I won’t defend the idiocy of the millennial generation, nor claim that they are poor little victims. If anything it should be the generation with least excuses to be idiots, not with all the technological developments and information being just a click away.
Looking at it deeper though, you start to see a pattern, the millennials just being the latest permutation. If you look for social critiques in all ages (whether they are just moralist fools or discerning intellectuals) you notice that in every single generation there are those who are fucked up beyond recognition in every social strata, some are just skewed perceptions, some are spot on. You even start to notice that since time immemorial older generations complain about the younger ones and claim the world is going to end because of the loose morals of younger generations.
Millennials mask their anxiety and emptiness by losing themselves in their smart phones, social media and circles of pseudo-friends. A young man in the middle ages would mask his anxiety and emptiness by praying to god, being a hard worker and drinking into oblivion with pseudo friends. A hippie would do the same by getting stoned, seeking enlightenment and hugging trees.
We are looking at insanity masking itself into whatever activities fit the social paradigm. In the particular case of Milennials they tend to mask their insanity by an extreme degree of narcissism (even though they like to pretend they are down to earth). There was a blogger who said this was the age of Narcissus and he wasn’t wrong about it and just like previous generation they have a bunch of “informed opinions” made even worse by their training at universities and the like.
There is something which actually makes the situation interesting and maybe even a bit scary, it has an expression in all ages, but I think it is more prominent in this Millenial Generation. That is to say, a spirit of rebellion being hi-jacked and redirected into ways of sedation. In principle, the idea of rebellion is fine and dandy even if it starts with little things such as dress code, but the execution is where it fails miserably.
Boris Mouravieff in his book Gnosis talks about a General Law whose function is to keep things in check, while the Law of Exception allows a few to go in the opposite direction, have this in mind.
Years ago I made a remark which suggested the typical perceptions on teenagers were dead wrong. There’s this “common knowledge” which deem teenagers as being out of control because of hormones, it just a phase which has to be quenched… this is major bullshit and our perception has to be re-framed:
The teenager phase (apart from the self-evident biological changes) is actually a natural immune response against the pretensions of society at large. You could say this is when the Law of Exception has its biggest window of opportunity, but it is only an opportunity, not a guarantee. If anything it should be a phase where proper guidance should be given otherwise the rebellion you see in teenagers could go sideways and become self-destructive. The problem is the older generations have already submitted themselves so in turn they seek to quench this Rebellion, most of time it succeeds and the teenager will be reinserted into the matrix and follow the same sad pathetic script everyone else does: Go to college, find a job, get a woman, marry, reproduce, retire, die. A mechanical life.
The milennials are the logical conclusion of the waves of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s all of those characterized for being periods of rebellion (ultimately they failed), we’ve reached an extreme conclusion where entitlement and political correctness are the norm. Just as a rebellious teenager can be re-directed to become a passive consumer of false ideas of rebellion, so can an entire generation.
A generation which in principle had potential to actually become rebellious in a constructive way, ended up being too stupid to recognize how such spirit can be redirected into mindless narcissism. If religion was the drug of choice for the medieval junkie to mask their anxiety; then technology and mass production has become the Millennial junkie drug of choice to mask the same kind of existential anxiety the medieval humans found themselves experiencing.
The logical conclusion for a humanity which has been escaping itself since the time of the Ancients can only be the Milennials. Often times people look at it as if came out of nowhere, but the reality is that it has been building up since long ago, lack of perception is what prevented people from seeing it coming from miles away. Have a closer look, not just at the milennials, but at human generations through history. The closer we have gotten to modern times, the more things there are to lose ourselves in, to hide, to avoid facing the truth about ourselves.
So now the millenials are the generation which has all kinds of shit to try to numb their pain, more than all the previous generation combined: Smartphones, computers, Starbucks, money, fashion, social protests, best sellers, music concerts, drugs, social media, instant friendships, pretentious romances, universities.
The underlying dynamic keeps repeating itself, it has been the same for thousands of years, the only difference being the variety of options which allows us to turn a blind eye.
Sex is the most prominent example so nowadays our obsession expresses itself in two main contradictory forms: Social and religious morality which is ashamed of the human body so we find ways to demonize it and become asexual because we feel uncomfortable being sexual, in an attempt to become asexual we invoke god or we invoke fat acceptance. The other form is that of constant contact with sexual imagery which most of the time never actualises in the life of people so they try to become asexual by limiting their fantasies and impulses to their own imagination.
A millenial finds himself between these two forms. On one hand he is supposed to be proper and restrain his sexuality, dress code and impeccable behaviour is a must, so he would become pretentious and give moral sermons to those women who are attractive and like to show some skin; on the other hand he is supposed to accept the free flow of sexuality, to not be ashamed by the human body, not to be uptight; so then he would accuse others of being sexually repressed snobs living in the past. No one who has both forms hammered into their minds can remain sane for long.
Either extreme they choose to side with ultimately means they are trying to escape from themselves, thus their persona is being overfed which results in something like having a massive obsession with selfies and taking one of those every 10 seconds and uploading it to social media so other broken people can -as the series Mr. Robot puts it- gloat on trivia masquerading as insight: