Monday, January 30, 2017

Kids These Days

Okay, now what I want to talk about is the concept of being what is considered to be an old man in today’s society and having to put up with what the youth of America is doing today.

Part of the reason why I am talking about this is that last year, I downloaded an installment of a locally-produced podcast called The Retro Ave. It’s a podcast show where they talk about movies, games and more. They ended their most recent podcast with a rant about the state of today’s kids. And the hosts of the podcasts are both in their early 30’s. Anyway, that rant got me thinking and in a way, I want to throw my two cents in.

I am in my late 30’s and I am well aware that this society is so technologically advanced and dominated by social media and iPhones that it has impacted this generation to the point where it puts my generation to shame. It seems that nowadays, kids are more obsessed with their Xboxes, Playstations, iPhones, Facebook, Instagram, taking bathroom selfies while making duckfaces… I could go on. As a result, kids are less motivated and less likely to carry on a conversation without having to look at their phones every five minutes and texting or hanging out on Tinder or whatever kids do these days.

Now I know when I first started out on this social media adventure about 10 years ago, I have been guilty of becoming too consumed with social media. However, around the time I started out on social media, it was still a growing medium. Back when I started out, the dominant social media outlet was Myspace even though YouTube and Facebook both existed but both were nowhere near as big as they are today. And some of the content posted on Myspace prompted my local library to ban the use of Myspace because there were some pics of half-naked chicks on there, pics of people drinking in bars, and you get the idea. Not much different from what goes on today but even back then you could see how social media would become a dominant force in today’s society.

Also, what they talked about in the podcast and this is also something I have noticed firsthand is how the youth these days have a sense of entitlement, meaning having everything handed to you instead of going out and working for it. There is also a lack of creative ideas, lack of originality and you can definitely see all that in today’s movies and music. Today’s movies are way less original and way more dumbed down than the movies my generation grew up with. Of course there are some exceptions like the Marvel movies and of course The Force Awakens. But these days, it’s all fake CGI destruction porn fests, horrible comedies, universally despised love stories like Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey and any movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel and don’t get me started on the endless barrage of remakes and reboots even of movies that don’t need it.

With TV, same notation. Nothing but reboots, sexually explicit teen shows and of course reality shows that largely send out the wrong signals to people and actually generate role models that are largely negative. The most notorious example of negative role models projected onto today’s youth are the Kardashians who are practically the poster children of shallowness and they’re also the very face of the Hookup Culture. And then there are reality shows such as Teen Mom that teaches girls that if they get pregnant, they can automatically get a reality TV deal and they can act as bad as they want because it’s profitable. To the rest of us, that’s sad.

Same rules also apply to the music industry. It seems like lately (with some exceptions) nearly all of today’s music is centered on one thing and one thing only: Sex. I have nothing against sex, but even I have to agree that it’s gotten out of control. The music more or less glorifies the hookup culture and as everyone knows today’s dating scene one of my favorite things to rant about. Today’s “musicians” clearly can’t sing or perform without the either the assist of autotune or trashy outfits. And I come from the generation that gave us Madonna and Britney Spears among others but compared to the likes of Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj, their music is actually classier. Nowadays, everything more or less is manufactured and that is why I prefer the music from when I grew up (meaning 80’s and 90’s music) to about 10 years ago. It’s pretty much after 2005 where a majority of music went downhill and hasn’t looked back since with Justin Beiber as the crowning achievement.

Now that you mention it, I really am sounding like an old man. However, in recent years not only have I reinvented myself as a movie reviewer, I have also decided to reinvent myself as a sort of social commentator mainly because before I started the whole Internet thing I was originally planning to be a writer and one of the basic and probably the best tools in a writer’s arsenal is the art of observation. And I have observed a lot about this society over the past several years and I’m clearly not liking what I’m seeing.

Getting back to the podcast, one of the hosts also made the remark about today’s generation and said that he has turned into the principal from The Breakfast Club. And it’s the scene where he’s talking to the janitor about his life as a principal and his relationship with the students and the principal makes the remark in almost a fearful tone that “someday these kids will be taking care of me.” And the janitor is kind of like “No they won’t.” The same rule applies to today’s generation because I know that they’re not gonna take care of me when I go. I come from the tail end of Generation X and most of my age group comes from Generation Y and as far as our relationship to the Millennials go, my generation as a whole has turned into the principal from The Breakfast Club. Yeah, folks. That’s scary. And the worst thing about that is that there’s no stopping it.

Yes, folks, that old Chinese proverb rings true “May you live in interesting times.” Kids these days.

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