Friday, March 5, 2010

Post Overload!

Ha. Ha. Ha. You can tell that I am in the mood for typing no? Well, there is just ONE more thing that I want to share with you. It is a loosely constructed essay of one of my friends named Mark. He and I were discussing the evolution of social issues here in the United States, and our current generation's stand on several different social issues. He had already been writing this essay for one of his classes, but our conversation gave him some additional inspiration. And I must say, some of the points he mentions are legitimate. Here is a sample:

"I think this generation is different in a few ways: we grew up in a time of peace that this world has not seen since becoming a global society. The 1990s were a time of complacency, and prosperity following the cold war. And there were no major conflicts America was involved in until the current Iraq war. Second, we are a generation that desires progress. We just don’t know where. Similar to the 1960s, we desire social change. There just aren’t as concrete of things or causes to latch onto. The 1960s was a rebellion against classical social normalcy and values lasting for hundreds of years, it was also a reaction to the militaristic upbringing they had most of their parents having served overseas in one of the world wars. The problem with today is that there is no social norm. We just don’t know what to do with our desire. We have a unique ability to be aware of global issues, but we haven’t been forced into rebelling like the 1960s were. This isn’t a reaction to something we dislike; it’s an effort to find our purpose as individuals. That’s the glaring difference between the current generation of young people, and their parents. Because the world is so huge, and because we are so aware of global society, we don’t know where to find ourselves. There is nowhere we can’t go and nothing we can’t potentially do. There aren’t societal limitations."

"It isn’t that this generation is lazy or unmotivated, they just don’t know exactly where they are driving. Much of the apathy observed is a result of this lack of conflict I think, because conflict breeds diversity and development. It forces people to look at things in new ways, and that is something we have severely lacked. This is why we started freaking out when this recession hit. No one knew what to do.

I think all the Internet blogging and YouTube and Facebook is all a clear indication that we are trying to work out how it is we are going to define our lives. How can we choose a direction? People were pushed in a direction, but now people aren’t."

What do you think? Do you believe that he has made some valid arguments?


  1. Dali, although this is intriguing and well written, I would have to disagree with the contention that this era is marked by a lack of conflict. Having lived through the Vietnam War Era and the latter part of the Cold War, I can unequivocally say that the period of time since the September 11th attacks have been the most unsettling of my life, predominantly because the enemy, although hidden, has the ability to attack us through measures not typically used in conventional warfare: food supply contamination, biological warfare and bombs of all types threatening passengers using every mode of transporation.

    Before I posted this comment, I saw the latest ridiculous assertion of Ahmadinejab: " September 11 was a big lie and a pretext for the war on terror and a prelude to invading Afghanistan," He called the attacks a "complicated intelligence scenario and act."

    It is frightening to live in a time when a purportedly democratically elected leader openly claims that the Holocaust never happened, and incredulously states that the 3000 people killed on September 11 were killed by their own government.

    I wonder if perhaps the generation of which Mark speaks is reluctant to take a stand because from a very young age, they have been taught that is it morally wrong to not accept other's views as legitimate-- that to emphatically and unabashedly take a stand is close-minded and even vain. Is it possible that this tendancy to consider every choice valid, regardless of its consequences, renders this generation incapable of choosing? For if everyone's opinion can be validated, there is no basis for conflict.

  2. I think Mark is thinking, and I like it, but I think he needs to go a bit further than the surface to see that there is a wave of social change and action that is the undercurrent of our every day life. I intend to address each paragraph and it's statements.

    I don't think we grew up in a time of peace at all, I don't think anyone has been. My father was fighting in the gulf war during the time of my birth. In 93' the US went to Somalia. In 94' we wnet to Haiti. How about the Bosnian civil war? Maybe the war in Kosovo? Oklahoma city bombing in 95'. You fail to define "Major Conflict" that could mean anything. I would pose to you that we've been involved in collaborative efforts since WWII, and NATO proves this as well as anything.

    Re: Nothing to latch on to.
    Wrong, dead wrong. This makes my blood boil, but I have to realize that this is partly because this view is held by very ignorant people. We are still dealing with social rights. Ever heard of LGBT? Or how about the social discrimination women still face in the work force? People are still arguing about abortion and immigration aren't they? How about the prevalence of Sex Trafficking in the United States? How about our energy crisis? And these are just domestic issues. There is an overabundance of issues that plague us every day. Just because they aren't apparent does not mean it isn't affecting people.

    Re: No Social Norm/Global Society
    This is also very wrong. I think it is possible that the lines have blurred on what is acceptable. I haven't seen an opera singer, congressman, or a police officer with 10 piercings on their faces, blue hair or anything of the like in my lifetime. Appropriateness still exists. If anything, things are more appropriate, the world has always been a "huge" place. As a result of this generations boom in facebook, youtube, and twitter, people can communicate even more and openly share ideas in the like that has never been available. We can now communicate our identity and broadcast it over the world!

    I think we know exactly where we are driving, the same place our parents were, and their parents: to strike a place in the world, to change things, or to just be content. I think that your apathy is due to your experience. If you have a place to make a statement about the our generation then I will make an equally valid claim: we aren't lacking conflict, there is more conflict than ever, and just as many paradigms exist as there are people with a brain between their ears. I didn't start freaking out, and I guarantee you there are plenty of people who haven't either. The world has not come to a screeching halt my friends, it is turning just as it always has. People have the same fears they've always had.

    Facebook, Blogging, Youtube, it all validates that we are doing something with our lives. Never before have we been able to manifest our voices in such a way. It is more easy now than ever. We all choose a direction, every day. The truth we have to realize is this "that the only person that's going to push me is myself".