This is a real doozy, folks. Here is a little sample:
…It was this same lack of ironic self-awareness (or rather, this absence of any sort of mockery-avoidance technology) that led my generation to pillory the hippies and progressives–that’s why we were South Park Republicans before we were Daily Show Democrats: because back then, standing for liberal values meant something, and that made you look lame. Only now, when Liberal ideals have vanished into mythology and all they stand for is “not as crazy or stupid as Republicans” is it safe to camp out with the Democrats. They put nothing on the line ideologically, which perfectly jibes with this generation’s highest value. And that makes it perfectly safe to go to something like a large political rally like Stewart’s–you side with a hollow movement stripped of ideology or purpose, and then you gather to celebrate your own hollowness at a rally whose one promise is “You won’t open yourself up to mockery if you attend this rally” and whose goal is to show how not-stupid “we” are compared to the mockable activists on both the right and the left–the Beckites and the Code Pinkers.
I’ve come to the conclusion that this has been the Great Dream of my generation: to position ourselves in such a way that we’re beyond mockery. To not look stupid…That’s why they’ve turned Stewart into a demigod, because he knows how to make the other guys look really stupid…
In fact, I think this is why so many Gen-X/Yers turned against Obama…
Biggest Fear and Looking Stupid
Ames is a smart guy and he definitely understands Generation X. We really do loathe looking stupid. But, I can’t agree with even half of what he says in this article. Is he too bitter or discouraged to notice that Generation X is turning gray and going bald? All of our friends are getting divorced and nobody has any money. Something like 80 percent of the country is living paycheck to paycheck. More than 9 percent are unemployed. Duh, do the math.
And, yet Ames says our biggest dream is to avoid mockery. And, he thinks we put nothing on the line ideologically.
Meanwhile, Gen X dreams have been repossessed. Foreclosures, whether real, imagined, literal or figurative, stalk us in our sleep. And, the houses — those are the easy losses to count. Gen X careers are at a standstill, and even when Xers do get promoted it only means more responsibility, not more money.
Moroever, thanks to social media, virtually noone can keep up the appearance of political neutrality anymore. Our ideologies bleed through our tweets and status updates. They’re woven into those little lists of favorite bands and movies; the friends we hang with; the houses of worship and causes we befriend. Generation X is worried about retribution, not mockery as Ames suggests.
So, what is the consequence of cloaking our uprise and discontent in soft cynicism and sarcastic humor? Someone has called our self-appointed and reluctant spokesman a clown. I thought everyone knew that costume was only a disguise. Perhaps Generation X moderates and liberals should have been more fierce and inventive. Is a throng of evangelicals serving as camouflage for political ideologies that contradict the very teachings of Christ?
Photo Credit: Jrsquee via Flickr with Creative Commons