September 17th, 2013

To all of you people who keep sharing that Huff Po stick-figure thing about how Gen Y is unhappy because they’re unrealistic delusional ingrates:

You know, this thing

If you wrote that, or you like that, I have some thoughts for you:

1) I’m actually more tail-end-of-Gen-X in temperament, age, and outlook.

2) Go f**k yourselves. 

You have no idea about student debt, underemployment, life-long renting. “Stop feeling special” is some shitty advice. I don’t feel special or entitled, just poor. The only thing that makes me special is I have more ballooning debt than you. I’ve tempered the hell out of my expectations of work, and I’ve exceeded those expectations crazily to have one interesting, exciting damned career that’s culminated in some leadership roles for national publications. And I’m still poor and in debt and worked beyond the point where it can be managed with my health and my desire to actually see the son I’m helping to raise. 

Last weekend my baby had a fever, and we contemplated taking him to the ER, and my first thought was - had to be - “Oh God, that could wipe out our savings! Maybe he can just ride it out?” Our status in this Big Financial Game had sucked my basic humanity towards my child away for a minute. If I wish for something better, is that me simply being entitled and delusional?

Younger journos see me as a success story and ask my advice, and I feel like a fraud, because I’m doing what I love, and it makes me completely miserable and exhausts me.

So take your “revise your expectations! check your ego!” Horatio Alger bullshit, and stuff it. While you’re at it, stuff this economy. Not this GDP, not this unemployment level: this economy, this financial system that establishes complete social and political control over us, that conditions us to believe that we don’t deserve basic shelter and clothing and food and education and LIFE-SUSTAINING MEDICAL CARE unless we throw our lives into vassalage and hope, pray, that the lords don’t fuck with our retirements or our coverages. (Maybe if we’re extra productive, someday they’ll do a match in the 401k again, like our ancestors used to talk about!)

Take the system that siphons off our capacities for human flourishing in hopes that we get thrown a little coin of the realm in return. Take that system and blow it up, you cowards.

Oh, and also, stop thinking that you’re special.

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@AdamWeinstein

Adam Weinstein.
Gawker senior writer.
Formerly of Mother Jones, Fusion, and the WSJ.

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