Hey!

Hey guy!

Hey over here!  Yeah, you!  The guy that just posted some damn meme with the caption “This is what happens when everybody gets a trophy.”

Fuck you.

Fuck you sideways.  

Fuck you sideways with a goddamn cactus.

Let me explain something.  Let me tell you why this Gen X/Millenial/Gen Y bullshit sticks so far down my craw that James “The Most Important Part is Spectacle!” Cameron needs to use his submarine to get it out.

I was born in 1977, which puts me- generationally speaking- near the border.  

I played sports when I was younger.  I was bad.  But sometimes, we all got trophies.  I had 7th and 11th place ribbons from a swim meet that took place when I was in grade school.

Do me a favor, will you? Grant that some of the people you’re deriding had the capacity to understand that the only important trophies were those awarded for the three fastest, best, what-have-you.

Do you know what an 11th place ribbon says to a 12-year-old kid?  Here’s a hint: it doesn’t say “You’re a winner!”  

Would you like a clearer translation?  Great.  “Hey, dumbass!  You know this thing you chose to do?  This thing that you might want to do well?  That you think you should do well? You’re shit at it. You got a pity prize. Enjoy.”

Maybe that kind of message encourages other people to try harder or some similar Afterschool Special nonsense.

Maybe.

Do you honestly believe, when you rant self-righteously about the kids these days, that no one at any stage of their development noticed the gap between parental encouragement/expectation and actual achievement? That any number of “You’re specials” or “You can do whatever you wants” can trump enough empirical evidence?

Yeah. Many people my age or younger aren’t willing to pay our dues.  You’re right.  But that has nothing to do with trophies.  It has everything to do with “working hard” for no reason.  I can work as hard as I want at my current job, but it’s never going to provide the security I need. I could write my dissertation too, but I’ve seen the future, and I don’t want to adjunct for any length of time. I suppose I could work hard at adjuncting, but clearing under 25,000 a year, before taxes, with no benefits doesn’t seem like a good use of my time.

The dues don’t pay for anything anymore.

Rant over.

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