Friday, April 07, 2006

Millenials In The New Millenium

Under Attack: Sycophantic, Possessed Robots Storm The U.S.!
By Roland Trafton

When I sit down and have breakfast every morning at the stargate diner on 89th street and 3rd Avenue, I bring my newspaper. I’m twenty something years old and I have a subscription to the New York Times.

Part of me has it because I want to know what’s going on in the world, part of me has it just because I like being a twenty something year old who is subscribed to the New York Times, but most of me has it because I like stories. Every paper has about 50 stories that I can read about. Some of them have reoccurring characters. Some of the best stories are about Georgie or Satan Cheney. When I read the newspaper, I’m having someone from an office in Midtown Manhattan tell me a story.

I used to bring friends. I’d sit down with them and my newspaper, and order a cup of coffee. I’d always say the same thing, “Tell me a fucking story.” And they’d always look back at me with the same look. They always looked as if I were asking them for heroin. Then I’d point down at my newspaper and I’d say, “You know what this is? It’s a fucking newspaper. In here, there are dozens of stories from all around the globe and sometimes beyond.

If I want to hear a story about this island, I’ll turn to the metro section. There’s even a section where I can turn to, and arbitrarily pick any state in the union and read a short paragraph story about something pertaining to that state. If you don’t want to tell me a story, then I can read a fucking newspaper.” They always smiled and mischievously looked left and right, as if they were going to tell me about the time they robbed a bank in Tennessee, but it was never that interesting. Regardless, they always told me a story.

But that’s exactly what’s wrong. I shouldn’t have to curse at my friends in an effort for them to tell me a story, and even when they do tell me a story, most of them are about how they were “in Java City and then this one girl came up and she was kind of cute, but kind of not, but she ordered a double white decaf triple mocha, and then she put splenda in it, but she was like kind of weird, and she was a communications student, but she wasn’t sure yet, and she was from Long Island, but she wished she were from LA.” It’s all kind of boring, but rarely do I hear stories about, “Oh I went to a liquor store and stole a gallon of bourbon. Then I stole a cab, and drove to Mexico, just because it was cold out.”

That’s exactly what’s wrong with our generation. There’s so much emphasis on conformity and achieving, that everyone forgot how to be different. Our generation can easily be compared to the 1950’s in which conformity was very much celebrated. Anyone who didn’t want the car in the driveway with the perfect lawn was deemed different and frowned on by society. Luckily, that generation had a catalyst in the form of a book: J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye. It follows Holden Caufield, the Campbellian hero who defies conformity and runs away to New York City.

The fifties had Holden, the seventies had countless artists and musicians, and films such as Harold and Maude, but what do we have?

In the wake of Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson, our generation has been fortunate enough to embrace what is different in a new wave of culture where it is cool to be quirky and different. Successful films such as Igby Goes Down, and more notably Garden State, embrace quirky characters over the plastic mold of conformity. It mirrors in our generation when we too start behaving in more unusual ways. Ironically, it is now trendy to be unusual. I can only hope that this is a trend that doesn’t pass.

In a city where you can’t see the stars, it’s often hard for wishes to come true. Well I went to Jersey the other day, and I made a wish. We all got so caught up in pretending we were the same that we forgot how different we are. Now all we have to do is remember.

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