People slightly older or younger than you: what bizarre and despicable customs do they adhere to? How is the culture of them and their peers inferior to your own personal beliefs and practices? The shocking answer: Jesus Christ, this is all bullshit.
Here at Gawker.com, we take a backseat to no one when it comes to mocking both the Millennials (young, shiftless, zombie-like, poor taste in music) and The Olds (old, out of touch, slow, poor taste in music). The underlying conceit here, you see, is that only our specific generation is "right" when it comes to everything from popular culture preferences to fashion and style to the way we deploy various slang terms. As we ourselves age, we shift our biases upwards with us, so that we are personally always in the "sweet spot" where people act reasonably, whereas those younger and older than us are flawed in myriad ways, which we hasten to point out at every opportunity.
Though we don't like to give away trade secrets, in this case, will reveal the following fact: this is a "joke." The subtext of this running joke—a joke that we intend to run for so long that it becomes indistinguishable from a true prejudicial belief, and comes to define us (negatively) in the minds of the casual readers—is, of course, that every generation is basically exactly the same, and there is very little new under the sun, and, my god, even Socrates was complaining about the lazy ways of the youth back in his time, what the fuck would make you think that your generation, whatever it is, is in any way inherently special compared to the thousands of human generations that came before you? The entire farcical idea that humanity reaches its peak with your generation and then proceeds to go into decline with the next generation is made all the more hilarious by the fact that every generation before you believed the same thing, as will every generation after you. Humans: even our sense of uniqueness is not unique!
We apologize for being forced to make this point explicit, rather than implicit, but sometimes these things are necessary—humanity has never been especially good at parsing sarcasm, either. Now, can we give all this a "news peg" today, preferably related to those lazy, shiftless Millennials, with their Skrillex and "medical" marijuana? We sure can! It's a study, via Ad Age , which points out that the entire image of the Millennial generation as a bunch of lazy, shiftless Skrillex-listeners is largely just a media creation, because—wait for it—Millennials are pretty much just like you.
But like generations before them, millennial parents tend to be more traditional and shop more frugally than their non-parent counterparts. According to the study, before millennials have children they over-index on brands like Abercrombie, H&M, Apple, Macy's and Sephora. After they become parents, those brands not only drop, some of them disappear from their consideration set. Instead, millennials shift to over-indexing against the entire U.S. population on brands like Dollar General, Kohl's, Lowe's, Wal-Mart and Value City. About 44% of millennial parents are "very financially stressed."
Your mom was young and free and then had you and then she shopped at the cheap store. You were young and free and then you had kids and then you shopped at the cheap store. And Millennials were young and free and then they had kids and then they shopped at the cheap store. No matter who you are, or how old you are, or what generation you're from, we're all just struggling to get by.
Except for those Millennials. Turn off the "massively multiplayer" video game world and join a new world, kids—the real world. Assholes.
[Photo: John Atherton/ Flickr]