An acquaintance of mine recently posted a link to an article titled “50 Things about Millenials That Make Corporate America Shit Its Pants” on the book of faces. Right away, I could see that I was going to have some major points of division with the author of this self-congratulatory paean to my generation. Putting aside how tacky it is to pat yourself on the back before you’ve actually accomplished anything, this piece comes off as it it were intended to be a painful reminder of just how oblivious some people can be. I can only hope it is a masterful work of trolling, but alas, I fear the worse.
Normally, I would only delve into the depths of such vapid tripe with a heavy glass of gin next to me. Since it was the early afternoon at the time, however, I was forced to make do with black coffee. Steeling myself what for didn’t need to be done at all and was a consequence of making entirely preventable, masochistic decisions needed to be done, I began scrolling through this madness, hoping to find inspiration for a post. Before long, however, I realized that I was going to have to eschew my usual method of using such things as a starting point for further discussion. This piece was so off-base I realized that I was going to have to directly comment on some of the most egregiously bad assertions by Miss Lauren Martin.
Let the butchery begin.
4. We’re willing to work for nothing if it means being happy…Despite being in debt.
“We’re willing to work for nothing” is definitely something you should say to those evil corporations if you want to get them trembling in their three-piece suits.
7. We have social media on our side.
Its not like social media sites like Facebook would ever take advantage of us, right? It’s not like social media is run by corporations, right?
11. We’re not about climbing the ladder, we’re about circumventing it.
13. We’re not afraid to quit if we don’t like what’s going on.
You know, I actually have no problem with this one. Exit over voice.
17. We don’t have a chip on our shoulders.
GOD DAMN IT VILE CORPORATIONS AND DEPRAVED BABY BOOMERS WE DON’T HAVE A CHIP ON OUR SHOULDERS ABOUT THE HORRIBLE, FUCKED-UP WORLD YOU LEFT US HERE IS A LIST OF 50 WAYS WE ARE BETTER THAN YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU TAKE THAT!
I have a chip on my shoulder about the world we’re inheriting. I admit it. Previous generations made some egregious mistakes that it’s quite alright to be upset about. Relax. It’s perfectly reasonable to be discontent. Say, have you heard of Neoreaction?
19. We’re more educated, by the book and the street.
In an age in which the point of education is to erase knowledge, not impart it, is this really something to brag about?
20. We’re not interested in office politics.
Politics is power, and you may not be interested in power, but power is always interested in you. Eschew it at your peril.
24. We are trying to beat the system, not just work with it.
The system keeps you in place by making you think you’re beating it. I think you underestimate just how cunning you have to be if you really want to beat it.
25. We don’t have to go to college to get ahead.
Then why are we doing so anyway? Are we sure we’re not brainwashed?
27. We’re listening to our women.
But who are our women listening to?
28. We want freedom more than anything else.
So why aren’t we fleeing to countries where we can have it?
31. We distribute the news, not the other way around.
Newsflash: the news is how Corporate America controls you.
32. We don’t care as much about profit as we do the product.
We ARE the product that the corporations profit from.
36. We’re open to any gender, sexual orientation and race.
In fact, let’s let them come tumbling over our borders. It’s not as if the quality of a country has anything to do with the quality of its citizens #ElizabethWarren2016
39. We learned from our parents’ mistakes.
Is that why we insist on repeating them?
41. We’d rather travel and be poor than be rich and never see the world.
And somehow, we still end up poor and untraveled.
44. We’d rather have experiences than bank statements.
I am rather concerned by how much of this piece is rationalizing being poor by claiming possession of non-material things that we don’t actually have.
47. We want careers, not jobs.
49. We have morals.
Morality is totally subjective, and it’s not as if functional society doesn’t grow on trees, am I right?
50. We have each other.
I can’t help but think of an old East German joke from the days of the Soviet Union: A school teacher asks little Fritzie : “Fritzchen, why are you always speaking of our Soviet brothers? It’s ‘Soviet friends’.” Fritz responds: “Well, you can pick your friends.”
Millenials are not fighting against the system. They are kept firmly in place by the idea that they are fighting the system. If I were an anthropomorphized corporation, I wouldn’t be shitting my pants. I would weep for such bountiful herds of sheep to fleece.
Now, in fairness, this might just be a disagreement over which paradigm to apply to the same reality. Two sides, same coin, and all that. But one is forced to admit that it looks like the author of this piece and I are in very different realities. How could this possibly happen? What could lead two people to disagree so fundamentally as to the nature of the world around them?
Lauren “LMoney” Martin grew up with one goal: to be the first woman engineer. Upon finding out there already were women engineers, and unable to pass Calc 1, she chose to study the beautiful and honorable art of advertising. After advertising proved uninspiring, she attempted a career in acting which was over before she could get on stage. And when she failed at everything else she decided to become a writer.
You know, those four sentences explain more than I would have ever thought possible.