A couple months ago I wrote a post entitled Six Reasons Why I’m Proud of My Generation (https://athicketofmusingsblog.com/2014/02/02/6-reasons-why-im-proud-of-my-generation). To my surprise, it’s become one of my most popular posts to date. And I still mean every single word that I wrote in that post. However, lately I’ve been unable to ignore some of the things about my generation (basically people between the ages of 15 & 30) of which I am ashamed. Or perhaps it would be more correct to say things that really frustrate me about my generation. In any case today I will possibly (ok, probably) sound like a grumpy old lady but I really could not care less. I’m slowly coming to peace with the fact that I am indeed old at heart & there is nothing much I can (or should) do about it.
These are in no particular order.
- MUSIC. First off, I do realize that not all modern music is aimed at my generation, but I think it’s fair to say that most of it is. However, I don’t know how else to put this other than that turning on the radio nowadays makes my ears bleed. I literally want to shoot the radio because everything on it sounds so BAD. Almost every song I hear is inane, stupid, vapid, & redundant. As in singers quite literally repeat the exact same words or phrases over & over & over. Not to mention popular music (& even country music) is nothing more than an endless stream of partying/drinking songs. There is a time & place for such music but it should NOT be the mainstay of our musical diet as it has sadly become. I’ll be the first to admit that some of these songs are indeed catchy, but I’ll also be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a musical snob (&, no, I’m not sorry for that) in that I believe music should be more than just a catchy tune that makes you feel good for a few minutes. Perhaps even more revolting is the overuse of auto-tuning & other such musical Photoshop. Eric Church said it best in his usual slightly crass but undeniably brilliant way: “It’s a little bit shallower than it was a few years ago — it’s ‘Let’s drink, forget our worries, beach, bonfire, lake.’ When something’s working, everybody falls into a pattern. One thing I miss is turning on the radio & just having a song punch me in the gut &, as a songwriter, knock me on my ass. And I think we could use more of that.” Yes, Mr. Church, we certainly could. And that’s just one reason I have an entire post on here dedicated to his talent (https://athicketofmusingsblog.com/2014/02/25/why-eric-church-might-be-the-musical-genius-of-the-21st-century/). Furthermore, what happened to rock & roll being the anthem of young people? There are still tons of great rock & metal bands, but many of them are seriously struggling to survive. Rock radio is basically dead with most rock stations playing either classic rock (90’s & older) or this new-age hipster pop-rock that makes me want to puke (not necessarily because it’s all bad but because it’s replacing the REAL rock & roll that ought to be played on these stations). At every rock concert I’ve attended I’ve been surprised at how many people are in their late 30’s & older. While I find it admirable that these folks are still going to rock concerts, I can’t help but wonder where all the young folks are. Oh wait, that’s right; they’re all listening to Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, Ke$ha, & Pitbull.
- RELATIONSHIPS. Let me preface this part by saying that there are several things in regard to relationships of which I am actually very proud of my generation. These include our ability to transcend gender roles & our acceptance of inter-racial or cross-cultural relationships. I consider these to be huge milestones for our society & I’m proud to be part of a generation that is making these ideals come to life. However, I am also frustrated at the state of far too many relationships in my generation. Far too many of us are so afraid of commitment, or so afraid of being “tied down,” that we’re incapable of ever defining our relationships at all. Then of course there are the inevitable “hook-ups” that everyone agrees always end badly & yet no one wants to be the “prude” who suggests that maybe sleeping with strangers (or near-strangers), particularly while drunk, really IS a bad idea. I so often find myself wanting to scream at the masses: “Get yourselves together, people!” It’s not that I think my generation is any more “slutty” (I hate that word but can’t think of anything better at present) than any other generation. We probably aren’t. But we could certainly stand to have a bit more honesty in our relationships. If we want a casual “friends with benefits” relationship, then we should have the guts to say so. And if we want a more serious relationship, we should have the guts to say that too. We should also realize that there is really no such thing as uncomplicated sex. All sex is complicated. But probably the least complicated sex is that between two loving adults. I’m not sure why that’s so hard to understand. Additionally, both girls & guys of our generation need to have the self-respect to only accept a partner who truly respects us as a friend, a lover, & a human being. We need to realize that putting up with anything less sends the message that such behavior is ok. We also need to grow up & realize that real life isn’t a fairy tale & wanting to wake up beside someone is just as important as wanting to go to bed with them. Basically I’m tired of hearing people complain about the lack of nice guys (& girls) when so much of the time these very same people are never honest about what they actually want out of a relationship & then are surprised when they don’t get it.
- DRINKING. I grew up in a family & a church who believed that all alcohol is bad all the time. When I became an adult, I realized I didn’t agree with this view of the world because frankly I find it illogical. But I also discovered that I really don’t like the feeling of being drunk. Both physically & mentally, it is just not a pleasant feeling for me. (A little tipsy is ok, just to be clear, but not actually drunk.) Despite what the majority of the world experiences, alcohol really doesn’t help me relax. (Trust me, sometimes I wish it did.) Not to mention I still can’t understand why anyone would willingly sign up for a hangover. To me this is just common sense. To be clear, I don’t judge those who truly enjoy getting drunk. As long as you are responsible about it (don’t drive & have someone to watch over you to make sure you don’t do anything too stupid), I seriously don’t think less of people who enjoy getting a little more than tipsy once in a while. But it really shouldn’t be the foundation of your lifestyle. When I meet someone & all they can talk about is how much they can’t wait to get drunk this weekend, or how wasted they were last night, or if every story they tell involves being drunk, I can’t help but want to scream “Don’t you realize there’s more to life than getting wasted?!” I know I must sound like a judgmental prick right now, but seriously I have to wonder if all of these people really enjoy getting drunk as much as they say they do, or if they just do it because it’s the cool thing to do. Maybe I am just weird (ok, I am definitely weird), but I really can & often do have a great time with my friends without drinking anything at all or while drinking only in moderation (say one or two drinks). I also much prefer drinking at home (or at a friend’s house) because it’s just way more comfortable. If this makes me old & boring, I really don’t care because it also means I have a lot more money in my bank account because I’m not blowing it on overpriced drinks at bars every weekend. End of story.
Anyone else under 30 understand what I’m saying here? I know many of my friends do, & I am so incredibly thankful for y’all because you enrich my life in so many ways & remind me that I’m not totally insane. Like I said earlier, I really hate to sound like an old grump but somebody has to do it, right?