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18-Year-Old Weltanschauung
August 21, 2007 5:29 PM   Subscribe

Most of the students entering college this fall, members of the class of 2011, were born in 1989. They never “rolled down” a car window. They have grown up with bottled water. “Off the hook” has never had anything to do with a telephone. Tiananmen Square is a 2008 Olympics venue, not the scene of a massacre. Wal-Mart has always been a larger retailer than Sears and has always employed more workers than GM. They never saw Johnny Carson live on television. Wisconsin's Beloit College has published its annual Mindset List. [previously 2003 and 2006]. Now, get offa' my goddamned lawn!
posted by ericb (109 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Pfft - my 2002 vehicle has roll-down windows.
posted by fish tick at 5:35 PM on August 21, 2007


They never "rolled down" a car window.

Yeah, because we all get new hummers for our first car.
posted by Citizen Premier at 5:37 PM on August 21, 2007


Ditto.

I never got the point of these lists... is the point they're trying to make that kid's aren't interested in knowing about anything that happened before they were born. I was born in 1979 - does that mean I don't know who the Sex Pistols were?

I find it much more concerning to think kids born in the 1990s are now learning to drive.

I find it much more concerning to think that...well you know how in the 80s, we looked back at music from the 1960s as being so old fashioned? Well, now we can do that about the 80s...
posted by Jimbob at 5:38 PM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


yeah, but they will be paying our social security benefits. thanks guys
posted by caddis at 5:39 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


No honey, the point of these lists is just to make people FEEL OLD & convince them that in the future nobody will be able to relate to eachother.

P'shaw.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:42 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


A sure sign that you're getting old is that you start brooding about the moral failings of the younger generation.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:44 PM on August 21, 2007 [4 favorites]


George Santayana: "Those who forget the past have a lot less to remember."
posted by Postroad at 5:44 PM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


When I was a student worker at college, we'd get a newsletter of this list every year. I always thought it was amusing that I'd "never got a chance to drink 7-Up Gold, Crystal Pepsi, or Apple Slice", among many other things.
posted by Xere at 5:45 PM on August 21, 2007


GetOffMyLawnFilter
posted by oncogenesis at 5:47 PM on August 21, 2007


People actually graduate in four years? Why would you do something that stupid?
posted by ColdChef at 5:48 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


ColdChef: So 65,000 doesn't become 80,000?
posted by absalom at 5:50 PM on August 21, 2007


Music has always been “unplugged.”

Yeah, because acoustic instruments didn't exist back in the olden days.
posted by jonmc at 5:53 PM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


In 1977, a '57 chevy was 20 years old and was considered a classic. Does anyone think that an '87 is a classic?
posted by 445supermag at 5:56 PM on August 21, 2007 [9 favorites]


I just read the list for the year I was supposed to graduate college (2002). It was downright insulting. I'd come up with a point-by-point refutation but I almost feel like I'm being trolled.
posted by zsazsa at 5:58 PM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


college kids pretty much exist to make 25 year olds feel older than they really are
posted by maus at 6:03 PM on August 21, 2007 [5 favorites]


Yes, and unlike me, these class-of-2011 youngsters never hitched up a horse to a buggy, straightened their bow tie and took Miss Mary Jane Brigsby through the quaint, gaslit streets of Baltimore, whilst humming a merry little Stephen Foster ditty.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:04 PM on August 21, 2007 [4 favorites]


ColdChef: So 65,000 doesn't become 80,000?

Meh. It's only money.
posted by ColdChef at 6:05 PM on August 21, 2007


I was born in 1973. I have never not flown to work in my rocket car.
posted by DU at 6:07 PM on August 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


My son (my youngest child) leaves next Sunday...he is class of 2011. And he turned 18 today. The list made me sad and wistful all at the same time...maybe the list is really for the parents.
posted by gminks at 6:13 PM on August 21, 2007


Meh. It's only money.

No. Actually, it's a giant soul crushing debt that affects our ability to purchase houses, cars, sign a lease without a cosigner, et cetera.

And at a high end college, it's more like the difference between $160,000 and $200,000.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:14 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


I find myself wanting to lecture on how a good education is priceless, but fuck, that makes me feel old.

Get out as quick as you can, kids. Your tedious job awaits.
posted by ColdChef at 6:19 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


Back on topic, thanks for posting this. I was watching the news tonight and Brian Williams mentioned it at the close of the broadcast. It was interesting sounding enough for me to look it up online prior to seeing this FPP.

I graduated high school in 2002, so this list is aimed at folks 5 years behind me. Having said that, I found many of the items interesting.

What interests me more is the sort of meta-point that paradigms are constantly changing. And with these last 20 years being the technological revolution that they are, it seems like these paradigms are being shifted faster and faster.

I can't help but feel like my generation has gotten the shaft, though. It seems like we are being saddled with an endless war against a nebulous enemy designed to scare us into submission. Couple that with the impending end of cheap oil and it seems like we are being set up for a pretty shitty adulthood.

I guess most generations feel that way about the preceding one, though.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:20 PM on August 21, 2007


college kids pretty much exist to make 25 year olds feel older than they really are
posted by maus 12 minutes ago


umm, no, they exist to let these twenty something children feel like adults. college kids are still basically pampered teens, sorry. precious few college kids exhibit real adult responsibility, they are still for the most part on the mommy/daddy dole, not real adults. when you feed yourself, then you a all growed up.
posted by caddis at 6:23 PM on August 21, 2007


It seems like we are being saddled with an endless war against a nebulous enemy designed to scare us into submission.

Here, kid, I got a video for you to watch. It's called "Duck and Cover". You'll love it!
posted by gimonca at 6:25 PM on August 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


Did they have a version of this for my class, about how we couldn't remember the Kennedy assassination? No?
posted by gimonca at 6:29 PM on August 21, 2007


Here, kid, I got a video for you to watch. It's called "Duck and Cover". You'll love it!


Hehe, I get it.

So if this has been going on for a while, what's up with you original hippies not fixing this shit already? C'mon, you're the adults!
posted by lazaruslong at 6:29 PM on August 21, 2007


When you feed yourself, then you are all growed up.



How simplistic. I guess I've been all-growed up for much longer than my country has considered me an adult. Where's my flying car?
posted by lazaruslong at 6:31 PM on August 21, 2007


I can't help but feel like my generation has gotten the shaft, though. It seems like we are being saddled with an endless war against a nebulous enemy designed to scare us into submission. Couple that with the impending end of cheap oil and it seems like we are being set up for a pretty shitty adulthood.

Really? That's odd. For the first time, those outside of dense, urban areas have the ability to order nearly any movie (Netflix), book (Amazon) or product in existence, and at incredibly low prices. We also have the gift of information the likes of which no generation has ever seen at a scale that has never been seen before. What before was exclusive to aristocracy and those wealthy enough to afford the time it took to procure a library and search for information, not to mention the connections to do so, is available for an Internet connection and a box that costs less than $1000. I have a giant music collection, am inundated with news and information and the ability to find and aggregate those quickly and with speeds available only with incredibly advances in computing.

Within a span of a few weeks I was able to not only learn of the existence of a somewhat obscure branch of mathematics (Ito's Calculus), but quickly find its applications, various journal articles and its historical development.

I also, from a friend halfway across the world, managed to download an entire album of incredibly high quality music from an obscure band. And I can quickly search for bands like them, the music scene in the paticular city and other albums I might also enjoy.

Sure libraries and cafes served similar roles, but such things were incredibly prohibitive in time consumption. I no longer have to integrate into the local social scene or spend hours fruitlessly searching for what I want.

Rolling up windows? Classic Chevy's? This current generation is being influences, during their most formative years, the likes of what we have never seen. While such things are not available to everyone, they are available widely for the first time. It'll be interesting to see if it results in a great intellectual awakening, or the massive proliferation of Justin Timberlake videos available on my Sprint-Nextel phone.
posted by geoff. at 6:43 PM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Katie Couric has always had screen cred.

Really?
posted by doctor_negative at 6:43 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


Does anyone think that an '87 is a classic?

Absolutely. You just have to think of the right car.
posted by spiderskull at 6:45 PM on August 21, 2007


In my WorldView, Mankind has always stepped foot on the moon, the Vietnam War has always been wrong, Aretha Franklin has always demanded respect, Martin Luther King Jr. has always been a very cool but very dead guy, Project Blue Book has always been a failure, it's always been uncool to call policemen 'pigs' but people do it anyway, The Beatles will always have been better together than they were apart, The Pope's name has always been "Paul" (until very recently), Boeing has always been around, powered drinks (Tang, Kool-aid) have always been around, Hippies have always been around, Pink Floyd has always been awesome, Cuba has always broken international copyright and patent laws and has never given a crap, there has always been international satelite TV, microwave ovens are a mainstay in the kitchen, LSD has always been illegal, some place in Canada called Quebec has always wanted to not be a part of Canada, William Shatner has always been Captain James Tiberius Kirk, JFK's always had one too many holes in his head, and the "Summer of Love" has always been something I didn't get a chance to see.

Woody Guthrie, Vivien Leigh, Otis Redding, John Coltrane, Spencer Tracey, Robert Oppenheimer, and Helen Keller have always been dead. Lisa Marie Presley, Gary Coleman, Mary Lou Retton, LL Cool J, Pauly Shore, Molly Ringwald, Cuba Gooding Jr., Ashley Judd, and Brendan Frazer have always been alive. Johnny Cash has always been a symbol of hope for the imprisoned. Civil Rights have always been efforted fair and equal treatment regardless of color, gender, creed, or other differences. Pulsars have always been a part of astronomy. Heart transplants have always been a medical possibility. Barbra Streisand has always been The Funny Girl. Peter O'Toole has always been strangely cool. I've never known a world in which films like Jungle Book, Rosemary's Baby, Planet of the Apes, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Stanley Kubrick's 2001 Space Odyssey, or Neil Simon's Odd Couple didn't exist. I remember Speedy Gonzales. The year I was born, Richard Nixon became president. I was five years old when the Watergate stuff happened, so I can't remember a time when "Watergate" didn't mean something political, and Nixon wasn't seen as a crook.

What does any of this mean to you? Absolutely nothing. Perhaps the theory is, if we make a list of how young people view the world, it'll help us relate to them better? I don't buy it. Knowing that I remember Speedy Gonzales won't help you relate to me one iota.

It's fun making lists though. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 6:48 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Katie Couric has always had screen cred."

"Really?"


As far back as I can recall, she's always had nice legs.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:49 PM on August 21, 2007


# Most of this year's students entering college were born in 1981.
# John Lennon and John Belushi have always been dead.
# There has always been a woman on the Supreme Court, and women have always been traveling into space.


This use of "always" is meaningless.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:52 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


Ambrosia Voyeur: "This use of 'always' is meaningless."

THANK YOU! That's what I was trying to say. I just used too many words to do it. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 6:59 PM on August 21, 2007


I can't help but feel like my generation has gotten the shaft, though. It seems like we are being saddled with an endless war against a nebulous enemy designed to scare us into submission. Couple that with the impending end of cheap oil and it seems like we are being set up for a pretty shitty adulthood.

Would you like some cheese to go with that whine?

So, how do you think the hippies felt about Viet Nam? Does phrase "Soviet Threat" or "Creeping Socialism" ring any bells? How about "The Bomb"? And cheap oil stopped being cheap in the seventies. Waited for a few hours in a gas line, only to have the station close before you get any, yet?

As for why haven't the hippies fixed anything yet, compare the social politics of the 50's to the 70's. Let's see how much you guys get done.
posted by doctor_negative at 7:02 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


Jesus, doctor negative, us young'uns will get off your lawn now.
posted by dismas at 7:08 PM on August 21, 2007


This list seems slightly less insulting than some of the older ones.

The list that's closest to applying to me is just weird and nonsensical. People who were born in 1980 don't know that Reagan was ever shot or what polio is? Why would this be true? Are people born in 1980 illiterate or incapable of understanding historical events?

They have never seen a record player or played Pac-Man? What? People played records and Pac-Man all through the 80s...and still do now. I don't get it.
posted by lemuria at 7:10 PM on August 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


These were disturbing:

Rush Limbaugh and the “Dittoheads” have always been lambasting liberals.

Religious leaders have always been telling politicians what to do, or else!

Most phone calls have never been private.

Hey kids! It wasn't always this way...
posted by bitmage at 7:11 PM on August 21, 2007


The silly thing is that nothing exists until you've heard of it. Did the Sex Pistols exist before I was 15? Maybe, maybe not.
posted by smackfu at 7:12 PM on August 21, 2007


umm, no, they exist to let these twenty something children feel like adults. college kids are still basically pampered teens, sorry. precious few college kids exhibit real adult responsibility, they are still for the most part on the mommy/daddy dole, not real adults. when you feed yourself, then you a all growed up.

I go to a cushy liberal arts college and you're basically right. At the same time: bite me. You don't know me or a hell of a lot of the other non-elite who make it into good schools based on their own merit, not daddy's wallet. Your generalizations are just as bad as that list's.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 7:19 PM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


My generation never made fires with flint and steel. We never learned how to properly yoke a team of oxen. We were never beaten with birch switches at school. We never got to stone an accused witch.
posted by LarryC at 7:20 PM on August 21, 2007 [7 favorites]


“Off the hook” has never had anything to do with a telephone.

The rest of this list is silliness, but it is my sincere wish for the young of every future generation that they have an opportunity to place a call on a rotary telephone.

There is something deeply satisfying in the heavy whir of the dial as your finger carries it around, and the heartbeat of the pulses in your ears as it spins back into place. It's a device that you don't plug into the electrical socket, doesn't require a battery or AC adapter, has no microchips or electronics of any kind, and yet you can connect with someone anywhere else in the world.

The rotary telephone is a reminder that once upon a time, the making of electromechanical devices was a craft, akin to watchmaking or woodworking. Someone machined the brass fittings and the wheels, oiled them, fitted them into the housing, soldered the wires to the ringer and the transformer.

When the youth of some future generation take for granted the technological marvels that the generation before them designed for them, I hope something makes them pause and consider how it all began long ago, with the first autonomous electromechanical networked device, the common ancestor of all our diversity of species of beeping, buzzing, blinking trinkets.

This is a telephone and it has a number. You spin this dial by an amount corresponding to the one of the ten digits in the number you are dialing. As the dial spins back it will quickly connect and immediately disconnect the phone a number of times equal to the digit you dialed. Each diconnect click will cause a single wheel in an array of wheels fitted with relays to spin in sympathy the same number of times each wheel corresponding to one of the digits in the number you are dialing. The relays will close one after another, connecting through the myriad of combinations of possible circuits, connecting one swtich to a another, the signal slitting through copper across countless miles, relay after relay, like electric gears clicking and whirring in unison, until somewhere far away a final series of relays spin closed, connecting all the previous connected lines to this final line which corresponds to a number.

And that number belongs to a telephone, and that telephone will ring a bell and a person you could not otherwise see or hear will lift the receiver and hear your voice through miles of solid copper utter some variation of that very first call-

"Watson, come here. I want to see you."
posted by Pastabagel at 7:23 PM on August 21, 2007 [26 favorites]


Meh. I've finally got a kid off to college this year, and although I've enjoyed the mindset list in the past, this one seems uninspired. Maybe I'm just getting old and crotchety.
posted by phrits at 7:26 PM on August 21, 2007


Does anyone think that an '87 is a classic?

Cars stopped being able to become classics when the manufacturers of said cars decided it was really in all our best interests if they substituted chrome for plastic and halved the thickness of the steel they used in the body. A classic car can afford to get a little rusty. New cars don't last more than a decade before they start rusting out.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:30 PM on August 21, 2007


only to have the station close before you get any, yet?

This happens to me a lot with bars.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:38 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


As a 31 yr old grad student (*cough*loser*cough*) and English teacher, I try not to get sucked into the whole "damn kids these days..." get-off-my-lawn mentality, but these lists are useful because they help me update my jokes and pop culture references. It sucks to make a "Where's the beef?" joke and hear crickets. Last semester I had my students do a short analysis exercise using the Mac-1984 commercial. You know, the running chick throws the sledgehammer into the screen of IBM oppression, "1984 won't be like '1984'" ... they were completely mystified and thought it was the most bizarre commercial they'd ever seen. Even though most of them knew about the book 1984 and its basic story, they still didn't get the cultural reference until after about 5 minutes of thinking about it. Is it because they're dumb? No, but because to them 1984 is pre-history, whereas for me it is still sort of "the future."
posted by papakwanz at 7:51 PM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've seen '87 Chevy SS Monte Carlos at classic car shows. They're pretty fantastic when done up in black with dark tinted windows. Menacing as hell. The interiors are still 80's shit though.
posted by smackfu at 7:52 PM on August 21, 2007


Burma has always been Myanmar.

But it will always be Burma to me...
posted by papakwanz at 7:55 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


George Santayana: "Those who forget the past are condemned to something something."
posted by thatswherebatslive at 7:57 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


I graduated from college in 1984. Is there a list for me?
posted by Robert Angelo at 8:01 PM on August 21, 2007


America has always been at war with Terrorstan.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:13 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


This is an odd list. Previous lists often made me feel a real disconnect with the kids, but not this one. Weird.
posted by oddman at 8:22 PM on August 21, 2007


Bah whatever, what really fried my noodle was hearing about first grade teachers having to explain to their kids what 9/11 was.
posted by Mercaptan at 8:41 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


I take issue with number 56, specifically because if:

Galileo, COBE immortalized in this cartoon, the launch and subsequent use of Hubble, Mars Pathfinder, the continued life and success of Voyager program, Cassini-Huygens, the still performing Mars Rovers, not to mention the first private venture to succeed in reaching sub-orbital flight SpaceShipOne,

then I don't know what the hell will catch their attention in regards to space. ( apologies to those missions I missed, as these were off the top of my head ). And yes, the Columbia tragedy and subsequent Return To Flight should be a positive, not a negative in my mind. As evidence, Endeavour's Photosynth which would not have been available even in 2000.
posted by zap rowsdower at 8:43 PM on August 21, 2007


doctor_negative writes "So, how do you think the hippies felt about Viet Nam? Does phrase 'Soviet Threat' or 'Creeping Socialism' ring any bells? How about 'The Bomb'?"

He already answered those questions long before you asked him:

lazaruslong writes "I guess most generations feel that way about the preceding one, though."
posted by Bugbread at 8:52 PM on August 21, 2007


doctor_negative:

Would you like some cheese to go with that whine?

If a sense of outrage at the social and political mess being passed onto my generation is considered whining, then yes please. Smoked gouda, if you have it.

So, how do you think the hippies felt about Viet Nam? Does phrase "Soviet Threat" or "Creeping Socialism" ring any bells? How about "The Bomb"?

See Bugbread's comment.

And cheap oil stopped being cheap in the seventies. Waited for a few hours in a gas line, only to have the station close before you get any, yet?

You seem to be confused as to what I mean by the end of cheap oil. I don't mean a temporary supply shortage causing hardship in America only to be alleviated later. I mean a permanent supply shortage devolving into a complete lack of oil. The two are very different things.

As for why haven't the hippies fixed anything yet, compare the social politics of the 50's to the 70's. Let's see how much you guys get done.

Unfortunately, you won't be able to see how much we get done, because you will most likely be dead. My problem however, is that the question is not, "how much can we get done", but rather "how much damage can we undo". As for how effective we will be at that, I'm not sure.

I like the car analogies here. Unfortunately for my generation, we won't be able to have the mid-life crisis that witnesses us purchasing a classic car to feel young again. There won't be any gas to run it on. I suppose my mid-life crisis will involve some overly expensive gilt for my plow. We shall see.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:00 PM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


As for me, "efforted" is a new word since last year. Thanks for that one, ZachsMind.
posted by Sk4n at 9:04 PM on August 21, 2007


what's up with you original hippies not fixing this shit already

s/hippies/punks/

John Lydon, currently age 51. Michael Geoffrey Jones, currently age 52. Eric Boucher, 49 going on 50. Mark Mothersbaugh, age 57.

James Newell Osterberg, currently age 60 and hawking Carnival Cruises. Also 60 this year, Patricia Lee Smith.

You want hippies? Find a nursing home.
posted by gimonca at 9:14 PM on August 21, 2007


It's a lot less hassle and handwringing if you just accept that all generations (Or demographics, or target markets, or whatever else the kids are calling it these days,) suck, and opt out of the whole silly thing.

(Upon browsing the list that is closest to my age, I suspect that either my supposed "peers" were complete idiots, or that I was a super-informed child who watched a lot of Dallas and was forced to eat crappy stove-top popcorn, or that these lists are boar-tit useless.)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:48 PM on August 21, 2007


Most of the students entering college this fall, members of the class of 2029, were born in 2007. The Simpsons was never funny. They have always had gills. A "prosthetic forehead" is more than a They Might Be Giants lyric. They have never known a world with gasoline or pleather. The "Negro problem" only means rising property values. Dakota Fanning has been leading a band of rebels in the Kansan Wastes for their entire adult lives. Their Presidents have always been Bushes. Ninjas have always killed pirates. They survived the emo-fluenza, and have always worn talking eyeliner. Destro has always led Cobra. Cleveland Steamer has always been a state. Malt liquor has never made them dance foolishly. They have never seen a Jew outside of a taco stand. Gay mind-melds have always been legal. We have always been at war with Eurasia.
posted by klangklangston at 9:53 PM on August 21, 2007 [15 favorites]


so what does this mean? No one has ever been able to sit down comfortably to a meal of “liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” am I missing a pop culture reference?
posted by seawallrunner at 10:00 PM on August 21, 2007


If a sense of outrage at the social and political mess being passed onto my generation is considered whining, then yes please. Smoked gouda, if you have it.

The political mess has been here since the dawn of time and it's the same one you're inheriting. The 50's were commie which hunts and a war; the 60's had a war and several political assasinations and more then a few riots; the 70's had watergate an oil crisis and inflation; the 80's had Iran/Contra; the 90's had desert storm; the 00's have a war and a crappy president and some environmental problems.

Are they dire, scary problems? Sure, they always are. Think you have it worse then any Jew living in Berlin in 1935? I'm sure there are at least several hundred thousand people in Africa who'd be happy to trade places with you, right now.

So yeah, you're whining. You're not special and your "generation" lives in the same sty the rest of us do. Get over yourself.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:07 PM on August 21, 2007


am I missing a pop culture reference?

Yes. Serial Killer Doctor Hannibal Lecter, from "The Silence of the Lambs," had a census taker try to test him once. He killed him and ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti...
posted by crossoverman at 10:15 PM on August 21, 2007


doctor_negative:

You seem like you are really itching for a fight here, but unfortunately it's not with me.

I never said I was special. If you look to the comment you seem so incensed about, I readily admit that my feelings have probably been reflected in every generation.

But thanks for referencing Hitler and Africa as a way to make me feel spoiled and guilty. That's pretty much what I expected from "the man".

I will now beat a hasty retreat from the vegetation in front of your domicile.

Carry on.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:17 PM on August 21, 2007


"the 90's had desert storm;"

That's the best you can do? How about this (which is so numbingly obvious that I can't believe that I have to say it): Sometimes things are better and sometimes things are worse, vis a vis anything (in this case politics).

"Are they dire, scary problems? Sure, they always are. Think you have it worse then any Jew living in Berlin in 1935? I'm sure there are at least several hundred thousand people in Africa who'd be happy to trade places with you, right now."

AND THERE ARE PEOPLE BALDING RIGHT NOW! HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE BALD, MISTER?

Please, the "it's always the same" is such moronic old-manism that it defines cliché, and shows a terrible memory to boot.
posted by klangklangston at 10:17 PM on August 21, 2007


I just turned 24. My question is - does it bother any of you older folks that we'll actually get to see the effects of global warming first hand? I know - melting glaciers in the arctic and all that - but if I live another 60 years, which I consider quite possible, I'll get to see some insane shit. It'll be horrible, yeah, but deep down it's kind of exciting, you know? Really apocalyptic. Fuckin metal.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:18 PM on August 21, 2007


Does anyone think that an '87 is a classic?

Does anyone have a running '87 vehicle?

I kid, I kid.

Seriously though, about Geoff's list. Incoming students also have the prospect of substantially higher student loan debt even on an inflation adjusted basis. They have lower job prospects, also on an inflation adjusted basis. They see people 5 or 10 years older than them trying to juggle credit card debt and mortgages they could barely afford, that they can't refinance.

Enjoy the movies delivered directly to your door.
posted by ilsa at 10:23 PM on August 21, 2007


I think I have to say this every year, but don't take this too seriously. I went to Beloit and know the guys that put this together. The lists are always a little long, and always include a few that annoy me immensely because they're phrased too literally, but overall -- it's just a tongue-in-cheek marketing tool for the college, and one which the media have come to expect year in and out.
posted by dhartung at 10:33 PM on August 21, 2007


Pastabagel, remember being able to dial the phone by rapidly clicking the hang-up button? Came in handy sometimes when the dial wasn't working.
posted by Malor at 10:45 PM on August 21, 2007


Not tryin' to cause a big sen-suh-suh--sation
Just talkin' 'bout their juh-juh-juh--generation
This is their generation,
This is their generation, babyyyyyyyyyy!!!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:56 PM on August 21, 2007


Babies born in the last month have never known a world in which Paris Hilton has not served jail time. In which Lindsay Lohan has not been in DUI trouble. In which Britney Spears has not been a mother. In which Phil Spector has not been on trial. In which the Harry Potter saga was not over and finished. In which the calendar year did not end in "07."

These lists are almost that embarrrassing...
posted by GaelFC at 11:19 PM on August 21, 2007


"the 90's had desert storm;"

That's the best you can do?


I got called up for that stupid POS "war", so forgive me if it sucked more for me personally, and yeah, as decades go the 90's were OK (from a US perspective). And KK, I have a full head of hair, so fuck the baldies.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:42 PM on August 21, 2007


All this cross-generational angst is just reflective of our ennui and ineffectuality in catalyzing change among the groups with who we feel superficial cultural affintity, right?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:52 PM on August 21, 2007


I had to laugh when Young Flabdablet asked Ms. Flabdablet and me what our favourite Internet games were when we were kids.
posted by flabdablet at 11:59 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


But thanks for referencing Hitler and Africa as a way to make me feel spoiled and guilty. That's pretty much what I expected from "the man".

Count yourself lucky, lazaruslong. In our day, you'd have been taken out to the woodshed and given a paddling so bad you couldn't sit down for a week.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:16 AM on August 22, 2007


Disrespecting your elders? That's a paddling.
Talking back? That's a paddling.
Being a smart-ass? That's a paddling.
Trying to teach your grandpappy to suck eggs? Yup, that's a paddling.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:22 AM on August 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


My molecular biology lecturer was trying to explain the promoter and UTR at the beginning of a gene the other day...

"You know how on a projector you have to thread the blank bit at the begining through the projector and onto the takeup reel?"

Blank stares.

"Uh, OK, how about the lead-in groove on a record?"

More blank stares.

I suggested "What about an aglet, the little bit at the end of your shoelaces so you can grab it and lace your shoes?"

About half the room got it.

That's means half these people have never seen a film projector being loaded, never played a vinyl record, and never had to tie their shoelaces!
posted by Pinback at 12:24 AM on August 22, 2007


On a more serious but similar note, I was with several young teens at the Vietnam Memorial several years ago and we stopped at one of the POW/MIA booths for a minute. The two girls asked me what the MIA bracelets were for and I explained that they were to remember the soldiers who were missing in action and didn't come home from the war. They asked me, "What do you mean, they didn't come home from the war? How could they just be missing?" I think the veteran manning the booth was just as stunned as I was to realize the difference between then and now. By the way, one of these girls was my daughter who will start college next Monday, class of 2011.
posted by rcavett at 1:10 AM on August 22, 2007


MIA has always been the name of a Sri-Lankan rap artist.
posted by liquorice at 1:52 AM on August 22, 2007


Burma has always been Myanmar.

But it will always be Burma to me...
posted by papakwanz at 10:55 PM on August 21


and aftershave to me
posted by caddis at 5:35 AM on August 22, 2007


Those kids have never been to me.
posted by doctorschlock at 6:27 AM on August 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Beloit College has always been pulling a lame but effective publicity stunt every year.
posted by ulotrichous at 6:30 AM on August 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


"What do you mean, they didn't come home from the war? How could they just be missing?"

Well, honestly, it's been 32 years. "Missing" meant a lot more when there was still hope. Now the MIA seem pretty indistinguishable from the actual dead.
posted by smackfu at 6:41 AM on August 22, 2007


lazaruslong writes "It seems like we are being saddled with an endless war against a nebulous enemy designed to scare us into submission."

71. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

LarryC writes "My generation never made fires with flint and steel."

72. Camping has always been done with a butler.

Seriously, no flint and steel, ever? Not once? Try it. 9-volt battery + steel wool works too. Magnifying glass? Firebow? No? Wow. Guess when civilization collapses under the weight of mortgage defaults, celebrity fatigue and lack of oil, I'll at least be able to start a fire to keep myself warm as we all sit around making new lists like:

34. People have always lived in a post-apocalyptic world.

35. The moon has always been broken in half.

36. Fur togas, swords, and lizard-horses have always been popular.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:59 AM on August 22, 2007 [5 favorites]


Pastabagel, remember being able to dial the phone by rapidly clicking the hang-up button? Came in handy sometimes when the dial wasn't working.
posted by Malor at 1:45 AM on August 22


I sure do. It also came in handy when I was stuck at a department store and needed to call home, but didn't have any money. Fortunately, macy's had these dialless yellow courtesy phones in the customer service department that were nonetheless connected to outside lines...
posted by Pastabagel at 7:19 AM on August 22, 2007


The 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a goddamn classic and I won't hear anything else about it.

That car will forever live on (at least in my mind) as the symbol of the SUV trend that pretty much swept the nation. And it's a damn fun car to drive.
posted by smackwich at 7:37 AM on August 22, 2007


They sort of flubbed the Johnny-Carson-live-on-television thing, unless they're talking about the Oscars.
posted by gubo at 8:06 AM on August 22, 2007


Serial Killer Doctor Hannibal Lecter, from "The Silence of the Lambs," had a census taker try to test him once. He killed him and ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti...

Video.
posted by ericb at 9:14 AM on August 22, 2007


it's just a tongue-in-cheek marketing tool for the college, and one which the media have come to expect year in and out.

Even more reason to hate it.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:18 AM on August 22, 2007


Pete Rose has never played baseball.

And Babe Ruth has never played baseball either, since I was born after 1935.

comedy requires logic, people.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 9:31 AM on August 22, 2007


Can we put Beloit College and Lake Superior State University in a cage and poke them with sticks until they fight?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:40 AM on August 22, 2007


It'll be horrible, yeah, but deep down it's kind of exciting, you know? Really apocalyptic. Fuckin metal.

Me and my sweet Winchester pump-action 12-gauge are so goddamned ready, dude.
posted by mckenney at 9:58 AM on August 22, 2007


I'll take your Winchester pump and raise you a Remington Ray Gun, we're talking 60 years you know.
posted by caddis at 11:24 AM on August 22, 2007


You mean.. time moves forward??? *shock*
posted by ScottMorris at 3:11 PM on August 22, 2007


The big spooky difference between now and then for me is that there are no kids in the streets playing by themselves.

My mom used to kick my brother and I out of the house and we'd go wandering around the neighborhood, maybe running into other kids playing an impromptu game of kickball in the street or racing their Big Wheels down asphalt and crashing and burning. Then the twilight settled in and you kept on playing even though you could barely see but it was time to go home anyways because you could hear your mom shouting in the distance that dinner was ready.

The other day, while walking my dog, I saw this group of kids playing by themselves. They were sitting on skateboards and riding them down a steep hill. The youngest was only a few years old and there were no adults around. It was such a strange sight I had to stop and admire it. A minute later this mom-figure shows up and asks them all to come inside. She was a blond woman and when she spoke it was in a thick Scandinavian accent. American kids don't play outside by themselves anymore. The streets are empty.
posted by vacapinta at 4:30 PM on August 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


Then the twilight settled in and you kept on playing even though you could barely see but it was time to go home anyways because you could hear your mom shouting in the distance that dinner was ready.

Lovely nostalgia, vacapinta.

I've been noticing the same thing for more than a few years now. I'm sure that playstations aren't *that* wonderful, or that kiddyfiddling predators are all *that* much of a risk.

You know what I blame this on the collapse of? Society, that's what. And I think it's tied in with the general namby-pambyfication of almost everything, from over-litigiousness, to the public liability insurance crisis, to ubiquitous warning signs & announcements regarding even the most everyday of objects ("be careful when using the stairs"), right through to the constant fear-mongering around negligible threats, like terrorists or child molesters.

It's about time that parents grew up, stopped buying into the culture of paranoia, and let kids be kids again.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:53 PM on August 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's interesting to think that today's freshman college kids will be griping in 2027 about how bad the next crop of kids are. I can't even imagine what it is that will set them off, but I know it will be something. My little tot is destined to be among them. I wonder whose lawn he'll be on in 2027.
posted by chef_boyardee at 6:10 PM on August 22, 2007


I think you hit the nail on the head, there, UbuRoivas. This culture of fear and paranoia, propped up by government and media, is one of the biggest problems of our time, IMO. And I have this bad feeling that it's just going to get worse.

("be careful when using the stairs")

I must say on my trip to Australia (I see you're in Sydney) last year, I noticed an astonishing amount of the kind of "warning" signs you're talking about: on escalators, stairs, train platforms, construction sites, ferries... More so, I'd say, than any country I've ever visited. I found this rather odd, as it certainly didn't mesh with that stereotypical notion one has of Aussies as, well, kinda tough and independent. Y'know, alligator-wrasslin', big knife-carryin', leathery skinned, squinting into the dusty Outback sunlight... and being careful on the stairs? Man, that's wrecking my image of you people!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:20 PM on August 22, 2007


My favourite signs are being phased out, I hear.
posted by flabdablet at 7:43 PM on August 22, 2007


flapjax: I've heard that from other overseas visitors, too. I think it's a massive overreaction, trying to pre-empt US-style litigiousness by knocking down litigants with arguments of "Well, we did put up signs warning you about everything!".

So far, public liability litigation is nowhere near the ridiculousness that you see in the States (eg multimillions handed out for McDs coffee cups inadequately warning that contents might be hot), but things are getting worse.

Not long ago, the iconic volunteer surf lifesaving clubs - which patrol all the popular beaches - were almost all wiped out by one idiot English backpacker who won millions after he dived into the surf whilst drunk & coming down off ecstasy & broke his neck on a sandbar. Any idiot should know that swimming in the surf is already risky, and more so when wasted, but somehow he won because of inadequate warning signage.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:06 PM on August 22, 2007


vacapinta and uburoivus: i feel ya.

i used to get on my bike and ride. for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours. my mom had *no* idea where i was. whether i was ok. what i was doing.

and my mom was pretty freakin' paranoid.

i weep for today's kids. i wouldn't be who i am today if it hadn't been for my hundreds of hours biking around...wandering through the woods...following alleys for no good reason...dropping my bike in a stranger's backyard so i could go down to their little creek and watch crawdads...

(i think the key was that i didn't abuse the freedom. yes, i would ride my bike around for hours -- but i also got straight A's and did my chores. jeebus -- do kids even have chores anymore?)

the culture of fear has killed this once-great country.
posted by CitizenD at 10:56 PM on August 22, 2007


CitizenD: sounds almost exactly like my boyhood, only I have no idea what a crawdad is. I'll substitute "yabbie" in there, and raise you a national park & a surf beach.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:00 AM on August 23, 2007


Crawdads are crayfish, which look like horrible little amalgams of lobster and prawn.

"So far, public liability litigation is nowhere near the ridiculousness that you see in the States (eg multimillions handed out for McDs coffee cups inadequately warning that contents might be hot), but things are getting worse."

This is something I have to stomp on though— the woman got a multi-million dollar verdict because she got third-degree burns on her crotch and because McDonalds had been warned several times before about the coffee being too hot. The warnings were part of their "We're better now, really." Oh, and the award got reduced from the initial figure that the jury gave her. There are all sorts of frivolous lawsuits, but over here that McDonalds one has become a particularly pernicious talking point from folks who would like to deprive us of our right to redress from corporations under the banner of "tort reform."
posted by klangklangston at 8:11 AM on August 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


ok, crawdads = american yabbies

and thanks for the McDs correction

*burns law degree in shame*
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:23 PM on August 23, 2007


I grew up in Alabama, where we called 'em "crawdaddies". Caught a few, out of a little ditch, when I was about 5 or 6.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:23 PM on August 23, 2007


So CitizenD, are you going to let your kids, or do you let your kids, do the same thing? Will they have freedom to leave, go places you don't know, for hours on end and without contact? I was a kid with probably quite a bit more freedom than most other kids. Today, with my kids, I hold the leash quite a bit tighter, although I am far more free than my wife. We have had several instances in the last few years of predators approaching kids in the area, and frankly when there are not many kids outside anymore they are more likely to approach the few who are out roaming.

Well, now our kids are getting older so we give them a lot more leeway. Anyway, at seven I could legitimately go one or two miles from home and I took that to mean more like five miles. If my kid at seven had gone five miles from home......OMG. Predators are not really my worry (sorry wife) but traffic is also much worse here. Now that they are older that issue fades. You can let them outside, but if the other parents don't then they are on their own. How boring. Also, most of the kids who have that freedom are not the kids you want your kids hanging out with.

If you have young kids or are planning to, I think the best thing in most areas is to be in a new development with families or in a condo development. We made too much money and bought into a neighborhood with a bunch of grandparents instead of a bunch of kids. Our kids had a big house and yard, but no friends to visit on the block. Every play date was a mom and dad sponsored affair, until the last year or two when they could travel farther and some old folks were replaced with families. When we lived in a townhouse they had tons of friends within a couple of hundred yard radius.

OK, end of rant
posted by caddis at 5:25 PM on August 23, 2007


Caddis, do you think there are more "predators" now, or are they simply more in our minds because the issue is talked about and constantly on the news?

From a purely logical point of view, I would have thought that now that we acknowledge the existence of pedophiles, and kids are all taught about "protective behaviours" and so forth, the risk would actually be less than, say, 30 years ago. And then you've got the statistic that the majority of child abuse is committed by known friends and family members...

Of course, my son is only 13 months old. I'll guess I'll have to wait another few years before I know if I'm willing to put my attitude to the test.
posted by Jimbob at 6:03 PM on August 23, 2007


We have had several instances in the last few years of predators approaching kids in the area, and frankly when there are not many kids outside anymore they are more likely to approach the few who are out roaming.

That's part of the problem in the West, I feel. If you travel in developing countries, you will normally see hundreds of people out in any street, anytime, day or night - kids, the elderly, people cooking up snacks or selling drinks, others just hanging around, watching life pass by or going about their daily business. My impression is that it's much safer for the neighbourhood kids because there are always heaps of people to intervene if there is a threat, and they are known to the locals anyway.

Upon returning to the developed West, it takes me a couple of weeks to reaccustom myself to the fact that even in supposedly busy areas of the city, the streets are like those of a ghost town. It's really very eerie, how quiet & devoid of life they are.

I guess the point is that you need a critical mass of kids & adults just hanging out in public for that kind of safety to occur. Send your children out when all the others - and all the adults - are inside watching TV or whatever they do and yes, it does make sense that IF there is a predator around, your kids are more likely to be targeted.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:07 PM on August 23, 2007


VacaPinta: "American kids don't play outside by themselves anymore. The streets are empty."

Yeah it's a shame. Explains why in reality I've never had to demand kids get off my lawn. I've been so looking forward to doing that as I rapidly approach old age and senility.

One time a couple years ago, I had to ask kids to stop using my wheeled trashcan to roll down the hill with. They'd been taking turns. Guess the kids in my neighborhood can't afford skateboards, or maybe they've never heard of them.

"be careful when using the stairs"

Could be worse:

"Please go stand by the stairs.
So that I may protect you."

posted by ZachsMind at 8:52 PM on August 23, 2007


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