The Problem With “Get Off My Lawn”

Okay–I’m going to indulge in yet another rant. (Then I’ll return this blog to its usual political preoccupations–promise!)

You will have to forgive me for these expressions of bile: as the midterms approach, and my patience and sanity continue to erode, I tend to get annoyed by things I would probably overlook if I was in a less fragile state of mind. But one commenter to this site–who often has very thoughtful and pertinent things to say–has a habit that has sent me over the edge.

That habit? Repeatedly denigrating the younger generation. Characterizing and dismissing all young people as cut from the same “me me” cloth.

You know who you are…

This wholesale dismissal of the younger generation–the tendency of us older folks to shout “get off my lawn!”– has been going on since the time of Socrates. (If you don’t believe me, here’s a compilation of insults directed at young people over the centuries.)

These sweeping denunciations were wrong when they were issued, and they’re wrong now.

First of all, there is really no difference between insisting that all Blacks or all Jews or all White Evangelicals are the same and [fill in your preferred negative label] and insisting that all members of a particular age cohort exhibit [fill in your preferred behavioral insult].  Bigotry isn’t limited to defamation based upon race, religion or sexual orientation.

Secondly, and more substantively, it’s inaccurate–and I don’t say that just because it is demonstrably inapplicable to my own children and grandchildren.

I taught classes filled with young people for 21 years–my students (I usually had a total of anywhere from 60-120 in a given semester) ranged in ages from 18 to 35, depending on whether they were undergraduates or graduate students. My classrooms were diverse, and my students were pretty representative of their generation–I taught at an urban campus that drew students predominantly from central Indiana. I had some students who came from more privileged backgrounds, but the majority did not. A significant number were the first in their families to attend college.

And while there was some “self-selection” due to our programs preparing students for public and non-profit careers, our largest academic  program was public safety–and it attracted mainly would-be police officers. So I feel confident that I saw a pretty good cross-section of young Americans.

I would turn this country over to them in a heartbeat.

Overall, my students were inclusive, caring and community-oriented. I saw very little evidence of bigotry or “me-ism” and considerable evidence of a firm–even passionate– commitment to social justice and legal equality. The papers they wrote for my classes were, overall, thoughtful, and reflected genuine concern for their communities and for the underprivileged people in those communities.

Granted, when students entered my classrooms they rarely came armed with knowledge of the Constitution, Bill of Rights or other aspects of America’s legal structure, but their attitudes had been shaped by what I like to call “The American Idea”–a belief in both individual liberty and civic equality.

And they acted on those commitments.They volunteered and organized. When it comes to political participation, the data confirms that youth turnout has been on the rise; in 2020, it hit 50%, an 11 point increase from 2016.

 Recent surveys tell us that 59% of them plan to vote this year.

There is a lot wrong with America right now, and a lot of structural problems that make solving those thorny problems difficult. It’s tempting to look for scapegoats–but it is neither accurate nor helpful to blame an entire generation for the unpleasant or unhelpful behaviors of some of them.

Sorry to pick on a reader I really like, butI feel better now…..


  1. I heartily second the ideas set forth in this writing, while I really have no direct connection to the youth of today I know that they carry the same passions for justice and equity that I carried in my youth and to this day. My wife and daughter work in the higher education world and another daughter works in secondary education. The stories they relate often carry very positive views of the younger generations.
    After all if the younger generations are all bad isn’t it the fault of us old geezers who raised them?

  2. I saw proof of this from the other side of the lectern, so to speak. A few years back (so in my mid-50s) I attended classes at our community college; mainly online, but was fortunate enough to be admitted to the Model UN program. The students ranged from age 19 (the man I was partnered with) to early 30s, with most in their early 20s.
    They were absolutely a cross-section of society. There was a “dreamer” who was her daddy’s princess, but a determined student who worked as a medical-travel travel agent. There was a single mother of 3, 2 of whom were handicapped, who was applying to medical school; my partner, a recent graduate who couldn’t read cursive (!!), who wanted to work in the Statehouse; a Chinese immigrant who was the star of the class and worked twice as hard as anyone because he helped us all with our Chinese pronunciation; and of course the slacker who thought this would be an easy class with a trip to Atlanta at the end… in other words, they were like any other group of any age.
    We came together as a team: when our professor had a heart episode in class; when we were separated on the MARTA in Atlanta; when we suffered a crushing loss at our competition; and when we, a diverse group of all ages, socialized, studied, and got to know one another as people.
    That should happen more often.

  3. I should add, this “old lady” blew away some of their preconceived ideas also. They learned I was way cooler and much more liberal than ther old people they knew (their parents?), although I needed my sleep!

  4. Another good rant! I suspect because there is evidence of it on Twitter, that targeted media uses the younger generation as “woke” and uses displays like tossing mashed potatoes on art as a sign they are ALL “deranged and clueless.”

    After the Progressive Caucus made fools of themselves yesterday, I wrote this piece earlier this morning in response.

    This country, via capitalists controlling the message, has dammed up progress for decades. Where we should be and where we’re at is a huge gap. You can see it in climate change, food, energy, health, etc. The disinformation isn’t the fault of technology (social media apps); it’s the fault of the messengers or oligarchs who own the presses. 😉

    When truth seekers like Julian Assange are silenced by those in power, we must stop and ask why the autocracies and democracies of the world don’t want them around. As a civilization, we need truth seekers more than ever – not less.

    The young people are forced into a corrupt system that they know is off-kilter. It’s off-center because we old people abandoned our consciences.

  5. I have made the same retort citing Socrates, Plato, Pythagoras, Euclid, etc. I also say “it’s the younger generation’s JOB to annoy the older generation(s).” They will eventually become that “older generation” who are annoyed by their offspring and will become the targets of their dismay.

  6. I’m sure I’ve seen this somewhere “Boomers are the whineyist generation.”. Just can’t remember where.

  7. It seems to me that the youthful enthusiasm and civil engagement that my (Boomer) generation had in our youth dissipated once we entered the world of work and debt and making a livelihood, and that energy became the fuel for greed and power-seeking that has left our nation in the mess we face today.
    I hope to leave this world in a better condition than I found it, and for the younger people I meet I hope they learn from our mistakes and keep up the enthusiasm and public spirit I see today. And I don’t mind if they step on my lawn, but please pick up what your dog leaves behind.

  8. Boomers can be characterized many ways. I’m a boomer. As a contrast to some of the more recent generations, I can remember being excited to reach 16 and get a driver’s license, register to vote the first time and voting (and every election since). I was drafted into the army and served involuntarily in the Viet Nam war (ironically the draft lottery started while I was in VN). I recall that most of my group could hardly wait to go to college, move out of our parent’s houses and have a life of my own. Then we started reproducing and most of that changed for our offspring.

  9. One aspect of human existence that will never change is change itself. Staying open-minded to the younger generation keeps the older generations from stagnating and feeling trapped by nostalgia and resentment. I have learned so much from my young-adult kids!

  10. In my line of work I’m around a greatly diverse range of people, and if I’ve learned nothing else in my 7+ decades on earth, it’s to never judge a book by its cover, especially if it’s a new (young) book. A lot of people look at the younger generations and grumble about the world going to hell in a handbasket, but look at the basket we’re in now, that we put ourselves into. The “youngsters” I encounter are more often than not bright, hard-working, personable, and a joy to be around. They brighten my days, energize me, teach me things, and, most importantly, give me hope for our future.

  11. I can hear Paul Lynde singing, “Why can’t they be like we were, perfect in every way. Oh what’s the matter with kids today?” Every generation is prone to thinking that the kids are all lazy and unconcerned. I see much potential out there. My prayer is that they aren’t like us, that they don’t eventually see greed as good. Boomers have thrown away most of the promise of our generation. Don’t let it happen to you, Gens X, Y, Z and millennials.

  12. I absolutely agree! I have much respect for this upcoming generation. They are involved and they don’t want the same old stuff we have tolerated for too long. I say let them reign! (Well, except for a couple of them on the far end of the spectrum…)

  13. Can’t fault the professor for some rants, especially when they are on point. As someone in the millennial category (admittedly, the oldest section of that group), I can’t tell you how tired I get hearing about millennials “ruining” something or millennials being seen as children by the older generations. I feel like as you get older you lose some sense of scale. I don’t think many older folks grasp that millennials are quite likely to be in their 40s and are not “kids” and haven’t been for quite some time.

    But, of course, it’s all circular. I’ve heard millennials complain about Gen Z. Amazing how fast we “other” people. It must be human nature or have an evolutionary advantage some how with how reliably that happens. Always good to remind everyone that things mostly get better as time goes on.

  14. Amen! That’s a rant I share completely. My greatest fear about young people is that they are being barraged (like the rest of us) with the poorest examples of how to deal with your fellow human beings via political ads. What ever happened to “truth in advertising”?

  15. I used to have a poster in my classroom that had a quotation from Aristotle, I think, in which he complained that the ” youth have no respect for their elders and chatter in sacred places.” It was date in the Fourth Center BCE.

  16. The surviving students from the Mary Stoneman Douglas shooting showed the world what the power of the younger generations can be and do. As a former high school/middle school educator, I will submit that only the usual 25%, or so, will not be a pro-active, contributing member of society. The rest? Yes. They will. I’m still in touch with some of my former students and have wallowed in the validation they’ve given our work together.

    The kids ended up teaching me more than I taught them. They taught a normally impatient man to be patient. They taught an authoritarian-leaning personality to be egalitarian. Those kids also taught me that love can be a widely variable thing.

    The flip side of this topic – for me – was that the 75% were better people than 50% of their parents. Those bad parents, and their raving colleagues today, are the problem. The kids are indeed all right.

  17. The young are my only source of hope for improvement in our political troubles. They have a clue.

  18. ive come across many a younger that has a lack of any or few social values. like dealing with a drive up window or behind the counter. seems more like AI. though many here in NoDak I have been seeing new voices telling them what to do,or ignore it will be just fine. the few i relate with are looking at their future more. i relate stories of past laws and WTFs that have taken from the working class over the years. many never heard of a prevailing wage in const,and i was fortunate enough to explain to a newbie what it was and its guarentees,in front of his cut throat employer. seems what he makes, the figure isnt close after what we discussed.. seems his employer is not being up front…er,the majority of trucking companies low ball anyone who can hold a wheel. this kid,is a veteran marine,and honorably discharged. so much for red white and blue. by the way, his boss is part of a bankers family, and I wonder why a small guy like me who has 43 years driving cant even say loan for a truck. like edu loans,(go full monte)i have to buy a next to new or new truck to get a loan,math,20% down on $200.000+ then ill need $20K for operating expenses til my money starts to come in.. and the SBA laughed at me for even asking.. now, i hope your roads are safe from idiot truckers and your needs to live on,is plenty on the stores shelves..

  19. I agree wholeheartedly! I look forward to the day we get out of their way and let them lead!

  20. “When truth seekers like Julian Assange are silenced by those in power, we must stop and ask why the autocracies and democracies of the world don’t want them around.”

    Another journalist has been silenced by those in power. Why do the autocrats not want him around?

    Emmy-winning producer James Gordon Meek of ABC has disappeared. According to 10/18/22 Rolling Stone, his home in Alexandria, VA was raided by the FBI 4/27/22. Per Tatiana Siegel of Rolling Stone, in her article “FBI Raids ABC News Producer’s Home,” neighbors reported at least 10 heavily armed personnel and a Lenco BearCar G2 participated in the raid. “None bore anything identifying which agency was conducting the raid.” “Meek has been charged with no crime. But independent observers believe the raid is among the first – and quite possibly the first – to be carried out on a journalist by the Biden administration.”

    Per Siegel’s article, “If the raid was for Meek’s records, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco would have had to give her blessing; a new policy enacted last year prohibits federal prosecutors from seizing journalists’ documents. Any exception requires the deputy AG’s approval.”

    Meek’s ABC News colleagues interviewed by Rolling Stone said that they have no idea what happened to Meek. Rolling Stone reported that, “In recent years, some of Meek’s highest-profile reporting delved into a 2017 ambush by ISIS in Niger that left four American Green Berets dead.”

  21. We need your upbraidings and rants, Sheila! Your occasional cluck-clucking and finger wagging remind us to get over ourselves, to be more understanding and generous and optimistic, and far less certain of our own views. Keep dishing it out, and we’ll keep reading what you have to say and no doubt be better for it! Many thanks!

  22. Todd’s comments today are worth reading again, especially:

    “The young people are forced into a corrupt system that they know is off-kilter. It’s off-center because we old people abandoned our consciences.”

  23. Open your eyes folks. Yes, youth are voting. In fact, they were a material reason why The Duck won in 2016 and nearly so in 2020. They vote in much greater number for 3rd/4th parties.

    Yes – they are very color and ethnicity blind – good. BUT, they are very about ME. Suggested reading: “Generation ME” and “iGen” by Dr. Jean Twenge – real data.

  24. All human behavior is learned!

    From the selfish Me’ist, to environmentalism, the racist bigots, masochism, sadism, authoritarianism, the empathetic compassionists, all is learned from the previous generations!

    Of course, with all of the atheistic tendencies of the current older generation, the so-called enlightened, where do the youngest generations get their moral parameters?

    Philosophy! Because we know without a doubt that the more than 2,000-year-old Bible verses written by old men, lol, White men?, Not hardly, can’t possibly be of any use.

    So, then we turn to the way more than 2000-year-old year old philosophies by Babylonians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans and persians! Epicureanism, Stoism, Taoism, Essenists, Sophism, I mean the list could go on forever.

    And why are these ancient philosophies more valuable than scriptural teachings? Catholicism and Protestantism are mostly based on ancient philosophy rather than scriptural writings. Some of our laws and moral teachings are based on scripture, but the predominant source is ancient philosophy.

    So, modern faith, law, and ethics, are based on the original progenitors of ancient philosophy and their philosophical Edicts and Tenets.

    The immortal soul was never a Tenet of scripture, but it was a Tenet for ancient philosophical houses! A burning hell for bad people or at Paradiseic heaven for good people was never a scriptural Tenet, but, it was taught by certain ancient philosophical houses!

    These Tenets or philosophical Dogmas were adopted by the major Protestant and Catholic Christian religions.

    So, who or what is believable? Who or what has the most influence on the most current nanescent generation?

    I would suggest you really research your philosophy that has been adopted by most governments in their law writing and implementation. And not only that per se, but the most malleable minds absorb this philosophy as some sort of panacea of knowledge when it is just really a bunch of old men with various ideas, many of them really really bad ones.

    Throughout history, the same philosophies have been rehashed and regurgitated by the newest generations reinventing the wheel and pushing Dogma that was basically an opinion of common mortal men. Philosophy and faith in philosophy proves that philosophy is a religion in its own right and absolutely without a doubt, and admittedly by its own writers, of men of all sorts, and not Gods!

    This is Empirical evidence that humanity cannot rule itself without using fear, loathing, deception, con artistry, and political chicanery all based on philosophy. And as the millennia roll by, and the population and technology increases, humanities pathway is shown to be an abject failure!

  25. It was my privilege to lead and manage large scale youth development deploying evidence based strategies at home and abroad in diverse communities. The hard lesson: there are winners, the savable and there are losers. Winners seize the initiative to secure the well being of self and others. The savable meet you halfway. If resources are available, we know how to deploy intervention strategies to respond to losers.

    In all instances, college students were recruited to serve as mentors. Colleges are not the only source to tap reserves of young adults who demonstrate social capital. I have witnessed remarkable results in the empowerment of former gang members to mentor younger kids in the ‘ghetto’.

    I applaud Sheila’s statement of affirmation this morning.

  26. I love the youth of today. They are the most educated population on the planet, thanks to smart phones. Educators have done their job well and the future is so bright, I gotta wear shades. 😎

    I know this sounds like I’m a victim, but we had no say in how the corporations took away our pensions if we were lucky enough to work for one that offers them. Yes, we can vote, but honestly this sh*t storm is global. Now, we late boomers who haven’t retired yet are watching stock markets with anxiety because that’s our future. It’s rigged! The youth know this too. Let them fix it! Please!

  27. We are all made from what we were born with and into. The “into” changes rapidly in these times so children are born into a different “now” every year. Yet they are the most up-to-date humans on the planet and will be the best prepared for the adult times that they will be the pioneers in.

    We are among the most experienced humans on the planet. It’s essential for the most up-to-date and the most experienced humans to communicate and learn from one another. All benefit. And, I’ve found, it’s a great deal of fun to boot.

  28. Just one piece of data – reported 5 days ago on Pew regarding Tik Tok as the key source for NEWS:

    – 65+ 1%
    – 50-64 5%
    – 30-49 10%
    – 18-29 26%

  29. It’s too late for the older members of the PMC. Perhaps the younger generation can and will do better?

    A tip of the hat to Barbara and John Ehrenreich.

    “Liberal members of the credentialed classes love to use the word empower when they talk about ‘people,’ but the use of that verb objectifies the recipients of their help while implying that the people have no access to power without them.

  30. Sheila! Hear! Hear!

    I was one of the older students when I went back to graduate school. I would turn this country over to the younger generation in a heart beat. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience–graduate school has not done anything from a career perspective which is why I went back but I did gain so much in going.

    Your assessment is what I had viewed. Ageism exists–as an older woman who moved and couldn’t get a job for 3 years and I have 3 degrees. It doesn’t feel good when you are older and getting told you have nothing to offer at age 40 to the workforce, and/or overqualified (turns out this is a code word for old) and it doesn’t feel good when we dismiss the younger generation. I think we all lose.

  31. More research data on young people: “Gen Z spends a lot of time on screens. This cohort of consumers, born in and after 1996, watches an average of 7.2 hours of video a day, which is nearly an hour more than the 6.3 hours spent by Gen X.” Us old folks, maybe 3 hours at most.

    Want to say IGIO? Watch the PBS independent lens piece on Tik Tok.

  32. So what “ism” will the youth of today select within which to finally make the Madisonian tenets come true? I note with interest, for instance, that the youth of today seem to have no fear of the word socialism, which is an affront to the capitalist press, and seem open to selection of any ism that works. When setting the substance of and parameters for making such choice, today’s youth may very well select some form of socialism since our current system which has made us the richest country in the world has failed in making a fair distribution of such trove with the result that we are en route to the world’s first trillionaire designation while our minimum wage and poverty status are synonomous.

    Is it possible that the youth of today will recognize what we have not, to wit: that democracy can flourish under other systems than the one to which we are tethered today? Perhaps, perhaps not. Time (and their perception) will tell.

  33. I did not see Benjamin Franklin’s put-down of the younger generation in the compilation, but
    he did, along with the others, and who knows still how many others we do not have a record of,
    issue one.
    A simple example of variety: I was at Woodstock, and later found out that a cousin’s cousin was
    there also. We were, then, of the younger generation. I have known him for years, now, and we
    are versant different in our political outlook. I’m a flaming liberal, and proud of it, while he’s a staunch,
    old fashioned (has some sense of ethical values) conservative. Even religiously, we differ widely.
    But, I’m sure that those folks living in, and around Bethel, N.Y. saw us as all “Stinking Hippies” at the time.

  34. Wow,

    I sure see a whole lot of willful delusion in the comment section today! I recall the same thing being said about every so-called generation from the baby boomers all the way down to today. And what makes a savior?

    The enlightened Crusades, or the dark ages, the Renaissance, or the slave trade? Or the Civil war? Or the world wars?

    What about all of our constitutionally guaranteed rights? What about our right to practice any particular religious custom? What about the right to vote? What about freedom of the press? What about the right to be safe in your home? Why do you have the youngest generation demanding to defund police? Without laws you have anarchy! Without law enforcement, well, I think you get that drift.

    Those youngsters, very few of them have any wisdom whatsoever. Because wisdom comes from length of life, experience and education combined. When you have individuals cloistered in front of a smart?phone or some other screen, what experiences do they acquire? Being literate does not mean being intelligent! Being educated does not mean being capable! These things come from previous generations. But were those previous generations any better? Well, to hear everyone tell it, No!

    Lester is correct, the only good deeds that are done or seemingly Good deeds, are the spotlight that many crave. They don’t do good deeds unless others know about it! And are those deeds really good? Even black lives matter is a joke! The leadership was stealing money, they pushed an agenda that was ridiculous! They promoted riots in the streets, they refuse to use any political Capital to prevent murders from their own constituency to others of their own constituency because that’s the job of the police! The police? Really? But they wanted to defund the police! They claim that their function is only to shed light on police brutality and unfairness by the government.

    Instead of trying to bring peaceful solutions, they ended up in violent confrontations. So how does that particular generation stack up to previous nanescent generations?

    Talking about barking up the wrong tree! All those are reality shows, and tick tock? Lol! Yeah, can’t wait!

  35. Boomer here. College was waaaaay back in a previous millennium.

    About six years ago that same college recruited me to interview high school seniors in my locality who have applied for admission.

    These kids impress the hell out of me. Bright, disciplined, hard working, forward thinking.

    And these are the kids you never hear about. You hear about the ones who act out, the ones who get into trouble, the ones who shoot up school classrooms. You don’t hear about the kids who take AP courses, who intern as research assistants, who get admitted not only to four years of undergraduate study but also to the next four years of medical school. These are the kids I talk to.

    I’m still not sure whether my college recruited me into this to help get the best kids accepted, or to improve my outlook on the future.

  36. Mr. Sorg, your posts exhaust me, quite literally–it’s as if they drain the life right out of me. Obviously, there are areas where we’re never going to agree.

    One area where we don’t agree is today’s post. Both through my own teaching experiences and my experience of my children (who have recently finished high school) and their friends over the last 15 years, I am fully in support of handing the reins to the future over to the youth. Are they perfect? Of course not. For one, they are very inexperienced, which often has drawbacks, but which sometimes is a good thing, as the world can wear away at idealism. But they are definitely less religious, less bigoted, more compassionate, and more socially and environmentally conscious, and these are all VERY good things. When I was in high school, I didn’t know a single person who was openly gay or trans. Now, there are numerous youths in my kids’ schools who are comfortable being themselves. (My older daughter is one of those, for example, who is not simply “straight”.) This is a critical advance for human society as a whole.

  37. I should also note that I consider the social media environments of today are a scourge, especially on younger people. I worked in a software company (that offered software to help universities deliver courses online) for many years during the explosion of the internet. I saw first-hand how some companies were working hard to track people’s habits, mine their personal data, and influence their lives. I hated that aspect of my industry, even though–fortunately for my own sanity–my company didn’t work that way.

    So why are the youth more impacted? It’s not a life experience issue. The young have grown up immersed in technology, entwined with it. The lack of technical expertise and exposure is actually saving the mental health of many older, less-tech-savvy people. (Which just attracts the scammers, of course. Horrible people.) We need to break up the big social media companies and create controls and regulation around them. This is a very hard thing, but I am confident that smarter people than I can get together and figure it out.

  38. John H,

    Sorry about your exhaustion!

    So, we are hoping that the younger generation, the young adults of today will save the world? They can’t even come to an agreement on building desalinization plants in California so they can continue to drink water and grow crops!

    Every generation always claims that the next generation can fix it because they’ll be better equipped!?!? But they are always a step or two behind the evolution of disaster!

    As far as being gay or straight, it was extremely acceptable to be gay/homosexual in ancient Babylon, Greece and Rome! Thousands of years ago? Wow! That just goes to show that the level of progress is really backwards at its worst microbialy forward at best. Nothing will be fixed because there is no foresight, no discernment, very little wisdom! With movements that are barely noticeable, how will that fix anything?

    You teach, which is wonderful! But, you don’t know! You are a teacher, but not a student. And teachers, the very very best, are always the best students.

    How is what you are Saying any different than being willfully deluded? You hope! You pray, well maybe not pray, but you wish on a star or whatever, having faith in a younger generation that was sucking on a bottle not that long ago. They’re going to fix it? Has the younger generation ever fixed anything in history?

    How many wars in the past century and a quarter? How many deaths related to those wars? And I’m talking all wars not just the world wars.?!?

    How many generations during that period of time? And how many of those generations had an impact on the prevention of wars or saving of lives? Barack Obama said We are Who we’ve been waiting for, and he admits, he was wrong! When the League of Nations was disbanded after the first world war, the United Nations was created. The Hope and Faith in the League of Nations was highly misplaced, and later Hope and Faith in the United Nations again, highly misplaced. They have not fulfilled any of their objectives.

    There is no shortage of Hope and Faith amongst the people of this world, but they always come up short! There is always failure! So as a teacher, maybe you can shed some light on that? I already know the answer. All the promise you see in the younger generation, are probably the more privileged of society. It’s vastly different in most of the world!

  39. Sometimes rants make good sense, and sometimes rants are true to their original meaning.
    This particular rant seems no more than a nice person screaming at the wind. Like yesterday’s PollyAnna view of the glories of downtown Indianapolis, to which I appended the actual crime map, this one ignores the overall national, global picture to focus on the “good kids.”
    It’s the Steven Pinker “Better Angels of Our Nature” condensed and narrowed to justify the views of creeping old age. It’s a view common to the old ladies in Berkeley who shop Trader Joe’s and walk their old dogs, but never after dark.
    They’re adorable, but poor narrators of present reality.
    You know, distracted drivers, decriminalized hard drugs in Portland, half the population in thrall to MAGA, declining test scores, 300 million guns in the USA, and then we move to Mexico (oops, better not–our drug demands have given it over to insane drug cartel. Canada’s gone Woke nuts, as has the UK.
    Oh, well, Stoicism serves me well. And nobody reads the last post of the day, ever.
    Mrs. Kennedy doesn’t understand that life, and blogs, aren’t a lecture hall, and lively disagreement isn’t served by this blog style.
    But I guess tomorrow will be a new section of the river, or at least one small section of one bank.
    I can rant, too. Ormond at I generally respond.

  40. What I see of the younger generation in my small part of an urban center varies greatly, often identifiable by race, gender and educational level.
    Maybe the most concerning thing of note is that many of the younger more well educated members of all of those groups don’t have some basic skills, like cooking, basic home maintenance skills, indifference to maintaining a relatively clean and healthy community space, automotive maintenance, for example.
    When my area of mostly starter homes, the majority of home buyers are first timers, likely sold by the attractive set up of a house and yard. The homes are all well over 50 years old with all of the attendant problems of buildings before the demands of technology and codes have progressed. They expect perfection in their selection. Unfortunately, they often find out that ignorance is not bliss when maintaining a house/yard. Most don’t do the maintenance themselves either because they don’t want to do it because they have no time or knowledge/skill or they just don’t care how the property is maintained. Most pay someone else to do those chores/maintenance projects. They often don’t have even the basic knowledge to know what the project requires or will cost.
    Often those doing the manual labor are immigrants or someone who is not formally educated but skilled by experience and drive. Many view their first home as a way station on an upward journey with little incentive to put down deeper roots. Many are smart and hard working, but emotionally removed from involvement in the issues facing an increasingly evolving urban area that is becoming more and more commercial. When we see smoke shops, payday loan store fronts, dollar stores, big box story outlets and fast food joints proliferate while small businesses like shoe repair, cleaners, salons and barbershops quietly close due to the change in lifestyles and demographics, it reflects what the majority of younger consumers in the area patronize.
    My life experience is limited by circumstance. I have lived most of my life in more urban places, but also some time in a very small town, educated in both parochial and public schools, very segregated by race/religion. The younger generations appear to be much more egalitarian and diverse, accepting of “others” as just different, not a threat. I hope that means that they will fight back when faced with those wanting to go back to “the good old days” of segregation by race, gender, religion or political identity.

  41. I totally agree. Unfortunately, the ageism often works both ways; i.e., anti-boomerism has been widespread among younger generations. That said, I would love to hand the reins of leadership to a younger generation. Unfortunately I see no one in the current Democratic party ready to step in to take the reins from Pelosi and Schumer.

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