Gen Y – children of the Boomers

Most certainly a Gen X, not a Boomer song:

It was pointed out [might have been by me, LOL] that generations aren’t linear – Boomers are not the parents of Gen X – it comes down in zigzag fashion.

So the Boomers’ children are Gen Y [whom the Americans apparently call Millennials] and Gen X’s children are Gen Z or the current teenagers.

For an understanding of how society goes, this is an important distinction.   Boomers were the 60s kids, the hippies, the rebels, free love, wanting the party to go on forever.   Economic hardship was [generally] not in their experience.

When Gen X came of age, they were the Sex Pistols, acid house parties, earring-wearing, disco, The Clash, living at home, more tech-savvy generation with a chip on their shoulder about the Boomers whom many Gen X detest, not only for the Boomer complacency but for the conformist materialism.

Yes, of course these are broad strokes of the brush and the exceptions would fill a book but there is also some truth in the stereotypes.  Boomers would say Gen X are feckless and heaven help their children.   Well, their children are now teenage and yep – into gaming, sex, Justin Bieber, drugs but at the same time, are coming into a rough time, economically.

You’d expect the Boomers’ children to share some of their parents’ materialism and so:

Millennials have been characterized in a number of different ways. On the negative side, they’ve been described as lazy, narcissistic and prone to jump from job to job. The 2008 book “Trophy Kids” by Ron Alsop discusses how many young people have been rewarded for minimal accomplishments (such as mere participation) in competitive sports, and have unrealistic expectations of working life.

A story in Time magazine said polls show that Millennials “want flexible work schedules, more ‘me time’ on the job, and nearly nonstop feedback and career advice from managers.” Another Time story in May 2013 was harsher. Titled “The Me Me Me Generation,” it begins: “They’re narcissistic. They’re lazy. They’re coddled. They’re even a bit delusional. Those aren’t just unfounded negative stereotypes about 80 million Americans born roughly between 1980 and 2000. They’re backed up by a decade of sociological research.”

On the praise side, Chuckles sends this NYT article:

Older generations of workers are sometimes annoyed and perplexed by millennials, many of whom want to take on big projects and responsibilities right off the bat, whereas earlier generations expected to pay their dues first. Millennials are also accustomed to living in a world of vast transparency — tweeting, texting and emailing one another in a nonstop exchange of information and opinions.

… and:

One 2012 study found Millennials to be “more civically and politically disengaged, more focused on materialistic values, and less concerned about helping the larger community than were GenX (born 1962-1981) and Baby Boomers (born 1946 to about 1961) at the same ages,” according to USA Today. “The trend is more of an emphasis on extrinsic values such as money, fame, and image, and less emphasis on intrinsic values such as self-acceptance, group affiliation and community.” The study was based on an analysis of two large databases of 9 million high school seniors or entering college students.

They have also been described in positive ways. They are generally regarded as being more open-minded, and more supportive of gay rights and equal rights for minorities. Other positives adjectives to describe them include confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas and ways of living.

They’re also dumber and that’s not their fault entirely – it’s the progressively debased education system in the west across all the Anglo nations so it’s been a quite deliberate global push – they might be tech savvy but they generally know nothing unless they can Google it.   I’ve tested this out a few times.

I’m on the cusp of Boomers/Gen X and so have a foot in each camp, so to speak.   My very year at school and afterwards was always the final year of the old scheme.   Thus I had a damned fine education but the year after – the very year after – they changed the curriculum and those a few years younger than me are that bit dumber, less able to spell etc. and that’s no criticism of Gen X – it was the PTB that caused that with all this Me Generation thing.

One of the most cringeworthy songs came out during this time and it encapsulates it – “I’ve never been to me.”    Yewwwww!   Puke!   Achy-breaky heart [and now look at his daughter].

Societies do tend to go that way – they reach a high point and then steadily go down, collapse, a new society arises and there’s a Renaissance, a neo-this and that.   Or there’s a Reformation.   Proper values and approach to study returns.   Methinks we’re not going to see it in our Boomer/Gen X lifetimes but unless these are the endtimes, it will eventually come.

Meanwhile, we’ve had our Augustuses – perhaps around the wartime – the Caligulas and Tiberiuses who inherited all that [Boomers] and dissipated it on pleasures, the misshapen Claudiuses [Gen X] and so on down the track.   The Visigoths [China?  Mongol hordes?] are not far away.

For me, it’s a damned pity we’re in this phase now because it’s perhaps my most sentient time, the most aware of how things are and it would be lovely to be able to embrace some fabulous new music or art, as in the 20s and 60s but instead we have what we have out there.   Twerking, for goodness sake.

So the issue now is – will it have a chance to come back to new boomtimes or will the global socialists complete their mission and the world is a communist led federation, zero freedom, zero credibility, zero ethics – not unlike the EU?

H/T haiku

3 Responses to “Gen Y – children of the Boomers”

  1. Mark in Mayenne November 12, 2013 at 11:30 Permalink

    You’re right. My sister, 5 years younger than me, went to a newly-constructed school, the darling of politicos. The exam results were awful and there was a near riot by the parents afterward. So they learned to dumb down the exams as well as the schools

    I remember turning on the radio and. “Never been to me”. was playing. When they got to the really cringe-making bit (“you know what truth is, it’s that baby you’re holding……” this Irish voice came on and said “oi tink oi’m going tae be sick”. I have found it impossible to criticise Terry Wigan ever since. Haven’t laughed so much in ages.

  2. Amfortas November 12, 2013 at 11:34 Permalink

    So, young Gemma emailed me this evening with the dates of her adventure. She is off to Uganda in a few weeks for a 7 week working holiday assisting medical teams deal with severe illnesses. She is studying medicine. Second year. The future?

    She is an ex-’gifted child’, Mensa child. I have her down for running my gifted children’s program in my State when she gets back. I have three such kiddies in the State at the moment. One is quite isolated. I want to find another ten. And another ten of the 20-30 year olds too. I have two young chaps at Uni here. Bright. There are more.

    Sort the wheat from the chaff. The past has always produced a lot of chaff. I seek out the ears.

    The education system is ratshit. I recognise that. The only real hope for young people is to have them associate with people who are sane, and to task them, monitor them, grow them. History will cycle on.

  3. CherryPie November 13, 2013 at 00:27 Permalink

    Being on the cusp gives so much more insite ;-)

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