Megan Amram shines a spotlight on one of my frustrations with this crop of post-collegiates, a kind of defensive detachment:
We are coming of age in a culture not of un-enjoyment, but of anti-enjoyment. Passion is not just superfluous — passion is weakness. If you like things, you might like the wrong things […] The Internet can’t figure out whether it wants to beatify things or damn them, so it just gets all sorts of contentious.
I would argue that upcoming generations are supposed to push back against what came before them: that’s part of the engine of culture.
But “everything sucks” isn’t pushing; it’s flailing.
To participate in this chic backlash against passion is to have a small mind. In my humble, unimportant, normal-sized opinion, it is better to have a small BRAIN than a small MIND. If you have a small brain, you can still be a good, kind, hard-working, dumb person who can manage some sort of farm or daycare. If you have a small mind, however, you very well might hurt people with it. You are just getting a sliver of the delicious Bacon, Ham, & Cheese Lean Pocket that is being young in America.
Spending your youthful energy on combative, kinetic apathy is a waste. Stuff is AWESOME, GUYS.
I genuinely hope that I Just Don’t Get It, and that in a decade’s time we’ll look back and realize that the endless cycles spent on 4chan and Jersey Shore will have been worthwhile.
But I worry instead that we’ll end up with a terrible government and a lack of innovation because the generation entrusted with stirring shit up sat on its collective ass.