Lets Jump Right Into It in Book Five: Working Through the Maze 2018

  • Dec. 20, 2018, 10:21 a.m.
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I have unrealistic expectations of myself. All month I’ve been working out, watching what I eat and drink, and trying to do well for my body. I’ve lost literally ZERO pounds. Now… technically, I’ve worked out less than 10 times… miracles don’t happen because you want them… but it is still a little disappointing to have a goal like 70 pounds and be so… stymied.
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Moving on, it appears that despite new research, polling, and anecdotal stories to the contrary… news organizations and internet content creators are still hammering that Millennials Are The Problem button like they were some kind of monster in the Milgram Experiments. They are still pumping out articles and videos suggesting that “This generation is entitled, impatient, obsessed with identity culture, has no concept of money, and is obsessed with their phones.” Well.... lets tear some of that down, friends.

I hear a lot about “This generation is entitled, they were given medals for participation and that ruined them.” First of all, any child of worth that received a Participation Trophy thought it was more bullshit than you did. They saw it as some idiotic attempt by adults to make adults feel better about not understanding children. Do you think all of those Participation Trophy kids didn’t play HORSE or pickup Basketball or High School Football? Because all of those have winners, losers, and awards based on merit. Hell, the generation that received participation trophies helped get ESports mainstream… do you think ESports awards trophies and large monetary prizes to every team just for participating? No. Entitlement comes not from Participation Trophies but from attitudes instilled by enabling, Never Say No parents who allowed their children to have too much control. If you come across a 68 year old or a 28 year old that can’t take “No” for an answer… it isn’t a generation thing, it is an upbringing thing (unless it is a mental health thing). Does the younger generation have more of that than previously? Perhaps. But that is a function of the previous generation following terrible parenting advice. So, sure you can say that the Young Kids you meet that feel entitled to things are “a sign of their generation” or you can realize that there have been people like that forever. Do you really think Donald Trump is a Milennial?

“Kids these days are so impatient. They get upset if they can’t find the answer right away or don’t get something quickly.” This one may be true but it is a sign of the times, not the generation. Fuck, there are employers out there acting like this that are in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. “I asked for this five minutes ago where is it?!” Because think about it… even when I was growing up (me being considered a Xennial) if I wanted to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer… I had to wait 7 days to catch the next episode! If I wanted to find out what new video games were coming out… I had to go to a store, buy a magazine and read the article on New Games. If I wanted to figure out what the primary export of Madagascar was… I had to go to a library, find an encyclopedia, hope that the Encyclopedia was up to date, and find my answer. Now? Kids can binge an entire series without waiting days at a time. Are you obsessed with Stranger Things? Clear your schedule for the day, watch all 9 episodes in a row. Done. Want to know what games are coming out? Google, IGN, GameRant, and a hundred other websites are literally seconds away from giving you that answer. What’s the primary export of Madagascar? Let me find out. I started my search at 8:41, copy/pasted the question to Google, copy/pasted the answer here and it is still 8:41. Madagascar primarily exports agricultural products coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, and fiber. It is also a producer of cotton textiles, minerals, and gemstones (though it is believed most gems are smuggled out of the country illegally). You think the generation that grew up with smart phones, high speed internet, and all streaming media are impatient? Well… yeah. EVERYONE is these days.

As to the question of Obsessed with Identity Culture? I’d have to ask how you define obsessed. Because the younger generation is considerably more likely to shrug and say “Live and let live” when someone comes along and says, “I’m gay.” or “I’m pansexual.” or “If gender is a mental construct, I’m not my biological gender.” We’re the generation that says, “Whatever, friend, be whoever you want to be.” It is the older generations that have dedicated their LIVES to this shit. Entire church communities spending their time flying around the country to protest funerals in the name of Anti-Gay Sentiment. Government Bodies tying themselves up in knots trying to make sure bathrooms get guards to guarantee Gender Exclusivity. Our generation? Sure, whatever. The older generation? “We must dedicate ourselves wholly and entirely to the cause against these forces that would corrupt our children and damn our country.” Which of those viewpoints sounds more… obsessed… to you?

This reaffirmation that the generation has no understanding of money really kind of upsets me in light of the newest research. There is now scientifically collected data that shows Milennials and the older generations have the same wants, desires, and hopes. Kids want to buy houses. Kids want to invest in retirement. Kids want to buy the same things. We don’t have any fucking money. The statistics have gone from a 90% chance that a child will make more in their lifetime than their parent… to a 50% chance. Wage growth has completely stagnated for the middle class while wage growth for the upper class has grown exponentially. More of the younger generation went to college than any generation prior… at the same time that College became more expensive (as compared to inflation) and the lending rates became downright predatory. So you have the most educated leading to the most in debt generation. AND YET despite that information that the generation is in debt, has no money, and is struggling to maintain… we’re also considered statistically the most generous. We’re the most likely to offer our time or money to causes. We’re often the best tippers. BECAUSE more of us have been there. More of us know what its like to struggle. So we’re more helpful to those struggling. I love this tweet because I’ve seen it, experienced it, lived it, and continue to see it everywhere! “As a food server, I see the generation crap for what it is. You think younger folks are entitled and cheap? Well, the 20 year olds left a 24% tip and thanked me on the way out despite an error in the kitchen. The 58 year olds complained to my manager that their ice water was too cold and left a 3% tip.”

As to obsessed with their phones? Meh, I’ll give you that one. But then they aren’t alone. Remember in the 1990s when Family Movies would always have a lawyer or business man or stock broker who just COULD NOT be away from their phone? We made Mobile Phone a symbol of affluence, success, and hard work. THEN we made Mobile Phone a tiny pocket computer that can do anything from make phone calls to play video games to take pictures to surf the web to listen to music to EVERYTHING. You give curious, open minded kids a small device that can do just about ANYTHING THEY WANT… obviously, they’re going to get sucked into it. What would you like to do today? Cell Phone’ll make it happen!

And the thing is… all of this is known. None of this is a surprise or confusing to any adults that think through things… but news organizations and internet content creators are still just being lazy about things pumping out article after article, video after video saying “Look at the young generation that is still growing, making mistakes, and trying to find their way in a new Digital Age Post-Recession that has never existed before. Don’t they suck?!”
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Unfortunately, the very next thing I read reinforces my previous points about “Who’s really entitled? Who’s really getting screwed?” Sears
Sears, a mid-west company that began in 1906, is shuttering its doors because of poor financial circumstances. But… how do you DEFINE poor financial circumstances?

Well, after a court battle saying it was okay… the people that were in charge when Sears and Kmart found themselves needing to close… get $25.3 million in bonuses. Fuck up a Company, get 25 million dollars. DESPITE that company being 5 billion dollars in debt. Pile up enough debt to pay for Trump’s Border Wall, default on the debt, give yourselves 25.3 million dollars! Meanwhile, the people who were NOT responsible for the company finding itself in such peril are screwed. Not only are they being laid off and screwed out of employment, the company even approved to CUT severance pay. So Top Executives who got the company in trouble, 25.3 million dollar bonuses. Line Level employees actually STAFFING your damned stores… get PAY CUTS to their layoff payment! Before you start screaming “Capitalism works, Communist. Stop bitching about it.” Let me direct your attention to what happened when Capitalism DID work. When the government gave a shit to have things like regulations and social safety nets and unions… If there was millions and millions and millions of dollars to just fucking throw around while the business was collapsing? At least SOME of that money would go to pensions and employee assistance. Instead now ALL OF IT goes to Executive Bonuses and the employees get to struggle through the holidays on Unemployment Checks. And I wonder… how is it that this doesn’t outrage more people?
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Onto even more From the News Issues:

I am… really torn about the withdrawal from Syria.
On one hand… this is bringing American Troops home, which is something to support. Our fighting men and women should not be stuck in foreign countries with no hope of an ending to the conflict. It has happened to our Service Men and Women far too often in the last 18 years as we try to determine what, if any, military strategy can effectively fight Global Terrorism.
On the other hand… this is screwing our allies and directly benefiting Russia!
My concern? This is Trump’s Pro-Russia push back for Congress’ Anti-Saudi sanction. Trump, undeniably… look at his history, is a petty man that takes things personally at the drop of a hat. Despite ALL evidence presented, Trump repeatedly said, “The Saudi Prince is a friend of mine. He had nothing to do with this thing.” Congress said, “Don’t be stupid. The evidence says he did. We’re going to act on the evidence.” Which would have upset Trump. He’s used to being in control, what he says goes… having people pushback upsets him. So this may be his response. Or… worse… if he thinks the 17 investigations, the numerous lawsuits, and the incoming Democratic House Majority will actually threaten his power… he may be making as many moves as he can to support Russia’s angle. I’m not SAYING collusion. But I am saying Trump and his business had dealings when they shouldn’t. I am saying that there is strong evidence to suggest that Trump has been aiding Russian Oligarchs with money laundering through Trump projects. I am saying that Trump was passionately pushing for a Trump Tower Moscow. I am saying that the Trump Campaign (not Trump himself, necessarily) actively worked with Russians in an attempt to win the 2016 election. SO… maybe he thinks he owes them… maybe he did collude and actually DOES owe them… or maybe as Russia is a prime place to flee extradition… he’s just preparing for his Not Going to Jail Russian “Holiday.” I don’t know, but those are all possibilities.

The BBC summarized my response in a few paragraphs: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/20/politics/donald-trump-syria-politics/index.html

“The President announced an apparently impulsive decision that shook the world, showed little sign of nuanced consideration, confounded top advisers and by the end of the day left Washington in chaos and confusion.

But while the manner of his decision was unorthodox for a President, the move itself tapped into a significant body of support among Trump’s supporters as well as grassroots Democrats that it is time for America’s post-9/11 deployments, several of which have no obvious exit strategy, to end.

Trump’s decision to ditch US leverage in Syria, which fulfills one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s goals, will spark fresh speculation about Trump’s motives as his relationship with Russia comes under increasing scrutiny.

In another win for Moscow, the administration on Wednesday told Congress it was lifting sanctions on two Russian firms. But reflecting the strange duality of US policy on Russia, Washington announced sanctions against 15 members of Moscow’s GRU intelligence service and four entities over election interference, an assassination attempt in Britain and other “malign activities.”
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I wish I knew more women gamers. Not in any “yeah, ditch the wife go for them!” kind of way but because… women gamers go through a LOT of harassment to game… to go through that and still game means it is something they genuinely love.
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stargazing December 20, 2018

I'm not a hardcore gamer, but I do have some games I play. I started with City of Heroes and then moved on to Star Wars: The Old Republic. We still play that a bit, but right now, I'm playing Neverwinter with my husband.

woman in the moon December 20, 2018

I'm thinking the term 'entitled' needs to be divided into 'entitled' and 'falsely entitled'. If we actually deserve something, have paid in to it like SS and Medicare, and have been promised, etc. that is one thing. If we think we or others deserve something just for existing, then that is 'false entitlement'.
Do I make any sense?

woman in the moon December 20, 2018

btw, I know nothing about 'participation awards'. I'm thinking they either never existed or only existed on a very limited basis.

And phones? I have nothing to say about phones. Except they pass time for people.

Ingrid December 20, 2018

I used to play World of Warcraft religiously. High end raids and guild leader, etc. But. Then I had babies and couldn't divide my attentions between the two when they were little.

Keep up the good work with the exercise. It is hard to continue when you don't see the kind of progress you want, but it's there. You're getting stronger, more flexible, you're releasing those all important endorphins that keep you reaching for better goals.

four leaf clover December 20, 2018

Yes yes yes. It kills me that people keep shitting on us the millenials. And they don't know who we are at all. We are not teenagers! We are in our 30s. Many of us remember what it was like to type on a typewriter, use a card catalog, a rotary dial phone, etc. I also did not get participation awards very often. If you didnt place 1st 2nd or 3rd you got nothing.

four leaf clover December 20, 2018

Oh also, are you tracking what you eat? Measuring portion sizes? Even if you're eating healthier foods you could still be eating more than you think. Just a thought. I finally started losing weight when I started using myfitnesspal and actually weighing my food portions and logging it. Its a pain but it gets results. Because the only real way to lose weight is calories in < calories out.

Down the rabbit hole... December 20, 2018

Yeah it takes a while to see results. Maybe try cutting out a majority of the carbs. I know that's the only way I ever lose weight.

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