:48 AM on July 12, 2013


they do indeed need two cars to drive back and forth between work and preschool and ballet class and the grocery store and her mother's house and the gym and...

That's crazy talk! The government has invested in a useful, efficient and cheap public transport system, and a network of bikepaths. And cheap renewable energy to make our lives (and the air) better.
posted by Mezentian at 5:44 AM on July 13, 2013


« Older Does elevator music make you buy more stuff?...  |  The SFMOMA has launched the Ra... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments