Friday, 24 May 2013

A Response To Joel Stein From A Lazy, Entitled Narcissist

I don't know why exactly I read TIME magazine. Perhaps it's because it's a way to make myself feel superior to the other teenagers who spend their time going to parties and other socializing events. After all, it is written by the intellectual elite, as evident by the articles talking about Hollywood films and petty celebrity gossip. Lately, an article had been catching the eye of many internet goers. I wasn't exactly sure why that was, mainly because there were a lot of edits of the cover circulating the Web. Finally, I found the actual magazine lying on the floor, covered in a boot print. It read, The Me Me Me Generation, written by some geezer named Joel Stein. He called us "millennials...lazy, entitled narcissists". It also said that we lived in our parents' basements. After reading the article...or should I say skimming through to the important bits, I felt the need to write my feelings about it. I wasn't really sure what to feel about it, pushing myself to write about it in a Starbucks cafe is enough work already. By the end, I'm sure you'll all agree with the brilliance that I pose in the following paragraphs. You have to, I deserve your attention!

First and foremost, Stein says that we are incredibly obsessed with ourselves. Now, I don't think that I'm that wrapped up with my own personal matters. I don't spend all of my time posting pictures of myself on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and speaking about my point of view on a popular matter in the hopes of getting an answer. I only do that most of the time. The rest of the time is dedicated to playing video games and procrastinating. That describes not only me but other millenials. We're busy in our own little bubbles, playing on our phones and can't be forced to deal with crazy adult things like a "mortgage" or "student loan debt". Well actually, we have to deal with the latter because we need to focus on how we can balance that as we look for a job in such a terrible economy. Oh, I'm sorry, why am I worrying about myself when I should be worrying about the problems that the economy is causing to everyone else? I'm just proving Joel right.

At the end it's all the technology's fault for this. All these cellphones and tablets have hooked us into doing nothing more than babble incoherently about ourselves and push off more urgent matters. It has perpetuated our sloth and has fed our ego. Why bother thinking about how to make the world a better place for our children when we can just wait ambitiously for a new message from Facebook? That requires creativity, and technology has robbed us from that ability. I didn't know what else to do with Legos other than make towers, how can you expect me to find new ways to deal with a problem. There's no other way we can use the vast amount of resources that are available to us with the touch of a button if it doesn't involve reality TV hijinks. Technology is a manipulative plague on this generation, and it's doing nothing but create more problems.

There's no denying that there's a lot of issues that we millenials are going to have to face. Climate change in the environment being caused by years of pollution, a crumbling economy that seems to only reward the rich and overpopulation. That sure is a lot that we have to deal with, shame there's no app to solve any of these things. Even though the big J.S says in the end that we may have a chance of fixing everything, it's so completely obvious that what he really means is that the human race has finally reached it's peak and the only way we're going is down. Into the ground. Let's face it, we don't know how to push for greener initiatives, policies that distribute the wealth more among each other and...well, I'm not even sure how to fix the third issue! Why can't the older people fix our problems? It's not like we made the mess! Okay, maybe we had a small part in it. A quarter of a part in it. Half of it. Alright, fine, we had everything to do with it. But what are we gonna do about it? Rebel? Hah, you must be crazy!

In the time of the millenials, we're as complacent as Owen Wilson's acting. Any time we try to rebel for a cause, we lack the proper energy to show our passion for our fight. You remember Occupy Wall Street? That failed not because the rich people wanted to distract the middle class from just how much they were ripping the common man off or because police were shutting down the protest. It's because we didn't put our foot down hard enough. How about Kony 2012? That was a disaster. Joseph Kony truly was a dangerous war criminal and we just let him run free, naked on the streets, like the maniac he is. There's too much apathy in our generation and Ol' Jo sees that. We'd much rather just ignorantly follow the whims of our parents rather than try to change anything. That's why Republicans have absolutely no problem winning the youth vote. With our line of thinking, it's no surprise that it'll take two more centuries until homosexuals get the rights they deserve, provided that we last that long. How can we hope to fix the larger issues when we can't even let people marry whoever they want? 

Stein's article has shown me the light. A small, dim light that goes farther away as I desperately try to reach it.   There's nothing left to hope for in this dull and dreary world where the only ones that possess the information necessarily for our survival are retiring and/or turning senile. Why should I even bother anymore? This whole generation is focused on the latest entertainment instead of just how terrible we're going to have in a few years. Once we do finally get in the positions of power that could help us to find way to combat the pressing issues of the world, we won't be able to manage our resources properly. We'll want to complain to someone else and make them do our job for us like it was a school project that we handed to our parents. Except our parents won't be there to handle the dangerous tools. They'll be having far too much trouble even trying to chew their own food. Oh god, why does it have to be this way?

Wait, what am I saying? I'm a millenial. I have inventive ideas. I've had intelligent conversations with others that had nothing to do with whatever filth is on the TV. Sure, I like to post pictures of myself and talk about what I've done on Twitter, but so do people that aren't in my generation. It's not because we're self-absorbed, we just live in a generation we're it's easier for information about ourselves to spread about the world. We're not entitled because we're lazy, it's because we're sick of how the system is nowadays. We all feel the need to ask for something from the government, whether it's the early 1900s or the early 2010s. It's called a democracy for a reason, because it's run by the people. We may not have success rebelling in the conventional ways, but we still want change. That's precisely why Obama got to where he is right now, because he promised just that. And guess what? It's not enough. Joel Stein has no true concept about how we truly are. He can wave his statistics about how "58% more college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982" (which by the way, he probably pulled out of one of his very objective sources, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeapordizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30)) and the like all around the place, but he doesn't know about our souls, our passions. I could do the same research that he did by staring at a TV screen for hours on end. As he so emptily shoehorned on to the cover to convince others that what he wrote wasn't just a rant, we shall "save [them] all".

Ah, forget it, I'm going to be completely frank with you. I have no idea what's going to happen in the future. The older generations are well-known for looking down at the younger heirs of the planet and rolling their eyes at whatever popular trends we follow. They complain about how ill-prepared, naive and idiotic the teens of today are and anticipate that the clock for humanity will be ticking it's last seconds soon. We millenials are not the first to face this though, as past generations have faced the same age-related prejudice. They probably didn't like such a sweeping generalization and fought hard to defy them. Look what they're doing now, they're pushing those same complaints onto us. While we can look at it as cranky pessimism, our slump has become deeper with the matter of climate change. Perhaps those coots aren't so crazy to call us youngsters "dumb whippersnappers". What they forget (aside from their teeth) is that they're still in the seats of power. Anyone these days can spew their opinion and throw surveys and tests around claiming that it proves the path to come, whether they're young or old. But like the weathermen on the local news channel, they could get their prediction wrong. We all have to wait until we take hold of the reigns of government and business and see what we come up with. If we can't handle the problem, we'll blame in on our children. If everything goes well, we can rub it in the faces of the folks at the retirement homes. You just have to give us a bit of TIME.

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