Perennial Millennial: The Generation That Just Won’t Grow Up

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By Sasha Gardner | 5:30 am, December 1, 2016

There’s a great scene in Risky Business, the 1983 Tom Cruise film, which millennials should study (given the movie is three decades old and stars a high-profile Scientologist, they may be more familiar with Damage Control, the MTV Risky Business rip-off).

High school student Joel Goodson invites a prostitute Lana (played by Rebecca De Mornay) to stay over when his parents go away on a trip. He tells Lana not to steal anything from his house when he leaves. Lana replies: “Joel, go to school. Go learn something.”

Joel, go to school. Go learn something.

Most millennials might have left school, but it’s still not too late for them to go out there and learn something.

Much has already been written on Heat Street about the problems facing the generation of 18-34 olds. It should be said that not all their woes are self-inflicted. It’s not your average twenty-something’s fault that their research probably revolves around Wikipedia and that technology has minimized their initiative and maximized their capacity to conform.

The problem with millennials isn’t what they’ve done. It’s what they are turning out to be: bland, risk-averse bores who think the same way and act — or more likely, fail to act — the same way.

It’s this fatal indecisiveness, allied to a lack of inquisitiveness and inclination to question what is around them, that is dooming the long-term dreams of so many young people.

The portrayal of women and the Neverland natives in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan makes it about as far from a millennial set text as you can get but millennials are closer to 21st century Peter Pans than they are to Jessica Jones or Hannah Horvath from Girls: they just don’t want to grow up.

 Millennials want to have their cake, eat all of it, try to get out of paying for it and then indulge in an orgy of self-loathing about the calories they’ve put on as a result of eating dessert they’ve ultimately failed to enjoy.

The recent book When Millennials Rule: The Reshaping of America by David Cahn and Jack Cahn painfully spelled out the contradictions. The book revealed that a majority of millennials don’t want a ban on assault weapons but they do support gun control. A majority of millennials surveyed don’t agree with Obamacare; yet a majority also say it should not be repealed. Go figure!

#WhenMillennialsRule check out Elsa in the back❄️

A post shared by Dianne Davidson (@dkay_alldayy) on

It’s time millennials both stopped paying lip service to generational cliches and receiving room service from their parents. Moving out of their homes would be a good start.

I’m a good libertarian but surely getting married and having children would supply purpose and direction for young people who have shown they are shy of committing in all kinds of ways.

This immaturity has recently had profound political consequences. Millennials hate Donald Trump. And yet they are responsible for the politically callow clown getting elected.

Yes, my generation has finally achieved something monumental. They’ve been instrumental in making sure the person they seemingly hate above all others winds up the leader of the free world!

Take a look at the data from CIRCLE (the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement). Half of voters between 18 and 29 didn’t vote. well below both the estimated overall 58% turnout at the election.

The millennial turnout for Hillary Clinton was below the support for Obama in key battleground states. This meant that yup, the person they love to hate wouldn’t be lording it over all of us from the Trump Tower for the next four years if more of them had acted on their convictions.

Here’s hoping — and this is a genuine hope, not the synthetic kind of Obama audacity of hope — that Trump’s election will be a wake-up call for a generation that has been so pathetically politically and socially comatose.

Maybe in five years time when I go to parties, I will gravitate to my own generation and won’t do what I do now which is seek out the old dudes because they’ll more likely have something fresh to say than people in their early thirties.

Whether it’s supporting left-wing causes or languishing in dead-end jobs, many millennials are suffering from a poverty of ambition, compromised by ineffectiveness and indecision.

How will, to paraphrase Rebecca De Mornay in Risky Business, millennials learn something about life? That’s something they have to figure out for themselves.

Millennials are often called snowflakes but this is misleading. Snowflakes reach their destination- the ground. Millennials are less sure of their direction and it’s time they urgently grew up in order to secure a meaningful destiny.