Generational titles are hard to pin down. I’ve never really known where I fit in such things. Thanks to Buzzfeed, I have recently learned that I don’t belong to the Millenial generation. I hate most of these things (not all though, love me some DFW). I’m older than the millenials. And I’m also younger than Rob LaZebnik.
Rob LaZebnik is a Harvard grad and writer for The Simpsons. He also wrote a letter to the Class of 2013 in the Wall Street Journal (hilarious!), subtitled: “Dear Graduates: You’re pampered, privileged and oversexed–but at least your employment prospects are dim”. This is six weeks old, but as a new dad, I’m just catching up on my WSJs.
You can read it if you want. It’s an overlong, but pretty funny “kids these days” kind of thing. It’s nothing new, really. LaZebnik’s basic argument is: you all worked hard enough to get into an expensive college, then you stopped doing anything to contribute and wasted your time playing Call of Duty. You are going to try follow your dreams which will get you nowhere and then you’ll laze about in grad school or writing a screenplay.
He ends: “So I advise you to ignore all the clichés of the typical commencement speech and do what your generation does best: get lucky.”
About Mr. LaZebnik’s piece I just wanted to say two things.
1. You’re a television writer. I’m sure you worked hard and deserve your success. And we all love the Simpsons. But really. Seems strange that you want to go about tarring kids who want to explore the arts and non-profit life because they lack responsibility? That’s a total asshole move. It would seem that’s what you did, and you made it work. Be a role model. Not a douche.
2. You and your generation ARE RESPONSIBLE for these millenials. You birthed them. You raised them. They looked to your generation for a life and future, for a world that was ready to provide for them, and you screwed them . You’re the folks who used up everything, polluted everything and created a future with so few options that all the kids want to do is have sex and play Settlers of Catan.
Millenials didn’t pamper themselves. They didn’t trash the environment, destroy the economy and explode tuition rates. They didn’t ruin the job market, outsource the future, oversee the rise of an obesity epidemic, stagnating wages and a massive increase in income disparity. You did.
So when Mr. LaZebnik says: “Your life has been a nonstop ride of work, study and fun. Now, though, you’re about to walk out of those iron gates and … what? You’re headed into the most challenging labor market of the last 80 years.”
The millenials should gather together and say: “Thanks. That’s your fault.”