The Bright Side
You probably assumed that every generation complained about the next generation, but what you might not know is that it's the exact same damn complaints. Technology is moving too quickly?
"Television, data-processing, and documentary film techniques bombard [baby boomers] with events happening simultaneously the world around -- but they have no context in which to place these events. They have no perspective."
That's word for word what somebody might say about Twitter. Or how about college kids taking things out of proportion:
"Many universities closed down in the spring of 1970 to register protest over the escalation of the war into Cambodia and express grief over the deaths of the four Kent State students killed in a riot ... suppose universities begin closing down in the name of various causes? Suppose, for instance, as was originally planned for the fall of 1970, universities shut down all over America so that the student body could actively participate in the election process?"
Requests for "safe spaces" don't seem so bad when they're compared to entire campus shutdowns. And then he talks about protesters encountering the police:
"One account highly critical of the police, reported that 'the police used their nightsticks freely' (I would hope so; what were they supposed to use, rubber tomahawks?)."
Keep in mind, this guy isn't particularly conservative or some reactionary. He had a Ph.D. from UCLA and was director of the Montana Historical Society. My point isn't that old people are grumpy, because the truth is Toole had a lot of compliments for boomers that I think equally apply to millennials:
"While the young do not recognize the swift diminution of their opportunities in their own personal lives (one has to live that), they seem to have an almost uncanny understanding of today's deepening acceleration of time. ... My generation, bearing its years and its scars and accomplishments, finds it impossible to believe we are living in a time of 'revolution.'"
Different generations don't, and will never, get each other. And we'll always be disproportionately blaming each other for whatever crap is going on, because a generational difference is, by nature, a shift in power, and shifts in power are tough. (Remember when Trump was elected? What a crazy couple days that was.)
But we've always managed to figure it out in the past. So we'll continue to figure it out. Or we'll blow each other up.
JF Sargent is a senior editor for Cracked and had a big drunken argument with his mom about prisons over Christmas. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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