Becoming a Generation
My generation continues to … flounder. Our biggest news lately was the Iowa caucus, when Barack Obama made a surprising showing, which the exit polls attributed to the youth vote—students had come back early to their campuses to caucus. The next day, as the whole show moved to New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton started making her speeches with fresh youngsters behind her. At least before everyone started talking about white, working class men, this seemed like it might be an era for the young. It turned out to be only fifteen minutes.
I recently noticed a new blog out of CampusProgress.org, Pushback, filled with youthful commentary mixing culture and politics. Perfectly legitimate, right? Reminds me of an ill-fated project I was involved in, Voting Is the New Apathy, except well-funded and determined to succeed.
We (I) were (was) raised and educated in the shadow of those who were young in the 60s and 70s, for whom generation represented an identity. They told us stories of activism, idealism, and world-changing, then ask over and over why we aren’t the same way. The litany goes: Iraq is just as insane as Vietnam—why don’t you care like we did? Yet my generation has resolutely decided not to define its identity as such. Except for the Iowa caucus, age has not dictated politics; we have embraced, politically at least, the categories set by our parents. Content with that, we spend hours and hours on the internet.
Maybe it is time to put the “millenialism” back in “millenials”?
tags: becoming, generation, millenialism