Sunday, April 24, 2016

On Blaming and Putting Down Millennials

I wonder what today's non-millennial grown-ups were called back when they were younger and were considered the ultimate cause of their days' social problems. I wonder if some older people are thankful for the evanescence of youth and are being consciously vindictive towards millennials because of the hangups they have from the past. I wonder if they are telling their parents, "See this, ma/pa? You thought I was the problem? Get a load of today's generation of youngsters!"

It's funny how lots of older grown-ups constantly rely on the proverbial rhetoric,"You are the future," and yet enjoy laying so much blame on us for things like the purported slackening of society's moral fabric, whatever that means. When has this so-called "moral fabric" ever been stiff and impervious, anyway? Isn't the point of calling it a fabric because it's permeable and adaptable? Didn't mores develop over time rather than spring up out of nowhere? Even the Tanakh, the Bible, the Qur'an, the Pali Canon and the Vedas were written. Divinely-inspired (yeah, ok) but written, nonetheless.

Why are we so uptight about preserving what's familiar and normal to us? Why are we so keen to label divergence from social conventions as wrong or evil? Did you know that polyphonic music was banned from the Roman Catholic Church in 1322 for being too innovative? Did you know that before 1600, Roman clerics appealed to ban coffee? Yes, that's right. In the 14th century, what today is considered the music of the culturally refined was deemed impious and lascivious. In the late 1500's, coffee was almost dogmatically forbidden from consumption by Christians as it was regarded as a Muslim drink. What if the church had persisted in their crusades against these wonderful things? Claudio Monteverdi's Vesperis in Festis Beata Mariae Vergine would have never been composed. Cappuccino would have never been invented and that Starbucks two blocks away from your flat wouldn't even exist.

Remember that normalcy is an illusion. As Morticia Addams once said, "What's normal to the spider is a calamity to the fly." I'm well aware that there are certain limits to what we can change or keep, but cut us some slack; we're all just trying to find our place in this world, just like you (older grown-ups) probably were when you were our age--back when you were the ones ripping society's moral fabric to pieces and giving adults massive headaches.