Get Off My Lawn! (And My Facebook)
1/14/2013 2:20:00 PM
I recently unfriended a young woman on my personal Facebook page. You won't believe why: I got tired of her constantly posting come-f**k-me pics of herself. (Shall I turn in my man card, now?) Seriously, I enjoyed ogling the young thing in the beginning. Slim, blond and willing. But after a while, she was no longer attractive. "Look at me! Look how sexy and cool I am!" There's just something about narcissism that turns me off. And what's with the duck face? Stop it!
There have recently been a host of articles and a couple of books about the growing self-absorption among so-called Generation Y (roughly anyone born in the 80s or 90s). And we're surprised? Those decades brought us all that touchy-feely bullshit where everyone gets a ribbon, everyone gets a passing grade. No losers, only winners!
It was a socialist view of parenting and educating. Right? Spread the wealth? We wanted everyone to get a little piece of the winner's pie, even if they came in last. "Here, honey, you get a trophy too!"
My 15-year-old son loves hip-hop. We listen to it when driving and there is one common theme: "I'm da bomb! You suck. Don't mess with me or I'll f**k you up!" Song after song, it's all about putting yourself up and others down. It's no wonder my kid has a hard time admitting it's his fault when he loses his phone or forgets to turn in homework.
Kids these days!
But wait... didn't they say the same thing about my generation?
Yep. We were self-absorbed and impatient. As Jim Morrison said, "We want the world and we want it now!" Our heroes were in-your-face rockers who flaunted a screw-the-man attitude. We were better than those old farts. A popular phrase was, "Don't trust anyone over 30!" The Who sang, "Hope I die before I get old."
Well, some did die before they got old. Jimi, Janis and Jim all died from drug overdoses before they were 30. But I don't blame the drugs, I blame their narcissism. It's common among great artists, but some don't survive it. (Kurt Cobain committed the ultimate narcissistic act: suicide)
Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page had serious drug problems (and every reason to have inflated egos), but they were bright enough to admit their choices weren't working before it was too late. Even Keith Richards, in spite of his druggie image, got his shit together years ago and just turned 69!
For those of my generation who survived our chemically fueled youth, a funny thing happened: life. It kicked our asses and reminded us that we weren't so all-knowing after all. We didn't have all the answers. My old man was right: The older you get, the less you know.
So here's the deal: Today's twenty-somethings may be the most self-absorbed generation in history. So what? Life has a way of dealing with it. Some will correct course, some will die off and some will remain self-absorbed assholes, alienating everyone around them.
That's evolution in action.