Skip to comments.If S***s to be Young, It Will Swallow Turning 50.
Posted on 07/16/2007 9:41:39 AM PDT by .cnI redruM
A certain segment of our nations publishing industry has long been parasitic and detrimental to our wellbeing. They drag our youth through the mud and leave them wallowing in shame and self-pity. If the Constant Reader enjoys an occasional periodical put out by Hugh Hefners daughter or the venerable and sagacious Larry Flynt, relax and read it for the artwork.
There are worse things a young person can do than pick up that issue of Playboy for all its articles and intellectual stimulation contained therein. One would involve smoking clove cigarettes, another, equally destructive habit would involve buying into the defeatist philosophy of generational whine put forth by Anya Kamenetz in Generation Debt: Why Now is a Terrible Time to be Young
Kamanetz posits her pathetic whine about debt and credit from the most hypocritical vantage point possible. She married a software engineer at Google after graduating from Yale and becoming one of the youngest columnists ever at The Village Voice. If she has money problems and credit card debt is keeping her up late at night, her outlay rate must be faster than the flow of water through the turbines of The Hoover Dam.
Kammenetz may have talked to all the experts about how young people can blow up their financial futures, and get stuck working a dead end job. However, she shows all the empathy for the downtrodden of Elizabeth Edwards criticizing her nextdoor neighbors landscaping efforts. Daniel Gross of Slate Magazine found himself oozing contempt for Annas tragic plight in the big, bad real world.
Look. It's tough coming out of Ivy League schools to New York and making your way in the world. The notion that you can beand have to bethe author of your own destiny is both terrifying and exhilarating. And for those without marketable skills, who lack social and intellectual capital, the odds are indeed stacked against them. But someone like Kamenetz, who graduated from Yale in 2002, doesn't have much to kvetch about. In the press materials accompanying the book, she notes that just after she finished the first draft, her boyfriend "proposed to me on a tiny, idyllic island off the coast of Sweden." She continues: "As I write this, boxes of china and flatware, engagement gifts, sit in our living room waiting to go into storage because they just won't fit in our insanely narrow galley kitchen. We spent a whole afternoon exchanging the inevitable silver candlesticks and crystal vases, heavy artifacts of an iconic married life that still seems to have nothing to do with ours." The inevitable silver candlesticks? Too much flatware to fit in the kitchen? We should all have such problems.
As someone ten years older than the lovely and talented Anna, Id lend her an extra dime if she was a little more original, and wasnt already farting through silk. As long as people have been young and passably literate, the parasites have preyed on their sense of frustration. I date myself here as I wash down my Geritol and reminisce about what a cr***y author Douglas Coupland was and still is.
Coupland invented the whiney Mc-Job motif, while Anna Kamenetz was still applying to sybaritic, private universities and cheating in AP High School Classes. His ground-breaking novel Generation X: Tales of an Accelerated Culture resonated for everyone who played hooky from work to participate in a national day of mourning after Soundgarden broke up.
I admit that I read the entire thing. I suffered through that one, and William Gibsons Burning Chrome. I henceforth swore off reading the works of overpaid foreigners, whining about how bad the US sucked, while demanding payment for their literary genius in US Dollars.
I them embarked on a three-step plan that has dramatically altered my life. First, I first pulled my head out my butt, then I landed decent employment and third a married a woman who is way smarter than I am. It worked for me, you can try it too. Its a straight-shot ticket out of the cry-baby thickets of Generation Debt.
Al-Quaeda should pay authors like Coupland and Kammenetz. These people give the unmotivated an excuse, the easily discouraged, a reason to quit, and the key role that our struggle to succeed plays, in shaping who we are as human beings, an unjust bad name. Except these two and other literary talents in their genre are worse than Lord Haw-Haw. They try and convince people to give up on more than just a war. They convince people to give up on themselves.
Is that first word supposed to be "It"?
No, it’s what a vacuum cleaner does.
Good points, well articulated. The title of the piece was such a put off I almost didn’t read it.
As someone ten years older than the lovely and talented Anna, Id lend her an extra dime if she was a little more original, and wasnt already farting through silk.
Age gives wisdom..................
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
I told her upon graduation that she wasn't going to get a European vacation, a new car, a new wardrobe . . etc as a graduation gift. I gave her the gift of no debt as her graduation gift. She made the most of it and is doing well. She tells me that I'll have my pick of the bedrooms for my retirement - we'll see.
It is true that the media has been talking down to Generation X for a long time. I remember the talk about how the hope of the world was on the next generation (meaning those were in kindergarten at the time). We were still in high school and already the media was saying my generation wasn’t going to do anything worthwhile. I still remember commercials calling us Generation X, Generation Nothing. I don’t whine about it. I just say the media sucks.
Soundgarden broke up?
Nicely put (but not original). I rather liked Burning Chrome but it's a long way from social commentary in the Voice to imaginary dystopias. No, on the other hand, it isn't, is it?
Does it suck to be young? ( I think I can say that.) That depends on how young. It certainly sucks to be a pre-teen. Everybody's bigger, stronger, and richer than you are. You eat and sleep what and when you're told. Sort of like the Army without the guns.
It sucks to be an adolescent. Zits, no power, no privacy, and sex is a weird hairy monster that is more likely to get you in trouble than anything else. That, of course, doesn't really change much now that I think about it. Still, you're only the master of your own fate insofar as you can screw it up with drugs, reckless driving, reckless sex. Funny how that keeps coming up. It's hard to make it better on your own.
However, if you live to reach the time of life Kamanetz is bitching about my sympathy reservoir tends to run a little low. Yes, you often have to worry about school debt. You don't have to worry about puerperal fever, polio, sudden death from marauding barbarian invasion, the draft...let's face it, every generation faces problems and every generation bitches about it. Not every generation has the luxury of doing so via text messaging and streaming video.
Don’t misunderstand - she loved going to A&M and knew it was a fine school. She thought that graduation from an Ivy would give her a better start. She started checking into it and found that A&M really was the best opportunity for her. You can go almost anywhere and find an A&M grad. They’ll hire fellow grads because they know how hard it was to get that diploma and ring!
I used to know the A&M Mafia (meant in the kindest way possible) when I lived and worked at Ft. Hood. Your post made me miss Texas.
What a revolting whiner..... this ignoramus is so deficient in knowledge of economics, history, etc. that she should be laughed right out of the world of (so-called) journalism and publishing. Instead, she will probably be a big hit among fellow whiners and wankers of a liberal persuasion.
The irony is of calling my generation Generation X is that Generation X actually should have been the generation that was around when I was born. Those who were working during the Big ‘80s. I read the actual book the term came from. I guess who ever decided it applied to my generation didn’t. LOL!
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