Wed Jun 13, 2012, 02:50 AM
DonCoquixote (11,696 posts)
You're not special? [View all]
OK, I wrote this is response to a series of threads where people respond to this graduation speech; the gist of it "Your parents lied to you, you were not special, and the Chinese can churn out thousands of talented people to replace you."
Now, I do understand that "self-esteem" has been abused. Yes, some American parents do try to shield their kids from the truth. However, just as we detox from one illusion, we must be careful not to rush right into another. As a member of Generation X, allow me to show you a different angle.
Starting from Gen X on, there were plenty of messages we got that we were NOT special at all. We were among the first to realize that the old FDR era way of building lives was dying. Our parents either went to college,and got good jobs, got good union jobs, or did small businesses. We were the first generation of workers to have these doors closed on us, first with X, then Y, and now the Millennials who had to hear this speech. Granted, we have also had to out up with a lot of abuse just for being who we are:
when Gen X did punk rock, the Boomers said "Your music sucks, and we were so much better",
when Gen X and Y made Heavy Metal, the Boomers said "your music sucks and we were so much better",
When X, Y and the Millenials made hip hop, the Boomers said "Your music sucks and we were so much better",
Granted, I love the 60's musicians, and I note that many of them turned out to be sick of the way some of their "fans" behave. Don Henley made the lyric that rings true today, the despair when you see a "dead-head sticker on a Cadillac", there were quotes were Pete Townsend lambasted the way his generation fell wondering "whatever happened to that lovely hippy crap?" , let's not even go into how John Lennon said "nothing happened in the sixties, save that we all dressed up." Now, I love all three of these artists, but the point is they could look at their generation's self love with a critical eye and laugh at it.
but getting back to the main point, sorry to say, many young folk have already been told they are not special. Now, I am not saying all Boomers, indeed, I would not be surprised if many, if not most of the Boomer population here are the ones still fighting the good fight, wondering how that college friend they used to smoke grass with back in 1972 turned into a fucking republican. But the young know that their job prospects are slim, and that they are part of the cycle where America, for all it's supposed youth worship, started eating it's young. Hell, the Millennials know that by the time they hit their 40's, half the decent cities in the world will be flooded.
I am not saying that people are wrong for trying to deprogram kids from BS, but please, do not think it is enough to scoop out the BS and leave the hole empty for something else to crawl in. If people are starving, they will eat garbage, and no, they won't care if it is organic.
To quote one of the better lyricists among the Boomers:
"these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through."
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