In my day, in addition to walking ten miles to school in the snow (yes, it used to snow quite regularly in Granada Hills) we used to question authority.
I'd heard tell here and there that the generation following mine -- the Millennials, Generation Y -- tended toward an automatic valuation and trust of authority figures, but of course that description was coming from authority figures, so I naturally dismissed it out of hand. Then I read this heartbreaking response to "The Kilt Kerfluffle:"
"I dont see what the big deal is, it's the directors program. If they and the staff are united on a decision to make the group better then let them do what they do is best. Thats why they are working there."
I was stunned and dismayed to see that comment.
New York Magazine's curt descripition of millennial culture as "the Paris Hilton-posey, authority-loving, hive mind of kids today" rang in my ears, and rang true.
My dear anonymous -- and why are you always anonymous? -- don't you see? It's not the directors' program. You are not a cog in someone else's machine. While you are busy staring into your smartphone, dear child, you are averting your eyes from those in charge, which is just what they want you to do. Stop texing for just one moment, and look around. Why unquestioningly cede your power before you have even learned to wield it?
Authority figures become authority figures because of their overwhelming desire to be in control, and to control others, whether by intimidating them into abandoning a Facebook petition, or by passing legislation that violates your constitutional rights.
One of your fellow anonymous comrades quickly shut down another who'd said,
The toadying obsequiousness is painful to witness, not to mention the grammar. Pray tell, what precisely does the term "butt hurt" imply? Is it a reference to sodomy, or something more sinister?
I'm not so foolish as to believe that one little post in one little blog can change the leanings of an entire generation; I know it can't. And yes, I see the irony in the fact that this discussion arose out of a plea for adherence to tradition. But you guys aren't the jocks. You aren't the stoners. You aren't the popular kids. You're the band. You bring music to the world. And -- with the possible exception of the nerds -- who better than you to lead the charge to a creative, freethinking way of life? You may march in uniformed lockstep during your performances, but for the rest of the time, please remember that you are free to think for yourselves.