Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oh, You Kids Today.

Kids, sit down and let Grandma GenX tell you a story.

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:"

Anonymous said...

"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,

"Yeah for the kilts! Boo for Nelson who thinks he can shove other people around. "... take it down, now ..." Nelson can kiss my ass."

by replying,

"This is clearly a student who got butt hurt for not getting Drum Major or Sectionleader. This clearly show that Al made the right decision."


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.


11 comments:

  1. no offense...but this article makes absolutely no sense.

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  2. Well Grandma GenX let me fill you in since todays generation is to fast for you.

    www.urbandictionary.com
    Butt Hurt: Easily offended when one takes something too personally.

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  3. 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?

    I am curious why you are so caught up in high school? Did you not graduate over 20 years ago?

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  4. Anonymous said...
    no offense...but this article makes absolutely no sense.
    January 17, 2010 4:10 PM

    I agree with Anonymous, how is this valid information for Granada Hills.

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  5. Why is everyone attacking "Grandma GenX"? Your closed minded opinions (of her article in this case) are one of the reasons our generation is not taken seriously. I actually agree with much that the article had to say. Also, its hard to argue under "anonymous". Why be anonymous? Too lazy to write a name or scared that someone you know will actually know what you think? If we know who you are we can at least appreciate you for speaking your mind, but apparently, you're no one. Anyways, I agree that many are too quick to obey anything they are told without question. In a marching band, (as a related example) the director can tell the band what to do all day and night, but in the end they know that without the band members they would be nothing, have nothing to control. Everyone has a say in everything they do and have the right to question and oppose authority, or else what good is freedom of speech? This is the U.S., you don't like your job? Quit. That's the beauty. Don't be taken advantage of and don't be scared of those in power (I think was the point to the article). This is about paying attention to the freedoms you are being stripped of everyday and standing up for yourself and your beliefs; not even so much about the kilt problem anymore. Also, these are just words on a webpage, try not to get too "butt hurt", but obviously you can still state your opinions. For example I think one of the quotes (that it won't let me copy and paste) was actually pretty good that L.J. Williamson obviously didn't care much for, but that's my opinion. I have sense for both sides of the argument, in different areas- because sometimes bosses do know what's best and need to take control. Grandma GenX, please do not group us all in the "Paris-Hilton Posey, authority-loving, hive mind kids of today" as you could probably tell I am far from it :]

    - Joey

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  6. Jason Kim (GHCHS Band)January 18, 2010 at 9:53 PM

    We need authority because, quite frankly, people are stupid. I don't mean to say that free-thinkers are stupid and they should be put down, but it's just that there are people in our band that have difficulty discerning creativity from stupidity. Example: (Juniors and Seniors in GHCHS Band you guys remember)Inhaling from an aircan WILL NOT give you a "new" experience while playing in an ensemble.

    Another point, not all authority figures are power-hungry animals that have "overwhelming desires". I barely hold an authoritive position, (Section leader over 2 [used to be 4] people- big whoop)and if someone whips out an aircan on your watch and makes a fool out of him/herself plus the entire section. It's partly your fault, and a piss poor leader will say it's not (Which would've made me one).

    It's not that we crave to control others, it's our willingness to take upon ourselves the responsibilities of taking care of everyone (even if it's for two). It's a disgusting job, I don't like it, I never wanted it, I would hate to have even more people in my section, but I do it because there's no one else (really though, there is no one) and if someone who craved absolute-control ever stepped into a leadership position, you'll hear them by their excessive whining on how things don't go their way.

    I'm not saying I am a good leader. I'll say that I'm quite poor at it and everything which I just said could be completely wrong and all leaders are driven by lust for power.

    In regards to what's happenning in band. Al's in charge, he gives instructions, and we follow them. Yeah there are a lot times where I want to yell "Pardon my French Al, but what the ***k are we doing looking like idiots?" but I still do it and we have the freedom to think and share those thoughts amongnst ourselves which is what can get you through the day. But orders are orders so I guess I would fall under the "authority-loving" group.

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  7. What is this "inhaling from an aircan" you speak of ? Sounds like an enchanting "new" experience to me ! Perhaps it could lead the band towards some more Sun Ra-type free jazz experimentation ? (one can dream, right?)
    Failing that you kids might want to look into "jazz cigarettes" ! All the hep cats are doing it.

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  8. Brad, you're an idiot.

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  9. Anonymous, You've got poopy pants. I can smell them from here.

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  10. There is great promise in this new generation.

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  11. Again brad, may i state, you are an idiot.

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