1. This is an interesting point that you bring up, and I (having just turned 20 a little over a week ago)had a few things to say.

    I do think, by and large, that this generation has become increasingly apathetic towards their world. It seems to be an extremist sort of thing; either people my age are hardcore activists who are out there making visible change, or they just don’t give a rat’s ass. I think it’s really easy to fall onto the apathetic side, or at least easier than one might think. I know for me, it’s hard to keep reading the depressing news every day, it’s hard for me to hear that George Bush may become president again, etc. Things DO occasionally feel hopeless. We see all of these changes that are being made and realize that they affect our future in very serious ways; social security, health care, war, etc. So I do sometimes wonder: how can I bring children into this? How will I ever find a job in this increasingly volatile market? How will I be able to finish college if education funding keeps getting cut?

    I think that I’ve definitely seen the downfalls in this country up close and personally (I’m in a low income family and while I got a 1300 on my SATs, I can’t AFFORD the college I go to. So much so that I had to take a year off.)

    I’m not defending the late teens/20 somethings and their hopelessness and lack of faith in the world, but for someone who isn’t naturally optimistic (like I tend to be, although I have my periods of pessimism), it’s very easy to feel like things are doomed. Especially for those of us who watch the news.

  2. You sound kind of like Mr. Rosso the guidance counselor from “Freaks and Geeks.” I mean that as a compliment.

  3. Ed, these baby-faced cynics were two years younger and still getting used to the idea that maybe they couldn’t blow off college and just skip straight to Internet millionaire like some dotcom LeBron after all when school started in 2001. Then all of a sudden their world was upended. The towers came down and the Pentagon was on fire and grownups were freaking out. Shit, they might die without ever having sex.

    And unlike us, they didn’t come up on a Gen X diet of voodoo economics, the Day After, and morning in America–Clinton was their guy. [Imagine how nice it must have been growing up knowing only Clinton.] So I’m not surprised at their despair and hopelessness.

    As for the Walnut Creek punk, hasn’t the best west coast punk come out of the OC and other wealthy conservative CA environs since, I dunno, Thatcher? The guy was just announcing his pedigree, Anxiety of Influence stizz. No shame in knowing your history.

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