Oh yes someone has done it again penned an opinion blog, a short how to guide on taking the me attitude out of kids; honestly by now these things should be a dime a dozen, everyone throwing in their 2 cents on raising the next generation of children to not be like this one, selfish, self-centered brats who turn into hellion teens, who turn into either useless, criminal adults or both; at least that’s the long standing categorization, no acclaim to accuracy implied. What’s mildly interesting about the article linked below is that it begins by acknowledging the me, me, me syndrome in adults, saying the best way to remove it from our kids is to first eliminate it in ourselves, though their credibility wanes with their examples; not forgetting to pay your credit card bill, getting mad when the nice person on the phone won’t waive the fee, after all he waived it last time, upset we can’t use an expired coupon that only expired yesterday. Complete with tips on what to do regarding common “give in” stressors for parents of a child who can’t seem to get through the store without a cookie, still wants to be in the stroller at 4 rather than walking the mall or hogs your i-pad from you; comments complete with how a parenting blog suddenly gets morphed into a political agenda, mockingly called how to remove the democratic “give me” state from the country, one sarcastic joke about thinking the article discussed illegal immigration and Ferguson protesters, another mind set summed up, “in other words de-liberalize them” falling back on the old school parenting favorite explaining how spanking (beating) your kid regularly and repeatedly saying no, like you regret having them, somehow removes narcissistic entitlement, selfishness. Not leaving out comments on selfie pictures posted on the internet and how kids aren’t special and no one cares; except the people on the internet viewing them that is. Never mind, beyond not letting them get away with that in the first place forgoing having to repair the damage, hailed sage advice also from the comment section, you wouldn’t be bribing your kid with a cookie, all you 2 parent households, if you left them at home while one of you shopped; mystifying to me is why identically arranged household’s parents routinely bring their preschool aged children into all these temptations then become angry when they are besieged with ‘can I have,’ say no like the kid asked the worst question in the world. The 4 year old, it depends on the size of the mall, deration of your visit, remember his legs are lots shorter than yours, and why are you handing your kid your i-pad all the time, could it be because you have a toddler, beginning grade schooler still insisting on running errands with them for what seems like hours? While the article and mentioned book are obviously aimed at late 20 something, barely cracked 30 millennials just old enough to have toddler, beginning grade school children, ok who really does this stuff; who, other than myself, read that and, rather than the air-headed, always had an excuse to turn in school assignments late, never forced to meet a hard and fast deadline millennial, pictured perhaps a harried middle aged woman mentally berating her absent minded husband during her phone call to the credit card company crossing her fingers they will waive the fee, vowing to set it up on an automatic payment, simply do it herself from now on when they don’t? Who read expired coupon scenario and instead of picturing the over the top, drama queen, self-important 20 something ‘used to the world revolving around them,’ envisioned either the confused little old lady or the extreme coupon-er looking like they are trying to game the system; additionally turning the 21st century stereotype in its head, who imagined the argument store staff would get from each in either case? Making the real question less one about parenting, a debate over the “old” format, love, structure, discipline, and the “new age” technique always translated into being a child’s friend, “coddling” them because hit is not your answer to everything, misguided thinking your child is special and others are the problem and more about why adults, raised in an entirely different generation, different era, with totally different, or so they say, priorities, parameters and parenting models are behaving just as badly or worse than the me, me, me generation of kids, spanning in the minds of naysayers, zero to 35? As filled to the brim as social media is with selfies and the dumb things kids, teens, tweens and so called millennials get up to, why is it as equally filled with over 40 over 50 plus persons seemingly trying to outdo them? Further, who is to blame for the trend, the 1980’s born neo-parent supposedly learning it from their coddling baby boomer parents; if that’s true, then where did those “accursed” boomers learn it? Or does it go back farther to the ‘greatest generation’ those who were naturally rebellious with the time, won the admiration of their country in winning WWII, a window into how “adults” have always expected to be treated and looked down upon kids, upon people younger than themselves, what we see today the fruition of a generations long habit now reaching negatively intolerable levels?
Wherever it came from, whatever the initial cause, if people are serious about reducing the me, me, me in society, versus totally eliminating it, like it or not some me thinking is healthy, for all the talk they don’t seem too serious, it begins by stemming the flood of articles written on the selfishness of kids, the outrageousness of the millennial supposed to be grown-ups and equally highlighting undesired qualities in 1950’s, 60’s 70’s formerly praised adults when they screw up in the same way. The author made a good start but didn’t go far enough stating the probable reality, if the millennials are truly all about me, me, me, a subject up for rigorous debate, they probably learned it from their baby boomer or thereabouts parents; no, not treating them as if they were special, acting as if they could do no wrong, constantly praising them, giving them trophies but simply by modeling themselves after the latter, watching their behavior and mimicking it. Think about it in terms of the 2 opposing opinion articles below related, though not on the same topic, but again discussing kids, teens, college students, dreaded millennial adults; the first is a whopping 15 page feature in The Atlantic describing the effects of coddling the American mind on a colligate level, causing students to develop an ultra-thin skin just before leaving the last protections for the fully adult world and the consequences thereof. Namely how the long arm of 30 odd years of “helicopter parenting” is catching up to us via frivolous challenges to free speech, hypersensitive political correctness and increased mental health problems. Central idea being baby boomer, helicopter parents’ all-encompassing desire to protect has backfired and has alarming potential to backfire with even greater spectacularly horrendous significance possibly teaching students to ‘think pathologically;’ except our Atlantic author’s admittedly well researched, well put together diatribe, that sounds exceptionally good, relevant to the times on its face, sidesteps larger fundamentals. First, ‘left winged, liberal’ student protest can be distilled down enforcing the old adage surrounding endeavoring to think before you speak, and having the high B.S. meters they are already known for, will not tolerate people who don’t even attempt engage their brain before opening the great maw called their mouth, on top of having excellent detectors of subtle, not so subtle variations on bigotry, homophobia, racism, classism and overall systemic inequality they have no intention of standing for either. Confronting the psychology laid out, forget the detailed laundry list of clinical thought distortions and how they were applied to goings-on on college campuses today by the authors makes for soporific reading even to someone like me known for pinning long winded articles; easily missed by the casual reader is, for nearly everything attributed as a negative of student behavior, there is an en mass earlier version from a previous generation. Whether it’s who displays more of an air of their right never to be offended, older or younger people, usually those with gray hair, wrinkles and thinking the world will end if you don’t call them sir/ma’am, not to be confused with people who will remove something, change plans, cancel events to be sure they don’t offend those different from them. Granted examples given are the height of ridiculous, situations gone far past the scope of what they were intended to, trigger warnings on anything from racial violence, discussion of suicide, rape and the law, common phrases now seen to have an offensive undercurrent including, “America is the land of opportunity” and “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” Who does more labeling, magnification, fortune telling, engages in moral psychology, motivated reasoning is an interesting, would be laughable question if it wasn’t so sad and absurd, because those describe 99% of conservative politicians, religious activists, well over standard college age, in America today assigning global negative meaning to opponents, people who don’t believe as they do. Who assigns exaggerated importance to issues more, college students in their daily lives, on campus activities or religious conservatives discussing issues opposing gay marriage under the slippery slope argument—the next ‘logical’ manifestation of moral depravity is father/daughter marriages. Motivated reasoning is the crux of Todd Akin’s rape comment spontaneously creating arguments for conclusions he wanted to support (abortion is never needed if women can’t get pregnant during the force of rape and every other sexual encounter is under their control making it their responsibility to exercise that control), dido with birth control; claiming all birth control is abortifacient makes it now morally wrong and ok to oppose. Author’s Lukianoff and Haidt fail to comprehend their entire section discussing ‘teaching students to catastrophize and have zero tolerance’ describes older adult on older adult instances not student initiated ones backed by the same age bracket vindictiveness, proving my point better than their own. Keeping in mind Freud, considered the father of modern psychology’s Oedipal, and later Freudian inspired, Electra complexes stemmed from his own inappropriate thoughts, relationships with relatives, undermining merits to any, used today, psychological treatment, their favorite, cognitive behavioral therapy as they apply it to the current colligate, college student “problem,” never mind it’s twin exposure therapy isn’t a cure for everything; call me when their elevator example treated to said therapy, someone’s amateur application of it, suddenly succumbs to a stroke heart attack thanks to efforts made. Noted was the steep uptick in mental health issues among college students from severe actual diagnosis to survey self-reporting showing marked increased percentages in anxiety, depression and emotional crises, never asked or at least given, was the source of the former two things or descriptions given upon request defining what crisis means to them, how serious their reported issue on date X was a week, month later. What we do know is equally recurring themes in student surveys is ever elevating concern over job availability upon graduation, ability to pay back student loan debt, common roots of anxiety and depression. There are other truths uncovered in their own writing Lukianoff and Haidt are unwilling to admit; the big ones, evidence colleges so quickly embrace emotional reasoning not solely because the institution, goal of college has changed over the decades learning supplanted with pushing an agenda right, left or cause specific, laser focus on their bottom line becoming for profit conglomerates interested largely in bodies occupying seats, current problems being less students dared to practically exercise their rights in the real world, though you’re getting closer, and simply stated, colleges have latched on so tightly to emotional reasoning due to older adults’ responsible for administrations’ need to be coddled and protected themselves. They did it for their own comfort level, their own extreme aversion to confrontation, discomfort, as much as, or rather than for the students; otherwise why didn’t administrators calmly explain the why behind allowing formerly thought benign things as opposed to acquiescing? Why didn’t they possess the spine to do so; why are they just as guilty of identical thought distortions? One professor pinning an article titled in part My Liberal students Terrify Me; who’s catastrophizing now?
The second Salon.com piece tackles why the Atlantic’s type of thinking is greatly exaggerated using many of the same examples to a different purpose, exposing a different angle beginning by dispelling the dooms day clarion call, “This [‘sounding the alarm about left wing stormtoopers creating a stifling Orwellian monoculture’] is clearly an extremely compelling narrative when it comes to a lot of people’s personal fears, because it’s a narrative they spin out of comparatively little evidence. It’s not that there’s no such thing as a left-wing witch hunt or that people haven’t been harmed by them — it’s that, for something that’s so scary that it warrants trend piece after trend piece on a biweekly basis, it seems pretty hard for these pundits to come up with actual examples of harm to themselves.” A concept that can be extended to larger society beyond comedians, social commentators, famous internet personalities and college professors; as much as the saying ‘the world is going to hell in a hand basket’ is popular, evidence remains either scarce, based on moral judgments not shared by even a majority or is contained in completely off topic issues not influenced by American millennials, young people period—the migrant crisis in Europe, destabilization in the middle east, China’s effect on the stock market exc. Colorado is still a functioning city despite legalizing pot, manifestation of prostitution was manufactured in Arizona by decidedly older people to ‘Christianize heathens’ not eliminate prostitution or uphold existing laws against same, hot button though it is, those against gay marriage don’t seem to realize they still have the right to live there life as an example of their morality, can sit in a pew, preach from a pulpit, out in the street with minor restrictions espousing the values they want to hold onto, mirroring facts on the birth control insurance uproar; you the individual don’t have to use it, you are not shoving it down anyone’s throat simply purchasing employee insurance that makes it available, making you, the employer, a periphery 3rd party on a ‘responsibility scale.’ Arthur Chu got it right this time pointing out another pundit’s huge example of left wing witch hunts, colligate overreaction was a kid being fired from a newspaper, the same college student referenced by Lukianoff and Haidt talking about micro-aggressors, those benign statements with an offensive undercurrent; ignored, his name was Omar Mahamood and he wrote it for a conservative publication. Prompting the question, what did we expect; he had 2 strikes against him in his name sounded Muslim, Arabic, and we know what too many think of that, he was writing for a conservative paper bound to be hypersensitive, strike 3 was what he wrote satirical mocking of his fellow contributors, campus minorities the newspaper that fired him called a conflict of interest, not an unheard of justification for firing someone especially in the journalistic arena. The professor who wrote a piece about campus politics of sexual paranoia then was slapped with a title IX complaint, used in their introduction, is expounded on by Chu in that she was A- cleared by that system and B- the substance of the complaint wasn’t her opinion, distasteful thought it may have been, but untruths she perpetuated about a student’s sex harassment complaint against a professor, oops. I myself noticed under their section on ‘Higher Education’s Embrace of Emotional Reasoning’ recounting the cancellation of an event called hump day allowing people to pet a camel because it was insensitive to people from the middle east, was dividing people making a possibly unsafe environment according to the Facebook protest organizer, Lukianoff and Haidt listed, but did not comment on also mentioned reasons for the cancelation, waste of money, animal cruelty; choosing instead to zero in on only what supported their premise of student overreaction. Likewise, Mr. ‘My Liberal students Terrify Me,’ Chu says not only wrote under a pseudonym doing everything possible to protect himself, he has never actually been attacked by his students receiving one erroneous, went nowhere complaint “but his whole thesis is his left-wing students are scarier because his personal intuition is that they might come after him worse than that right-wing student did and it might be worse for him if and when they do.” Which thought distortion listed at the bottom of Lukianoff and Haidt’s article is that? Accentuating if anything, adults are teaching college students, younger people to be just like themselves, just as scared, paranoid and unyielding to anything new as they have been for decades. Bringing us to the much referenced, since it happened, Jerry Seinfeld example “What’s Jerry Seinfeld’s clincher for how political correctness is ruining comedy? What’s his vivid example to let us visualize how the New Left McCarthyism is destroying art? The fact that he did a really dumb, obnoxious, middle-school-level joke about how the scrolling gesture built into the touchscreen user interface of smartphones makes you look kinda gay, and people didn’t laugh…Yes, a stand-up comedian is crying political oppression because people didn’t laugh at his joke, and because his infallible comic intuition tells him the joke, in a world undistorted by politically correct brainwashing, would be objectively hilarious.” However Seinfeld, Bill Maher, Chris Rock, Lewis C.K. and so on find it difficult to do college circuit comedy due to exactly what Chu said no one finds their middle school, sophomoric jokes funny, certainly not from professional comics, and aren’t going to idly listen to them, less because of the ‘infantilization of America,’ constant coddling, colleges being consumer driven rather than learning driven, an astounding lack of logic, but because they usually use humor to gloss over really bad things, really unacceptable behavior. No one is interested in the late Bernie Mac’s style of comedy talking about hitting a black kid so hard “the white meat shows” when they see abuse cases on the news, they find it needlessly abusive, as do I, to look at old Steve Harvey footage describing a black parents reaction to a white child’s tantrum in the store who started hitting their own child warning them never to behave that way; better question to ask ourselves and Caitlin Flanagan, fellow Atlantic author extraordinaire, highlighting the plight of college circuit comedians is why Feraz Ozel’s first time ever doing stand-up:” three minutes on giving his girlfriend herpes and banging his grandma” was considered funny. Why Doug Stanhope would try explaining to religious kids that there’s no God, or Dennis Miller would try telling an audience of social-justice warriors that France’s efforts to limit junk food in schools are part of the country’s “master plan to raise healthier cowards, though the kids would likely agree with Miller, when communication 101, stand-up comedy or not, is consider your audience, but the ‘children’ can’t stomach logic. It’s seeing Rosanne Barr’s red-neck belting of the national anthem at a baseball game where she didn’t even try to carry a tune, botched the words as inappropriate; it’s reminiscent of Bill Cosby’s unearthed 1969 joke describing dropping a drug into a woman’s drink then and now, not the least of which because of what’s come to light about his activities behind the persona.
Here you’re doubtlessly thinking I’ve gotten off track of the original blog or perhaps should have devoted an entire piece to deconstructing the Atlantic and Salon offerings but not quite; unlike my other work Old and Entitled in America (https://indiemusicnews.com/blog/2014/old-and-entitled-in-america/) demonstrating exactly the kind of antics done by older, respected adults too often engaging in confrontation with young people then playing the victim, acting crazier than their youthful counterparts with far less the excuse, or explaining the Me generation from a purely social phenomenon perspective in The Truth Behind the Me Generation (https://indiemusicnews.com/blog/2010/current-trends-57/) I was attempting to put forth, shore up with little doubt the following theory. Me, ME, me has been an adult mantra for generations, a rite of passage into middle aged adulthood translating into I can do whatever I want, within few confines of “reason,” because I have arrived at this age, paid my dues as it where in the emotional, mental, social meat grinder culture up to this point (don’t worry there won’t be any shortage of videos). Remember the example from Old and Entitled the Jimmy Carter look alike and the kid with the skateboard, the similarly aged old woman in the background proclaiming just that? For all their talk, exasperated and apoplectic, ranting and raving about the obnoxiousness of young people think hard for a moment on who it is who can’t stand in a line, calmly wait their turn, and I don’t mean those physically incapable of standing, shouting or mumbling they don’t have to put up with this contrasted to the millennial, who will stand in that line once, yes perhaps be upset, but far from making a scene, and if at all possible, find a different, more convenient way to get what they want or need next time. Who is it who protests the loudest about complying with simple procedures for renewing your driver’s license, banking policies, flowing basic rules and directions; I saw this just the other day at my bank a group of middle aged women come in to cash checks shocked there was a 1% fee applied to non-account holders, fussing and cussing about going to the local grocery store. Bank teller comment after they left, good luck with the people charging 18%, or the middle aged man who A- didn’t notice his ID had expired and B- was irritated he needed a current, valid ID to cash his check. My friend does weekly volunteer work at our housing complex food pantry surprise, surprise it isn’t the persons 18-35 who give her the most problems, are constantly trying to take more than the rules allow, are forever making demands about what they need to have there, treating a charity, donation driven food pantry like a grocery store being confrontational, throwing absolute temper tantrums, resulting in temporary bans, when they are held to the same standards as everyone else. No, once more that would fall on people 40, 50, 60, gray headed, grouchy and oh so close to being arrested. Older person’s chief problem with younger people is they know their rights, they know their freedoms and do what they want within them despite not having “earned it” yet, and they don’t simply follow the directions of random older persons on the street because they are older, it would make the latter’s life easier. Even discussing growing kid, teen depravity is couched into either 2 categories, those hopped up on psychotropic drugs for non-existent ADHD where we used to have discipline comprising your school shooters, your mass shooters coddled so much they can’t cope with the ‘real world’ thus resorting to this, poster child James Holmes. Or, teens raised so absent morals they litter headlines detailing the beating, killing of the homeless person, the disabled person, ‘because they were bored;’ at least that’s the translation gotten by respect my authorita cops minorly trained in psychology before booking them into the criminal justice system, hardly a time to delve into the deeper psychological issues leading to the crime; American public rarely tuning back in when a mental health professional has had the time to extensively interview said teen, determine things like mental age compared to chronological age, ask what happened, developed the doctor patient trust relationship to get to the truth, usually starkly different than what made it above the fold. But one of the latest movie theater shooters prompting post massacre bag searches in select iconic theaters was 59 John Russell Houser with a, predictably by now, long history of mental health problems, criminal record and judge order psychological evaluations, his own family tried to have him committed. Check out the middle aged road rage, last video above, 51 year old Lee Schismenos versus 24 year old motor cyclist punching, threatening the biker, shoving his girlfriend over a prior traffic altercation where the biking cupule cut off our, who didn’t see this coming, possibly intoxicated driver. Which portion of America is being infantilized again?
Little mystery as to the lack of logic, problem solving and general inability to handle common life situations among teens, college students, millennials when you analyze the news worthy lack of logic, problem solving and inability to handle life situations in the adults around them surpassing retiring baby boomers right up to the WWII generation in their 80’s 90’s; tell us, how is this ‘venerable elder’ is better than his younger counterparts, better than the young 13 year old ‘whippersnapper’ he accused of vandalizing his lawn, when the best way he can think to deal with the problem is dumping a container of his own urine on the teen landing himself in jail. His fate after police had apparently already been to his residence and taken his report on aforementioned vandalism; odder still, his admission to police he regularly keeps a bowl of urine handy for self-defense. Yes neighbors can be pesky, figuring out what to do about their annoying habits before they drive you insane can be a headache, and $120 for a barking dog fine is steep but posting a sign with vulgar language is all you got, your defense is it wasn’t a cuss word, censored part of the signage guesstimated to read douchebag; really, you’re admitting to national TV cameras you don’t know what else to do, this you put on a sign trying to sell your home so you can get away from him? You don’t think maybe potential buyers will avoid your home because they don’t want to deal with him either; further, if your intent was simply to get him to take the hint, what will you tell potential enquirers about the house? Continuing, previous generation suburbanites think it’s absolutely stupid for gang members to kill each other in the streets over the color of a rag, perceived disrespect via a look, are callous to gang members on the stand, in court rooms saying the deadly shooting during a robbery was unintentional, but argue they are completely justified to murder their neighbor over a property dispute regarding landscaping. Note the second ‘gentleman’ in video 2 above is white haired estimated age 70, responsible for giving birth to vid 2’s first problem solving fail showcasing the upstanding respectability of those 40 plus compared to your average millennial who thought his only way to deal with his neighbor was to bulldoze their fence, dump motor oil in their pool then, ordered by a court to take anger management courses, lie about taking them earing himself a perjury charge and a stint in jail. Neighbors have been shot for loud music, loud parties; violence against pets is par for the course, it’s just a dog. Here too is the stand your ground generation who has begun to use the phrase ‘I was in fear for my life’ to shoot a female car accident victim in the back of the head for knocking on his door, to shoot at a car full of teens and their loud ‘thug’ music, because you thought you saw a gun, killing one of them, killing a 17 year old walking back to his dad’s house armed with skittles an iced tea because some 911 nuisance caller housing a vigilante complex didn’t think he belonged in the latter’s neighborhood, virtually assassinating a young father in a dark movie theater, why, he wouldn’t stop texting. It’s easy to see potential validity in the Amazon.com workplace horrors news exposé because the descriptions are so anti- millennial work spaces, reminiscent of how older people remember going to work ignoring books like The Working Wounded by people who think a toxic workplace, a toxic work environment involves dangerous chemicals, gases, fluids best handled by persons in hazmat suits, not bullying bosses, discrimination, horrible policies that should be, possibly even are illegal, because if you don’t like it you don’t have to work here and your thank you is in the form of a paycheck every 2 weeks, have a nice day. Angry grandpa may be a YouTube personality known for somewhat staging his videos like the repo of his washing machine but he still trashed a pizza place to film his ‘I want my deep dish’ rant; irony of ironies or comeuppances of comeuppances, you decide, tough talking Judge Joe Brown loved by TV audiences, seen schooling young thugs, off the wall divorcés, air headed teen girls, began serving his 5 day sentence last week for contempt of court when he tried that same tough talk before his own judge representing a client’s child custody case, exceptionally bad form. Tragedy is we think teens, 1990’s to present day, got it, get it from being a generation b babysat by television, too many episodes of Maury and Jerry Springer rather than by watching those older than them in their daily lives, mean old neighbors, the crazies in Wal-Mart, supermarket meltdowns, a classmates mom/dad, their teacher, their own parents whacky tempers.
Finally summing up the me culture and ‘New Left McCarthyism’ coddled, infantilized college student driven witch hunts bordering on the absurd into the neat little packages actually wanted by their generational predecessors and what it means going forward for millennial adults along with kids growing up now, oh heaven forbid our young people display sensitivity enough to recognize that whole camel, hump day incident could be offensive to someone from the middle east regardless of what funny commercial they haven’t seen. Maybe if we demonstrated that level of sensitivity in assessing how we are perceived by other parts, that part of the world, they would have less reason to call is the great satan, if they didn’t believe we were all MTV, Girls Gone Wild; understood is, reasoning with extremists is as bad as people think using logic on millennials is, but why give them justifiable ammunition? Lukianoff and Haidt never stopped to analyze how students ultimately used the trigger warnings they requested be applied to lecture topics and literature whether it was less to make readings, classes optional, opt-out-able and more to gear themselves up to read something potentially traumatic to their experience, not be suddenly slapped in the face offensive, coarse material they are, after all, probably only taking, reading for liberal arts gen ed. requirements or that what is needed is for colleges to teach students how to use them. Step back for a moment and one can sympathize with the law student not wanting to hear an entire class, semester of class talking about rape law, repeated use of the word violate, even in the context of something violating the law, when you’re going to law school because you want to work in probate court, an unrelated facet of legal aid, are in it for the money, yet have to endure this to pass the bar, were a sexual assault victim, sexual abuse survivor but don’t want to wear a giant sign to class announcing that fact so people comprehend your point of view. Frankly I have a far bigger problem with Donald Trump’s lawyer’s comments on rape, case law he said supported his assertion contrary to legality in all 50 states while keeping his law license, not having the sense not to comment if he didn’t know enough about it. Again on its face Lukianoff and Haidt’s argument college policies on harassment, offensive speech should go back to the 2003 definition of “objective offense,” use of the reasonable person test instead of it’s broadening circa 2013 to speech simply termed unwelcome; then I think of my friend dropped off with her babysitting charges at a kids fun play place and being propositioned for a date, herself and the kids leered at by the concessions attendant , how many women endure this daily walking down the street, being just about anywhere, I think of gay people and the spiting, name calling, protests and hate filled signage, I think of Sikhs who are not Muslim, not terrorists, not extremists and are mistaken for such regardless. I think too that freedom of speech, of course gives you the right to do nearly all these things, still does not shield you from social consequences only legal ones. Also unexplored, why phrases like America is the land of opportunity” and “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” are micro aggressors, are seen as having an offensive undercurrent; it couldn’t be because this generation above all others has seen the least opportunity to date, are going to college, amassing debt, dually flirting with a third rail of not knowing if they will be able to get a job for their efforts. Or that believing the best candidate should get the job doesn’t make it so, isn’t how the job market legitimately works since decades before they were born and they are tired of educators perpetuating such a big lie. The professor correcting one student’s grammar consisting of wrongly capitalizing the word indigenous missed a larger point despite the student’s silly claim it was an insult to her ideology; said student obviously capitalized the word for emphasis, meaning of some kind and he was supposed to grasp the meaning over the punctuation in a doubtlessly undergraduate paper not being put through a formal peer review. Thus he would have been better off challenging them to explain their emphasis rather than docking points for grammar. Chu hit a perfect note again calling Jerry Seinfeld’s reaction to a bad joke the same kind of naval-gazing, self-persecution that made the show Seinfeld so funny, wondering if its creator did so at the man’s expense. Addressing broader comedy issues popping up on college campuses, surpassing Flanagan’s example of a gay man’s novelty song routine about his life and the lessons learned from a sassy black friend, 2 white students who took offence at the black friend angle, being incongruent with the mood in the room, you wonder if those 2 students were onto something more instinctual; seeing the fates of comedians like Chris Farley, Robin Williams and others, coming to the realization of how much pain they’re in to ply their craft, we shouldn’t be getting our laughs at their expense. Dido with Geoff Keith’s fundamental rules of standup, why it’s not a good idea to hold a comedy show in the cafeteria during lunch hour, to why jokes involving gay people aren’t necessarily homophobic; if it’s so dirty we can’t get through a meal and so questionable we feel completely wrong just listening to it, we don’t want to hear it. Flanagan hitting then dismissing the hallmark of their non-coddled, non-selfish, bigger ambition for a better beyond themselves stance, “These young people have decided that some subjects—among them rape and race—are so serious that they shouldn’t be fodder for comics. They want a world that’s less cruel; they want to play a game that isn’t rigged in favor of the powerful. And it’s their student-activities money…” Shouldn’t that be what we all want; shouldn’t we be proud of young people saying not in our ‘little world,’ the college campus going on to say the same in the whole of America, striving for the whole world, and why aren’t we? Post script being we/they the over 40’s to those gazing unto the end of life have a lot of nerve bouncing off the ceiling acting as if our head, our hair is on fire screaming about the me, me, me narcissism of the culture when isn’t that exactly what we’re doing, saying instead, pay attention to us, bemoaning we didn’t have it as good. The loudest whiners have a lot of nerve yammering about who wants to be coddled when it’s secretly them not their kids especially noticing the growing panic, movement to remove kids from all public places until age 18 and their supposed to come out knowing how to act. Pillars of social moral superiority are beyond the pale calling out, chastising berating young people from the dumb, criminal, deadly pathologic things they do, when they equally have a set of things they will do the same for. Cold hard truth the young people dissected here aren’t all about me, apart from how can I shape a better world; shame on cynics willfully trying to shatter that.