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You young folk and your irritating ways

Millennials are those people born between 1980 and 2000 — an arbitrary block of time containing many diverse people (including most of my students!), but because we’ve got a label, we get to stereotype them. And isn’t that just a solid indictment of the whole principle of stereotyping right there, that we can do it over such a meaningless distinction?

What it’s really about, as Matt Bors explains, is providing us old people with reasons to complain about those young people, which is a way we geezers try to boost our self-esteem.

Comments

  1. Ogvorbis says

    What it’s really about, as Matt Bors explains, is providing us old people with reasons to complain about those young people, which is a way we geezers try to boost our self-esteem.

    Why, that can’t be true at all. Last night, just last night, I discussed with a mid-millennial (born 1990), politely and with complaints or boost to my self esteem, the idea that today’s music is lousy, repetitive, too commercialized and sounds weird. We also discussed, with no complaining on my part, the idea that flavoured vodka, cigars with odd flavours, and potato chips flavoured with weird, er, flavours, is wrong. Oh, he tried to disagree with me, but I explained I was not complaining, I was not trying to boost my self esteem, merely telling him what I think he should think. We also discussed, with no complaining or attempted esteem boost on my part, the so-called fashions of the day. No editorializing on my part, just explaining reality.

    And he did get off of my lawn. He was sitting on my porch, so that is off my lawn, right?

  2. Larry says

    Kids today, with their texting and their video games. Back in my day, we had Pong in two colors! On the TV. And we liked it! And phones were black, heavy, and tethered to the walls with wires, just like god intended. And you didn’t buy them at the 7-11, you leased ‘em from The Phone Company.

    Now, get off ma lawn!

  3. embertine says

    Phew, missed it by nine months! Wait, does that make me a filthy hippie instead?

  4. unbound says

    Yeah, I remember having the same distinction as part of Generation X. But just like having kids, it’s our turn now to be like our parents. Muahahahahaha.

  5. Ogvorbis says

    Damn, Larry, I remember Pong! And there was one controller with the dials at each end.

    Shit. I am odl.

  6. shawnthesheep says

    I was born in 1976 and feel so left out. Won’t anyone think to stereotype me?

  7. pschoeckel says

    Pong bah. I wanted Odyssey when it came out, but we couldn’t afford it.

  8. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Pull up your pants, turn down your “music”, look at me when I’m talking to you, get a job, respect your elders, get off my lawn… after you mow it, learn your history and please, please, get your face out of your phone when you are walking around in public.

    /oldman

  9. Ogvorbis says

    /oldman

    No. No oldman there. That is the Way Things Are and if the damn kids don’t do things teh Way Things Are it is our duty as old men to correct them.

  10. remyporter says

    I have resolved to never complain about those younger than me. Between that and not owning a property with a lawn, I hope to live forever.

  11. dukeofomnium says

    Odyssey?! When I was a kid, a video game meant that we drew monsters in the dirt with sticks, then rubbed them out with our feet. You kids today, with your IPods and polka music your indoor plumbing!

  12. unbound says

    @Ogvorbis – “When you grow up, your heart dies.” – The Breakfast Club

    :-)

  13. Ogvorbis says

    dukeofomnium:

    Yeah? Well, when I was a kid, we had to make do with paper, pencils, and some dice. And three thin paperback books that came in a white box.

  14. pschoeckel says

    And we walked 10 miles to school, through 5 feet of snow, uphill, both ways!

  15. Dauphni says

    It’s just like this ancient Greek quote of nebulous attribution said:

    The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they alone knew everything and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for girls, they are forward, immodest and unwomanly in speech, behaviour and dress.

  16. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I was born in 1986 and I’m already complaining about those younger than me. Hm.

    turn down your “music”

    Without any judgements about music or “music”… turn that fucking music down, if I can hear it from across half a tram full of chatty people, then you’re definitely destroying your hearing.

  17. Ogvorbis says

    Without any judgements about music or “music”… turn that fucking music down, if I can hear it from across half a tram full of chatty people, then you’re definitely destroying your hearing.

    I was born in ’66. In my day, we had the giant ‘portable’ stereos that could fill a city block with music (of course, our music was better back then). And I remember, back then, being told it would kill my hearing. I’m really careful using headphones today. But I’m still going deaf (steam locomotives).

  18. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Joe Jackson singing ‘Beat Crazy':

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXc6P9MZgfg

    Kids today – they’re all the same
    All call themselves – some crazy name
    All those drugs – they can’t be sane
    All that noise – affects their brains

    Ironically released in 1980…

    ( …and yes, it is satirical…)

  19. CaitieCat says

    Besides anything else, these pieces say to me, “I’ve never actually talked to someone born after 1983 as though they were a human being too.”

    Because I have, and they’re a pretty ordinary bunch of folk, more or less like my own Gen-X was, and the Gratingest Generation, et c., et c.. Hell, one of my best friends is under thirty. I even let her use the bathroom, what do you people want from me?

    We used to DREEEEAAM of living in a cardboard box, y’know.

    But you try and tell that to kids today, and they won’t believe you.

  20. Aliasalpha says

    I’m old enough that I had a game console before the atari 2600, it was a big metal box with 2 sliders, a coax out and a power cable. It played “video tennis” and was so primitive it didn’t keep score. It weighed about 10kg & could be used as an emergency flail+1 should you be attacked by a party of orcs and damnit it was mindblowingly fucking magical!

    Damn young people and their direct x 11 tessellation!

  21. CaitieCat says

    @22: I had that album! JJ was pretty boss, as I recall opining back at the dawn of time.

  22. consciousness razor says

    In my day, we had the giant ‘portable’ stereos that could fill a city block with music (of course, our music was better back then). And I remember, back then, being told it would kill my hearing.

    That was even before the era of absurd amounts of dynamic compression that we have now. Now, you can’t even get a little bit of a break when there are “soft” parts, because those are loud as hell too. It’s like a fucking non-stop infomercial.

  23. tbp1 says

    Some years ago I was at my 20th high-school reunion. My wife and I don’t have kids, but lots of my old high school friends do, of course. We were sitting at a table with a bunch of them, and they started complaining about their kids’ hair, clothes, taste in music, loser boy/girlfriends, lack of work ethic, the impossibility of their getting into a good college, etc, etc. etc. I said, “Jesus, are you listening to yourselves?” They had the decency to look a little chagrined. I coined the term “creeping old-fartism” then (although I imagine others have come up with it, or something like it, too), which has stood me in good stead ever since. I’m a college professor, and whenever I start thinking like this about my students I just remember that evening, and the term I invented, and it helps get me back on track.

  24. Ogvorbis says

    “creeping old-fartism”

    Wife and I call that the Dada-ist movement. I open my mouth, Dad’s words come out. You can’t explain that.

  25. consciousness razor says

    Err… here’s a good graphic of what I’m talking about, from pfft. Notice the timeline. I’ve got no idea how the goddamn millennials infiltrated the record companies so early in their careers.

  26. pHred says

    I will never *ever* turn into my parents. Not even close to funny .

    @8 shawnthesheep

    I was born in 1976 and feel so left out. Won’t anyone think to stereotype me?

    Good Dog! We have been co-opted into Generation X ! I remember being specifically told that I wasn’t in Generation X because I was too old or too young or some damn thing. When the hell did that happen. I don’t even know what I am supposed to be like. Here I have been having the wrong stereotypical behaviors! Oh No!!!

    Wait – that is actually fine. Plus, I still let people play in my lawn. (Anyone missing a pair of black flip flops, a sheaf of arrows for a 40lb bow or a book on how to draw cats ? Wow – what the heck has been going on in my lawn ?)

  27. Rey Fox says

    Funny comic, but not really angry enough in terms of how the people who write those articles were complicit in steering our economy into a ditch and then leaving it for the “millennials” (which I’m sometimes in, sometimes not depending on the definition).

  28. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    I don’t think PZ has ever forgiven me for telling him that he’s older than my parents.

    Granted, he isn’t that much older than them (17 and 18 months, respectively), but still.

  29. Louis says

    WHAT ARE YOU ALL DOING ON MAH LAWN!

    DAMN KIDS!

    Louis

    P.S. Intergenerational hatemongering? I fucking loathe it. It’s bedumbfuckknackerachingstoopidisied. I was born in ’74, so I’m suppose to be at odds with someone a mere 6 years younger than me? A 32 year old has probably identical life issues and joys that I do (all other things being equal). It’s beyond daft to create false conflict. But then we humans do that so well don’t we? After all, we’ve got religion.

  30. Steve LaBonne says

    My mother in law has a comfortable nest egg. My wife and I get by OK but have little in reserve. Our kids are just screwed (and we don’t have the resources to help them more than marginally- we have to focus on making sure they don’t have to worry about us when we’re retired.). This is a pretty typical pattern. We middle-aged and older folks should be apologizing to the “millenials” for the shit sandwich they’ve been handed. The so-called American Dream has been a very unfunny joke for quite a while now, and things are still going downhill.

  31. ButchKitties says

    Great, now I have to break up with my fella as our Gen X/Millennial eight year age divide is clearly too great to be overcome.

  32. coragyps says

    Music!?? Don’t tell me about music! Back in my day, when we wanted to steal music, we had to shoplift it at the record store! And the good stuff was in packages that were 11 inches square!!

  33. says

    I’ll give the Millenials this: as a cohort they are highly likely to reject religion, at least organize religion. Which is a start. There’s still a lot of “woo” thinking out there, but when they stop deliberately signing up for cult leaders to brain wash them by reading the same book over and over and over and OVER, it has to help.

  34. Rey Fox says

    as a cohort they are highly likely to reject religion, at least organize religion.

    Whatever “narcissism” this generation has, I think it’s a good defense against all the entities that want to decide your identity for you.

  35. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    Are many Millennials entitled snots? Yeah, probably.

    Are many Millennials grousing over not having access to the same nice things their parents had? Yes.

    Are many people of the older generations reacting by being shits about it, going on about entitled snots demanding things without work while pulling up the the ladders? Yes, yes, yes.

  36. doublereed says

    Eh. I’ve taken to trashing the older generation, so it all works out. It’s like they though the 1960s was the end of social justice. Complacent, lazy bastards :-p

  37. ChasCPeterson says

    Have to laugh at you people that think the Atari is a symbol of Ye Olden Tymes. Why, I remember growing up with (where are my teeth?) only 3 TV channels, in black & white.
    Of course a lot of this is the eternal perennial grousing of elders about youngers. But as the parent of a late millenial and the teacher of the early ones, I think there really are some major diferences between this generation and all that came before. Specifically, the phone thing. And, omg, autotuned ‘singing’. No excuse for that crap. Drum machines, ditto.

    Now get the fuck off my lawn out of my organic vegetable garden!

  38. peptron says

    There is one way in which Millenials are a superior to past generations (except maybe past, past generations):
    THEY DON’T SMOKE! (At least where I live they don’t.)

  39. bbgunn says

    Video games? We played with Etch-a-Sketches, Wooly Willie and Harriet Hair-do (magnetic shavings) games before our parents kicked us out of the house to “go play outside.” The only battery-powered ‘toy’ was a flashlight that we used to play Searchlight Tag at night while the parental units tried to squeeze in a quick session of mattress mambo.

  40. Onamission5 says

    I’m so disappointed that nobody bags on GenX anymore. Hey, Millenials, we want our negative attention back!

  41. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    What i was a kid we didn’t have video games. I had to throw rocks at my little brother AND WE LIKED IT.

  42. says

    Beatrice:

    I was born in 1986 and I’m already complaining about those younger than me.

    I totally had an old broad moment last Sunday– we were up early (babies, there’s just no reasoning with them), so Mr A turned on VH1. As I’m watching the videos I realized that I had no fucking clue who any of the current pop stars were. Demi Lovato*? Bruno Mars? Robin Thicke? Who the hell are these people?

    I was born in 1981. I can haz my AARP card nao, plz?

    *Thanks in no small part to having an 8 month old, I’ve discovered that Demi Lovato got her start on Barney & Friends.

  43. moarscienceplz says

    OK, here’s my two old man rants:
    1. I have never met an old person who told me they were really glad they got tattoos when they were young.

    2. Anybody born after 1970 who smokes has oatmeal where their brains should be.

    Also, get off my lawn.

  44. Rip Steakface says

    *Thanks in no small part to having an 8 month old, I’ve discovered that Demi Lovato got her start on Barney & Friends.

    I’m 18 and I don’t know that. What gives?

    I am a little sick of my generation being stereotyped as entitled. Yes, we’re entitled – we’re told from fucking birth that if you work hard, get good grades and go to college, there will be a decent job that will support you on the other side. Turns out there’s jack shit, because certain old people decided “eh, fuck the future,” and wrecked the economy and made education impossibly expensive.

  45. Rip Steakface says

    By the way, I think being born in 1995 makes me officially the youngest person in this thread so far. Fantastic.

  46. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    ShawntheSheep,
    Me too! I thought we were Generation Xers?

    The funny thing is, I just had a conversation with one of my daughter’s friends and I told her that I think their generation is so much more aware and socially evolved than mine was at their age. It is hard to keep them ignorant with the internet at their fingertips. It is difficult to teach them bigotry if you can’t keep them isolated. These kids coming up show so much promise and they’ll need it. The society and economy we’re passing on to them is going to give them plenty to fight for.

  47. says

    CNN has a shit mobile site that displays the headline andnnothing else so I have no idea what you kids are talking about.
    :-(

  48. says

    Rip:

    I’m 18 and I don’t know that. What gives?

    Yeah, but how much Barney do you watch?

    Yes, we’re entitled – we’re told from fucking birth that if you work hard, get good grades and go to college, there will be a decent job that will support you on the other side. Turns out there’s jack shit, because certain old people decided “eh, fuck the future,” and wrecked the economy and made education impossibly expensive.

    That’s it right there. My parents (both 60) graduated from college with ZERO loans (Dad from a private college and Mom from a state university) and THIS WAS NOT AN UNUSUAL SITUATION. But to hear people of their age* push every goddamned high school student into a “college track” just sickens me. Even if they can get a decent job (and that’s a huge “if”), how are they supposed to ever pay back those loans?

    *Thank goodness my parents don’t do this.

  49. says

    Listen you kids, my generation was totally the worst. Everyone did tons of drugs. Half the crazy crap we smoked/shot/snorted/swallowed was even legal. We did not respect our elders. We had high crime rates. Nothing like it is now! When we were pissed off, we rioted. A lot! Look it up, it’s on Wikipedia! Our music was so awful that no one can listen to it now without cracking up. We watched TV shows like Happy Days. We actually took Fonzie seriously when he jumped over a shark. We thought Roots was non-fiction. We were incredibly stupid. Littering and kiddie porn were actually legal! We implemented the 55 mile per hour speed limit. We insisted that no one would ever want to drive a little Japanese car. We bought pet rocks. We invented the Happy Face and Scientology. We sunbathed. We forced ourselves to smoke because we thought it was cool.

    It just cracks me up when people my age complain about kids today. Way to go kids, you rock!

  50. Ogvorbis says

    we used to play Searchlight Tag at night while the parental units tried to squeeze in a quick session of mattress mambo.

    Oh. Damn. Now that makes sense.

    Yes, I can be slow.

  51. dean says

    And we walked 10 miles to school, through 5 feet of snow, uphill, both ways!

    As did I, to a one of the last one-room schools in my hometown’s district (K through 6th grade, mid 1960s). It was not as wonderful as many people attempt to make it.

  52. moarscienceplz says

    ChristineRose, for the record I always thought Happy Days (and the Brady Bunch, and Charlie’s Angels) was lukewarm pabulum, and you would have had to pay ME to take a Pet Rock (Mood ring was a different story, but hey, it’s Science!).

  53. thunk: Ex ludo, scientia says

    Rip Steakface:

    By the way, I think being born in 1995 makes me officially the youngest person in this thread so far. Fantastic.

    Nope! 1996 for me.

    Anyway, I do hear a lot of that ageist shite; usually in the form of the scary Teenagers who are always hooligans, unruly, wear horrid fashions, etc etc. I’m pretty sure a lot of the constant generation-bashing from time immemorial is quite relayed to that.

    Economic woes are a major reality for people my age. what a shame that leftism has been squelched to that point.

  54. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    The student-loan thing especially gets me.

    As of right now, 6 years out of undergraduate (and preparing to go back, but that’s a different thing) I have $17,000 in debt.

    Here is where I’m lucky:

    (1) I only have $17,000 in debt.
    (2) The interest rate is only 3.6%.

    Seriously. I am lucky. Because my parents helped me out with tuition (they paid about half of it out of pocket) and also co-signed on my loans, which got me a nice discount on my interest rate due to their good credit.

    That tuition I mentioned? Even before textbooks and supplies, tuition, room, and board cost $160,000. That is a fucking absurd amount of money.

  55. Rip Steakface says

    @56

    Sounds like you’re a Boomer. I’m sorry.
    (meant with extreme jest, of course)

    Yeah, but how much Barney do you watch?

    Ask my parents – it was my favorite show ever until I was about 5 years old, maybe a little more or less (I don’t remember when I decided Barney was dumb). My first of those damnable vidya games was a Barney video game. Yeah, it probably sucked, but I was 2. I had no standards.

    That’s it right there. My parents (both 60) graduated from college with ZERO loans (Dad from a private college and Mom from a state university) and THIS WAS NOT AN UNUSUAL SITUATION. But to hear people of their age* push every goddamned high school student into a “college track” just sickens me. Even if they can get a decent job (and that’s a huge “if”), how are they supposed to ever pay back those loans?

    I have one good fortune: I live in WA, and we have something called Running Start that allowed me to get my Associate’s degree at the same time I graduated high school (two graduations in a week, talk about an interesting time in my life… less than a month ago).

    The state paid for it (imagine that!) and I have no outstanding loans. It’s very nice, in that respect, but an Associate’s degree is a dime a dozen these days, so I will have to get in with those dirty student loans to get a Bachelor’s (I would like to major in computer science – I like working with computers and I’m decent with math, so it’s not a pure greed move).

  56. chigau (違う) says

    I’m getting ads for something called Venture Academy.
    They offer to help with your “troubled teen”.
    Just sayin’.

    After visiting their website, I must say that the “programs” they offer are very creepy.

  57. says

    In the Analects, Confucius, who seems to have been a lovable old coot, grouses about the poor quality of contemporary music. “Nothing new under the sun” and all that.

  58. consciousness razor says

    But as the parent of a late millenial and the teacher of the early ones, I think there really are some major diferences between this generation and all that came before. Specifically, the phone thing.

    Uh… what thing? It can’t just be having phones.

    And, omg, autotuned ‘singing’. No excuse for that crap.

    Assuming you really are being somewhat serious, this is misdirected. It’s a tool. No excuses needed. It can be used to make crap. Other things can also be used to make crap.

    Drum machines, ditto.

    Consider me confused yet again. Which generation? And do you mean that electronic music in general is… uh, inexcusable crap, I guess… or is there really something special about “drum machines”? And if you’re just going to have them play like Ringo or whomever anyway, what’s better about boring a real drummer to death with the part?

  59. Dauphni says

    I have to agree, the only thing that’s quantifiably worse about the current generation’s music is the effect of the loudness war, which lies squarely on the shoulders on elements of the older generation, specifically lazy marketing execs. All the other differences are style.

    And besides, there is plenty of good music being made now, it’s just a little more under the radar, as it always has been.

  60. says

    Rip:

    The state paid for it (imagine that!) and I have no outstanding loans.

    The “no tuition” thing is how a lot of state universities used to be run. The State University of New York had free tuition for all in-state students. Had. Now, I think most of the SUNY schools are ~$15000 per year.

    A steal, if you can afford it.

  61. says

    Are many Millennials entitled snots? Yeah, probably.

    So were (and are) the boomers though.

    I think my favorite part of the various idiotic stereotypes is that jackassery about ‘festooned in trophies’. I got 3 trophies over the course of my life. Two were more or less participating in softball (One of THOSE was because our team was really good, but I didn’t have shit to do with that), and one of them was placing in a martial arts tournament. Yet I was buried in trophies growing up? Would it really have been so bad to have given me some god damned positive reinforcement like they say, also?

    It also irritated me that the article didn’t stick as much on the boomers themselves. They have some responsibility for getting suckered by racism and selfish individualism into destroying huge swaths of the Great Society, even if the rich orchestrated it.

  62. says

    And we walked 10 miles to school, through 5 feet of snow, uphill, both ways!

    …on barbed wire shoes, AND WE LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

    Tsk tsk tsk, Amateur Hour :D :D :D

    I was born in 1986 and I’m already complaining about those younger than me.

    It’s cool. I don’t understand the tumblrs. Or I guess, tumblrz.

    Seriously though, fight it!

  63. Rey Fox says

    I have never met an old person who told me they were really glad they got tattoos when they were young.

    I suspect you haven’t met enough old folks then.

  64. Loqi says

    My corporate overlords keep having info sessions about how to reach millenials. It’s such a load of shit. “What do millenials want from their health insurance?” – the same thing everyone else wants. Not to have to worry about it. But no, they somehow reached conclusions such as “they want their insurance to be technologically advanced.” What does that even mean? They want nanoinsurance? They want their insurance to cover their cybernetic implants?
    Rather than dump however many thousands of dollars into market research, they could have just asked me (’86) or any of the other third of the web team who were born after 1980. I’d have set them straight, and expanded their bad words vocabulary to boot.

  65. jojo says

    I’m a Gen Xer and I work in a large office with a ton of Boomers and a growing population of Millennials. The main difference I see between the two groups in the office is the way they relate to other people. The boomers, most of which of are white men, joke and tease all the time. That’s just how they relate to one another. But, for anyone who isn’t a white, male, manager, it’s very alienating. The Millennials – who are a very diverse group – don’t tease much and their jokes don’t punch down. They relate by actually trying to connect with the people they work with. It’s been a very positive change in my work environment over the past decade.

  66. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    What it’s really about, as Matt Bors explains, is providing us old people with reasons to complain about those young people, which is a way we geezers try to boost our self-esteem.

    We noticed.

  67. jojo says

    *Dusts off MBA*

    Loqi,

    “What do millenials want from their health insurance?”

    Let me translate that for you. What they really mean is “How can we make these nobodies happy without actually paying for insurance coverage?”

  68. yazikus says

    What does that even mean? They want nanoinsurance?

    That made me snort kind of loudly. Now my corporate overlords are going to wonder what I’m doing.

    It’s interesting seeing how old people are- I assumed older for many! I don’t really identify well with my peer group, due to extenuating circumstances growing up that most do not share. I used to feel kind of bitter about those happy care free college going twenty somethings, whose parents took care of everything for them, and life would just work out for them. Then I discovered that I was working in the same jobs as they, except I had no student loans. So I was actually much better off (in the short term, obvs.). But in this economy I see so many degreed people coming in applying for jobs that we normally offer to high school kids (temp work essentially), I wonder if it worked out well for me after all. I’m actually going to start college in the fall (I’m pretty sure my adviser was quiet a bit younger than me)… So I guess I’ll see where that goes.

  69. Loqi says

    And, apparently, added extraneous commas to their sentences…

    I’ll side with the old folks about popular music, though. Most of it is crap. Of course, most of the popular music from any given time period is crap, so that’s not a particularly insightful observation.

  70. Skip White says

    Given that I’ve lived in the same townhouse development for most of my life (now renting the house from my parents, who live elsewhere), I feel like I’m one of the “old folks” in the neighborhood, even though I’m 31. Hell, I even yell at cars to slow down when I’m out walking my dog. I, too, already complain about the younger kids today with their better cars and phones and not being tired after working all day.

  71. says

    Why, I remember growing up with (where are my teeth?) only 3 TV channels, in black & white.

    so do I, and I am a millennial.
    of course, I then went directly from that b/w 3-channel TV to having a computer; with a black/green screen and 5 1/4 in floppy disk drive.

  72. unclefrogy says

    too many years ago to count them now (I feel old just thinking about it) when my son was in High school and was not at home at the time. A small group of his friends came knocking at my door looking for him. Before I opened the door I looked through the window in the door and felt a rush of apprehension the spiky yellow hair what kind of “desperadoes” were these kidds. Then like a photo-flash going off in a dark room I thought of my Mother and her probable reaction to my “Hippy friends” and the thought “what goes around comes around” then I took a deep breath and opened the door and told them he was not here at the time.
    a very shocking experience!

    uncle frogy

  73. Tethys says

    Of course, most of the popular music from any given time period is crap, so that’s not a particularly insightful observation.

    Nuh, uh! My generation has the most awesome music. a small sample includes

    the beatles
    rolling stones
    bob dylan
    pink floyd
    steely dan
    the eagles
    simon and garfunkle
    bob marley
    etc…..

    The 60’s and early 70’s were a wonderful time for music.

  74. Don Quijote says

    Born in 1949 and I feel sorry for younger people today. Parents here in Spain are still pushing their kids to get a university education while experienced people with degrees are losing their jobs hand over fist. Many of my friends are seeking work in other countries especially Germany and Switzerland.

    I,m only mentioning this to say how lucky I feel that my g-g-g-generation were mostly sorted before the shit hit the fan. Mind you, modern technology has to be explained to me by my friends kids. They are still trying to convince me that there aren’t little men somewhere in my computer.

  75. Loqi says

    with a black/green screen and 5 1/4 in floppy disk drive.

    I change my text editors to be green text on a black background rather than black on white. The black background is because it’s less strain on my eyes, and the green text is for the nostalgia :P

  76. Rey Fox says

    The 60′s and early 70′s were a wonderful time for music.

    But how many of those artists you listened to truly got their due at the time? The best stuff from every generation tends to endure, but in the moment it tends to be swamped by disposable popular stuff. Steely Dan never had a #1 hit in the US, but Stars on 45 did.

    And really, the Eagles?

  77. ChasCPeterson says

    oh hi cr @#65. I see you’ve chosen to use my light-hearted comment as something to argue with for some reason. But OK, I’ll play; why not?

    the phone thing.

    Uh… what thing? It can’t just be having phones.

    Right you are (my father has a cell phone; he’s 82). So did you read the linked cartoon? ee where it sez “always with the phone”? That’s the thing. It’s the always having to be staring at the little screen while thumbing away the thing, even while walking down the sidewalk, watching a movie, having a f2f conversation, atending a lecture, taking a piss, eating a meal, or doing anything else. When I walk across campus in decent weather at least 70% of the students I see are thumbing away, paying little or no attention to the non-electronic world around them. I’ve taken to just standing there and letting them plow into me.
    I can assure you that nothing like this phenomenon has ever happened before.

    autotuned ‘singing’. No excuse for that crap.

    this is misdirected. It’s a tool. No excuses needed. It can be used to make crap. Other things can also be used to make crap.

    But see eevry single instance of autotuned singing I’ve ever heard has been crap (i, of course, mo). If it can be used to make something other than crap, it hasn’t reached my ears. In fact, it makes stuf that might otherwise me marginally noncrap into purest crap (imo).
    But this is a personal preference of course. I prefer music that sounds like it was made by sincere, talented people instead of electronically programmed robots. Just me?

    Drum machines, ditto.

    Consider me confused yet again.

    oh, I do, don’t worry.

    Which generation?

    lol. All of them. Yes, even the slickly produced Hall & Oates smash-hit you picked as your exemplar would have been somewhat less annoying with a human drummer. (somewhat)

    And do you mean that electronic music in general is… uh, inexcusable crap, I guess… or is there really something special about “drum machines”?

    B. I have nothing against electronic instruments per se.
    For example, check out this guy. See, he’s playing electronic drum sounds, but the point is he’s playing them. He can (and does) listen to his bandmates and react in an organic, human, musical way.
    What I object to is pre-programmed robot ‘music’. But that’s just me, maybe.*shrug*

    And if you’re just going to have them play like Ringo or whomever anyway, what’s better about boring a real drummer to death with the part?

    a) right, my idea of a great drummer is Ringo Starr. *eyeroll*
    b) Nevertheless I’d rather hear Ringo than somebody’s robot program instead, every time.
    c) whomever?
    d) drummers never get bored if the groove is solid. Never.

  78. says

    1. I have never met an old person who told me they were really glad they got tattoos when they were young.

    really? you don’t know any old people who are happy with their tattoos? how odd.

  79. ChasCPeterson says

    nothing like complaining about 15-year-old musical trends popularized by 1960s pop singers.

    It was invented in 1997; you don’t get much more millenial than that. And so what if Cher used it first. The point is it’s now nearly ubiquitous in popular music, even in live concert situations from what I understand. I do know that when my neighbor has her radio station playing outside, it’s all I hear, every ‘tune’. And it sounds like robot shit.
    Further, I reserve the right to complain about whatever I want to. I am expressing opinions, which almost by definition differ. So fuck off.

  80. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    An ill-developed thought on sexiness and hardcore extremeness in the boomer and millennial generations respectively by a GenXer with lots of coffeehouse work experience, a bad tatoo which I do not regret*, and a fuckton of student loans to finish paying off:
     

    Fellow GenXers. The boomers will always be sexier than us. That’s always been their plan, to be sexier than their children. They invented cialis and viagra and shit for that very purpose. GenX will grow old beside them; a generation who’s sexiness was easily eclipsed by the sexiness of their parent’s generation. Seriously. I believe what I see on TV and in the movies. Boomer couples are always, like, relaxing in tubs incongruously out-of-doors watching the sunset, not at all worried if the right moment has passed them by; with the appropriate vasodilator, every moment could be the right moment. It’s really up to them. There’s still a tiger in the tank. And they do their own stunts as well. Why won’t they just settle down and be square like us, their 40 year old children? I’ll never beat my own dad at basketball, as it turns out, and he knew that from the beginning.
     
    The millenials will always be sexier than us for like, obvious reasons. If I had to make some kind of sweeping generation about the millennials**, they seem to be in really, really good shape and kind of fierce and fearless. Always doing parkour and shit. Mixed martial arts. For the love of Jesus, they joust. On real horses with real armor and whatnot. Nearly all of them can easily do backflips and they do so fearlessly from dangerously tall structures. They are extreme and hardcore and impervious. Just one of the energy drinks that they slurp down casually trying to stay awake in my very boring lecture would make my head and heart asplode.
     
    I just hope that the millennials and the boomers never join forces to eradicate GenX.
     
    *Biker bar. At least it didn’t cost much.
    **And there is a man here with a gun to my head demanding it, so here goes.

  81. sbuh says

    I’m a Millenial now? I thought I was Generation Y. I can’t keep this stuff straight.

  82. says

    But as the parent of a late millenial and the teacher of the early ones, I think there really are some major diferences between this generation and all that came before. Specifically, the phone thing.

    I don’t have a phone.
    aside from that though, yeah, the millenials are the first “net-generation”. I think it’s reasonable to expect people who’ve had internet access for the entirety of their adult lives* (and the younger millenials even for the entirety of their lives, full stop) to end up being different than people who became adults entirely in meatspace.

    – – – – – – – – – – –
    *standard caveats for extreme poverty, remoteness, and/or non-westernness; but then, i think the “generations” thing is mostly an US thing anyway

  83. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    And really, the Eagles?

    Man, c’mon. I had a rough night, and I hate the eagles, man.

  84. says

    It is actually true that the 60s and 70s were good for music, afaict. It’s not a matter of listing famous people, but of the sheer increase in new tools for editting music, combined with a bunch of primarily unestablished nobodies who had spent a lot of time with New Jazz, Conventional Jazz, and Blues…. It was certainly better for music than the generation preceding it, since Rock was primarily the sanitized death throes of Swing and dominated to such a hilarious degree that it’s not funny.

    I mean, I wouldn’t trade Coheed and Cambria or The Protomen for The Beatles any day of the week, and I’d by no means say the Oughties sucked… and I surely wouldn’t countenance ‘the music of young people is all dreck while the 60s and 70s were all amazing’, but there were some actually serious improvements that helped back in the day, that we’ve just grown used to having. I suspect that with hindsight, we’re going to see interesting and helpful things in this era of music as well (I will eat a hat that is not my frilly witch hat if digital distribution hasn’t ended up a net good for music, even if it might smack the audience sometimes)

  85. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I too find the auto-tuning that I’ve heard to be nothing more than a “tool” to put lipstick on a pig.

    Garish second rate off color lipstick with the stench of rotting groundhogs.

  86. Louis says

    Fuck. I’m going to agree with Chas. This hurts me. It probably hurts him too.

    Autotune can kiss my taint. You can’t polish a turd*, and rolling a turd in glitter just gets you a glittery turd. There are some awesomely talented young musicians out there, autotuned pap is damaging them, not me.

    Louis

    * IIRC you actually can, I am sure someone will provide the link and claim it as some massive “gotcha”.

  87. says

    I think my favorite part of the various idiotic stereotypes is that jackassery about ‘festooned in trophies’.

    the only trophies i got were for shit i actually won. but then, i don’t thing Germany ever did the “trophies for participation” thing, ever, at all.

    “What do millenials want from their health insurance?”

    how about for it to actually exist, and be affordable with the sort of jobs we are able to get? inane question.

    “they want their insurance to be technologically advanced.”

    if that means “be able to pay and check things online”, yes that would be nice. but not as nice as being actually able to afford any insurance at all. just sayin’.

    I, too, already complain about the younger kids today with their better cars and phones and not being tired after working all day.

    where the fuck do you live that you know people in their 20’s who aren’t working hard enough to be exhausted afterwards? (most ppl in their 20’s that i know have 2 jobs; exceptions include young parents and students, who generally have one job; those without jobs are so generally b/c they can’t find one)

    It’s the always having to be staring at the little screen while thumbing away the thing, even while walking down the sidewalk, watching a movie, having a f2f conversation, atending a lecture, taking a piss, eating a meal, or doing anything else.

    that’s my boyfriend; who’s GenX. it’s all their fault, not ours :-p
    OTOH, when I was in high-school (before the ubiquity of cell-phones) I did exactly that with a book (of the dead-tree kind); even plowed into people a few times.

    c) whomever?

    seconded. “whom” is for objects, not just a fancy variant of “who”. please don’t use it if you’re not sure how, English functions quite well without it. [/sudden onset old-fart-itis]

    I’m a Millenial now? I thought I was Generation Y.

    same thing. the old people are so confused by us, they can’t even figure out how to label us; so we’re gen Y, millennials, or net-gen, depending on who you ask :-p

  88. says

    Which is all fine but I think it’s pretty obvious the “clandestine pitch correction” isn’t what we are talking about.

    Entirely irrelevant to treating autotuning as an unfettered downside to music. The link also contains a pretty decent defense of it as you were thinking of it, also.

    the only trophies i got were for shit i actually won. but then, i don’t thing Germany ever did the “trophies for participation” thing, ever, at all.

    I don’t see anything inherently wrong with trophies for participation to start with! It’s positive reinforcement, which is generally helpful.

  89. morgan says

    Welllllll, I was born in 1949 and I remember when we got our first TV. Miraculous! And you kids can hang out on my lawn any time you like as long as you are smart enough not to smoke.

  90. jojo says

    I just hope that the millennials and the boomers never join forces to eradicate GenX.

    I’ve thought about that too. I just try to blame everything on the Boomers and hope the Millenials stay focused on them. One thing that Gen X is good at is staying under the radar.

  91. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    Autotune can be used artistically if your goal is to produce synth-heavy inhuman noises.

    However, for just about any other purpose (other than pitch correction), it is all-to-frequently used for crap purposes.

  92. says

    The problem I have with pitch correction and all of the other micro-fixing tools that are now available – each and every one of which is seriously cool – is that by polishing all the imperfections off, we are making music that no longer has much human quality.
     
    Just in the case of pitch correction, you listen to the best harmony singing groups of the 1960s, say, and you can hear the individuals adjusting to be in tune with each other, from moment to moment. Now three voices go straight to the perfect pitches and stay there, solid as a computerized rock.
     
    Kind of reminds me of the early days of the CGI boom in movies. Earlier effects may have looked less realistic, but early CGI managed to somehow make impossible things look commonplace and boring. CGI people seem to have figured a lot of that out though, so maybe there’s hope that this is just early days.

  93. Tethys says

    But how many of those artists you listened to truly got their due at the time? The best stuff from every generation tends to endure, but in the moment it tends to be swamped by disposable popular stuff

    All of them were, and continue to get their due to this day. I’m a little shocked myself that I can turn on a radio today, and listen to the same music that came out when I was still in elementary school .

    And really, the Eagles?

    Taste is subjective, but their skill as musicians is undeniable. As Rutee points out, that time period was full of innovations in the music industry. One of the best live performances I have ever seen happens to have been by a man who was key to modern music. Miserlu live with the musician 2 feet away was teh awesome. Dick Dale.

    He worked closely with Fender to produce custom made amplifiers, including the first-ever 100-watt guitar amplifier. He pushed the limits of electric amplification technology, helping to develop new equipment that was capable of producing distorted, “thick, clearly defined tones” at “previously undreamed-of volumes.” The “breakneck speed of his single-note staccato picking technique” as well as his showmanship with the guitar is considered a precursor to heavy metal music, influencing guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen.

    Artists had much more control over their music, and we were in the midst of a social revolution.

    It was a golden time, and it produced an amazing amount of art. Auto-tuned vocals? Yeah, they’re crap.

    *On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair* :-P

  94. says

    The problem I have with pitch correction and all of the other micro-fixing tools that are now available – each and every one of which is seriously cool – is that by polishing all the imperfections off, we are making music that no longer has much human quality.

    I would say that until we meet another sophisticated, tool-using race, ‘technology’ is an eminently human quality.

    And I dunno, I’ve been pretty happy with autotuning. Even parody can sound interesting, like the arcade zombie in Lollipop Chainsaw who’s supposed to be a parody of rap and is autotuned to hell and back.

  95. David Marjanović says

    *THREE* channels?!

    Luxury!

    Germany, not luxury. Germany had 3 TV channels (the 3rd was different in different regions, though). Austria had 2.

    really? you don’t know any old people who are happy with their tattoos? how odd.

    I suspect what’s going on is my situation: in meatspace, I don’t know any old people with tattoos at all.

    but then, i think the “generations” thing is mostly an US thing anyway

    Hah! You’ve been away for too long! The rest of the West does it too.

    when I was in high-school (before the ubiquity of cell-phones) I did exactly that with a book (of the dead-tree kind); even plowed into people a few times.

    :-) I collided with traffic signs!

    seconded. “whom” is for objects, not just a fancy variant of “who”. please don’t use it if you’re not sure how, English functions quite well without it. [/sudden onset old-fart-itis]

    Not-at-all sudden onset of the fact that you natively speak two languages that not merely have a robust distinction between “who” and “whom”, but distinguish several kinds of “whom”.

  96. otrame says

    Have to laugh at you people that think the Atari is a symbol of Ye Olden Tymes. Why, I remember growing up with (where are my teeth?) only 3 TV channels, in black & white.

    And one of the stations was far enough from where I lived that you could only see it well at night.

    I enjoy telling my grandkids that I was an adult when Pong was invented. Of course, then I have to tell them what Pong was.

    As for music today, I rather like some of it. Lupe Fiasco, Eminem, some of the others. I’ve liked some of the music available since Elvis Presley was still singing rock, though to be sure, some eras more than others. Used to irritate my kids no end. “No, Mother, you are not supposed to LIKE this stuff. You are taking all the fun out of it.”

    What I’ve seen several times over is a new style comes out that is creative as hell and there is a spate of interesting-if-not-always-successful experimenting down and dirty in the clubs and what makes it to the top is pretty damned good and the pioneers make a little money . And then the money men come in and build groups that sing castrated songs that are designed to be not-too-offensive so the kids can let their parents hear it but offensive enough for the kids to enjoy the turn-that-noise-down attention they get. As Paul Simon said, “The Music suffers; the music business thrives”. And then there is a period of inconsistent length where there isn’t anything interesting going on and then a new style will pop up and on we go.

    I think I was about 25 the time I first read an essay by Mark Twain that contained all the “kids these days are lazy, disrespectful, and don’t know how lucky they are” memes so popular with every one. I was about 45 when I read a translation of a cuneiform tablet that said pretty much the same thing. Some things really don’t change much.

  97. CaitieCat says

    While riding my ten-speed as a teenager, I was reading the Battle of Helm’s Deep (I could ride no-hands more easily than with, really, because it hurt my back to lean over) when I rode unbraked into the back of a parked car. I flipped off the book in the usual Supergirl pose, before face-planting into the small window at the back of an AMC Hornet (which should place that in time for a few people). Being 16, I was quite happy to pick myself up, get back on the bike, and start reading again. Also, riding.

    Also also, I have three tattoos, got my first at 38, am now nearly 47, still loving them, would happily get more. My ex is seven years older, and she’s got five tats, and loves them all. In fact, we have nearly-matching nine-inch diameter tats on our lower backs, which we got as an ‘engagement’ pledge. Even with that history (given she’s my ex, though like many dykes, still my dear friend also), I still love my ink. :)

  98. says

    When I was in junior high school our band teacher was a former studio musician, and he used to regale us with tales of how the music industry made the untalented into stars. They’d have the target sing the song 20 or so times, and mix it until it sounded better. The really untalented would stand in echo chambers, if it that still didn’t work, they get a background singer to sing the vocals and mix that in, upping the mix for the real singer for the tricky bits and the star for the easy bits.

    Then there’s Milli Vanelli. They weren’t even unique. The mixed results had a different vibe to them than does autotune, but they felt just and fake and constructed to me. I hated it for the same reason myeck waters hates autotune–the performer is gone. But if anything I think autotune is an improvement because it at least has more versatility. All those mixed construct vocals sound exactly alike to me. And the same technology that gave us autotune also gave us indie bands making high quality mp3s in their garages.

  99. Nes says

    Am I the only one who finds it weird to be lumped in to the same generation as someone who was born the year I graduated (2000) and who would currently be less than half my age?

  100. lpetrich says

    As to elders complaining about young ones long ago, a lot of the quotes that you see floating around don’t seem to have sources. However, I did find a sourced one:

    I would there were no age between ten and three and twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest; for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting…

    William Shakespeare: the shepherd in “The Winter’s Tale” (1623)

  101. says

    Nes:

    Am I the only one who finds it weird to be lumped in to the same generation as someone who was born the year I graduated (2000) and who would currently be less than half my age?

    I was thinking the exact opposite: One of my facebook friends mentioned that he was born two years before I was, making him the tail end of Gen X. Am I supposed to have nothing in common with him?

  102. Rey Fox says

    I’m a child of boomers, which I figure was the original definition of Generation X.

  103. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Before autotune, it was really, really hard to sound like an android.

  104. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I am a little sick of my generation being stereotyped as entitled. Yes, we’re entitled – we’re told from fucking birth that if you work hard, get good grades and go to college, there will be a decent job that will support you on the other side. Turns out there’s jack shit, because certain old people decided “eh, fuck the future,” and wreckedplundered and sunk the economy and made education impossibly expensive.

    FIFY.

  105. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Nuh, uh! My generation has the most awesome music. a small sample includes

    the beatles
    rolling stones
    bob dylan
    pink floyd
    steely dan
    the eagles
    simon and garfunkle
    bob marley
    etc…..

    …go on about 3 times that long and it’ll be all anyone remembers.

    The 60′s and early 70′s were a wonderful time for music.

    Nah, they were just technologically advanced enough that the barrier to entry had dropped a bit, but long enough ago that most of the turds were forgotten and the rest have been obsessively polished with nostalgia.

  106. says

    Nah, they were just technologically advanced enough that the barrier to entry had dropped a bit, but long enough ago that most of the turds were forgotten and the rest have been obsessively polished with nostalgia.

    …No, seriously, that’s accurate. It’s seriously not about famous names. Don’t get me wrong, there was still mountains of crap, but there actually was a flourishing as a lot of new kinds of music re-entered the fore, especially in comparison to before. It was kind of like the 30s (Which I guaran-damn-tee you is not nostalgia on my part), but much, MUCH more accessible to the general public.

    Mind, it’s not like the oughties, at least, have lead to absolutely no advances in the field of music, just… there is actually basis to say the 60s and 70s were good to music, and that basis is not tinted in sepia.

  107. says

    I’m always a little bemused when serious conversations on human “generations” take place among people who’d rightly scoff at people ascribing traits to Sagittarians or people born in the Year Of The Rat.

    We’re not cicadas.

    Also, I was born in 1960 and I think rock and roll sucks. It might not have back in the day, but what was back in the day touted as the music of rebellion is now the music of reaction.

  108. Tethys says

    Nah, they were just technologically advanced enough that the barrier to entry had dropped a bit, but long enough ago that most of the turds were forgotten and the rest have been obsessively polished with nostalgia.

    I don’t care for the Rolling Stones or Bob Dylan and yet there they are on the top of the list.
    Out of the top 100, only 25 albums do not date from the 60’s and 70’s. And again, taste is subjective.

    Top 100 from ‘Guinness All Time Top 1000 Albums’

  109. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Eh, if you think the millenials are worrying, you should meet my four-year-old. By the time she’s 21 she’ll be running the world, and it’ll be on her terms! Laser-armed sharks may be involved. ;-)

    cr:

    And do you mean that electronic music in general is… uh, inexcusable crap, I guess… or is there really something special about “drum machines”?

    To me, no and yes, respectively! You can make them (and samplers) make tracks like Photek — UFO.

  110. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    I don’t care for the Rolling Stones or Bob Dylan

    Would it help if Jimi did Dylan, ‘a little thing like a rolling stone’?

  111. Ichthyic says

    Laser-armed sharks may be involved.

    how passe.

    surely she’ll be upgrading to plasma?

  112. consciousness razor says

    I see you’ve chosen to use my light-hearted comment as something to argue with for some reason.

    Yes I have, because light-hearted or not, you seem to believe what you’re saying.

    So did you read the linked cartoon? ee where it sez “always with the phone”? That’s the thing. It’s the always having to be staring at the little screen while thumbing away the thing, even while walking down the sidewalk, watching a movie, having a f2f conversation, atending a lecture, taking a piss, eating a meal, or doing anything else.

    This is a thing about millennials, instead of, say, most people of whatever generation who can afford it nowadays?

    lol. All of them.

    So you’re not actually talking about the millennial generation (as if that were really a meaningful grouping anyway), but how the culture has changed in general. It’s more about the setting, not so much the characters in it. And just like everyone else, they obviously didn’t make the situation they started out in. Seeing as they’re the youngest adult group now, they’re probably the least responsible for any given part of it.

    a) right, my idea of a great drummer is Ringo Starr. *eyeroll*

    That doesn’t need to be your idea. If we’re going to play this game, it’s not a fair comparison if you pick a great drummer from some other generation in Ye Olden Tymes, since musically you’re not just changing the implementation of it (a live drummer as opposed to a program) but significantly changing the content and its function as well.

    c) whomever?

    Yes? Like Ringo or like him/her/them, not like Ringo or like he/she/they. Maybe it’s bad grammar, but I don’t see why it would be.

  113. Ichthyic says

    This is a thing about millennials, instead of, say, most people of whatever generation who can afford it nowadays?

    lesee… I get on public transpo here in Wellington.

    Ages of people who are constantly texting on their cell phones (and I mean… constantly)?

    ~12-20.

    older than that, they still have them, but they rarely text and mostly just have the occasional conversation on them.

    anecdotal and all that, but consistent.

    probably more to do with simply age, than when they were born, specifically.

  114. John Morales says

    CR:

    This is a thing about millennials, instead of, say, most people of whatever generation who can afford it nowadays?

    Yup, it’s a thing for those who have grown up reliant on them since childhood.

    (Those who haven’t use it as a tool, not as a crutch)

  115. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Please insert “called” between “thing” and “like” in #123.

    how passe.

    surely she’ll be upgrading to plasma?

    *puzzled* Is there a new generation of armed-shark jokes that I’ve missed?

    Fission-plasma-channel-ablative-compression-fusion-tamper-fission-armed sharks?

  116. Tethys says

    Would it help if Jimi did Dylan, ‘a little thing like a rolling stone’?

    Yes, that is much better. I can’t stand Bob Dylans whiney nasal voice. It’s like having a mosquito in your ear.

  117. consciousness razor says

    ~12-20.
    older than that, they still have them, but they rarely text and mostly just have the occasional conversation on them.
    anecdotal and all that, but consistent.

    The range is supposed to be more like 12-32. The older ones are more like Gen-X, I guess? And if it weren’t so anecdotal, there’s supposed to be a significant difference somehow?

    Like Chris Clarke, I’m trying to find out how anyone here takes this kind of bullshit more seriously than astrology.

  118. John Morales says

    CR, who’s taking it seriously?

    The OP and the comments are satirical.

    (Also, are you aware of the origin of the term generation gap? Rapid technological and social change is the thing moreso than human nature)

  119. consciousness razor says

    CR, who’s taking it seriously?

    I don’t know. If some are, I’ll let them answer that.

  120. John Morales says

    [OT + meta]

    Tethys, crusty, callous sod though I am, yet I had to “aaaaawwww” at that.

  121. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Generation gap? What generation gap?

    We had successfully indocrinated the kidz with teh Queen.

    But then, 28-days-like, they were infected with Bruno Mars.

    At some point you just have to roll up your tent and go home, I guess.

  122. Ichthyic says

    The older ones are more like Gen-X, I guess? And if it weren’t so anecdotal, there’s supposed to be a significant difference somehow?

    it’s observational data, and yes, obviously since I personally have no vested interest one way or the other, I found it significant. Also, as stated, I don’t think it has anything more to do with anything other than younger people in general preferring more immediate and constant communication outlets. When I was a teen, it would have been a dial-based telephone.

    the question is… what bug is up your ass about all this?

  123. says

    Yes, that is much better. I can’t stand Bob Dylans whiney nasal voice. It’s like having a mosquito in your ear.

    I think Dylan’s one of the greatest songwriters of the last 50 years, but I also kind of love his voice. But then again, I generally prefer idiosyncratic voices over silky smooth ones (though I also love Freddy Mercury, Ella Fitzgerald, etc.) That’s one of the reasons I’m not a big fan of auto-tune (it has its place, but I think it’s waaaaaaay overused) – I prefer to hear the cracks and flaws and limitations of a singer’s voice.

    With the exception of the Hendrix version of “All Along the Watchtower” and a few versions of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” (which I consider a fairly weak song anyways), I pretty much always prefer the Dylan original to any of the more famous covers. I think his voice is perfect for the songs he sings – he can make even the silliest of lyrics sound weirdly profound, imo.

    Anyways…

  124. ChasCPeterson says

    I can’t stand Bob Dylans whiney nasal voice.

    Bob’s employed 5 or 6 different ‘voices’ through his career. These days (saw him last summer) he’s just sorta rapping the lyrics. But it works (imo).
    Best non-Dylan interpreter of Dylan tunes, by far? Jerry Garcia.

  125. says

    Ages of people who are constantly texting on their cell phones (and I mean… constantly)?

    Did you not talk to your friends on public transportation, when you were on the same bus?

  126. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I love Dylan…recently one of his obscure songs has been making the rounds mongst the whippersnappers. This is the version I like best.

  127. Ichthyic says

    Did you not talk to your friends on public transportation, when you were on the same bus?

    when they were sitting next to me, with my voice, not my cell phone.

    …and yes, I’m talking about groups of teenagers, sitting next to each other, texting their conversation to each other.

    but of course, that is not even relevant to the observation of texting itself, which was the issue to begin with.

    so, do you have a point I’m missing there?

  128. says

    I’m one of those was never real sure to which generation he belonged, too. And y’know what?

    I’m pretty good with that.

    I’d prefer not to be a brand. Nor anyone’s demographic trend. I’d rather not be defined, thanks, from some filler puff piece for a the weekend edition and a slow news day when someone figured hell, let’s look at some pretty coloured lines, work out what we should call kids today. Nor do I particularly wish to conform to any marketing division’s notions of what people my age should want, some convenient label they’ll whiteboard until they think it’ll stick and by which, first they’ll define people, and then hope people define themselves.

    We’ve enough tribes in this world anyway, more than enough flags, and one brand was one too many. Building it around who was born when, listen, seriously?

    Shut up. Stop it. It’s pathetic. You don’t need anyone else to give you an identity. Let alone that way, of all ways. And dumping on folk you think are wearing the wrong brand, too young or too old to get you or for you to get, seriously, get a life.

    There’s people decades younger than me making great music. Is it better than The Sainted Holy Beatles? Whatever. In my opinion that achievement, specifically, wouldn’t take a whole hell of a lot, but then it’s actually a pretty silly way to even talk about music, a lot of the time (whether or not you see that lot mostly as the original boy band, with maybe two or three actually properly snarly tear-it-up tunes actually worth listening to, not that I’m really saying that or nothin’, Boomers, chill, just put the lawyers down, and we can all walk out of this alive and laugh about it later; I’m with you if you’re with Jimi, anyway). Yeah, there’s garbage out there, but past a certain point it’s good, past another it’s great, and arguing whether one or the other is really better is mostly just pretty fucking clueless. Shut up. If you’re doing that, seems to me you don’t even really get music, anyway, and probably shouldn’t be wasting everyone’s time pretending you do. Go publish a top ten list in the weekend edition, next to the stupid ‘Generation Beta’ piece or whatever, do some stupid ‘Ooo The Clash were 26 percent more soulful than Beck so these guys are an 32 and these guys are a 17.3′ thing for Q or Rolling Stone, so I can ignore you properly, thanks.

    Seriously. Rankings geeks. Number one on my top ten list of pointlessly silly things: top ten lists. May internet overexposure kill them as dead as it did Lolcats. Let us rank music. Next, let us select the proper uniforms for our limericks to wear, so each knows at all times who’s in charge.

    Right. There’s kids who I wouldn’t cross the street to piss on, and then there’s kids who are way more than alright. Dunno it’s fair to hope they’re going to save the world, as it isn’t even mostly their mess, but I guess it’s going to have to be them if anyone, and we could do far worse. And there’s people decades older than me still cool. And then some who never were, never will be, and, on balance, who I think the world would probably been way better off without. Oh, and speaking of, can someone convenient to it vomit on Reagan’s grave for me? Thanks.

    ‘Kids these days’ is a line has its moments. They’re fewer than most people seem to figure, but fine, I’m sure it can get a laugh…

    But if I ever say it and mean it, shoot me. Dead. And burn the corpse.

    Wait, no, come to think of it, on balance, no, absolutely do not burn it. Fly ash, y’know. And carbon. And even heavy metals I figure I’m gonna give off at positively scary ppm after the years I’ve been through; listen, my point is: burning might be all nice and symbolic, but it’s probably a really bad idea in my case. Maybe one of those Chernobyl-type sarchophagi would be the ticket.

    Come to think of it, there’s maybe the one valid reason for generational profiling: disposal methods remaining practical may vary. And for my 170 pounds or so of meat and bone, yeah, I’m thinking you might want to consider concrete. And lots of it.

    Oh, and speaking of, and I actually mean this: my regrets things are in the state they’re in. Seems to me a lot of us alive while it was getting this way should probably be converted to fertilizer or something as practical penance. If, again, someone could work out the decontamination it’s gonna take.

    Whatevs. Left as an exercise for the reader. And, as has now become standard, for the poor bastards coming after. Anyway. Rant closed.

  129. ck says

    As someone who was born in the late 70s, and constantly heard stories about how the music of the 50s and 60s was described as unlistenable noise, it’s somewhat ironic to see the same arguments being used against the electronic music being made today.

  130. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Krista, this elder can’t understand mumbled lyrics, piped though they may be.

  131. ck says

    AJ Milne wrote:

    ‘Kids these days’ is a line has its moments. They’re fewer than most people seem to figure, but fine, I’m sure it can get a laugh…

    I’m not sure it does. It’s the (relatively) powerful mocking the (relatively) powerless. Fuck that.

    I don’t usually get lumped in with either Gen X or the Millennial crowd, but I’m absolutely horrified at how much modern kids get shit on. You’d think they were on a campaign to eliminate sunshine, puppydogs and laughter from the universe through a scheme involving texting, pop music, and a sense of entitlement given the vitriol they receive. Half the stupid shit people my age did during childhood has been more-or-less banned, and the rest has stupidly stiff penalties attached to it.

  132. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Seeing as they’re the youngest adult group now, they’re probably the least responsible for any given part of it.

    There we go with the irresponsible kids grumbling ;)

  133. says

    when they were sitting next to me, with my voice, not my cell phone.

    Therein lies the rub – my friends almost never had the same bus with me growing up, when I still had local friends. My bus rides were primarily quiet affairs – despite being a motormouth at the time. Because my friends weren’t there. If I had unlimited texting, and friends who had the same as a kid, you can bet your ass I’d have been texting them nonstop. But that’s because they weren’t near me to talk their ears off to.

    but of course, that is not even relevant to the observation of texting itself, which was the issue to begin with.

    so, do you have a point I’m missing there?

    Yes, I do. First off, I don’t assume people are primarily texting those next to them unless I’m reading over their shoulders (Which is rude). Second, even if you ARE texting someone next to you, that can have benefits (Being more difficult to eavesdrop on, being easier to communicate with in a loud area). Third, and this is the one that actually immediately occured to me, what’s supposed to be so bad about texting as a medium of communication? I don’t text per se, but I do use AIM on my phone to keep chatting with mai waifu when I’m waiting for things out in the wide world, sometimes eating, and occasionally while shopping for groceries. And I’ve been using AIM for years, subpar though it may be, primarily to keep in touch with my friends, almost none of whom live near me. Doing it on my phone is actually fairly novel (and primarily done with the waifu because international phone rates are murder, or company while I’m bored), but the shit you’re saying about texting on the phone is more or less the same nonsense I’ve heard about re: using the internet from my father (Whom, incidentally, is about 90% of my text message conversations by volume; I don’t even like him. I text that little)

  134. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Hey, if kids next to you are texting each other instead of chatting loudly with each other, that should be good. Because they are not chatting loudly right next to you.
    I’m get grumpy on public transportation :)

  135. =8)-DX says

    As a person born in 1984, I consider myself a unique part of the “people who are proving Orwell wrong” generation. All those youngsters nowadays, wouldn’t know doublethink if it hit them in the nose.

  136. says

    Tethys #129

    I can’t stand Bob Dylans whiney nasal voice. It’s like having a mosquito in your ear.

    Funny, that’s why I don’t like hearing a mosquito.

  137. says

    @Rutee:

    Thanks. Good points.

    I was getting the snarly face from my parents this week cause I was texting my girlfriend who was three hours away from me at the time. Other than talking with her on the phone the entire time, how else am I to keep up with her? I was on vacation, enjoying myself, and enjoying talking to her in a way that I can still pay attention to what’s going on around me. I can put the phone down and respond in lulls of action and conversation.

    I didn’t text her during dinner (that’s just rude.) I also didn’t text her while talking to my family, only after I was done with the conversation.

  138. says

    Let me get this straight. Anytime someone older than the millennials criticizes, or presumably even describes, their generation it can be ignored because, uhmm, fogies.

    Confirmation bias anyone?

    I mean I get that trying to stereotype a whole group is tricky, but surely there are negative and positive traits large subgroups of them share that are worth talking about.

  139. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    Re: texting.

    I am constantly texting. Like, I am one of those obnoxious twentysomethings who is always tapping on my smartphone.

    So why do I text rather than use the call function on my phone?

    Well, let’s see:
    (1) It is easier, especially if I’m – and they’re – at work and thus if I have a few brief questions texting makes sense – I text, they answer when they have time, etc.
    (2) I have a sensory-processing disorder that makes it very difficult for me to process auditory information that is not accompanied by visual information. Which is to say that I am damn near incapable of talking on the phone.
    (3) If 3 friends and I are trying to set something up, rather than having a ridiculous pattern of “3 pm works for me, let’s hang up and call A and B,” we can all simultaneously be texting each other – in fact, modern smartphones allow multiparty texting. Or hell, we could be using something like FB or Twitter or some other social-networking platform to have a multiparty conversation.
    (4) My best friend lives 200 miles away from me. All of my blood relatives within 3 degrees live at least 300 miles away from me. My closest (geographically speaking) good friend lives 70 miles away from me. If I want to keep in touch with these people, I can’t walk up to them and physically chat – not without communicating with them some other way to set up a time for said physical chatting. And like I said, I don’t talk on the phone unless I absolutely cannot get out of it. And it is a lot more easy for me to pull my phone out and tap out 140 characters than to sit down at my computer and write an email.
    (5) If I’m on the bus, sitting next to someone, and I want to talk with them, if I text I know two quite important things: (a) the noise of the bus won’t be an issue with comprehension (b) the risk of eavesdropping is much lower.

    With regards to the internet and social-networking in general: I am not being hyperbolic when I say that having a 33.3 k modem in 1997 saved my life. Seriously. I was a smart, mouthy, not-particularly-feminine, not-particularly-heteronormative, uncomfortable-question-asking incorreclty-religious girl growing up in a very conservative and religious small town in the ass end of a mostly agrarian state. If I wanted to go to a town with more than 30,000 residents, I would have to drive for an hour. I did not have any friends. Seriously. Not I didn’t have very many, not I didn’t have good friends. I did not have any friends. I was a social pariah. I was beaten up at school frequently and had a crappy home life.

    If I had not been able to get online and meet people who I could talk to, I almost certainly would have killed myself before I was fifteen. I am not joking or exaggerating.

    And I cannot count the number of people my age or younger who have said some variant of the above.

    So, if you think I’m a snot and “disconnected” from the world due to my constant Tweeting/texting/FBing, get over yourself.

  140. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    Sorry, I just get grouchy when people talk – or imply – that the internet/social-media aren’t “real” or are somehow inferior to face-to-face communication. They aren’t.

    They aren’t superior, either. They’re just differently structured.

  141. ck says

    Stereotyping a group is tricky? How about: it’s unfair. How about: it’s lazy as fuck. How about: the same objections have been raised by every elder generation against the younger generation in some form or another, which strongly suggests that the entire practice is entirely invalid. Would you defend stereotypes for black people? Jewish people? If not, why are they a valid practice to use against the young?

  142. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @airbagmoments

    Let me get this straight. Anytime someone older than the millennials criticizes, or presumably even describes, their generation it can be ignored because, uhmm, fogies.

    Confirmation bias anyone?

    I mean I get that trying to stereotype a whole group is tricky, but surely there are negative and positive traits large subgroups of them share that are worth talking about.

    Steretyping = innaccurate and wrong. It’s entirely valid to criticise certain aspects of a culture and it’s perfectly fine to acknowledge that the culture you are talking about is more prevalent among people of certain groups. But that is distinct from stereotyping, so long as you are careful to make those caveats clear and ensure you are not painting with too wide a brush. If you can’t wrap your head around that then there is no helping you.

  143. Skip White says

    Jadehawk @97:

    where the fuck do you live that you know people in their 20′s who aren’t working hard enough to be exhausted afterwards? (most ppl in their 20′s that i know have 2 jobs; exceptions include young parents and students, who generally have one job; those without jobs are so generally b/c they can’t find one)

    I live at the corner of Sarcasm St. and Self-Deprecation Lane. I was commenting on how at 31 I already feel old. Of course, in my 20’s I was working 35 hrs/week as a line cook while going to college full time. I’ve let myself go since then.

  144. consciousness razor says

    Let me get this straight. Anytime someone older than the millennials criticizes, or presumably even describes, their generation it can be ignored because, uhmm, fogies.

    Confirmation bias anyone?

    You didn’t get it straight. Strawmen are lazy and boring.

    I mean I get that trying to stereotype a whole group is tricky, but surely there are negative and positive traits large subgroups of them share that are worth talking about.

    Lazy thinking isn’t a worthwhile way of dealing with it. Often it’s not even personal traits that many want to identify. They’re talking about historical trends and cultural norms and so on, but mistakenly describe it in terms of traits of vaguely-defined subgroups (in larger groups like generations, which are often themselves vaguely-defined). Then when it’s found there are other subgroups in other generations which also have to do with the trend (or whatever it is), if they’re not going to be inconsistent or willfully ignorant, they have to tack on those subgroups, then some others, then maybe some more, then find some way to tie it all together and in some way say something meaningful about the dynamics between them. But you rarely see anything like that happen right off the bat in these conversations, nor does it usually get that far if the issue is pressed. (You definitely can’t just say “surely, there must be some differences between groups” and expect that by itself to support some garbage you just made up about them.)

    People just want to bring up a lazy stereotype or an anecdote, without taking all sorts of other shit into account or even knowing the first thing about the subject. They want to make some quick and easy and entirely careless point (about whatever they do or don’t like, for example), not explain any of the messy shit that happens in reality, how it fits into some context, or what anyone could or should do about it assuming they’re supposed to care.

    And I think get that. We all do it in some ways. That sort of thing can be fine (not bigoted stereotypes but other generalizations which aren’t harmful), if it’s just meant to be some casual expression of your personal perspective on things, without this idea that people are wrong or biased or irrational or unscientific or have some evil agenda if they think another way. But if it’s supposed to be taken as some kind of fact, yet it’s not open to a little bit of fair criticism or others’ perspectives on the issue, then I don’t see how it’s much use to anyone else.

  145. Feats of Cats says

    Chris Clarke @120:

    I’m always a little bemused when serious conversations on human “generations” take place among people who’d rightly scoff at people ascribing traits to Sagittarians or people born in the Year Of The Rat.

    This weirded me out because I’m a millennial Sagittarius born in the Year of the Rat.

    THIS MEANS SOMETHING*

    *this means nothing.

  146. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    One round of furious googling later, I am given to understand that I’m a millennial Aquarius born in the Year of the Rat.

    Okay?

  147. David Marjanović says

    I’m always a little bemused when serious conversations on human “generations” take place among people who’d rightly scoff at people ascribing traits to Sagittarians or people born in the Year Of The Rat.

    We’re not cicadas.

    That just makes it more difficult to delimit the cultural periods called “generations” that more strongly and more quickly influence those that grow up with them.

    And then the money men come in and build groups that sing castrated songs that are designed to be not-too-offensive so the kids can let their parents hear it but offensive enough for the kids to enjoy the turn-that-noise-down attention they get.

    And then comes the Eminem you mentioned and sings about stickin your fawkin dick somewhere. Though perhaps that’s not too offensive anymore. *toothy grin*

    Am I the only one who finds it weird to be lumped in to the same generation as someone who was born the year I graduated (2000) and who would currently be less than half my age?

    Nope. Everyone in my family agrees that the youngest sister (10 years younger than me) is in a different generation than the rest of us (up to 5 years younger than me). Culturally she’s simply not the same.

    I was thinking the exact opposite: One of my facebook friends mentioned that he was born two years before I was, making him the tail end of Gen X. Am I supposed to have nothing in common with him?

    Yes. I’ve never encountered anyone born in the… uh… *barf!* …70s who’s culturally comparable to anyone born in the 80s.

    (…Of course, I’ve encountered very few people in total. The 95 % confidence intervals may not even be calculable. :-þ )

    and made education impossibly expensive

    Only in America. :-)

  148. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    One round of furious googling later, I am given to understand that I’m a millennial Aquarius born in the Year of the Rat.

    I knew it. You behave exactly how one expects a millennial murine aquarian to behave.

  149. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Let me get this straight. Anytime someone older than the millennials criticizes, or presumably even describes, their generation it can be ignored because, uhmm, fogies.

    Confirmation bias anyone?

    I mean I get that trying to stereotype a whole group is tricky, but surely there are negative and positive traits large subgroups of them share that are worth talking about.

    Does this extend to genders, ethnic groups, and sexual orientations too?

    You might have a point if this was the first time the conversation had ever been had, but in the context of centuries to millenia of fatuous whining by older people about “kids these days,” which you’re deliberately eliding….

  150. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    I have to say something about the trophy thing, since I’m guess I’m one of the kids that was covered in trophies and it’s a pet peeve of mine when some talking head on Fox News or something brings it up.

    We didn’t get ourselves trophies, you know. We were given them. The boomers and xers gave us trophies when we were like 6 and playing little league. And when I was 6, I knew they were worthless. We aren’t idiots, we saw all the other kids get these mass produced lumps of plastic. But we said thank you because we were taught to be polite and continued to eat our pizza, which was the real highlight of the evening. And they have the gall to blame us for participation trophies? And what’s worse they expect us to apologize for it. We didn’t want them in the first place! We’ll give them back if we can find them, I’m sure they’re in a closet somewhere.

    They expect to be able to treat us like shit because we accrued a debt of two dollar plastic, and as they raid the coffers they call us entitled, because we want to have a job in a decent career and be able to afford to live in more than a studio apartment when we’re 40 (For the record it’s a two bedroom apartment with a decent kitchen, we know we’re not going to be able to afford a house). I need to go for a walk. Yes my eyes will be glued to my cell phone screen, That way I don’t have to look at Chas’s stupid face.

  151. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    And on the subject of music of the 60s and 70s, there was no rap. How could you possibly think it was superior? (Feeble mindedness brought on by old age I presume).

  152. CaitieCat says

    Dude, I was with you all along, until you got to that last comment (170). Look more closely at the beginnings of rap, in Jamaican ska/reggae culture, with “toasting”, the precursor to rap. It came a long, long time before the 80s. :)

  153. Tethys says

    How could you possibly think it was superior?

    Nobody said the music from the 60’s and 70’s was superior. The point was that there is amazing amount of great music that came out in that period.

  154. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    And on the subject of music of the 60s and 70s, there was no rap. How could you possibly think it was superior? (Feeble mindedness brought on by old age I presume).

    There was no grunge or jungle or dubstep, either. *confuzzled*, presumably by old age.

    Neither was there Minchin:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zmfo-eL9VKc

  155. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Or Doom.

    Did he just rhyme Worcestershire with “douche your ear”? Why, yes, I think he did!

  156. says

    “centuries to millenia of fatuous whining by older people”

    Lol, now who’s stereotyping? It’s fun when bad arguments self destruct.

  157. says

    “Does this extend to genders, ethnic groups, and sexual orientations too?”

    Yes, and don’t forget religions, which are constantly generalized about on this blog.

    Generalizations are not wrong because they are generalizations. But they are often wrong when applied to individuals.

    If you are born and raised with a smartphone in your hand you are going to be different than if you are born and raised without electricity.