I’d like to start this out by saying that, without a doubt, most of you suck.
And hey, that’s okay. Most of your parent’s generation sucked too. Most of your grandparent’s generation sucked as well. I’m sure that many of them worked hard and took black and white photographs of themselves frowning, but a lot of them were just terrible people. Terrible, lazy, entitled people, who added nothing to the world.
I am twenty-four years old, and according to whatever think piece you’re reading right now, I am either a complaining fatass, with a firm grip on my video game controller, wearing a shirt stained in Cheeto dust, or I am the underdog, fighting back against this failure of a world that the Baby Boomers helped to create, and powerless in the face of my Dad’s golf buddies. I am either too obsessed with texting, or able to use social networking in a way that older people just don’t understand. Maybe I spent too much time on the internet, or maybe I’ve just accepted that the internet is the way of the future. Do I dream too much about currently un-achievable goals? Or am I so beaten down that I’m just too pessimistic to even entertain the idea of hope?
Hell, it sometimes seems out of the question, but I might even be a little bit of both. Both a deluded optimist AND a victim of the economy. That surely would crazy though, right? There’s no grey area when it comes to sucking: you’re either awful, or you’re not awful, and if other people think that you might be awful, well, fuck them. It’s their fault that they suck enough to think you’re awful.
I’m a little bit awful.
Did I grow up thinking that I was special? Yes, like fucking most people did. I’ve never lived in the 30’s or the 40’s or any decade that didn’t include a Batman film starring either Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer or Christian Bale, but it’s hard for me to swallow the idea that my grandparents were raised thinking that they weren’t different, and that nothing set them apart from their peers. That they all wallowed in the same normalized muck until John Steinbeck wrote their eulogies. Again, I wasn’t there. As far as I know, all the kids in school were painted the same grey color and insulted before bed every evening. Maybe they were raised to believe that dreaming and creating goals that seemed to exceed their grasp was for communists. That’s far fetched, but also hilarious to me. That’s why I wrote that joke.
Were my parents raised to think that they were special? I imagine so. You see, being “special” isn’t some platform that raises you above everyone else. You can bring in a dictionary and tell me what it “actually means”, and I’ll smile and accept the fact that you’re a moron who creates a limited sphere for themselves so that when someone brings in lasers that might argue with their point, your force field is set to Level 11 Stupid and is impenetrable.
Being “special” is being you. Unless you’re a robot (in which case I’m sorry that my time traveling plan to save the human race failed, human race,) you’re probably different from other people. And that’s cool. You have different hopes from most people probably, other than to get the necessary amount of food and shelter (unless you’re a godless, heathen robot), and you want different things that will satisfy your life. It’s really easy to lump yourself in with other people, regardless of whether or not you’re succeeding or slipping. That way, if something bad happens, it’s not as much of your problem anymore. It’s the group’s problem.
And that’s where the danger comes in. All of these think pieces about which generation is the best and which one actually sucks and why, lumps everyone together into two blobs of opposing views. Two blobs that apparently account for every problem that the opposite blob is having. Every failure becomes a failure of the whole. Every success becomes a detriment to the opposing blob. It shouldn’t work that way. It’s an insane, mindless way to live.
Some of you will fail, and that’s okay. You’ll succeed in other areas, and maybe life won’t turn out the way that you imagined it at twenty-four, but it’s still gonna turn out someway, and you can’t stop that, no matter how badly the Baby Boomers have ruined things for you. Some of you will have lives that will exceed your greatest expectations, and that’s awesome. I’m happy for your future selves, lucky now selves. And some of you will get exactly what you wanted, and that’s great too.
The idea that two generations are at war is a dumb one. The economy can’t even be considered “good” right now, but to write about how much of a problem that you’re not isn’t accomplishing anything. Hell, the most this article might accomplish is making a few people laugh at a Batman or robot joke. I’m not putting my stake in life into it. It’s just writing out what I think.
Dream, and be special. Accomplish things, or at least give it a fucking shot. I know that the odds are against you, but there are about seven billion people in the world. The odds are going to be against you forever, whether the economy improves or whether you stop checking Instagram. Once again, it depends on the think piece you’re reading.
Go prove people wrong. Prove the people writing about how much you suck wrong. Prove the friends who agree with you wrong. Whether you’re twenty-four or fifty-four, go prove your critics wrong by going for what you want. If you want it bad enough, you’ll fight for it every step of the way, If you don’t want it, you won’t fight for it. It’s pretty simple.
We all suck a lot, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t be great too.