Damned Millennials 7/5/19

By Richard Bleil

Today I read an article that I found hilarious. I guess I shouldn’t have. Clearly it was meant to be a somber and serious piece on the loss of iconic cultural icons that are being lost. Two things were very clear from this post. First, as the title of the piece clearly states, the article blames millennials for these losses. Second, and what I found most humorous, is that the author clearly doesn’t understand today’s society.

Let me make this clear; I probably don’t have a full understanding of the mindset of the “millennial” generation, if you can actually call it that. I guess I would call myself a “cusper”, but not even on the Millennial cusp. Born in 1963, most scales would put me on just the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation, but on the cusp of Generation X. But, I taught college for many years, and as such, I believe that I do understand Millennials.

To be honest, I’m not sure for whom I am writing this post. I think maybe both the Millennial and newer generations to help them at least understand where ridiculous thinking like the post I read is coming from, and the Gen X and older generations to explain why this thinking is problematic. The big problem is a lack of understanding between these generations. I want to discuss a few of the lost things that this post complained about, and kind of explain a couple of perspectives.

  • Millennials are causing the loss of Golf. Well, there are several of these that were listed; motorcycles, football, and so forth. I put these all in one category that amount to expensive hobbies. If you’ve ever priced belonging to a country club, or the cost of tickets to a professional football or baseball game, you’ll understand what I mean.

    • For the millennials: these things represent social and family events. In an era of technology, many of which tend to cause us to isolate ourselves (like cell phones, electronic gaming systems for the home, large televisions and what not), it’s not always easy to understand the joy of spending time with friends in these types of activities.

    • For the gen X’er, keep in mind that the Millennials are facing financial strains like no generation before them ever have. They’re the first generation to feel the full on effects of a society that has decided that higher education should generate a profit rather than being an investment making interest rates and tuition excessively high. What’s more, housing, car prices, inflation and basic living expenses have greatly outpaced pay, especially starting pay to the point that even rent is often higher than the average starting adult is paid making it necessary for them to take multiple jobs just to live. The first things they will cut are expensive “hobby” activities.

  • Millennials are causing the death of Hooters. This is probably one of the funniest.

    • For the millennials, understand that the older generations (especially the white males of these generations) are losing the ability to ogle, sexualize and say basically anything they wanted without fear of reprisal. It’s really not easy to suddenly have to be aware of political correctness and censor yourself. If you want to get some idea of what this might be like, try not cussing, at all, for, oh, let’s say a week.

    • But, for the Gen-X’ers, you must understand that these activities always came at the expense of minimalizing some portion of our society. If you are feeling suddenly targeted for things that you used to do, please understand that women, minorities, non-Christians, heck, just about anybody who isn’t in the heterosexual Christian white male demographic have been feeling targeted since, well, forever. It truly is a new age, and the sooner we can understand that we all deserve to feel safe and secure, the better off we will all be. Maybe this is a sacrifice of what you perceive to be personal freedoms, but you’re making this sacrifice for your children and grandchildren. I don’t know about you, but I would happily struggle with this discomfort for them.

  • Millennials are causing the death of the 9 to 5 workdays. Yup, probably. But is that really a bad thing? Heck, I’ve never worked nine to five, generally going from seven or eight to six or seven.

    • For the millennials, it’s worth understanding that the Gen-X’ers are old enough now to be in managerial positions, and, frankly, changing mindsets is not an easy thing to do. The Gen-X’ers grew up being trained by their baby-boomer parents to work hard to succeed because, in the baby-boomer generation, the corporations took care of their employees with generous insurance and retirement packages. If you worked for twenty years, you could retire at 55 and be set for life. The Gen-X’ers saw the decline of corporations actually caring about their employees, but still had that training. Now they struggle to understand why younger people don’t want to work for forty years to retire at seventy at the same nine to five hours that they did.

    • For the Gen-X’ers, it’s worth understanding that WE ARE WORKAHOLICS. It’s unhealthy (I had a heart attack at 47 doing that sh…tuff), terrible for family and friendships, and causes a great deal of emotional problems. If you want loyal employees, learn to work with them. Millennials are not wrong; their priorities are in the right place. We just need to figure out how to find that correct balance between hard work and, well, actually living.

  • Millennials are causing the death of oil. Most definitely. This is called “progress”.

    • For the millennials, you already understand, no doubt, that change is hard. As you get older, it only becomes more difficult. I find myself listening to music that’s half a century old by now. The lyrics remind me of a different time, and make me nostalgic (and often regretful of the mistakes I wish I could go back to fix). Things like oil, gas powered cars, books, all kinds of things that are becoming more expensive and scarce are comfortable for us because, frankly, they’re familiar. It’s like wrapping up in a warm soft blanket. People often don’t want to move on to bigger and newer because it’s akin to admitting that we are getting older, which nobody wants to admit especially to themselves.

    • Gen-X’ers, things change. You know this. Your generation has made many changes as well; the cell phone, the internet, computers…Gen-X built these, and the baby-boomers struggled with all of these changes. But, they progressed society. Now it’s the Millenial’s turn, and they’re making things less expensive, more environmentally friendly, and inclusive for all people. It’s a good thing. I promise.

I doubt that I’ve really had an impact on anybody reading this. It’s an interesting place for me to be, though, watching both sides and having an appreciation and understanding for them. If I were to try to wrap this blog up in one sentence, though, it would be “Try to understand why before trying to fight.” I reposted that article on my social page not because I agreed with it, but because I found the ignorance displayed in such a professional-looking and serious-sounding article to be excessively comical. Maybe it’s mean, but on the other hand, we need to start this dialog.

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