An Open Letter To Millenials – from Generation X

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Hi.  I know, it’s been a while.

We don’t talk much – maybe because we’re still using voicemail to reach you.  Or maybe it’s because of all those hit-pieces we’ve been writing about how you’re the worst generation ever.*  Sorry, those are all by Dave.

Dave got a Journalism degree back when a Journalism degree was supposed to lead to a legitimate career.  Now he’s struggling with car payments while competing with you for listicle space on Buzzfeed.  You’d think he’d understand that these days, all college degrees are about as useful as a 90’s BA in Journalism, but… well, he’s just so bitter.  We’re working on him, but you’re so much younger and prettier and you’ve got all these smartphone apps he doesn’t understand.

Anyway.

We should’ve had this handled.  We could’ve gotten together and started fixing things, so at least you’d be holding a lighter bag of shit (and maybe one that doesn’t have a “TRUMP” logo on it).  But we really, really dropped the ball.

I know, I know.  But look, you’ve gotta understand… we didn’t stand a chance.

When we were growing up, we had, like five TV channels – maybe seven if you were near a city.  Cable was for rich people.  But then – right when we were old enough to discover marijuana – the price of cable dropped and all of the sudden we’ve got 200 channels.  And somewhere, on one of those channels, at any time of day or night, there was some shit written back in the 60’s by some fellas who were totally high at the time.

We didn’t stand a chance!**

I mean, we actually thought Bill Clinton was gonna fix everything (no, really!) and fell asleep at the switch for the ’94 midterms, and next thing you know Newt fucking Gingrich was running the country.

But, BUT… all that TV we were watching (and memorizing all the songs from the Hamlet musical episode of Gilligan’s Island as if that was important), we did notice a few things.  We noticed that our government called the Rwandan genocide an “ethnic cleansing” so we wouldn’t have to do anything about it.  We noticed all these private prisons popping up, which the news said were “saving” all these unemployed small towns.  We thought that maaaaybe having a profit motive for incarceration would end badly, but the news never said that.   The news was busy consolidating itself into like, three different corporations.

And oh boy don’t get us started on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Look.  We were just getting off the couch.  I swear.  But then they told us about this brand new thing called the World Wide Web…

We didn’t.  Stand.  A chance.

But enough about us.***

See, I think, unlike us, you do have a chance.  You’re the ones who grew up with all this technology that we had to adapt to while we were young and wasted.  You’ve been doing an end-run around commercial TV and music for your entire lives.  While that’s made TV awesome, it’s made things harder on writers and musicians.  But then, you’ve been showing writers and musicians a new way of Doing Things, where they can create a social media presence that allows them to interact directly with their fans and their wallets.

And what you did in this election HOLY SHIT DUDES YOU NEARLY GOT OUR DREAM CANDIDATE NOMINATED!*****  Also, I don’t hold the Berniebros against you.  At least they’re active.

Guys, OMG (is it okay for me to use “OMG?”  Am I dating myself?)… you have more information at your fingertips than any human being has ever had, anywhere, at any point in history.  And you know how to find it.  Seriously – I can do a Google search with people my age and still come off like a futuristic space wizard.  For you guys, it’s just second nature.  Anyone who tries to de-value that is just being an asshole.

Here’s the thing, though – I’m afraid you may be our last shot at this.  I mean, this whole civilization thing.  We’ve had a pretty good run, but those of us with children and grandchildren and 401K’s and mortgage payments are just gonna keep doing what we’ve been doing.  That means we’re never gonna understand what confirmation bias or social media bubbles or critical thinking is.  But you guys, you know better.  And in turn, you should demand better – and tell Dave to go fuck himself if he can’t get on board.

But let’s just all agree that the Star Wars prequels sucked, okay?

 

 

*Really?  Fucking really?  About a hundred years ago, a single generation failed to prevent World War I and set the stage for World War II.  But Millenials are the worst?  Are you fucking kidding me?

**But you did notice how pot’s becoming legal like, everywhere, right?  You’re welcome.

*** It is, after all, our favorite subject.****  Hey, there’s something else we have in common!

****Our second-favorite subject is playing Fuck-Marry-Kill with 60’s-70’s TV characters (Ginger, Mary Ann, Mrs. Howell, c’mon gimme a hard one).

*****Gen-Xers, just take a step back and inhabit your twenty year-old self.  Tell me “Socialist Grandpa” wasn’t your Platonic Ideal of a President.