My name is Kate Stone and I am a Millennial.
Apparently this means I ought to be spanked into action and the only thing that can save me is National Service. If not a bloody good war, according to Gen-Xer (I think, Wikipedia is a little vague) Sam Kiley, Sky’s Foreign Affairs Editor, writing his Sky View for Sky News. Some of Sam’s ideas have been emblazoned across a picture of a war zone. For gravitas.
As with most people lamenting the state of our youth, Sam harkens back to the good old days when men were men who, when not doing underpaid hard labour down the mines or on a farm were being sent to war. Not like nowadays when instead of labour, the kids are doing unpaid internships in a desperate bid to get a job. Honestly, they don’t know they’re born.
“Indeed they’re not even made of the stuff of those dead young men before they went to war. The ploughmen and labourers, and miners led by youth from the middle and upper classes tempered and toughened in the forges of public school.
“The British are now too wet to work in agriculture. Those who do turn up, my East Anglian farmer friends tell me, are so lazy and feckless they’re useful only to fill potholes – with their bodies.”
To be honest, I have read the article a few times now and I’m not quite sure what the point is, with his citing of the atrocities the people of Syria are enduring, beyond an extended essay based on a parent’s last ditch attempt to get a child to finish their tea: ‘…because there are starving children in Africa who would be glad of that.’
Believe me, it is not lost on Millennials, the snowflake generation, that there are people suffering in the world. If we needed a spanking because we weren’t giving to charity, or were the only generation growing fat off the exploitation of poorer countries, or had spawned new racist ideas then fine, spank away. But I don’t think that’s quite accurate and I fail to see how National Service would be the answer.
I am an early Millennial, which means I can build a blog but I also remember when phones had dials. As I type this The-Married-Man-I-Live-With is using his Mac to create a jingle for a podcast he’s working on with a fellow comedian. We both have good degrees but have yet to reap the promised financial rewards of an expensive university education. Instead we have had to make our own work using the new opportunities our digital skills present to us. I don’t think commuting to a job on a farm would be the answer for us.
It seems so peculiar to me, perhaps because I am a Millennial, that Baby Boomers and Generation Xers seem so nostalgic for war time – though, you will be glad to learn Sam does draw the line at sexual abuse. Recently I wrote about a column in the Daily Mail which also suggested wartime and TB were to thank for the great comedy of the past, compared with which today’s comedy is apparently rubbish.
Maybe this is exciting. Maybe this is what’s meant to happen in order for creativity to flourish, to be at odds with the previous generation. Many a Baby Boomer has gleefully talked to me about how Monty Python’s Flying Circus baffled their parents, so what’s so terrible about not finding creative common ground? Why should the plight of the Millennial under the repercussions of Baby Boomer and Generation X’s actions be so easily dismissed as moaning from the soft-handed?
Anyway if all else fails I hear TB is on the rise so that should put a fire under our thin-skinned bottoms – although it does mean we’ll have to be excused from National Service.