Thursday, October 20, 2011

Occupy Comment Boards

I love (read: am consistently totally floored) that there is something about a chat room/comment board that allows people a feeling of complete anonymity... and thus a total and utter lack of accountability.  Shocking what behaviors such a scenario can bring out (if I recall psych 111 correctly, psychologists call the effect 'de-individuation' [you know, that same thing that causes a spontaneous mob to form and encourage someone standing on a ledge to jump to their death] ).

For whatever bizarre reason, I ended up reading all the comments on an article about Gen-Y's who are currently unemployed.  I am consistently blown away by the inaccurate, uneducated, biased, heated remarks people feel the need to share in order for their meaningless existences to be validated.  And if they end up in a debate they can't win, or feel their life perspectives threatened, they can always stab back with an ad hominem argument and hope no one cries 'objection!'

Really?  Really now.  Let's try for a little bit of class.

Call me a devil's advocate (people usually do), but I find both sides make good points, and both sides are totally ignorant.  I could probably successfully argue either way, most of the time.

Truth is, I guess the truth is somewhere in the middle (as it usually is).  The government has problems, so do the people they govern.  Republicans have fundamental flaws, so do democrats.  We are both the product of our society and the cause of it.

Yes, I'm a slightly right-leaning Gen-y with a job.  That doesn't mean I automatically blame everything wrong in the world on the President and baby boomers.  It's not like the federal government is intentionally trying to sabotage the country... it's more of an incidental thing (I think... I would hate to find out I was giving them the benefit of the doubt only to be wrong).  It's not like the baby boomers are staying out of retirement out of a malicious desire to thwart the lives and careers of their children... mostly it's because the money they thought they had?  Yeah, turns out it's not there anymore.

And yes, there is something to be said for the theory that the mass over spending and debt accumulation typified by the baby boomers certainly didn't do us any favors.  Nor did the implied lessons of freedom from responsibility brought on by their catering to every whim.  Or the myth that "if we get an education and work hard we can live the American dream".  But I think their lives weren't so different than ours.  A boomer was born between '46 and '64.  Many of them grew up during one of the countries greatest financial booms, only to suffer economic turmoil right around the time they were graduating college and trying to make their way in the world in the mid-late 70s.  Luckily the 80s and 90s allowed them to, once again, enjoy the financial prosperity of their youth.  A Millennial was born between '80 and '00.  We grew up during one of the countries greatest financial booms, only to suffer economic turmoil right around the time we are graduating college and trying to make our way in the world.

Now if we're lucky, in five years or so we'll see the market turn around so we can once again enjoy the financial prosperity of our youth to raise our own children.  And can we honestly say that we won't follow the pattern our parents laid for us?

So am I guilty of making gross-over-generalizations?  Yes.  Often.  All the time everyday.  About most people and situations.  But I think just this once I want to be politically correct (or at least just plain correct... you know how I feel about politics).

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