PAY IT FORWARD: The Grating-est Generation
Oh, Internet. I am in kind of a craptastical mood today. I was going to finish up another post I’ve been working on, but just couldn’t stop swearing at inanimate objects long enough (stupid water bottle with your whore cap that always fucking leaks you’re ruining my senior year and I HATE YOU) to finish it. And then – as if dropped into my lap by a band of giggling cherubs straight from heaven’s daycare – someone sent me a forward. And not just any forward: a forward that contains so many of my deeply hated pet peeves that I scarce know where to begin!
But I think the fact that it quotes JAY FUCKING LENO is a good start.
First, a little bit of background: if there is one phrase that makes me want to set my hair on fire, it’s “The Greatest Generation.” My parents own Tom Brokaw’s book, and you know, while I have no problem singing the praises of awesome people who came before us, it’s awfully dangerous to paint an ENTIRE GENERATION of people with such a superlative brush, especially when that generation included a lot of people like this:
Internet, everyone thinks their generation had it right. EVERYONE. Anyone past age twenty has had their share of “X isn’t as good as it was when I was growing up…” moments (there’s a page on Facebook called “When I was your age, we had Kenan and Kel, not Drake and Josh” for fuck’s sake). And there is a very logical explanation for this…besides the rock-solid fact that yes, Saturday morning cartoons these days are COMPLETE ASS compared to how rad they were when I was growing up.
I rest my case.
Things/people/events from our respective upbringings are sacred and special (and therefore, THE BEST) because we remember them through the soft-focus filter of childhood, when our lives generally weren’t burdened with things like mortgages, jobs, bills, a Tivo that keeps recording episodes of iCarly for no discernible reason, etc. Whenever I hear someone sincerely refer to the era in which they were raised as “a simpler time,” I want to punch them in the crotch, because OF COURSE IT WAS A SIMPLER TIME, YOU ASSHAT. YOUR UNDERPANTS STILL HAD SUPERHEROES ON THEM.
I don’t mean to make such an issue out of this, but it makes me bristle to hear a past generation uniformly glorified, not only because it reeks of some serious revisionist history, but also because it belittles the achievement of subsequent generations, and implies that future generations aren’t capable of being amazing in their own right. I sincerely believe that if you plopped my generation (or the next) into the shoes of those who lived during the Great Depression, they’d show the same determination and ingenuity, if not more.
And – you know – maybe they’d be a little lighter on the hate.
Actually, you know who said it best? BILLY JOEL, fools. He drove his car into a tree and married an infant, but HE knows the fucking score: “The good old days weren’t always good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.”
Those slippers are, however, as bad as they seem.
OK, climbing down off my soapbox now. Let’s get to it!
[DISCLAIMER: I am now realizing that this forward is a little fucked up on its dates and is sort of referring the "Greatest Generation," but is mostly referencing Baby Boomers. Which means the title to this post is now kind of irrelevant, but WORK WITH ME here, because I am now too throughly annoyed to come up with another clever title. Kthx.]
Subject: FW: Why we are awesome!!!
I’d snark on this, but really. I need to save it for later. I will say, however, that I would have bet the ranch that this was going to be another Empowered Sisterhood of the Traveling Vaginas email, but no such luck.
I’ve tried to wrap my mind around the whole “life as living proof” concept, but all that happens is I get a headache and start thinking about those M.C. Escher posters everyone had in college.
The person who sent me this is very much aware that I was born in 1976, so…I take it she does not think I’m awesome?
Henceforth marking the first time in history anyone has ever strung together the words “Very well stated, Mr. Leno.”
“Here, here!” said 42-year-old Debra, applauding with all three fingers on her good hand.
Who needs locks on the medicine cabinet when all the kids are blind from lead poisoning or suffering from severe head trauma? AH, THE GOOD OL’ DAYS!
OK, I remember routinely not wearing seatbelts, but NO BRAKES? Who the fuck are these parents? The Flintstones?
There was a slightly higher death rate re: the whole riding in the back of a pick-up truck thing but STILL, I MAINTAIN: GOOD OL’ DAYS!
To be fair, the dysentery from drinking out of the garden hose helped.
…because we didn’t remember the abuse until much later, in therapy.
It seems like this is just turning into a huge love letter to irresponsible parenting.
So we lost Jeremy when he became smeared beneath the undercarriage of a Crown Victoria – THE GOOD OL’ DAYS, I SAY!
Your clue that an old person wrote this: “personal computers.”
(Your other clue: “video movies.”)
…usually pinned beneath an overturned pick-up truck.
Hey! Who let the Catholic Church in here?
Oh, come the fuck on. I used to play in the mud, make mud pies and play with worms. But no one ever ATE THAT SHIT. I mean, if you had awesome white bread and Kool-Aid and sugar at your disposal, why would you be stupid enough to eat mud? Unless, of course, your mom drank a whole bunch of booze when she was pregnant with you. Oh, wait.
That’s the problem with you kids today – not nearly enough of you are getting guns for your 10th birthday.
In related news, the outdoor cats of America are just fine with the recent decline in BB gun sales, thanks.
I’m confused. Do kids not walk into houses or ride bikes anymore? Did we develop some sort of teleportation that I’m not aware of? Have doors lost the ability to be knocked upon? When everyone takes off their masks, will they all have pig faces and think I’M hideous?
We just jumped on our bikes without helmets and rode home so that our pregnant chain smoking mothers could take us out for butter-flavored ice cream on white bread in the car with no brakes.
Of course they did! It gave them a break from beating your ass with ping-pong paddles (seriously, what the fuck?).
As opposed to most periods in history, which are rife with explosions of old ideas.
I hate you, forward.
Yes! That damn government trying to force me to secure my infants in car seats and protect their tender heads with helmets and report child abuse to the authorities – WHO THE FUCK DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?
Yes, lucky that you somehow made it to adulthood with two brain hemispheres intact.
That is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever fucking heard.
I stand corrected.
Yes, because an omniscient and loving God would choose to destroy a civilization via extreme weather because a bunch of third graders don’t say His name before studying subtraction each morning in [PUBLIC] school.
“Actually, that’s exactly what I’d do. BITCH, YOU DON’T KNOW MY LIFE!”
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