The Scream of Gen Y
Where’s the line?
I don’t mean a crisp perfect line, but a kind of General dividing line between people who know the world is fucked and something has to change and those who I’ve been fighting to keep the old system in place. I was born in 1976. When I was a kid we called ourselves Generation Y oh, now we get lumped in with Generation X in between the Boomers and the millennials. but there is a bit of Distinction between people who were born literally in the shadow of the entitled boomer generation and those born until say 1974 or so grew who up without the world really changing at all expect to get jobs in the same way but with less opportunity in a difficult environment when they’re parents had all the luck in the world. They didn’t learn how to program computers in school at all; the internet didn’t break out into the public until they were out of college or university; they were teenagers when Challenger exploded and they were out in the workforce for the great recession of the early 90s.
But if you were born after 1974, that fateful smoke cloud happened in elementary school. The Berlin wall fell down when you were at most 15, I was 13. Still young enough to take things as they come, still young enough to learn to hope rather than fear. And suddenly all the adults were happy and excited about this big thing. Freedom is spreading! Maybe, the world could change. As for computers, you never really played pong as a kid, you saw it, but Nintendo and Sega Genesis were your systems, read arcades at home. If you had a computer at home as a kid it wasn’t because your parents were uber geeks, building one, or rich so you had a PET computer. You probably had a $100 Commodore 64, or my personal Tabula Rasa, The Great Vic 20 (Why have 64 Kb of memory, when you can get by with 20Kb!) You never saw a computer punch card, and email started to become a thing in late high school. In college you got one, you even had a webpage, it was an exciting new world. Maybe things could change.
So, this is my line in the sand. I am Generation Y, and no one can take that from me. I grew up with hope for the world. I knew, climate change was happening since I was a child, and the adults said they’d do something about it.
If Generation Y had got as angry as the kids are getting today, maybe we could changed things. Maybe we could have stopped it. Generation X didn’t really have a chance. They were too tied in to the system to break free, and the Boomers wouldn’t let them break free. Not out of spite, not because they hated their little brothers and sisters, or their kids. They just couldn’t imagine more change than they had already lived through. The 60s man! So much change! So revolutionary. And yet, the generation that lived that revolution, even if they didn’t lead most of it, they somehow got in their heads that once they ran the world, they’d rule it forever and their revolution would be eternal. Because, everything is about the 60s forever. And it was great, it really was. But in the 60s everyone still smoked, no one knew what computers or quantum physics, or climate change were. Everyone thought their’s was the penultimate revolution. The last one being beating communism and fascism entirely. Then finally, everyone would be free.
Free to pollute, free to kill and use nature. Free to build it up, get rich, move to Mars.
And they’re trying, they’re still trying to do it their old way. To bring the 60s mentality to the 21st Century they do not understand.
Well fuck the 60s. It’s time to move on. All that they fought for, it’s a given. Anyone who tries to reverse that in an Enemy. We’ve got even bigger problems now. Survival of the Species. Survival of The Balance that we are supposed to protect.
We had one job humans. Watch the garden, tend it, be happy. But we’ve fucked it up. We were never kicked out of the garden of Eden, we burned it to the ground, we poisoned it. Being kicked out for being too independent is a myth we tell ourselves to hide our guilt. We’ve ruined one ecosystem after another our whole existence. And now we’re out of runway. The next places to expand to don’t have air. Spacing mining and colonization are real things. But it’s not a cheap option, so it’ll only be a very small few of the richest even if we were ready, which we’re not. And the Earth isn’t going to last that long.
So Generation Y…what do we do? Reality Bites, right? Do we bite back, or do we roll over?
I say the line is drawn here.
If you’re born after 1974 you have a choice to make, you can still change, to still side with the kids and the Revolution they are starting, that we should have had. If you a human of any age you have the same choice. But we don’t expect you see it that way.