(Note: This piece is a response to the mindbogglingly dull dreck masquerading as an article called “The Millennial Pledge,” or something like that.)
I admire and adore baby boomers. I truly do. While I was born too late to accurately call myself one, I feel that my irrational and extreme hatred of things such as pumpkin spice lattes, smartphones, and spicy food places me firmly among the ranks of my elders. My generation is just too entitled for its own good! As Chris Erskine so aptly pointed out in his recent humorous call to action for millennials, the only things anyone is entitled to are sleep and life. Nothing more! Where do we get off demanding things like food or clean air and water, let alone economic opportunities or (God forbid!) an equitable society free of capitalist exploitation? It’s absurd.
However, in an attempt to bridge the gap between my spiritual peers and my chronological peers, I’m going to extend an olive branch. Perhaps if Boomers are also required to make a pledge, more of my entitled friends and colleagues will be willing to become actual adults, as Erskine suggests? Therefore, I humbly request that my flawless, blameless elders take this pledge, as a magnanimous gesture in order to help pull us poor deluded millennials into adulthood—kicking and screaming if need be. It’s only fair!
• I pledge that the faux-radicool idealism I spouted in the 60s and 70s was not in fact a thin veneer meant to hide both my inherent selfishness and colossal ego.
• And I certainly did not get into “free love” in a cynical attempt to get laid more. Scout’s honor!
• I pledge that my anger at the Vietnam War was motivated by much more than my desire to avoid the draft and further, I pledge that somehow, through logical and mental gymnastics that I doubt any mere millennial could understand, there is nothing inherently contradictory about my support of the wars currently being waged in the Middle East by my peers.
• After a life lived under the mantra of “fuck you, got mine,” I will resist the urge to rise to the levels of hypocrisy it would take for me to claim that anyone is “entitled,” much less the people I’ve stepped on in my rise to the top.
• I solemnly swear that I will not cynically use the fact that my cousin’s best friend’s elder sister marched in Selma as a smokescreen for the fact that I support the transparently white supremacist carceral legislation that funds and supports our prison-industrial system.
• And I will absolutely not support a war on drugs that overwhelmingly targets Black people for possessing the same substances that visibly coated my desk at Salomon Brothers in 1986.
• I will do my best to resist the urge to represent radical anticapitalism as “youthful naïveté,” considering my generation has presided over yet another example in the neverending parade of case studies in the failure of capitalism.
• Under no circumstances will I offer unsolicited job hunting advice, considering I have no earthly idea what it is like to be new to the workforce in the economy I have personally ruined.
• The above is doubly true if I intend to use the phrase “pound concrete.”
• I will not use something as silly and inconsequential as criticizing millennials for “not knowing cursive” or “taking too many selfies” as a smokescreen to distract myself and my peers from our complicity in throwing future generations directly under the bus so that we could have two terms of Reagan and a fat 401(K).
• Finally, I pledge that I will never attempt to pass off my total unwillingness to connect with the world my generation has created as “humor,” nor will I ever try my hand at observational humor, as it is abundantly clear that I have the observational prowess of a comatose mole.
Art by Jun Joestar.