Monday, October 25, 2010

Generational Snarkfare

I usually try not to engage in agism. Sometimes, though, I am the victim and I feel I need to defend myself.

Earlier today at work, I came across a piece on how to engage "millennials" (people around their 20's right now, which for the next few months includes me) in the job market. It was an interesting piece, but the suggestions seemed to apply to people of all ages. I won't link to it here because I like to maintain some separation of this blog from work.

A few commenters posted thoughts along the lines of "why don't we stop coddling these spoiled brats" and "I'm a baby boomer and life is hard, grow up kids."

I normally leave these alone, but the workday was almost over and I was feeling passionate.

I won't post here what I posted on the article, but suffice it to say that I defended myself.

However, I will post what I emailed to my sister, a more legit millennial, age-wise, after I read the article and all the get off my lawn comments.

Here is an excerpt:

"On second thought, maybe they're right. Look at what they had to live through: unprecedented economic growth in the 50's, enduring the pain of watching on TV as their parents and liberal peers fought for civil rights in the 60's and 70's, undergoing the incredibly hard work of ruining the economy in the 80's and then raising children, only to have them turn out to be lazy, entitled little assholes, in the 90's and 00's. [B]oomers never got a chance to rest, not ever! Well, actually I guess many of them are retired now, pre-2008, thanks to pensions and 401(k)s. But they'll always remember how hard things were, with unhampered career trajectories, salary increases, health insurance and fully-funded retirement plans. And bonus: years from now, as their cold corpses decompose on piles of accrued savings, we, the coddled millennials, will probably get to work in China as coal miners to pay off all those U.S. Treasury notes after other countries call in Boomer-accrued war debt! FREE international travel, and all we'll probably do is bitch about it and cough a lot. What a bunch of spoiled kids we are, right? I feel guilty even existing."

I guess I'm tired of Baby Boomers, who are largely responsible for the shape our economy is in, blaming my generation for everything. Look, a) we're the ones who are going to have to live in this mess and b) y'all raised us.

We have many more years to live, and we need to press on. Ease up, olds.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Am Approaching Competence, Domestically Speaking

Mama E. helped me make these valances. I picked out the material from a local fabric store. I thought it served two purposes: looking baby-like and being tongue-in-cheek amusing in an Alice-in-Wonderland kind of way. Production basically consisted of sewing a loop in the top of the fabric for a curtain rod to go through, and sewing a fold into the bottom and sides. Simple to describe. The key, apparently, is very, very meticulous ironing and folding. Feast your eyes. I am getting there, y'all.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Barney Frank Busts A Move

This makes me want to move to MA-4 just so I can vote for Barney Frank for the next 20 years. Do you know how many men in Washington, D.C. desperately wish they could dance like this? Then the whole thing is ruined by this square at the end showing up and mumbling something about running for Congress in a supreme gesture of futility. Step aside, nerd. I'm watchin' Barney dance.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Social Network - What Generational Divide?

I had been looking forward to The Social Network for some time, so was excited to see it this past weekend and thought I'd share a few uncollected thoughts.

One aspect of the movie that I found challenging was dealing with the veracity, or lack thereof, of the plot. This aspect was both awesome and difficult. It's not a criticism of the movie, more a statement of how difficult it is to deal in half-truth, half-fiction. I should be clear that the movie is a pastiche, piecing together some real events and sprinkling them liberally with invention, and the movie's creators have been very open about that. Of course, people will inevitably watch it and see it as the story of Facebook. The last movie I had this kind of trouble with was The Blair Witch Project- you're supposed to believe, yet not believe. I had trouble dealing with it - real names and places are in the movie, yet we are not supposed to treat it like non-fiction. I came away with a strong judgment of many of the subjects of the movie, but had to remind myself, "Okay, but a lot of this is fiction. It's not journalism. It's too early for you to pass judgment."

The subject that most inflamed me was not even the movie itself, but some of the stuff that's been written about it. Specifically, I find really annoying and disingenuous the discussion in the media of how reactions to this movie are emblematic of a generational divide. Basically, the olds will be repulsed by anti-hero Zuckerberg, and the youngs will cheer him. I don't know, I don't really see it. Maybe I am between generations? The movie portrays Facebook's wunderkind founder as a mean-spirited, socially awkward, arrogant genius who looks out for number one. (Per my paragraph above, this is the movie's portrayal, not necessarily real life.) I think it's kind of insulting to say an entire generation considers this behavior to be heroic. In fact, I believe that you'd find an equal proportion of people of all ages who think he's a hero/anti-hero. Look at some of the vicious men who were heros to some men and women of generations past - Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Gould, Astor - successful men who engaged in philanthropy, but cutthroat, arrogant robber barons. I would say that probably some people admired them, and some didn't.

The last thing that bothered me were that *spoiler, maybe* women seemed to be used as a sort of Achilles heel to challenge the protagonists. It seems from the light research I've done that women were not a big part of the founding of Facebook - in fact, even the smart, sensible, sensitive ex-girlfriend, who was a great character and well-acted, seems to have been an invention - so I really don't mind the scarcity of women. Still, there are a few scenes that are a bit over the top for me in their stooping to portray women as a) valuable for little more than sex and/or b) nutty.

All that said, I did really enjoy the movie, and it met my expectations. It was no Citizen Kane or anything but it was unique, thought provoking and well-done. The cinematography, writing, acting and direction were phenomenal.