What safety are you giving? Is this advice going to help? Are you wounded by the thought that maybe there are people who would like to think that there are good aspects of bad things? Does it hurt you? Do you realize that what you just said is “tough it out”? “Suck it up”? This isn’t constructive. Chill out.
And what generation?
You are attacking people, be specific. Do you mean the one you are in? The current one? And if so, which one is current? What is the application process for this generation, what are its parameters?
I don’t think that your annoyance can be so powerful that it hurts you to view some softhearted sentiment. Chill out. Remember that you are speaking to the world, whoever you are. You are addressing the universe; and there are people who will see this and have a sick feeling in their stomach because they know it’s them you’re complaining about. Yes, complaining. You are complaining. Be your own hero about it.
And what evidence do you have to back up your claims? Have you conducted research on this matter? Taken surveys? Interviews? Anything? Do you use the scenario of being found in a bookstore reading Bukowski as an anecdote or a literal event? Are you saying that if I were reading Hemingway that I would be more likely to be found? Explain yourself.
Is it easier for you to make generalizations about people in “this generation” than to weaken your argument by mentioning that obviously this does not account for everybody? Does that suggest to you, perhaps, that your argument is not quite strong enough if it cannot seem to take that blow?
“Now what did we say about generations?”
At first there is the sting of being reprimanded, and then the shame of having to be. But that’s the point. She makes me aware. I rephrase my statement, whatever it is. The bite of my point blunted by her interjection, but it reinforces the ones that will come when it’s not needed. It’s a process. She and I have been though it before.
I don’t remember what she said when she first said what we say about generations. Something smart. She explained it to me because I didn’t know; I didn’t know I had to know. I’m still young; my not knowing to know is not fatal. And she told me what we say about generations, about the ways that they don’t exist, about the ways that a “generation” is just a term used to separate people. The young people, the old people. The people who aren’t the same, and we suspect its because of how old they are.
I wonder if the person who wrote this open complaint is young, I wonder if they feel annoyed when generalizations are made about them and their generation. I wonder if they have made the connection.
“People from this generation are so impersonal. Look at you, all on your phones,” my history teacher laughs. We glance at each other. He doesn’t seem to need a response and continues his lesson, laughing to himself. It’s hard to tell if he’s being ironic or sincere. I text mum:
The mall at 3:30?
I wait for a response, impersonal as I am. Before too long there comes a reply; a plethora of thumbs up emojis appears with a soft wvop. The girl who sits across the room and wrote “free the nipple” on the wall of one of the bathroom stalls sends me a photo she found on the internet and winks at me from across the room. I wink back.
You’re so fucking sick of this generation’s mentality?
You don’t get make declarations about me and you don’t speak on my behalf. Whether you have assumed yourself part of a generation of people and attempted to observe from the inside or otherwise. You don’t get to say these things. You don’t get to pronounce a mentality, or a trait.
The variables to a person’s life are infinite, and when you declare these things you undermine all of them. You strip a person of their characteristics and individuality.
And you don’t get to do that.
(Also, don’t complain about other people on the Internet without being specific. And if it bugs you that much, avoid it, its not hurting you.)