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My Generation Sucks. So Does Yours

by The Cranky Media Guy

I've been putting off starting this column for the past couple of hours. I wanted to find just the right way to say what's on my mind. 'Cause, you know, I certainly don't want to offend anyone. Well, I finally came up with it: My generation sucks. So does yours. (Just so I'm clear here, "my generation" refers to the Baby Boomers. "Your generation" refers to anyone under the age of 30.)

My generation sucks because we've allowed democracy to be steamrollered by every greedy pussbucket who can write a big check to someone's election campaign. While we weren't bothering to pay attention, the Constitution has been systematically shredded by Congressional weasels who feel that millions of Americans can do just fine on five dollars and change per hour minimum wage, although they personally, need (and deserve) close to $200k a year just to make ends meet.

My generation sucks because, although we constantly use the phrase "for the children" to defend every ass-backwards repressive law we shove through Congress, our schools (where children spend a good portion of their day) blow worse than El Nino. There should be a big, McDonalds-like sign over the Department of Education building reading, "Over 99 million functional illiterates graduated".

My generation sucks because we've allowed a ridiculous (and hypocritical) "War on Drugs" to consume billions of tax dollars while showing little or no real effect on society's problems.

My generation sucks because we've raised a bumper crop of kids trained from birth to be afraid of their own shadows. When we're not teaching our kids that every adult they don't know is a member of NAMBLA, we're putting metal detectors in the high schools and sticking Nanny Cams in their bookshelves. Nothing like a little paranoia to keep the rug rats in line, eh?

My generation sucks because we treat our kids like "personal lifestyle accessories" rather than actual, unique, human beings. That's why every kid you meet nowadays has a name like Courtney, Brittany or Chad. Those aren't kids' names. Those are names for dolls you buy on QVC and stick on a shelf to decorate a room. I'm surprised kids today don't come with a "Certificate of Authenticity" from the Franklin Mint at birth.

Your generation sucks because you're silently accepting all this crap, without complaint. Where are the protests? Where's the outrage? Where's the backlash? You LIKE the world your parents have handed you?

When you guys DO actually act up, you take on the wrong targets. My generation protested the war in Vietnam with massive rallies on the National Mall and around the country. Your generation starts bonfires and loots the soda trucks at Woodstock '99. Way to stick it to The Man! That'll teach 'em to try to issue Woodstock Commemorative Visa Cards to you!

To be fair, Vietnam and Richard Nixon were just made to be hated by young people. Our war dragged on for years. The ones you get are more like pay-per-view events. They even have cute, made-for-TV names given to them: Desert Storm, for example. They last just long enough to get everybody's patriotic blood boiling. If you wanted to protest them, by the time you get the buses rented to go to Washington for the Big Rally, the damn thing's over. It's "wham, bam, thank you, Ma'am" conflict. Short Attention Span Theater of War.

Not that anyone wants to protest war anymore, of course. With an all-volunteer military, there's no fear of an enforced khaki wardrobe to stir the outrage of the young'uns like the Good ol' Days.

You don't even get pissed when you get our cultural hand-me-downs. We had Jimi Hendrix. You have Lenny Kravitz. We had John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth. You got John Glenn, the first Depends wearer to orbit the Earth. We had JFK. You got JFK, Jr. Our JFK was a dynamic young leader who got the Soviets to back down over putting missiles in Cuba. Your JFK failed the New York Bar Exam twice and dressed Cindy Crawford in a George Washington outfit for the cover of his magazine. (Speaking of John-John, as far as I'm concerned, to warrant the amount of TV coverage his plane crash got, he should have come back from the dead after three days.) Are you getting the picture here? Half the stuff you have, pop-culturally-speaking, is lame-o retreads of stuff we came up with 30 years ago.

You're not even pissed about that! Do I have to explain youth to you, too? You're supposed to hate everything your parents liked, not recycle it. Sheesh!

Sure, over the past 30 years, my generation has managed to screw up damn near everything it's touched, but back when we were young, we did it right. We rallied against what we perceived as injustice perpetrated by the generation before us. We burned our draft cards and threw tear gas canisters back at the cops at Kent State. If the best you guys can do is throw trash at Kurt Loder at Woodstock '99, I'm not too impressed.




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