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What Script Are you Wearing

Wed Nov 19, 2008

The future is the past.

Five years ago, Gen Y was heralded as the new “hero” generation that would foster new levels of teamwork and collectivism. The people writing this narrative were invariably Boomer parents seeing in their kids some version of themselves as they held back Johnson’s dirty war in Vietnam.
 
The last big-splash book on Millenials paints them as being selfish narcissists with unrealistic expectations for their lives.
 
In a way, I don’t think it’s fair to judge generations until they can speak for themselves. Despite any zodiac prophecies, most generations experience a reality dictated by economics and material conditions. These conditions are largely dictated by the folks who have gone before.
 
Some things that are emerging about Millennials as they start talking… They’re not the cheerleaders for the collective that was predicted, but they’re not exactly perfected alienation, either. I don’t think they’re any more self-centered than we were, though there does seem to be a lack of other-driven romanticism..?
 
This generation – not our generation, that’s over; Gen X is as outdated as the X Games  – could produce a sort of revolution, but it’s never going to create a utopia, even in the imaginary. It won’t even give us a Friends or a Cheers, where everyone will have his or her comfortable space. I think instead we’re in Survivor and Fear Factor for at least another five years.

At that point, looking back over their 20s, they might conclude that celebrity is passé. Or they might turn celebrity hyper-real, re-invent big band and variety TV shows a la the Gong Show.                

 

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