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Prioleau Alexander: Kids These Days

Tracing America’s decline from the Greatest Generation to Gen-Z …

If you want to know why so many “kids these days” are nuts, the answer isn’t hard to find.  

Let me start at the beginning — with the Greatest Generation. This is the generation that won WWII. Those who weren’t fighting the war were at home, getting by on rationed goods, buying war bonds, and growing victory gardens. The Greatest Generation knew how to do without, and learned to straighten nails from their elders, who lived through the depression.

WWII ended, the men came home, the women fluffed the pillows, and everyone got busy booming out babies. Boomers had it pretty good — they grew up in the fifties, and came of age in the 60s, when everyone was pretty much stoned and fighting the man or fighting the stoned kids and the NVA. Boomers came out of the 60’s and matured, and either became Bill Clinton liberals or PJ O’Rourke conservatives. Fortunately for Boomers, they had an extended adolescence, and no need to grow up, because actual adults were still in charge during the 70s and 80s.

But then… the first true Boomer arrived in the White House: Clinton

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(Via: U.S. Air Force)

Boomers have always enjoyed the spoils of Americana, and left scorched earth in their wake. It’s hard to find the good times they didn’t enjoy — or any really bad times they endured. Sure, they had Jimmy Carter, but most avoided the Dot Com bubble, because they thought the “internet thing” was a fad. Due to youthful stupidity, it was mostly Gen X’ers who got crushed investing during the housing bubble – and shortly thereafter Boomers’ banks and 401ks got bailed out. When something went sideways, their generation seemed to be made of Teflon, and the troubles rolled off their backs.

Following the Boomers were my people, the older Gen X’ers. Older Gen X’ers were born in the 60’s, grew up in the 70s, and came of age in the 80’s, which was like winning the Life Lotto. It’s important to remember, however, our salad years were still spent under the leadership of adults — men like Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill. The nation was fairly balanced, and the pendulum did its thing by swinging to and fro. When adults were running the country, a conservative was someone who simply wanted a balanced budget and a kick-ass military, and a liberal just wanted more social programs and legalized reefer.

The Boomers took over, and those who led Congress just won’t seem to die. I would say “retire,” but they’re way past that; many are now just drooling in their shoes. As a result, they’ve continued to do what Boomers have always done — look out for themselves. Left and right, they have spent America into a mathematically certain collapse. We’re 30 trillion dollars in debt due to decades of vote buying. Liberal Boomers have blown their $15 billion on programs that always fail, and Conservatives have spent theirs on the worlds greatest military, then shipped them off to un-winnable wars. The programs Boomer libs instituted have failed because the thought doesn’t count, and the conservatives’ wars have been lost because what the media reports is more important than killing enemies and breaking things. And we can thank both that we are now actually governed by corporations.

Now, it’s 2022, and we still don’t have a Gen X’er on deck to walk into the White House. Boomers have been running this dumpster fire since Bill and Monica were not having sexual relations. That’s 30 years! We have senile, power-drunk, old kooks in charge.


Think about what the Boomers’ leaders have accomplished in American culture. The first year the word penis was spoken aloud on TV was thanks to Bill and Monica. Today, still under the leadership of the exact same dolts, cutting off your penis is a serious discussion on mainstream TV. If that doesn’t sum up Boomer leadership, I don’t know what does. 

Does anyone believe these Boomer politicians are connected to the reality that is America today? That they understand the issues about which they are passing laws? These people came of age when Nancy Pelosi couldn’t open a checking account without her husband, Jim Clyburn couldn’t eat lunch at the Woolworth’s counter, and Mitch McConnell was the one complaining if he did. They didn’t know a gay person, much less a transsexual — and most of them still don’t. We expect them to pass relevant laws forty years later? They can’t — because they’ve been in charge so long they think of us as semi-intelligent pets who need to be house-trained and given enough catnip to get us to vote for them.  

It was less than fifteen years ago that Joe Biden asked an off-camera assistant if he had “the phone number for the website,” and George W. Bush said he liked to use “the” Google to look at maps.

These are the people still in charge … of everything.

Gen X’ers — for a large part — haven’t had the opportunity to screw up the country, so we did the next best thing: Screw up the next generation. Parents hovered over, praised, caressed and complimented their kids – attending not only ball games but their stupid practices. They drove our kids to far-away cities and spent days in hotel rooms, so Biff and Muffy could compete in a sport they’d never play again after high school. Six Flags wasn’t good enough, so they took them to Paris. 

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Their efforts produced Millennials, who were the first to say idiotic things like:

Daddy didn’t spend enough time with me.” (No crap, Buttercup — he was working his ass off, and making sure you had gas in the Beemer he bought you).

Mommy never embraced my desire to play with dolls.” (No crap, kiddo — she didn’t want you to get your ass kicked at school).

I don’t think they appreciate me at work.” (No crap, son — you’ve been there six months, and it’s a full-time job for someone to unscrew your screw-ups).

I think I’ll get a degree in gender studies.” (Have you used “the” Google to check into the jobs available for that degree?).

In addition to raising a generation of whiners, Gen X’ers soon became unhappy that their careers demanded they work/ work/ work. (Which is a much harder life than storming Iwo Jima, and die/ die/ dying). So we began to eschew God, and instead looked inward for answers. We made self-help books an actual thing. We voted for government spending. We morphed into a people the Greatest Generation would not recognize — a people that don’t believe in saving, but instead want to know what the “monthly cost” is and if our “take-home pay” could cover it. The cars, boats, vacations and plastic surgery “we deserve” could be paid for with a thing called an equity loan. 

And every step of the way, the kids watched. They saw Mummy and Daddy with all those precious toys and big homes, and wanted them—but also listened to their parents say, “Follow your dreams! I’m sad I didn’t—I wanted to be on Broadway, but settled for being a civil engineer making $250k. You’re special! You’re a champ! Don’t follow in my steps! I can’t pay for your college because all that money went to the Paris trip, but you can borrow the money and pursue your theatre degree! You’ll be a movie star, because you’re my child and best friend and I could never say anything negative to you! Great things will happen if you’ll just follow your dreams! The world is yours, and more!”


So the Millennials did. And now they’re pissed, because so many of them are now screwed. “Starving artists” in New York really are starving. Gender studies majors are selling their bodies to creepy old men who want to study their gender. Living in your parents basement isn’t even an insult anymore. Achieving “the same level of success as their parents” is damn near impossible, because their college major qualifies them to work $25 an hour jobs, and that adds up to a gross salary of $52k a year… before getting screwed by the IRS. And forget a job with benefits; those went out the window when corporations decided 100 percent of their job was to “increase shareholder value,” and 0 percent was to be directed to their employees  

Boomers wrecked the world, and Gen X’ers were too stupid to call bull crap. And we saw most Boomers lived their lives in high cotton, so we deserved that too, dammit! Of course getting all that stuff meant being a slave to money, which meant being a slave to loans, which meant using credit cards to pay for Sally’s semester abroad … all the while lecturing our kids about being slaves to money, and the importance of following their dream of becoming a Youtube star. 

Millennials didn’t ask to be given a participation trophy for coming in last — Gen X parents came up with that idea. They didn’t ask to be raised to expect a promotion at work after 6 weeks — parents made them CEOs of the house, and kissed their asses; so who wouldn’t expect similar treatment in the work place? They didn’t ask to grow up into whiney, entitled adults — we made them that way, by exchanging spankings for “time outs,” and by trying to reason with Johnny about the dangers of running with scissors. 

Young Gen X’ers saw that older Gen X’ers had raised kids whose lives were filled with disappointments and angst, so they took the route any stupid parent would … they decided to teach their children the opposite: You’re a victim. Life’s unfair. You shouldn’t have to work at all. I’ll raise hell with the teacher if they give you a B. You’re having trouble getting As? Don’t study more — here’s a drug. Social media has you on the brink of suicide? Don’t use it less — here’s a drug. You’ve watched so much porn you have ED with real girls? Don’t stop that addiction — here’s a drug. You’re bored? Here’s a gaming system and high-speed internet and a car. 

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(VIA: GETTY IMAGES)

The result is Gen Z, which stands for Generation Zero Value. Many have no work ethic, no love of their country and the bounty it provides — and no comprehension of the fact that capitalism has pulled billions of people out of abject poverty to live a better, more fulfilling life. They demand crying rooms and trigger warnings. They are holier than Saint Theresa. 

In other words, they are irritating, vapid, condescending snowflakes. 

Fortunately, of course, this is true of only about a quarter of our kids … the kids raised by liberal parents who think men can get pregnant, and nod in earnest agreement when mayors of Blue sanctuary cities cry about being “overwhelmed” by a few thousand of Texas and Florida’s illegal immigrant deliveries. 

Unfortunately, those are the exact kids that will go into politics, government work, academia, law and social work. 

The Boomers have put us $30 trillion in debt, and “borrowed” another $60 billion that’s supposed to go to social security and MediCare … so which generation will be in charge when the music stops, and all the chairs are gone? Who will see the collapse of the Pax Americana? 

Gen X? Nah, we can probably carry on the charade and print money for another 20 years. 

Millennials? Maybe, but they’d probably mount a convincing “It’s not fair” defense and convince the rest of the world to let us carry on. 

Gen Z? You tell me — how will today’s Chinese and Indian children stack up against kids who spent freshman year in a crying room? You know, the nations where their middle-class currently views bark gruel as a pretty good meal? Where you literally have to have a Masters degree to get a job at a call center?

I think I know … and if you’ve got a Gen Z kiddo, you might want to start helping to right the ship of state, or start helping them develop a taste for bark gruel. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Via: Provided)

Prioleau Alexander is a freelance writer, focusing mostly on politics and non-fiction humor. He is the author of two books: ‘You Want Fries With That?’ and ‘Dispatches Along the Way.’ Both are available on Amazon. He hopes to have another title published soon, but that would require his agent actually doing his job, so it may be awhile.

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