Monday, October 12, 2015

Dear Baby Boomers: Go Fuck Yourselves

This Saturday Los Angeles Times crotchety old man reporter Chris Erskine tried to pass off a bulleted list off as journalism wrote a list of things millennials should pledge to themselves in order to do adulting.

For a generation that has cut the retirement programs that their parents generation fought so hard for, Erskine is really gambling away being given the dignity of a nursing home. I hope my notes on his condescending list will serve as an appeal to Chris Erskine's children to let him die in the streets like his parents' parents.


I am entitled to nothing.

For a generation that grew up with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the Community Reinvestment Act, it certainly takes some audacity to tell the next generation that we're entitled to nothing. In reality, this point should read "I am entitled to nothing my parents were given."
I will show up on time.
Says the generation that kicked the can down the road on climate change, has given us 4 debt ceiling crises, and let the government shutdown 18 times in the past 40 years rather than pass a budget. We'll start showing up on time when you start paying us for our time.
I will not shun comedians or college commencement speakers just because I don't agree with them.
Look, it was not our generation that required foreign artists prove artistic merit to get a visa. It was not our generation that decided to take ethnic studies programs out of public schools. It was not our generation that banned Rage Against the Machine's entire catalog from radio play after 9/11. That was all you, grandpa.
Just once, I will try driving without texting.
Then stop cutting funding to public transportation.
Just once, I will try eating without texting.
Then stop expecting us to do work on our lunch breaks.
I will not consider the cilantro on my taco to be a vegetable.
Hey, we're not the ones who decided to engineer food to be addictive and profitable rather than healthy.
I will learn to laugh at everything especially myself.
Fine, I will begin with the waning patience of your editor who expects real journalism.
When meeting someone for the first time, I will always look him or her in the eye.
Sorry, I was too busy looking at your crotch to figure out where your middle-aged insecurity comes from.
I will not burn bridges.
Don't need to, your generation is letting them fall apart on their own.
I will not burn overpasses.
Are we allowed to make up kitschy metaphors that don't mean anything, or is that a domain reserved exclusively for your generation too?
Each year, I will pen at least one thank-you note, using what's left of my cursive writing skills.
You gave this to your editor as a handwritten list, didn't you?Please tell me you didn't make them transcribe your indescipherable cursive.
I will be resourceful, creative and authentic.
How the fuck do you think we survive unpaid internships and a horizon of temporary freelance employment?
I will vote. Always.
What do you think we're doing when we throw rocks at cops and take over public parks?
I will (mostly) swear off smut.
Got to support our friends' employment somehow.
I will not be smut.
Hey, at least it pays.
I will learn all my siblings names (even the younger ones).
I will not spend an entire weekend exploring my own mouth with a coffee straw.
At this point it appears that you are projecting
I will pick my battles.
Explain Iraq.
When I don't get my way, I will learn to roll with it.
Why, so we can end up writing lists for the LA Times the rest of our lives?
I will not go on a job interview in shorts and flip-flops, even if "this job is so beneath me."
Not our fault that your generation thinks that being uncomfortable and superficial is a virtue. Didn't you say something about being authentic earlier?
Nothing is beneath me.
Your generation certainly made sure of that.
I promise not to misuse the word "literally." As in "I am literally dying of hunger" or "You are literally being so rude."
My part time job pays $18 an hour with no benefits. I am literally dying of hunger, and you are literally being so rude.
If my first born is a boy, I promise not to name him Uber.
Didn't your generation put a cowboy actor in the White House?
When I finally move out of my parents' home, I will not take all their vodka and half their towels.
I am literally left high and dry right now.
I will not use crowd-funding to pay for my first car.
Why, are your banks counting on a repo or something?
If I can't afford car insurance, I won't spend $20 a day on coffee.
Then stop charging $20 for coffee.
I won't give only gift cards on Christmas.
We would give you cash, but we're afraid you might spend it on drones.
I won't sneak-text during funerals even if it's "totally boring and the dead guy is just lying there anyway."
I will be sure to be more forthright with my funeral texting from now on.
At holiday dinners, I will leave my phone in my room.
Why, so we can listen to you blather on about another list you wrote?
All those T-shirts? I will wash them.
Okay, but guess what I'm wearing on that next job interview?
I will not use pepper spray to season a burrito.
Only if you promise to stop using pepper spray to season peaceful protestors.
I will not run up my credit cards.
Says the generation that invented collateralized mortgage obligations.
I will save 10% of everything I earn.
So 10% of zero is...
If I hate my new job, I will not fake my own death. I will give two weeks' notice like grown-ups usually do.
What is this "job" thing that you speak of?
I will force myself to finally make a phone call.
Look, if your National Security Agency is gonna have a record of my conversation, I want to have a record of my conversation.
In high school or college, I will get a part-time job. Even if it's beneath me.
They call them internships now.
Again, nothing is beneath me.
So smut time?
Well, most things are not beneath me.
So I have to be a bottom?
I promise not to text anything of life-changing significance: a marriage proposal, a divorce decree, a positive result.
Are you going to tell me to write it in cursive again?
When I get my way, I will be grateful and not assume that I will always get my way.
Isn't your generation busy bombing like ten countries right now?
I will always remember Aristotle's quote: "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
Is that why you immediately started pressing for austerity after Reinhart-Rogoff without any peer review?
At least once a week, I will hug my mom the way I hug my friends every single time I see them.
Only after she gets you to stop writing these stupid lists.
I will do nice things just because.
Like chipping in for a friend's first car?
I will live each day.
I don't think you understand how biology works, which may explain your generation's environmental policy.
I will sleep each night.
But that's the only time we can have Facebook to ourselves anymore.
I am entitled to nothing but that.
Not if your generation keeps sending after-hours work emails.