Hey Millennials: This Isn’t How They Said It Would Be

Look, the world feels an awful lot like it’s going to shit right now. And a fair number of Baby Boomers – the people who have been running this shit show for a while now – are pretty sure that not only is the world ending but that it’s all millennials’ fault. No seriously, it’s all millennials’ fault. Upon reading such buffoonery, I am tempted to join the army of bereaved souls who have written screeds against the wrongs done to my generation by our elders, the general point of which can usually be boiled down to something like: “What the fuck, Baby Boomers? This is your fault.”

We millennials were promised a world – by you, Mr. & Mrs. Boomer Parents – that we could shape as we saw fit, where a liberal arts degree wouldn’t be useless and where any job was attainable so long as you cared about it. If this idyllic world that we were promised ever really existed (spoiler alert: it probably didn’t), it sure as hell was gone by the time I became an adult. The result is a fairly-justifiable desire to set pen to paper and lambaste the teachers, counselors and, yes, even parents who misled an entire generation of idiots (read: people like me) into thinking that we could really be whatever we wanted when we grew up as long as we wanted it badly enough. As if the road to success wasn’t littered with the desiccated corpses of countless others who also wanted it really, really fucking badly.

“Of course that’s not how the world works, you idiot,” an entire generation shouts at me from atop their high horses or elephantine palanquins or whatever. But here’s the thing: how the hell were we supposed to know that? We were kids, man. And every adult authority figure in our lives was telling us that, no matter what we wanted, we could have it. There was no action plan included in that motivational speech, by the way. No ten step diagram or instructive pamphlet teaching me to stay the hell away from that anthropology degree. Just the constant, ceaseless instruction to follow our dreams and do something that made us happy. As if that was going to be a fruitful endeavor for all of us. As if the world could function if every single person was able to do whatever they’d do if they had a million dollars.

no janitors

So congrats to the 38 millennials who get to do what they want for a living. You guys really nailed it. But the rest of us? Well, shit. This world that we live in? It’s not what I had been promised. It’s not how they said it would be. Which makes me want to write a long, sarcastic rant about this failure of my forebears to prepare me for the world that I’m set to inherit. But I don’t have to write that rant (although I kind of already have) because The Money Pit already did. And it’s fantastic. It’s the rant that we deserve. And thank God for that. Lord knows we’re not going to get that kind of treatment anywhere else.

This post originally appeared at Type In Stereo.

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