Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Talkin' Bout My Generation

I am currently reading Chuck Klosterman's Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs* a very lovely break from all of those assigned readings my professors for some reason feel that I need. Along with a critical look at MTV's Real World, and why we would ever want to play The Sims page 42 has a couple very interesting thoughts about patriotism. He questioned a number of people before 9/11 and all of them viewed patriotism as a bad trait. One person responded by "claiming that any woman who loved America didn't deserve to date him, not because he hated his country but because patriotic people weren't smart". The one and only person who found patriotism to a be a good quality at the time responded with this, "You know how historians call people who came of age during World War II 'the greatest generation'? No one will ever say that about us. We'll be 'the cool generation.' That's all we're good at and that's all you and your friends seem to aspire to."

I read this while sipping my coffee in Shriver, the central hub of the M.U. campus. Beside me sat a fellow my age listening to his ipod catching up on his reading. He had obviously eaten dinner before I arrived because his tray of left over raviolis and disposable utensil paraphernalia had been shoved aside so he could rest his feet on the coffee table. The usual sight in the basement of Shriver. When he collected his belongings and left his trash stayed behind despite the fact that he had to walk by a trashcan to leave the building. This unfortunately is a common sight in the basement of Shriver too.

The World War II generation is "the greatest generation", eighty's children are "the cool generation", and my generation we are the "self absorbed generation" a.k.a the "ass hole generation". We grew up in a time where our teachers and parents were believed that they needed to give us self esteem, and boy did they ever. They blew sunshine up our skirts so far that now time has come for my generation to become the adults that they have always wanted to be, but they are lacking some very important traits of adulthood. Manners. Respect. They walk around treating everything and every one like they are royalty. Others should bow before them and clean up after them. They don't bother themselves with silly things such as others feelings. And everyone needs to hear and cares greatly about their current cell phone conversation.

I may look like I am part of my generation because of my age, but honestly I do not agree with their behavior and if someone would like to form a secret club where we sit around and complain about them I will totally join.

* A low culture manifesto (now with a new middle)

1 comment:

  1. I, too, am a wee bit pissed off when I see folk leaving their trash lying around. But I did read a reasonably convincing post recently where someone put the case that by leaving stuff for waiting and cleaning staff to deal with, one is 'keeping them in a job' and not succumbing to big business's hope that we'll all hop on the self-service bandwagon while happily paying the same or more as we were when we had service.

    I'm not totally convinced by this myself. Does my untidiness really count as an essentially altruistic action in such circumstances? By keeping fairly menial service jobs viable, am I really doing anyone a favour? On the other hand, is 'supporting' such jobs in this way a way of supporting a better quality of civic life (against 'self-service') where our civic duties and responsibilities are part of a whole network of mutual service that *includes* demands on businesses and services like public transport to treat their customers as honoured guests rather than mere throughput.

    For now, I'm still using the bin at the restaurant if I see one, and even when there isn't, I usually make some sort of plate-piling gesture that probably pisses the waiting staff off because I'm doing it wrong or something.

    Ah well. My exciting life, wondering about trash. There are certainly more important ethical questions I should really face up to having some opinion about, but if I can't decide whether or not to clean away my plate what chance have I got of forming a worthwhile opinion on the invasion of Iran, say? (Snap response: a Bad Thing).

    Sorry for ramblin' on.