Last Wednesday, an article titled "The 1 Word Millennials Should Stop Using Today" began making the rounds on social media. To spare anyone the chore of actually reading it, here's a quick spoiler: the word in question is "fair."
On the off chance that this wasn't a work of satire, I've decided to get nice and pissed off about it.
The author goes out of his way to point out that he's sick of this taboo entry in the millennial lexicon because of how it "grates and grinds against the hard-won experience of their elders."
How it robs millennials of credibility.
How, upon hearing it, he's put in mind of his own offspring's bleatings whenever he lays down the law in his household. The image which precedes the article is literally a pouting child in a business suit.
Here's a quick tip for the author and any other distressed elders:
If you want to be our employers, please try to remember that you're not our fucking parents.
Like it or not, we are adults who have grown up into a world which is objectively unfair. We could go into the reasons why -- like the deregulation of corporate shenanigans which crashed our economy and rapes our ecosystem, or the wild inflation of tuition that's buried us in debt.
For his part, the author might hope that millennials will get around to fixing these problems, although apparently we should just shut up about them until such a time as it becomes appropriate for us to do so. But for now, let's just focus on the Word of the Day.
"We're all very impressed with your peerless ability to sell out."
The author prefers to tell his child "Hey, life's not fair," and extends this message to millennials. What a bold, forward-thinking sentiment. If only someone would've had the good sense to mention that to the suffragettes, old white men like him wouldn't have to acknowledge any pesky issues of gender equality.
Perhaps his next think piece should be directed to Black Lives Matter, advising that the world ain't fair and they should just get used to being shot by police officers. "It's not fair, but it's true" should go over real well there.
Pointing out that fair trade is an admirable goal, but an "abstraction that's contrary to reality," is a cop-out of the worst kind. Anything that doesn't exist yet runs contrary to reality -- this long list used to include such abstractions as law, electrical power, and human flight.
The author confesses that his and "previously" generations abandoned their high-minded principles by naming them as naivete with no place in the business world. Courageous. We're all very impressed with your peerless ability to sell out.
But maybe we don't want to play the same game as you, we who stare down the barrel of this corrupt and rigged system which has fucked us at every turn.
Maybe we don't want women to make less than men. Maybe we don't want black people victimized by the state.
Maybe we don't want already overpaid executives receiving golden parachutes courtesy of political shills, mouths and fingers still wet with the blood of this planet and the sweat of their human chattels.
Maybe we don't want to throw out our idealism like the baby boomers did after their flirtation with free love faltered.
In case the author can't see clearly through the haze of privilege hanging over him since birth, let's illuminate him on something very important. It doesn't matter if you don't like the word. For better or for worse, the world is constantly in a state of flux. Things change. The idea is that just because the world is the way it is right now doesn't mean it has to stay that way.
But sorry, our bad, we'll go ahead and change the world without mentioning any of its problems out loud.
Sorry if that offends you, Oh Great and Revered White Male Elders. It makes sense that a lifetime of getting your own way from the undisputed power position in our society would breed a certain level of entitlement.
It must be a struggle, having to listen to scary words you don't like from little people you don't respect. Almost like you don't think you should have to listen, by virtue of your hard-won experience of giving up on anything but the bottom line, and wish that all of us employee-children would just be quiet and respect you.
I suppose you don't think it's very... fair.
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