From a Millenial: Well Actually, Chris Erksine

Jade Hawk is a certified bad-ass I am proud to call a friend. I got to know her through the comments on Skepchick and FtB, as well as in person at cons and via Facebook. She wrote a great response to that nonsense Chris Erksine post that made the rounds this weekend. Please note that he is not actually a Millenial, but we’re going to roll with his lie — I’m sorry, unfunny “joke” — in his article that he is a Snake Person. Enjoy!

Chris Erskine wrote a pledge-listicle to help the rest of his “fellow” millennials finally enter adulthood. Now, far be it for me to criticize a millennial so successful he managed to overcome such adversities as child-labor laws to get a major gig at the L.A. Times at the tender age of 9; but being a millennial I completely lack the ability to laugh at myself or to pick my battles, so I wrote my own pledge-listicle in response:

  • Well actually, we’re entitled to every single thing in the Declaration of Human Rights, enumerated in the many laws your generation is trying to kill off, and all the shit your generation promised in exchange for taking up the financial and psychological burden of finishing college.
  • Well actually, we will not give money to bigots and we will protest wherever they spew their bigotry under the guise of comedy.
  • Well actually, we will continue using digital devices during meals until meatspace people start providing as stimulating and as anxiety-free dinner conversation as the internet does.
  • Well actually, our sense of humor is already better than yours; for one, we are not the ones whining that people no longer find us funny.
  • Well actually, imposing that cultural and ableist norm on everyone is bullshit and maybe you should instead pledge to stop creepily staring at people and learn simple multitasking like talking to someone while looking at something else.
  • Well actually, we will not waste paper and stamp money to use an illegible writing style when a simple text will suffice.
  • Well actually, we’re already one of the most resourceful and creative generations [something Erskine himself admitted once], seeing as we have to use these skills to survive in the shitpile of a society you left us.
  • Well actually, smut is everything, especially since it makes conservative old people like you uncomfortable.
  • Well actually, it’s not this generation who has an odd aversion to learning people’s actual names instead of deadnaming, insisting people get “American” (read: anglophone) names, etc.
  • Well actually, it is quite beneath us to concede to the ridiculous demands of grumpy boomers who complain that our generation won’t take the harm you’ve done us quietly.
  • Well actually, we will take all the fucking liquor we want; it’s your generation’s fault many of us have to move back home in the first place, the least you can do is get us drunk for free.
  • Well actually, we will use crowd funding for everything your shitty exploitative economy won’t provide.
  • Well actually, we can manage our money better than you do, generation that wrecked the economy; how about you fuck right off about the amount of coffee we need to function in this clusterfuck you made?
  • Well actually, gift cards are the best kinds of gifts, right after cash and buys from Amazon wishlists; nobody fucking wants your incorrect guesswork.
  • Well actually, maybe you should learn how to text instead, and learn that face-to-face or voice convos are not in fact inherently better for everything, especially not things of life-changing significance.
  • Well actually, whenever you quote such tripe we will remind you that entertaining a thought and voicing it publicly are in fact separate things.
  • Well actually, I will not fuck up my mental health to conform to diurnal sleep-wake cycles for no fucking reason; besides, if we’re supposed to work and go to college and handwrite notes and not multitask and not crowdfund or use credit cards, there’s no fucking time to sleep anyway.
  • And cilantro is too a vegetable, except when it’s soap-flavored poison.
From a Millenial: Well Actually, Chris Erksine

13 thoughts on “From a Millenial: Well Actually, Chris Erksine

  1. 2

    Texting and driving? How many of us millenials even have a car?

    Not surprising to me how many points were just ‘kids and their smartphones.’ As if eye contact or giving everybody 100% of your attention weren’t just arbitrary cultural norms. And for those of us who are frequently long distance from people we care about, text is often the only option for Big News.

    And cursive? One reason I don’t use cursive is that it is unfamiliar to people who didn’t grow up using the Roman alphabet. It’s a global world.

    And yeah, ‘you kids are so entitled!’ From people who were alive when a year of college didn’t cost over the median income.

    ‘Nothing is beneath me’ seems like what someone who wants to pay you less than minimum wage would say..

    Great takedown.

  2. 5

    I personally pledge to try my damnest to never be this awful to the latest generations, unless there is actually a reason to worry.

    “Kids and their smartphones” and the lack of writing in cursive aren’t reasons to worry.

  3. 6

    This kind of article pisses me off to no end, and I’m a late Boomer. I heard that about Boomers, I heard it about Gen-Xers, and it’s always been wrongheaded. It’s seizing on the superficial as evidence of some moral superiority, and ignoring all of the underlying reasons for any substantive observed differences in behavior because those reasons are evidence of your generation’s moral failures. Here, set it to music.

  4. 7

    If you’re looking to add another few entries to this, I’ve got a few from reading his followup column. (Note: for your own well-being, I recommend not actually reading the followup. Seriously, I wish I hadn’t.):
    – Well actually, we will get snarky at the line of crap you’re handing us, and our snark that doesn’t mean that you’re automatically right.
    – Well actually, we can tell when you’re being a condescending Schrodinger’s Asshole, and we will treat you with as much respect as you deserve.

    (Schrodinger’s Asshole being somebody who says something offensive, and observes the listeners’ reactions before deciding if they were serious or joking.)

  5. 8

    He’s a troll. He wrote a follow-up article gloating about it. I’m not anywhere close to being a millenial but anyone who is shouldn’t take this sort of thing very seriously. These sorts of things get recycled all the time and they’re really all the same. He just recycled some article from decades ago and filled in the blanks a little differently in a transparent attempt to look like he sort of has a clue what’s going on in the world today. Which would go over better if he hadn’t been explicitly stating that he doesn’t through the article (or as much of it as I could be bothered to skim; the whole thing is worthless rubbish).

  6. 9

    I think today’s young adults will build a less materialistic culture, having been raised without the expectation of rising prosperity. As a poor person, I don’t think that’s entirely a bad thing. As for cursive, I was taught that in the 70’s and hated it then. (That was back when we didn’t just communicate with paper mail, we hand-wrote the letters. Really.) I do hate texting, and especially that new writing style that’s a string of homophones you have to read aloud to understand, but I’m not stupid enough to call them moral failings…

  7. 10

    A troll, as I understand it, is someone who says things they don’t mean–that is, they tell lies–solely to instigate negative reactions among other people.

    Lying to piss other people off is execrable and cruel behavior, and it’s OK to be pissed about it. I also fail to see what is gained by “not taking it seriously.” Emotional sadism and lying are serious things. It’s especially OK to be pissed about such behavior when it’s endorsed and rewarded by supposedly reputable news organizations like the LA Times.

    1. 10.1

      I could’ve been a bit clearer about what I meant there. By not taking it seriously I meant that I don’t see this as a valid criticism of anything or anyone. It’s dishonest nonsense and he’s trying to have it both ways on whether it should be read as humor or criticism. First he dismisses negative reactions because it’s just a joke, then follows it up by basically saying he hit a nerve so maybe there’s something to it after all. With nothing whatsoever to back up this “but I was right all along” response. I specifically do not agree with this, it’s the classic *-ism shuffle for bigots and

      I think he’s just using a standard troll tactic here. He’s trying to make it cost you time and energy to respond, more than it does for him to dismiss your responses. You can still choose to respond to it but there’s a point where that becomes not worth it unless you can turn things around and make it cost him something.

  8. 11

    I didn’t know who you were until I saw you on the Atheist Experience, which I only watched today. I liked you there so I sought out your blog and saw this post, and now I’m glad I came here. Brava!

  9. 12

    Okay, so I’m an old white guy (48 next week). Chris Erskine doesn’t speak for me.

    The more I read of his little list, the more it seemed like this was just another d-bag trying to come up with a clever way to say, “Oh, you damn kids today! In my day we had respect for our elders!” The sad thing is that it’s not that clever to anyone outside of his own generation (and not clever to me, who is undoubtedly in his generation).

    The only life advice Millennials need is the same life advice that everyone needs at that age. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t be a dick. Don’t take everything personally. Take time to enjoy yourself. Stay away from people who do nothing but take. It really isn’t always about you, but sometimes it is–learn to tell the difference.

    Then again, that’s not advice that makes me feel clever, so maybe I’m doing it wrong.

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