…that one and maybe the other one.
Earlier today, I was listening to Spinning by GROUPLOVE. Why does that matter, you ask? Because it’s fucking music and fucking music dictates my existence, that’s why. And, since not even Dock is immune to a power pop song, I thought I would play Spinning for him on the way to McTeacher night at Mac-Don-Ald-Ssss because we had to dump some money into this valiant fundraising effort while slowly killing ourselves via chicken fusion, “beef” and filet-o-fisk (the word fish in Swedish is fisk).
Around minute who-gives-a-fuck Dock says “Oh! The Millennial Whoop. Gotta have the Millennial Whoop. Can’t have a song these days without the Millennial Whoop.” I What-You-Tawkin-About-Willis him and wait for his knowledge drop. Whether I like it or not, Dock is way more au courant than I in the music scene. “The Millennial Whoop. You know, where all the Millennial bands full of 90 members sing songs that have to include at least one ‘Wo-Oh,’ typically two.” I’m all what-the-fuckity-fuck-are-you-on-now? Dock patiently repeats himself and then launches into a diatribe about the Millennial bands with their eleventy billion members, their lutes, their mandolins and their ukuleles.
“Millennials have to be special, creative and different so they decided to add in a ‘Wo-Oh’ so their friend who can’t carry a tune gets a star for participation. As for the ukuleles, well, there as many of those as there are strings on the instrument. Each ukulele has one string and it’s played by a single person, reflecting the individuality and specialism of the player and the instrument because, in keeping with the spirit of Millennials, special things require special dedication. A ukulele will not be sullied by a player playing all four strings at one time. Oh fuck no. A ukulele and its string gets the respect it deserves: one instrument, one string and one player. Just like the singer who can’t sing but doesn’t like feeling left out: that person gets the ‘Millennial Whoop’ credit on the liner notes.”
You can see where we’re going.
Ever the reluctant optimist (Me. No, really.) says “You know, I have been observing a weird trend. It seems like the entire world has had enough of the Millennials’ handcrafted, *artisanal bullshit. Even social anthropologists are like ‘Ugh. I can’t eeeeven any longer with you snowflakes. Lemme go find a hairblower to melt your sorry asses.'” Dock, being the curmudgeonly skeptic that he is offered a plate of doubt but I persisted. I even said “Remember all those years I said, ‘let the Millennials try to change the workforce?’ No longer. Fuck ’em. Let them get lost on the way back from yoga or the food co-op and miss a meeting. I’m busy raising a seven year-old and nagging you to take out the garbage. I can’t be arsed to remind them to do their jobs or show up for a meeting.”
We came to the conclusion that, like everything else, the Millennials kind of suck. But, we’re Gen-X so we really don’t want to invest the energy into actively disapproving of them, let alone disliking them.
Then, we decided to do a comparative analysis about shopping for a vehicle: Gen-X vs Millennials, reality vs life through rose colored glasses.
Car salesweasel: Hi there! I bet you’re looking for a car! What can I help you drive off the lot today?
Gen-Xer: A car? Is that what you’re selling? I was hoping for a kidney or one crack, please. Also, can you confirm the rumor that Mudhoney is playing a rent party in the backroom?
Millennial: Oh wow! Hi! Thank you for being so helpful! Why yes, I am looking for a car! Can we be friends? What’s your user name on Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, Kik and Waterbuffalo? Are you on Yelp so I can review you? What about FourSquare? Will you give me positive feedback as a super-extra-awesome customer when the transaction has concluded? Also, I’d really like a t-shirt but please make it one that looks like it’s from the 90s. I’m totally dedicated to retro. Can’t you tell I’m going for the Cobain-meets-man-bun look?
Car salesweasel: So, whatcha looking for?
Gen-Xer: Something that goes backwards and forwards. Relatively reasonable fuel economy. Carplay or other stupid interfacing whatever. Turn signals would be nice. One of those rearview cameras, too. Just so long as it doesn’t jack up the price because I’m not paying list. You hear? I am not paying list. If you have it in black with tan interior, we have a deal. You dig?
Millennial: Ok! So, this is what I’m thinking about! I have a few pictures if you want to see what I have downloaded! I have added some stickers and emojis to convey my feelings because I’m not really great with the words! I’d like a car that is environmentally friendly because we don’t care enough about the environment these days and I’m super-extra-passionate about the environment and none of the candidates even addressed that in the debates! None! Can you believe that!?! Well, Bernie did, at least!
Next, I need really gentle tires for the blacktop! I hate hurting things, physically and/or emotionally! I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing I caused any form of pain! Also, I left my favorite fluffy at my parents’ house when I was there doing laundry and they told me I wasn’t allowed to come back for two weeks so sleeping has been really. really, really hard. :cry cry cry:
Super critical!!111! Do you offer carbon offset credits? Because, again with the environment!!! I cannot buy the Grand Wagoneer without the credits! I just can’t! And I really can’t see myself and my 20 dogs in a Fiat! There’s just not enough room for that!!! We can’t have the dogs cramped on the long trips to the mountains for the weddings I have to go to! Also, I haul *a lot* of mason jars and pickled vegetables for my side business. Are you interested in purchasing pickled gourds for your Thanksgiving dinner? I handcrafted them myself with help from my friends who make their own diaper cream. :sticks screen in salesweasel’s face: LOOK AT MY WEBSITE!!! Helvetica is the best!!! I masturbate to style guides. Oh. That was TMI, wasn’t it?
Car salesweasel: Are you financing the purchase or…?
Gen-Xer: What the fuck is wrong with you? I’m financing this like I financed the toilet paper I had to buy yesterday.
Millennial: So, here’s my concept of how we should be paying for things! Money is corrosive to the soul and thus corrosive to society! In order to build a more perfect world, I suggest we trade! You will give me the car and I will give you two hours of manual labor at your home! I can empty the dishwasher, take out the trash or clean the litterbox! Wait! You look disappointed. Fine. I’ll throw in a case of my special, birch scented homemade beard wax if you promise to give me a year’s worth of oil changes, too! What do you say? Do we have a deal? OMG OMG OMG! If we do, I will totally meet you at the park for a game of kickball! You’ll love my friends! They make the best moonshine you have ever tasted in your life! Right in the bathtub! I’m telling you. The things one can do with what one already has. If people just stopped, slowed down and appreciated what was around them and the unique gifts life has to offer…
Then we started making fun of the Millennials’ farm-to-table lettuce sammiches on stone ground wheat bread. Little did they know the lettuce was sourced from Compare Foods on Avondale Drive in Durham and the bread was stolen off a delivery truck parked by the Sheetz on Miami Blvd.
Being Gen-X is whatever. We knew from a young age no one gave a shit about us or anything other than themselves. This was impressed upon us every time we came home from school to an empty house with only the television to keep us company. We’re not necessarily the bastards of the young but we are the bastards of the Boomers. There’s a lot to be said for being the progeny of the narcissistic.
While other generations have said our attitude sucks and we’re slackers, thinking that was going to incite some form of change or emotional growth and development, we stayed true to our ambivalent selves and did nothing. We don’t fucking care about what people think. Never have. Never will. We remain the generation just trying to make it across the hellscape. We’re the generation that took existentialism and nihilism and made it something for the masses as opposed to the intellectually sanctimonious and elite by merely breathing and rolling our eyes while smoking a blunt and drinking PBR from a CAN.
And, as we sit on the cusp of this nation’s destruction, some of us are concerned but we’re also not. Gen-X continues to see your bullshit. Be it the selfishness and narcissism of the Boomers or the complete inability to accept that humans are ordinary from the Millennials. Whatever comes to pass, as the circus continues around us, Gen-X, sandwiched by The Bearded generations (patchouli Deadheads who refuse to let go of the past and hipsters who really have no fucking idea what irony is), will remain spectators, quietly singing along to the Millennial Whoop in our financed vehicles while consuming processed food, drinking overpriced coffee, comforted by the knowledge that we don’t look through rose colored glasses. We’re not snowflakes. We’re not special. We’re not seeking “experiences.” We just don’t want to be assholes – bearded or clean shaven.
Oh well, whatever, nevermind.
*Look at this. Even spellcheck won’t acknowledge the existence of artisanal. That’s how fucking lame this word and this concept is. To prove my point further: the word includes the word ANAL as the suffix.