It Rolls Uphill Too
By: Erik Rush
There’s a saying that a certain unpleasant substance has a tendency to “roll downhill” in hierarchies, meaning that those on the bottom generally experience the worst fallout from mistakes made above them, things for which those above them (usually possessing far more responsibility and advantages) were actually responsible.
Recently, the print press (including my local paper) picked up the article “The Age of Y”, by Kyra Kyles of Redeye, an online supplement to the Chicago Tribune. The article, which was entertaining, informative and well-researched, examined the cultural differences between Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964, give or take), Generation X (1965 through 1977) and Generation Y (1978 through 1989).
My (ultimately essential) interpretation is, though many became socially rebellious, the Baby Boomers were at least raised with a work ethic, an inkling of moral grounding, educated with a capacity for critical thinking, and respect for personal and civic responsibility; thus they possessed concepts of these aspects of accepted behavior. The more rebellious ones, influenced by pop culture, were the original “Me Firsters.”
Many Gen X’ers were actually raised in the religion of Mefirsterism; ideas of the aforementioned traditional concepts had well begun to slip away, and the lack of community-consciousness (whether that be through faith or civic organizations) led to predatory, opportunistic interpersonal relationships as a matter of course. “Greed” was “good”; “Look out for Number One” and “What have you done for me lately?” were their mantra.
Generation Y has become a more cognitively alien, radical group whose concepts of industry (meaning work), relationships and social consciousness are all but unknown. Negativism and unconstructive disapproval of everything but their pet indulgences abounds, making them fertile ground for the cult of victimization, mediocrity and entitlement proffered by the far Left. Consequently, those who do become socially conscious typically wind up engaged in that area.
In terms of that which rolls downhill, culturally speaking, the lion’s share of it did so due to four decades of socialist philosophy set into motion (downhill, of course) by far Left politicians, activists and their propaganda arm, the media.
Now, alarmingly, this “stuff”, having undergone a 40-year process of putrefaction (or would it be fermentation?), has begun to percolate back up through the proverbial hill, like some carbonated – and profoundly smelly – pyroclastic flow. Sloth, self-absorption, and what used to be considered outrageous personal philosophies and practices have been warmly embraced by millions, promoted vigorously by the entertainment industry – and are expected to be accepted unquestioningly by the majority of Americans.
Were I to present myself at an interview for a corporate executive’s position in blue jeans and a torn Marilyn Manson t-shirt, with visible tattoos on my neck and hands, multiple ear piercings, a bone through my nasal septum and reeking of bong water, I should not expect that I would be given the same serious consideration as the candidate who arrived well-groomed and in a business suit. Now, the emerging “wisdom” suggests to me that I am mistaken; it is my “right of individual expression” to show up at a job interview looking like a modern primitive and smelling like an australopithecine; the onus of guaranteeing “equal opportunity” to one such as myself is on the employer, and the fact that doing so might be a detriment to them is simply immaterial.
In a conversation with an extremely insightful friend of mine recently, he pointed out something very, well, insightful, unprecedented – and terrifying. It went like this: Every generation traditionally has expressed concern for the one coming after, as there is always a tendency for the latter to rebel against the status quo to some extent, whether that be the educational system, government, the family, what have you. In earlier days, through time, experience and maturity, the generation in question always gravitated back “toward the mean” because they realized, by and by, that convention and tradition worked, and were of personal benefit to them.
But not so with Generation Y, and to a somewhat lesser extent, the Gen X’ers. The indoctrination of forty years has become ingrained; traditional values are easily dismissed out-of-hand as outmoded. At this point, the message of the far Left has become deafening and even more potent, because now it is being preached by the elites and by an ever-increasing (intellectually and morally compromised) segment of society – from the top and the bottom of the hill, as it were.
In the eyes of the rebellious ‘Boomers and Generation X and Y archetypes, it is I who am living the “alternative” lifestyle; working hard, raising a family, attempting to live on a spiritual basis and observe civic responsibility. They, who have been efficiently imbued with disdain for convention and acceptance of duplicity, capriciousness, vice and casual, opportunistic interpersonal associations, believe that it is acceptable, nay, even normal to present themselves as grotesque, aging sex clowns, dress their prepubescent children as pedophile bait, labor as little as possible, pilfer from the workplace if the opportunity arises; the list, as they say, goes on and on. The point is that there’s no longer any reasonable “mean” to which they might gravitate back. There’s no concept within their frame of reference, and those which exist in society are sacrilege to them.
As for Generation Z? They’ll probably be waiting on block-long lines to purchase Harry Potter and the Chalice of Phlegm when the long-range nuclear missiles begin raining down on us from Iran.
Erik Rush is a New York-born Black columnist and author who writes “The Culture Shark,”a weekly column of political fare. He is also a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. An archive containing links to just about everything he’s written is at http://www.erikrush.com.