Perspective

I’m proud to be part of a generation that knows how to use a map. I can still remember my important phone numbers, in case I’m ever stuck using a pay phone. Hell, I remember what payphones look like. The generation that follows will be the completely useless when disconnected from the internet. The notion of memorizing anything will be obsolete. And we should feel bad about that.

We deem technological advancements to be progress, but that term’s been used too loosely. Progress implies the bettering of mankind. We foolishly assumed that making life easier would make the world a better place. But easier is seldom synonymous with better.

It’s important to have to struggle, otherwise we forget what’s important and what isn’t. For the past 50 years, people have begun to worry about smaller and smaller things. Once we feared the Nazis would wipe out entire nations, we feared nuclear holocausts, we feared civil war. And somewhere along the line, people started fearing killer bees, a nasty strain of the flu, and the fact that children are mean to each other.

One would expect that the easier life got, the less we’d worry, but instead we just started worrying about less and less. People make up strange anxieties because they have this great big space in their brain labeled FEAR and nothing worthwhile to file there.

An easier life has allowed us to lose touch with reality. We’re lacking perspective.

Maybe today, apathy is the only true rebellion.

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Gen XY, an introduction

There is a new generation of malcontents. We’ve been here for awhile, but it’s easy not to notice those whose rebellion takes the form of pot, videogames, and pussy. Maybe not so much a rebellion as a “fuck you” to the world we’ve been raised into, the one we’re supposed to be so eager to take over. We’re inheriting a pile of shit and the carrot on a stick of fame, fortune, and wealth has been revealed to be plastic, made in China.

We are Gen XY, because the chicks are still chasing the dream of the empowered female, a successful business woman and mother. They’re so eager to prove they can do both, they never stop to ask why they should be bothering with either. Women are grappling to the top, while most of us guys are content staying afloat. But can we be blamed? In this brave new world, it’s more important to be liked than to be right. Politics is the game, and the rules are strange and unfamiliar to us. Being offended wasn’t a card that could be played in the sandbox. Political correctedness never factored into the rules before. But now a dirty joke can get you fired, an unpopular opinion can get you ostracized, a facebook post can make you a pariah.

Despite all the smack liberal groups talk about how intolerant we were in days gone by, in some ways, people were far more accepting of their individual differences. We’re far more accepting of other races, religions, and sexual preferences, but far less tolerant of differences of opinion. We’re supposed to accept each other, so long as we all think the same. People of all creeds and nations, united by a hive mind of global consensus. The iconoclasts who go against the grain of group thought are blasphemers, shunned away from the path to material success.

The message is clear, conform or be cut out. And with amazing conformity, Gen XY opted out. Unlike Gen Y, we don’t believe in social change, we never lived in a time when equality had to be fought for. We grew up knowing that things had been bad, but were now changing for the better. And for a time, they were, but now social change is taking us too far. T a place where equality is no longer enough. Every race and creed must be represented in equal proportions. And if that doesn’t happen naturally, society will force it. We’ll breed minorities if we have to, just wait and see.

Eventually it came down to simple math. The effort required to carve out the lives we were taught to strive for was too much, and left too little energy to enjoy the fruits of success. Once that happened, any success was in name only. The time and energy sacrificed could have been spent having adventures and friendships that far outweighed the empty pleasures of success.

Enough to survive. The motto of Gen XY, elegantly simple. Work enough to get by, and spend the rest of the time enjoying life as much as life can be enjoyed in a society that’s slowly creeping into a politically correct fascism. Atrocities will be committed in the name of increasing tolerance, and we want no part in a war again the human spirit. Might as well just enjoy what we can have before it all falls apart.

Maybe we’re cowards, but explain to a generation that grew up in a world hopeful about the future how to stay optimistic about what lies ahead, when this is the future we thought would be so bright. The marvels of modern technology have only given people more ways to treat each other like shit, whether it’s cyber psychological warfare or stealth drones, technology is a reflection of our society. And let’s face it, it’s not a pretty reflection.

We’re the wayward sons of this modern world. We’re lost souls because that was the only option left for us. We indulge in idol pursuits because there’s nothing else for us. We could join you in corporate whoredom or political self-righteousness, but that’s not a life worth living.  But even opting out’s not helping. For every one of us, there a five fresh faced boys and girls lining up to make it to the top or make the world a better place. And their lives will serve as fodder for the perpetuation of society. Either more of us need to start opting out, or we need to start doing something else, cause otherwise, nothing will change.

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