Imogen Binnie, Nevada
This book is giving me a lot of feelings right now.
Yeah. Feels. Loads of them.
two millennials are barreling towards adulthood at 95 miles per hour. one of them has been coated with the most extravagant paint money can buy, but their steering apparatus is locked up until that coat’s paid off; the other’s breaks have been ripped out mid-trip, the thief yelling, “what, did you think you were entitled to these?” over their shoulder. half the tracks have been torn away to build second, third, and fifth garages for trains that are no longer running. solve for x.
tell me again how the song goes — i’m so inadequate i might forget. if we’re not informed enough then we’re apathetic morons, but if we’re too informed we’re oversensitive reactionaries; if we think we deserve more then we’re narcissistic cutthroats, but if we’re happy where we are then we’re passionless layabouts. if we’re making money then we’re materialistic automatons who only care about stuff and don’t value the important things in life, but if we’re broke then we’re disgusting, spoiled children who expect everything in life to be a handout. if we spend too much time with technology then we’re antisocial, soulless zombies who spell the end for human interaction as we know it, but if we spend too much time together we’re a dangerous, unstable element who should get real jobs already. we’re a disgrace; we’re a embarrassment; we’re a mistake; we’re a disappointment; we’re not what you wanted, however you slice it, and all of it’s our fault, right? right? oh, god, am i getting the melody wrong?
here’s what i propose, everyone who wants to open their twenty-four-hour news cycles or their pork-barrel mouths, who wants to use their filthy fucking hands to tear this generation a new one: you try it. you come up with a picture of the generation you seem to want: one that’s neither apathetic nor engaged, one that’s neither ambitious nor content, one that’s neither rich nor poor, one that’s neither technologically connected nor interpersonally involved. don’t forget to factor in the variables — the years of economic instability; the globalization of everything from communication to art; the hugely stratified individual experiences we’ve had based on things like race, sexuality, gender, and socioeconomics, on things that come with whole histories of systemic bullshit; the overwhelming burden of student debt that so many of us face; the fact that hindsight is 20/20. you write the formula for the millennial that will shut you the fuck up about all the things we should be and aren’t, about all the ways we’ve failed you, and then you bring it to me. i promise you, i will try it. anything for a little peace and quiet, right? anything to stop hearing it everywhere i go: that voice saying that, at twenty-three, i might already have flunked out of life.
(both millennials crash, spectacularly and yelling for help, into the station that never built a platform for them to pull into. onlookers stand by and shake their heads, wondering about the deplorable state of trains today. that’s what happens when nobody does the fucking math.)
Yeah, you fucking do it, cause it’s your own fucking fault in the first place, previous generation.
He could see it all so clearly now. That was the curse of retrospect, he thought. The realization that all the signs were there, only you didn’t put them together.
She was not a happy person. There was a cold vein of sadness running through her centre like a long sliver of ice and for a long time he thought that he could make her happy. His love would make her happy. But love is not a cure. Love is not medicine.
And love is not everything.