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Please spare me ....
Posted by: mcq on Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Kevin Drum notes that Tom Friedman thinks the 20-somethings today are just not engaged enough. Others seem to think that life is just very hard today:
THE WORLD'S PROBLEMS....Tom Friedman is concerned that 20-somethings today are a little too quiet. "If they are not spitting mad, well, then they're just not paying attention," he says. Courtney Martin responds:
When Friedman was young and people were taking to the streets, there were a handful of issues to focus on and a few solid sources of news to pay attention to. Now there is a staggering amount of both. If I read the news today with my heart wide open and my mind engaged, I will be crushed. Do I address the injustices in Sudan, Iraq, Burma, Pakistan, the Bronx? Do I call an official, write a letter, respond to a request? None of it promises to be effective, and it certainly won't pacify my outrage.

....We can't be you, because we don't live in your time. We don't have the benefit of focus, the cushion of cheap rent, the luxury of not knowing just how complicated the world really is. Instead we have corporate conglomerates, private military contracts, the WTO and the IMF, school debt, and no health insurance. We are savvy and we are saturated and we are scared.
Ezra Klein agrees that kids are overwhelmed today because the scale of our problems is so immense. Brian Beutler thinks "We're overwhelmed because we're losing."
Ummm ... imagine this bunch in a Conestoga wagon on the Oregon trail. Yup, we'd still be no further west than St. Louis.

Meanwhile, about 200,000 20-somethings are doing rather incredible work in Iraq and Afghansitan. Thanks to the MSM they're doing it rather quietly.

Drum goes on to wax poetic about the 60s generation:
But look: it's not the 80s, 90s, or 00s that are unique here. What's unique was a single period of about ten years from the early 60s to the early 70s. The kind of activism we saw from young people during that decade hadn't been seen for a century before that and probably won't be seen for a century after it. It was sui generis, and pretending otherwise is silly.
Pretending it was about anything other than the draft is also silly. Want a reprise? Reinstitute the draft.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

"We’re overwhelmed because we’re losing."
Well, and because we were raised to believe that the world would simply do what we asked it to, like our parents, and maids, and when it didn’t, that hurt our self-esteem, and did not further our self-actualization!

Sometimes I am so ashamed to be a twenty-something.
Written By: Linus
URL: http://
As just one little thing, I wonder if any of these 20-somethings (and I have an idea or two about what that something is) have ever heard of polio, much less known someone who had it. They probably think ’iron lung’ is the name of a band. Strangely enough, I have no memory of ’the cushion of cheap rent’. I guess nostalgia is a lot easier if you have no memory.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
My guess is that the focus in school was being trained to be a happy member of the nanny state and never on developing a sense of self-reliance. There isn’t enough nanny state in place yet, so they’re bummed they have to be self-reliant.

And the depth to which the government drills down into their paychecks is probably giving many a new perspective on the nanny state, especially when they see how that money is spent.
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
But look: it’s not the 80s, 90s, or 00s that are unique here. What’s unique was a single period of about ten years from the early 60s to the early 70s. The kind of activism we saw from young people during that decade hadn’t been seen for a century before that and probably won’t be seen for a century after it. It was sui generis, and pretending otherwise is silly.
Sui generis my a$$, more like Sui plumbeus. I grew up in the aftermath these idiots left behind with their stupid, pointelss,activism. The world wasn’t so great back then and guess what, when waxing nostalgic you only remember the good. Well my nonbathing, birkenstock wearing, spotted owl saving, vegan, tree hugger. You were an idiot back then and you are an idiot right now. The 60’s are dead, it disappeared in a puff of mary-ju-wanna smoke, thank God. No one wants them back, quit trying to make Iraq your new Vietnam, quit trying to bring back the New Left, and most all just quit. No one wants your nonsensical commie psychobabble. The only thng remotely good about the 60’s was the music, after that you can have it.
Written By: Keith
URL: http://
I pity the fool who thinks that it is harder today.

Frankly, it’s about the same, just the names have been changed.

With one exception .. it is becoming more and more obvious that the news media is doing their utter best to manipulate the news that goes to the people. In the past, they still did much the same, but they did a better job of hiding that fact.

I personally can remember having to watch at least two newscasts from different networks to figure out what was "apparent fact" and what was "something else" in regard to Viet Nam.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS....Tom Friedman is concerned that 20-somethings today are a little too quiet. "If they are not spitting mad, well, then they’re just not paying attention,"

20-somethings today are a dammed sight more involved and engaged with the world than these idiots think. Just because they’re not running around in the street at the latest "World Can’t Wait" march (boy, they sure have been waiting for awhile haven’t they?) doesn’t mean they’re not paying attention.

Just another example of self-centered creeps like Friedman who think that if you don’t think and feel exactly the way he does, you’re "just not paying attention"

Written By: shark
URL: http://
I think twenty-somethings have been paying plenty of attention. Unfortunately for Friedman, if they try to glimpse modern leftist activism, they see this.

Then they realize they never want to be associated with such delusional losers again for the rest of their lives.

{Hmm. "Delusional Losers" would be a good name for a heavy metal rock album.}
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Some baby boomers are so frustrating. They believe they invented everything. They see the world through ego-tinted glasses, and cannot imagine that their world view is anything but spot on. There are plenty of 20 somethings changing the world right now. The military men and women that McQ alluded to, but also plenty of other that are into "what they are into" and coming up with innovative solutions to a lot of the problems that these boomers have created.
And that "If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention" mindset is just immature, impotent self absorption. People that are busy making changes in the world don’t spend a helluva a lot of time being outraged. They are too busy!
Written By: Tim
URL: http://
Let’s all take a moment here to thank DailyKos et al for keeping these crazy kids off the street and out of trouble. :P
Written By: James O
URL: http://
"and no health insurance" ????
I didn’t have health insurance until I was in my fifties. Raised and paid for 2 children. Maybe it wasn’t a problem because I wasn’t constantly told it was a problem.
Written By: Rick
URL: http://
The problem Mr. Friedeman is having is that today’s twenty-somethings just don’t see the same problems that he does, and if they do the twenty-somethings don’t agree with his proposed solutions.

The same problem, I believe that an older generation had with Mr. Friedeman’s generation. What goes around come around.
Written By: Mikey NTH
URL: http://
You youngsters, you don’t KNOW suffering and you don’t know activism...

"In MY day, we had to walk barefoot, thru the snow, uphill, to the protests, and STILL we went...And ANOTHER thing, the Hippie Chicks then, they had NATURAL BREASTS, not these fake breasts...And who had heard of TOFU, no one I tell you, we had only organic wheat crackers and goat cheese to eat....And you kids, STAY OFF MY D@MN LAWN"-T. Friedman
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
(We didn’t start the fire....heh)

Nuk-u-lar war, hangin over muh head, every day, hidin unner muh desk to survive the Russky nuk-u-lar blasts, don’t look at the flash!

separate but equal, heh....

US Army at the University of Alabama

Kennedy assassinations

Marchers, dogs and fire hoses, oh my....

’garbage strikes’, MLK.

6 days in Watts

Drug culture, long haired hippy weirdos.

Draft-cards & bras burnin in the streets.



SDS, WeatherUnderground, xploding campuses & ROTC offices, KENT STATE

Recession, Richard Nixon, Phase 1 & II (Phase III, Rhode Island up for sale!)

Kissinger & Nixon notice there’s a whole country just north of North Vietnam!


Gas lines, oil shortages, locking gas caps.

no-more-oil by Y2K

ICE AGE!!!!!

rich folks own microwave ovens, color TVs and calculators.
Sliderules (got me three kinds! a plastic one, a wooden one, and a luminum one!)
Pong, no Sega, no WII, no X-BOX, no PC’s,
no DVDs, no VCRS, no Ipods

Barney Google?

Boooo friggin hoooo - their lives are sooooo hard now.
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Joe, that channeling of Friedman is one of your highlight efforts. Nicely done.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
And there is nothing, nothing that will go over with 20-somethings the way that criticizing them for not having the priorities that old people think they should have will go over.

The sixties generation was old when *I* was in school and my reaction (and that of my peers) to whines about "kids these days" not caring enough because we didn’t go protest something was... well, we didn’t get spitting mad about that either. We had our own plans and most of us had a life.
Written By: Synova

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