A reader writes:
As a 23 year old, let me be the first to say that that Jonah Goldberg video, and to a lesser extent Matt Labash’s mini-rant, really pissed me off. I get it, we’re young, you guys were young once, you like to think you’re cleverer now (better than facing the possibility that you haven’t actually progressed in life), hence we’re stupid. How very clever of you.
But try for a second to look at in from the perspective of us youth. To us, the Goldbergs of this world are from a generation that has royally fucked everything up. The debt, the economy, global warming – when was the last time a generation could say that they were leaving the world worse off than they themselves inherited it? If you were born between 1950-1970, you are the product of the ‘greatest generation’ that defeated fascism, created peace in Europe, and started the biggest economy boom in the history of the world. And what did you do with it? Pissed it away. And whilst you look forward to your gold-plated retirement benefits – Social Security, private pensions, Medicare – which you’re sure as hell not gonna give up, my friends and I will struggle to find jobs at a time when employment for 16-24 year olds is the lowest since records began (48%).
And, despite this monumental fuck up, you have the balls to chide US just because we can use a technology that you can’t, or (gasp) we entertain the idea of voting for policies which haven’t been responsible for the aforementioned fuck up?
My feelings entirely – as a technical boomer. Another reader:
The New Dumbness, huh? How insanely condescending. Of course we're seeking out and creating diversions, cute nothings designed to alleviate some of the incredible pain that comes from overeducation and underuse. A lot of us were pushed toward creative careers and aspirations by our insane helicopter parents, who really believed we were special. We have crappy day jobs and no real sign of improvement; Ron Paul's dominance of the under-30 set should be enough to show we have no faith whatsoever in government, and that's just the subset of our generation that believes his gold standard BS.
Also, feel free to mention the usual caveats (people thought the Beatles were dumb too, etc.), and maybe note that what was considered low art often becomes high, and maybe express hope that this font of creativity may be the harbinger of a new artistic awakening, or whatever. But the bottom line is that we're twiddling our thumbs, waiting for you all to die so we can finally get jobs and be taken seriously as creators.
The internet and the people using it to generate their own content is far from childish or asinine; it's frankly the only thing keeping comedy as we know it from dying completely. The internet has allowed highly intelligent and pretty damn funny people to access media and injecting fresh perspectives in to comedy in a way that we no longer can through traditional outlets. The TV and film industries have basically raised the price of entry to the point where most people can't take a whack at it the way they can on say, YouTube, so what's the harm?
I know Labash thinks we all should probably spend our time instead reading the Wall Street Journal and cleaning our gutters or whatever it is adults do, but the day I don't find "Going To The Store" hilarious is the day you should just kill me, as I'd already be dead inside. It's not too "dumb," you're just too old. Get off my internets, Grandpa Matt.
(Image from a vast collection inspired by the "Baby Boomer Dad" meme, via Reddit)