The Generation Game
Can a group of people born within a few decades of each other truly have a common cause?

  • Words Ana Kinsella

Millennials find humor in the way their parents use the internet. Note the recent success of “A group where we all pretend to be boomers”—a Facebook group with almost 300,000 members—where millennials derive pleasure from posting like their elders do. Sample post: Stare At A Sunset And Ask “How Can Anyone Not Believe In God???” Sample comment on that post: This is what I keep telling Karen! Clearly, there’s a rich seam of comedy to be found in the gap between generations. Without the generation gap there are no generations, or at least no broadly defined groups of people determined by age as well as by idiosyncratic associated traits. We define ourselves in opposition to those who came before us.

The media finds shorthand ways of summing up any given cohort: Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are into avocado toast and flexible work; Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) cling to authenticity and an outdated fear of selling out; Boomers (born between 1944 and...

1. Perhaps the defining meme of 2019, “OK boomer” has become Generation Z’s rallying retort to the post-war generation, who they view as condescending, politically regressive and blind to the privileges afforded them.

2. The authors of The Fourth Turning popularized the phrase “winter is coming” long in advance of the television series Game of Thrones. Devotees such as Bannon believe that the US is on the brink of an emergency commensurate in scale with the Great Depression. As the former chief strategist told The New York Times: “Everything President Trump is doing—all of it— is to get ahead of or stop any potential crisis."

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