A Civil Conversation #2: “This Generation is Fine!”



What is it about older generations complaining about the newer generations?   You can’t turn on the news or open Facebook nowadays without some wrinkled, cynical, grumpy old person spouting about how their generation is better than the new one in every way… usually it’s along of the lines of their generation is smarter, tougher, or were more in touch with family and nature.  In my day, we did this.  In my day we did that.  Now, everything is different!

Now, while it’s true that things do change and societies do change, who the heck do these people think they are?   Are the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia really that opaque?  When Clint Eastwood or, as I like to call him, the human meme, spouts off claiming that this is the “pussy generation,” I shake my head and say, Clint… is it really?   Really?   Can we talk?  Because, I feel like you and me gotta sort things out.

Okay, well Clint’s not here to answer me, so I’m going to ask this empty chair.

Clint, how can you honestly say that this is the pussy generation?   Do you know what this generation is going through?  Do you even have the slightest idea as a coddled and wealthy Hollywood star?   The job market today is more competitive than it ever has been and, thanks to cuts to the education program… proposed and enacted by your generation, they’re entering college more unprepared than ever.  Thanks to the standardized testing requirements, proposed and enacted by your generation, they are being taught to take a test and leave high school without the skills to register and vote, do taxes, or even apply for a job properly not to mention basic usable life skills that your generation was taught.   This generation has the most incredibly daunting task of establishing themselves as members of society while yours pretty much had it handed to them.

Yet still, they endure.   They make do.

It’s not easy.  Thanks to the wealth gap, another byproduct of your generation, they’re making less – adjusted for inflation – than your generation did.   You, being a pampered grizzled prima donna, probably remember the days you could buy a home for 40 thousand and a car for seven.   Things certainly aren’t like that anymore.  Now, you’re lucky to find a shoebox for anything less than 200k.   Shall we even mention the health care system that your generation is purposefully sabotaging and how a broken arm can essentially bankrupt an entire family now?  Clint, it’s not this generation’s fault that they’re coming into adulthood during the recession your generation caused.   Not at all.

But they continue to make do.  Still, they endure.

It’s not this generation’s fault that your generation is poking the racial bear, dismantling the voting rights act, and supporting police who shoot first and think later.  There are more interracial couples in this generation than in the last two combined, despite your generation’s attempts to widen racial divides.

What’s that you say?  “When you grew up, those things weren’t called racist?”

Of course they weren’t.  That’s was kind of the whole point of your generation’s efforts to subdue the black population and deny them the right to marry who they wanted, live where they wanted, have the career they wanted, or even sit where they wanted in a bus or movie theater.   You might not have called it racist back then, but I’m pretty sure that people in defending the slave trade didn’t call it racist either.

What’s that?   Oh, you’re not racist, you’re just tired of being politically correct?   But what does it mean to not be politically correct?  Isn’t that just code for being able to say whatever racist junk you want to say without consequences?   Sorry, Clint, but a generation that doesn’t want to face consequences is the very definition of entitled and really has no business saying that it’s better than any other.   The whole idea that your generation isn’t racist is an interesting notion considering that you guys were afraid to drink from the same water fountain as a black person because they thought it was icky.

This generation is dealing with a racist froth that your generation of angry entitled white men are whipping up like a fevered bukkake.

And yet, they make do.  They endure.

What’s that?   This generation is lazy?

You want to talk about lazy?   Your generation is the generation that put linoleum over wood floors.   Yours is the generation that but up vinyl siding because painting was too hard.  Your generation painted over brick.   You want to talk about lazy?   Your generation got to retire and now, thanks to the short-sightedness of your generation, the newer generations might not have that luxury.  You want to talk about being lazy?   Your generation has the scientific means to fight and stop climate change – today – but you have the attitude like it’s not your problem.   Let the ones who come after us deal with this issue while we pretend it’s a hoax.

THAT’s lazy, you lazy piece of shit.

But, you know… I have faith.   I have faith that this generation will clean up the mess of the last one.   I have faith that they will secure better healthcare plans and heal the divides.  That they will face climate change and water shortages head on and do everything they can to solve them.   I have faith that this generation will have accomplished artists, engineers, and scientists and I’ll tell you why…

This generation, Clint, that you seem to have so much fun pooping on, is more connected than any generation before it.  The world has gotten smaller, injustices do not slip by unnoticed, and wrongs are dragged into the light.   Could this be why your generation is trying so hard to destroy Net Neutrality?   In any case, I believe that this generation will solve the problems we leave them with not because they want to, but because they have to.   Much in the same way that the greatest generation fought in the trenches of World War II or the way the Flower Power Generation protested and defeated inequality.   In many ways, despite the moaning’s of an aged and wealthy movie star who hasn’t existed in the real world since the 1970’s, this group of kids isn’t weak and lazy, they’re poised to be the greatest and, as the sun sets on my generation and rises on theirs, I am confident that they will do a great job with this busted world we have left them and, unlike your generation you seem to think the best of, will actually leave this world in better shape than they left it.

In Short… Fuck you, Clint Eastwood.

About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.
  • Ray Martin

    You might want to correct the multiple instances of “make due” in this article to “make do”, which is the correct phrase. Otherwise, this is excellent commentary.

  • toxiceye

    It is each generation’s responsibility to clean up the crap from the ones before them. But in this case, technological advancement led to unprecedented socio-political changes and we’re all struggling to keep up. Eastwood’s generation didn’t understand their grandparents’ crap any better than we understand ours. And our grandchildren will look at our music and ask if we were all genetically deaf.

    I don’t blame Eastwood for not understanding this kind of thing, it’s maybe one of the social changes that he hasn’t been able to comprehend. But he should know that every rung of the ladder is different, and that this fact hasn’t changed since the fall of Rome. It’s not JUST that change is the only constant. It’s that we know it’s going to happen, it has always happened, and nobody has ever liked it. He’s not going to be the first. But he does sometimes talk like he was hoping he would be.

  • Ed Heilman

    Jason, you’re a misguided youth. But as they say, if you’re 20 and not a Democratic, you have no heart. If you’re 40 and not a Republican, you have no brain – so there’s hope you may grow out of this phase. I’m probably about halfway between you and Clint, so let me dispel a few incorrect facts you have:

    While I concur with you that the job market is as competitive as it’s ever been, you go right to the fact that your lack of education is due to funding. Wrong – the US is 5th IN THE WORLD for educational spending (The Atlantic Monthly 12/13). I would suggest that if you want to blame someone other than yourself for not studying, you go after the teachers unions who continually block new educational initiatives to save their own tenure.

    Relative to the wage gap, I would agree that it exists and say the best way to overcome it is to work to get to the top side of the gap – so I suggest you get your butt out of bed and go make some money instead of blaming everyone. If you do want to point the finger, look at both parties historical embrace of open borders policy. It’s a simple supply and demand curve (you probably overslept that day). More supply than demand equals lower prices (wages). The fact is that the Hispanic population (which I have a great respect for and employ many) will work harder for less than Americans. If they were not here, those mean employers would have to pay more money for people like you to do the same work. Thus, an INCREASE in real wages would occur and result in less of a wage gap. But ask yourself as of today, which party continues to embrace the open door policy? BTW, when I graduated from college, the unemployment rate was over 10%. When I bought our first home, our mortgage was 11.75%. Every generation has it’s own challenges, so suck it up, you’ll get through it just like we did.

    I personally could care less who marries who or who dates who so stop whining and quit making yourself out to be judgement free as you sit back and judge Clint and his generation or party. Just stay out of my daughter’s bathroom and do what the cops say and you most likely won’t get shot. Race relations in this country are at about a 30 year low, and you can blame your divider-in-chief for that. Keep telling people like you that you’re a victim over and over again and pretty soon you believe it as your article belies.

    Voting rights? What are you talking about? Because Republicans ask for IDs? Really? We want to ensure that citizens vote, that’s undermining voting rights? I think you should go look up which party sponsored and supported the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, what party Abe Lincoln belonged to and which party had a higher % of yeas for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    Relative to the “lockbox” that was social security – you’re right, it’s been busted open and pilfered. Go check your history books and see which party was responsible for that one. Both parties are spending your generation and the next into bankruptcy and we keep voting to keep them in power.

    And Jason, I do have faith in the millenials as I have three of them myself. I just don’t have faith in you (at least not yet – but you’ll be 40 someday!).

    • Jason_Donner

      Well, I am 40 and I assure you, I have a brain. When someone representing the party of Donald Trump throws stones about having intelligence, I shake my head in wonder.

      Look, I could go on and on pointing out the errors in your… I guess from your point of view, “logic?” but it wouldn’t do you or me any good. When someone parrots this much right-wing propaganda justifying voter suppression and calling Obama a “divider” which is, from all points of common sense, one of the most ludicrous positions ever taken, it’s a lost cause. At this point, de-programming your political views would mean a vast deconstruction of who you are as a person and it’s not an undertaking I’m particularly interested in investing in.

      Although, hey… apparently I have the silky voice of a 20 year-old, so I’ve got that going for me.