My generation was raised by Baby Boomers in a kind of complete fantasy world at the height of the Empire: Boomers were the most privileged and the best educated children of The Great Generation, enjoying the economic boom of post-World War II American society. My generation realized that like most fantasies it was a somewhat dissatisfying lie and so we rebelled with irony and negativity and attitude or conveniently just checked-out because we had the luxury to do so. Our reality compared to Millennial reality wasn’t one of economic hardship. We had the luxury to be depressed and ironic and cool. Anxiety and neediness are the defining aspects of Generation Wuss and when you don’t have the cushion of rising through the world economically then what do you rely on? Well, your social media presence: maintaining it, keeping the brand in play, striving to be liked, to be liked, to be liked. And this creates its own kind of ceaseless anxiety.
What the Vice interview didn’t allow was that because I’ve been living with someone from this generation I’m sympathetic to them as well, remembering clearly the hellish year my college-educated boyfriend looked for a job and could only find non-paying internships. Add in the demeaning sexual atmosphere that places a relentless emphasis on good looks (Tinder being the most prevalent example) in such a superficially nightmarish way it makes the way my generation hooked-up seem positively chaste and innocent by comparison.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Bret Easton Ellis: