I normally post these on a Sunday, but seeing as we have Easter coming up, plus it’s been a few weeks between posts, I thought I’d get in early.
There’s only a couple of items this week, but I think they’re all well and truly worthy: Panpan Wang’s story about Chinese tourists; A Paradoxical Millennial’s thoughts on Brexit, nine months on; and Roaming Millennial’s reflections on fatherless homes.
Firstly, this is a beautiful and moving piece of writing, the sort of thing that I actually get jealous of, when I read. It’s also quite serendipitous that this showed up in my feed from Medium, because just a few days ago, I was discussing this very subject.
Where I live in Tasmania, we often see groups of Chinese tourists wandering around, gawking and taking photos. It’s usual to see an elderly relative or two or tow. I’ve studied a fair bit of modern Chinese history, and my son is currently studying a history minor, and I remarked to him only the only day that, when I see these older Chinese, I cannot help but wonder what they’ve been witness to in their lifetimes.
I think of my parents and uncles and aunts, and all they things they personally lived through: Depression and war, and I think, these people were of an age that they would have lived through the Great Leap Forward. How does one live through the greatest, man-made, famine in human history, and not be affected by it?
And the Cultural Revolution? It still astonishes me to contemplate that that was happening while I was young, when the only “cultural revolution” that we were experiencing was Bowie, the Stones and Germaine Greer shocking our parents.
Reading the story of Panpan’s mother’s disdain for travelling in “authentic” places, because they’re poor, I was reminded of some of the my own Mum’s habits that used to perplex us, when we were adolescents: for one thing, she would never buy us records as birthday or Christmas presents. “They’re a waste of money,” she’d say. “You listen to them once and forget about them.”
It was only years later that we put it together: when you grew up in the Depression, you didn’t spend money on frivolities like records. Books were ok, because they had a purpose: self-improvement.
So, yeah, when you see that group of annoying Chinese tourists, try a little empathy.
It’s all very fashionable to bash Millennials as a generation of narcissistic, spoiled snowflakes, but my next two entries will feature a couple of writers/presenters who should shatter that stereotype.
A Paradoxical Millennial is never less than a thoroughly interesting read, but this one is especially good.
Firstly, he presents an aspect of the Brexit debate that seems to have been little explored: lost in all the shouting were, I suspect, quite a lot of Remain supporters, especially among younger voters, for whom the EU had always just been … there. Voters in the Millennial demographic, after all, had never known a world without the EU. Voting Remain, as he says, was a vote “for the status quo and their economic security” (that Remain was an essentially conservative choice is an issue few commentators have been willing to reflect upon).
Secondly, in contrast to the wailing and teeth-gnashing of most Remainers, APM’s reaction to losing is more, well, that’s interesting …
Finally, he begins to consider whether the Leavers mightn’t have been at least a bit right …
As always, I’m a bit late to the party with what appear to be many of the more popular YouTubers (and probably just in time to watch them all jump ship), except for the gaming types my kids watch, anyway – so I’ve only just discovered Roaming Millennial.
Anyway, this is an interesting look at the havoc several generations of “progressive” social policies have wreaked on families, and especially young people.
The Offspring said, all the things you learn when you’re a kid, you’ll fuck up just like your parents did. It all just happens again, way down the line, but one wonders if, having been the victims of a generation of self-centred parents, Millennials aren’t determined not to fuck up just like their parents did.