Skip to comments.The Not So Greatest Generation (The Dumbest Generation: Don't Trust Anyone Under 30)
Posted on 01/15/2009 6:47:54 PM PST by SeekAndFind
With his soft voice and unassuming manner, Mark Bauerlein seems an unlikely prospect for penning an ostentatious book like The Dumbest Generation. The title immediately brings to mind the Greatest Generation, the idol of 20th century American history that weathered the Great Depression, beat the Nazis at Normandy, and brought us swing music. But the generation that Bauerlein writes of is very different. Ignorant of politics and government, art and music, prose and poetry, the Dumbest Generation is content to turn up its iPods and tune out the realities of the adult world. It is brash, pampered, young, and dumb -- and content to stay that way.
Or so argues Bauerlein, an Emory University English professor and baby boomer. It would be an easy accusation for my generation (I'm 23) to ignore. After all, the fogies have always railed against the ignorance and excesses of youth. What's the point of reading a book or going to a museum in the age of Wikipedia? Why bother knowing who the Speaker of the House is or voting for president when the only vote that matters is the hit count on my latest YouTube video? Being able to locate Mexico on a world map or name the Axis powers during World War II won't help me score a date on Friday night or get tapped for the high school football team.
But something is different this time. In past generations, the young had fewer opportunities to fritter away their lives. Two-parent households and a generally religious culture made sure of it. Today, half of teens grow up in single-parent households and secularism dominates society. Undergirding that is the digital culture, the 24/7 rush of information and entertainment that young adults thrive on. Bauerlein says it's a rush that's killing their intellectual development.
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
—my Geramn is limited to “nein”-— bump for later reading—
Slackers are not exceptions when their numbers rise to the level of pandemic. I admire you and your defense of the nuclear family you have built but based on my own annecdotal sampling, you are the exception, not them. Sorry.
I don't think technology and smart, hard working, well read kids are always at odds w/each other.
Our 20 year old has an iTouch iPod, does the Facebook thing (well so do I for that matter), texts his friends, a lot, yet he's graduated from college and has one year of his graduate work under his belt. He reads voraciously, and is forever coming home with new books that his dad and I read after he's finished with them (LOL), this is in addition to the reading he has to do for his classes. He works on campus as a GA...yet he doesn't seem to lack time for any of these activities.
I think there's plenty of time in the day to read, use technology (heck look how much time we sometimes spend on FR), work, and socialize.
My 16 year old niece works on the student newspaper at her public high school. She did a survey of fellow students if they knew what the Bill of Rights are. Unfortunately, most failed. Most of her peers thought healthcare, housing, minimum wage, and college education were a part of the Bill of Rights.
I’ve seen the “smart ones.” Many of them are either the kids of immigrants or the kids of hyper-intelligent professional parents. It looks to me, they’re the kids who’ll grow up to run things.
Of course, there’s also the overseas competition — about a billion kids in India and China all willing to work their butts off 24/7 for a house in the suburbs, a decent mid-sized car and a chance to send their kids to college
Yeah I know we’re a dying breed. But you know what?
I have no fear. The cream always rises to the top.
Just 1 preliminary comment/observation:
If this professor is really “Boomer” (perhaps of the Hippie genre, specifically), I find it all so typical that he’d insult yet another younger generation.
Not that he is, or it’s so terrible, or totally wrong. Just can’t help observing how the Hippie Boomers are so good at calling everyone else “bad” in 1 way or another.
Funny you mention that. I saw it a year ago and in some ways was intrigued.
Just last night I looked it up on IMDB to see if anyone was scared by it the way I was.
Oh, they’re scared, alright, but “they” see it the opposite - that the country is full of idiots who are “right” leaning, voting for Bush, etc.
The irony is the stupidity and baseness and shallowness of the people in the movie is set in the amoral landscape that Leftists as them so love.
Broad strokes here? At F.R.? Surely you jest.
I'm a retired union member. Wanna see broad strokes? Just wait.
Actually, we need less “smart” than we do honest, moral and hard-working.
exactly, there was nothing right-leaning about that future.
I’m 38, but it’s the nature of my life and work that I interact with a lot of people in their early twenties on a daily basis. I see some of what the author describes, but I don’t see it as pandemic at all. Virtually everyone of that generation uses the media in question, but I haven’t observed use of such as being a factor in whether or not they are smart and hardworking or dumb and complacent. In those respects, they seem to be no different than any other group of people, meaning that some of them are the former group, and some the latter. Certainly this isn’t scientific, just my own anecdotal observations. I’d be interested in reading the book once it becomes available at the library. Doesn’t seem like the sort of thing I’d spend money on.
Agree. Lots of people take great offense to things that are, unfortunately, all too true, just because they happen to belong to that group. (Remind us of anything?)
The “don’t use such broad brush strokes/generalizations” is a common protest.
Happens all the time with the Hippie generation. So many Boomers are offended how so many come in and speak the truth that Boomers altered the nation in a bad way, etc.
It goes without saying that tons of “Boomers” are good solid people, and many willingly fought a war, etc, but the truth is far too many spoke out loudly and wielded heavy influence the wrong way.
I’m pretty sure that the first person I knew who owned an iPod was my father. He was about 60.
All those “idiot” reviewers/posters could whine about was the “corporatism” of Big Evil Companies getting their stuff out everywhere and everyone only able to get their things! As always. They never worry about the real power - government. Communists.
lol. I’m going to leave a review of the critics
Anecdotal but from speaking to younger people at work they have no idea of the evils of Communism or Socialism, they think of these systems as viable alternate forms of government. This is scary.
Tell me about it! The worst part is they have absolutely no clue to the fact that they are totally ignorant and they DON’T WANT TO LEARN! They think they are smart! Most of them are little more than zombies in that department. The poll results from the Obama voters plainly showed that they had no clue what they were voting for. We have millions who are beyond hope or help but they vote anyway and they are producing more zombies every day. I am reminded of a short story I read long ago, I think it was titled,”The Marching Morons”.
Chatting with strangers on myspace? Except for two trivia/book group kinds of friends, I have met every person who is on my myspace list. Then, again, I’m over 30.