Millennials: The Counter Culture
You see the headlines all the time: “Millennials are killing this”. It’s usually followed by a long rant about how millennials are basically garbage humans. When I first started to see articles like this, I immediately got defensive. The generation age brackets can be found anywhere on Wikipedia, but Booms are basically 65+. Who are these boomers to call me names? I’m working hard to build a brand, I’m doing my research, I’m busting my hump to ensure my future. I never once stopped to think about their words, I never once examined it closely and read it for what it is: They are watching their world disappear, and there is nothing they can do about it.
*I’d like to point out that I don’t believe in a “Generation Y vs Millennials” debate, we’re pretty much the same.*
Millennials Nostalgia: POS while writing this
Counter-Culture has been around forever, usually, it’s framed around the youth of that particular group doing the exact opposite of their parents. Some famous examples just so we’re on the same page: Hippies, Club Kids, Goths, Skinheads (not the racist ones, the punk ones). The thing about counter-culture is that it usually dies out, or at least goes underground to the point where it’s no longer a thing. Millennial Counter Culture isn’t dying, it’s growing and it’s spreading across the entire planet. I guess that means I should probably define Millennial Counter Culture for you. It’s a philosophy that has been brought up generation after generation, but no one has dared to take the leap until millennials: Living life on your own terms, regardless of what anyone else thinks. I know it seems a bit simple, but I’m going to break this down so simple, even a Gen Z kid can understand it. So sit back, grab tea or popcorn, and get ready to explore Millennial Counter Culture.
Millennials Nostalgia: Pokemon cards, I caught them all!
Millennials grew up at a very strange time to be alive, notice how I didn’t say difficult, I said strange. The US was intervening in Somalia, the Bosnian war was happening, the internet was becoming a real thing, AOL was distributing hours of free internet on street corners, and Bill Clinton was, of course, being blown away by his intern. You can’t talk about the ’90s and not talk about Bill Clinton, sorry Hill, but you know it’s true. Anyway, the children of this generation still played outside, but they had video games, I know Gen Z you had video games too, but they were no way near the quality of what we were working with. Millennials were born into a great economy, both parents worked, but then we had things like Columbine and multitudes of school shootings that followed, the 9/11 attack on American soil that was one of the largest and scariest in US history, Gay Marriage was a thing, The Westboro Baptist Church became infamous, and so many other things that I don’t feel like listing.
Millennial’s had a super confusing time growing up. We saw a lot of things happen that we didn’t understand, we see a lot of racist and bigoted media that really warped our minds. I know, we’re no different than any other generation I’m not writing to make an excuse for millennial’s or compare, I’m sharing with you how it felt growing up in this era. A lot of us felt very unimportant, those “participation trophies” didn’t make us feel better, it was just a double reminder we didn’t try hard enough to win. Our parents had no problem telling us how disappointed they were with us and reminded us of all the things they do for us, we shared a very common thought and that was: I didn’t ask to be here, I’m here now and I’m just a burden. We were a very lost generation, mothers were going back to work, people we’re having many kids, parents were terrified of their kids being kidnapped, so isolation under the guise of safety existed. It’s actually kind of cool when I talk to people my age and they all feel the same way, I feel less alone, and knowing my experience wasn’t unique, it lets me know that I will survive.
Millennials had one thing that no generation before us had: The Internet, more specific, chat rooms. As adults, I know you guys know what chat rooms are, but imagine being 10 years old and having a place where you could be WHOEVER you wanted at any given time. Seriously, the amount of predators catfished by us is probably in the millions.
Millennials Nostalgia: Y’all remember A/S/L?
After Millennials found out that pedos were using the internet to straight-up kidnap kids, we turned it up. I don’t know about you guys, but I think there’s a guy with a 6 pack of hard lemonade and some condoms waiting for me at a coffee shop in California. Now aside from the obvious danger of being kidnapped, chat rooms are one of the building blocks of a personality trait that most millennial’s share: We are chameleons Chat rooms allowed us to create different personalities, but they had to be believe able. We had to know how to act like the person we were pretending to be, if we weren’t convincing, then guess what? Our predator was going to log off and we would be bored. Now, ask why a 10-year-old would find leading creepy mouth breathers on would be fun, and I’ll tell you this: It was a game for us. While Chester was creepily fondling his incredibly disappointing member, Millenials were LAUGHING and we didn’t do this alone either. When sleepovers were allowed, we would sit around doing this same thing.
Let’s fast forward about 4 years, millennials are now teenagers, and dear God if I.M. wasn’t awesome enough, we had Social Media. There were sooo many, MySpace, Xanga, Tumbler, LiveJournal and so many others that I’m literally missing every day. They were another place where we could be whoever the hell we wanted. We could be anonymous, or we could be ourselves, it didn’t matter, the point was you could be someone. The best part? You could connect with other people going through similar situations, all across the world. Suddenly we didn’t feel so isolated, we realized our parents weren’t mean, they were protective. We found out that in other countries kids were worried about war, while the first world millennials were stressing over math tests. As a result of the internet, we were seeing that the media was lying to us, that patriotism was a marketing scheme that the government murdered its own and that there were a lot more pedophiles in power than people admitted to.
These realizations at such a young age lead the millennials to rebel in the worst way possible: They began doing whatever it is they wanted and accepting others for who they were. Millennial’s don’t give a flying f** about your race, sex, gender, age, we don’t care about anything. We don’t believe in telling people they can’t get married or they can’t abort a baby, putting limitations on how much you charge for sex isn’t interesting. We care about the environment, and nerd culture, and listening to angsty teenagers because we’ve seen first hand the damage that can be done. We understand that life is meant to be lived, not wasted. Living isn’t defined as constantly going on vacation, it’s doing the work that makes you happy, having a tattoo on your face, whatever the hell it means to you.
This mind your own business counter-culture does have a self-destruct button though, it’s created two sets of millennials: Social Justice idiots and complete sociopaths. Well, maybe psychopaths, either way, they are completely desensitized and their humor is so dark it’s alarming.
Millennials Nostalgia: Dead baby jokes.
Remember those? Now if you’re in my generation your mind probably just flooded with dead baby jokes, and you are either laughing hysterically OR you’re upset that people could find it funny. I personally became desensitized, and I’m happy because those SJWs have got to be exhausted from the mental gymnastics it takes to be offended by anything.
Thanks to the millennial counterculture, we have begun to try and see things from all sides, which is a giant mistake. There is no reason we should tell Ted Bundy’s story and try and wrap our mind around it or sympathize with him. We have created a culture where it is more profitable to be infamous than famous. Mother Teresa is portrayed as a psycho, but Charles Manson is misunderstood. We have demonized Archie Bunker but Canonized Aileen Wuornos because her life was rough. We have become so numb to religion that Satanism and Christianity both have statues on government property.
I don’t think the last sentence is that bad, but if you’re a boomer reading this, you understand the comparison. Millennial counter-culture has created a morally ambiguous world, where it is perfectly okay to do whatever you want as long as you have a morally sound explanation that makes sense to you and you alone. Our way of life takes away right and wrong and just asks why.
Millennial Nostalgia: “I know you are, but what am I?”
So, boomers, I understand you and hear you loud and clear. We have destroyed your morals, shat on your beliefs, and made a mockery of everything you learned as a child. I’ll never apologize for our counter-culture, and I’ll never tell a fellow millennial they are wrong for living their best life. What I will do is pick up a newspaper every so often, put my phone down when I’m having a conversation and I’ll even watch Casablanca. I’ll stop being so combative with you because I now realize it is terrifying to lose your way of life, for that I am sorry. Unfortunately for you millennials are here to stay, and we are too stubborn to go anywhere.