A reader writes:
Can I be the token "millennial" who defends Jonah Goldberg? (My gag reflex kicks in just typing that.) Listen, he's right about a lot. I'm 26, male, employed, engaged. I admit it: I'm not completely financially independent, but that's mostly due to my two-year detour in grad school on my way to eventually teaching high school. That's my fault, mostly. But I went to a state school for undergrad because the private schools were way too expensive. I have friends who went to the liberal arts schools because "the campuses were pretty". They are still in huge debt, but they didn't have to be.
My brother and I always say that the best (and only) thing my generation does better than our parents is we are more accepting of gays. Other than that, you will not find a more entitled, narcissistic generation of young people.
For all the criticism of the boomers, at least they actually went to Woodstock. We sit around and click on a "like" button and we think we're "interacting." You can not sit down with any of my generational kinfolk and have a real conversation because of the iPhone obsession. My grown adult, male, college-educated friends still play video games and dress like children and stay out late to see some superhero movie. The first 30 minutes of The Social Network is The Graduate of my generation: dudes sitting in dorms being dicks to each other behind a computer screen – the zeitgeist summed up quite nicely. Even the partying in college always seemed to me to have a sinister, aggressive edge to it. I don't know what it is.
Maybe we are the first generation of the truly post-modern world, where everything is subjective and really all about us. Maybe we are the first generation of kids who were never told "no" by our new-agey parents who didn't want to hurt our feelings. Sorry millennials, it's time to face some unpleasant facts. We don't need to all be Willy Lomans in our lives, but I just wish my generation would shut up sometimes.