Monday, January 21, 2008

A blog is somewhat narcissistic

Tell me: Am I self-centered? Last week, everyone on the NYT website really enjoyed emailing this story about "Generation Me." It said, that years of our baby boomer parents telling us that we are special snowflakes who can be whoever we want to be if we just believe in ourselves, have spoiled us for the workplace where older employees get all pissy about our cocksure attitudes and desire to be rewarded for our awesomeness.

First of all, whatever. Second of all, these kind of articles are bullshit. It's based on the idea that if enough people bitch and moan about a certain population, it becomes news to point fingers. People write books about it. People do stupid studies about it, asking "Do today's young people really think they are so extraordinary?"

What kind of question is that? That's not scientific. Nor is it scientific to open a press release with a quote from Jimmy Carter:

“I’ve been a professor at Emory University for the past twenty years and I interrelate with a wide range of students...I don’t detect that this generation is any more committed to personal gain to the exclusion of benevolent causes than others have been in the past.”

Thanks, Jimmy, for interrelating to me.

These scientists were unable to find support to the claim that high school seniors were any more narcissistic than students the past three decades. "...It appears, at least for now, that the youth of American have won a reprieve from being scolded as more aloof and self-involved than previous generations," the press release summarizes.

There are enough assholes in every age group, and there are also enough good, kind people. The thing that annoys me about my generation is that we don't have a proper name. We keep getting labeled in reaction to other generational names. Generation Y and The Echo Boomers sound like crappy bands. Or we get called Generation Me, which is insulting. Because I don't think our parents were wrong to tell us that we're special snowflakes, or that it's good to have high self esteem. I watched "Free To Be You and Me" ten times and it was great. People are different, and people complain about other people. Let's stop the vicious cycle and not write any more articles or books or fund studies about it, okay?

Of course, that will never happen. Because people lap up stories about themselves with a spoon.

Anyhow. In other travels across the internet, I found this chronicle of a motorcycle trip through Chernobyl. The author describes the town as a frozen Soviet history.

It's like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - except with radiation instead of insanity. Having been only two years old when the disaster occurred, and now that people are promoting nuclear reactors as a solution to our energy problems again, it's pretty incredible to think it will between 300 and 900 years before the radiation disappears from the area. Nice place to visit, though.