Monthly Archives: September 2015

Generational Shenanigans

It is a complete shame for this tidbit to buried, as it is, in the middle of FiveThirtyEight’s daily news summary. I want to tattoo this on the forehead of every journalist who writes all-knowingly about millennials.1

8 percent

Percentage of those ages 18 to 34 who identified themselves as members of the Greatest Generation in a Pew survey, to which I say damn right. Are people in that age range typically described as “millennials”? Sure. But let’s get a couple of things straight. First, naming generations is a pseudoscience developed by charlatans with peculiar and frankly stupid notions of generational predestination. Second, any society that has convinced itself that its greatest generation has past—and do not get me wrong, they were awesome—dooms itself to decline. Third, naming a new generation before its finest hour is an act of desperation that the dying prosecute on the ascending. Are 18- to 34-year-olds millennials? Maybe. Are they the greatest generation? Give us a few years to find out. Kudos to the 8 percent who think they already know. [Pew Research Center]

  1. Or any other generation, really. Except the baby boomers. I only tolerate stereotyping of baby boomers.2 

  2. And no, I’m not a millennial. I’m in some sort of nether region between Gen X, Gen Y, and millennials, depending on whom you ask. Did I mention that this was all nonsense?