"The counts of the indictment are luxury, bad manners, contempt for authority, disrespect to elders, and a love for chatter in place of exercise."
Typical, right? Except it's not, because I tricked you, just like my dad tricked me when he said he was only going out for smokes. That's a quote from a 1907 essay about how the ancient Greeks viewed their uppity, irresponsible youth. Some toga-clad senior was grumbling that this Socrates punk needed to show some respect or his so-called "method" would never catch on. The media makes it sound like millennials are the first generation in history to fumble humanity's baton pass, but this complaint's existed since the dawn of recorded civilization. Ever since humans earned some breathers in between hunting and foraging we've used that spare time to complain that our offspring need to save boar meat for their retirement, have some kids, and get serious about cobbling instead of trying to make it as a minstrel.
"You want to get shot fighting Germans? Son, back in my day we got black lung,
and that was good enough for us."
Mental Floss assembled an article of quotes criticizing kids from 1933 back to 20 goddamn B.C. My favorite is an 1869 Scientific American article about how this hot new fad called "chess" is an idiotic waste of time because it doesn't make you smarter or healthier, a criticism that's since been applied to everything from rock music to Pogs. Tell the writer of the Millennial Pledge or one of his comrades in crotchetiness that you're quitting video games for chess and you'd be labeled a role model for your generation. Hell, even the most damning criticism of millennials is written in an informal manner that grumps from centuries past would find appalling. Contractions and slang? What's next, interracial marriage?