Admire me, admire my home
Admire my son, admire my clones
‘Cause we know, appetite for a nightly feast
Those ignorant Indians got nothin’ on me
Because… it’s evolution, baby!
I am ahead, I am advanced
I am the first mammal to make plans, yeah
I crawled the earth, but now I’m higher
2010, watch it go to fire
It’s evolution, baby
Do the evolution
Come on, come on, come on
Pearl Jam, Do the Evolution
It occurred to me, after writing An Earnest Desire… that I’ve been seeing something really intriguing for some time and simply not realizing it. See, most of my friends these days – online and off – are much younger than I. Anywhere from eighteen to thirty is typical. Sometimes that has disturbed me, but I finally realized that this was simply because these are the people I have a lot in common with… not because I’m running around partying all the time or anything like that, but because a lot of the things that I have come to believe about the world are simply assumed by many of the younger generations.
That doesn’t really sound right, so let me explain.
Each successive generation, in my experience, seems to have more and more individuals that look around as they are growing up and recognize how poorly our system is working. To some extent, this is to be expected as each year things get worse. Kids are growing up without the “illusion” (read: lie), so common in my generation, that they would grow up, go to college, get a good job and buy a nice house in the suburbs. But its more than that. Perhaps each generation is slightly more willful, or less “herdlike” in their behavior, perhaps it is simple math: more people = more kids = more outliers(link). Or maybe, just maybe, that “evolutionary change” that some people have been looking for to solve our problems has actually begun to occur. Just the mutation – selection will occur when the Collapse comes….
So what does this mutation look like? It seems to include things like:
- Ambivalence to authority. Contrary to prior generations “stick it to the man” kind of youthful attitudes, it seems to becoming more of a “yeah, whatever, the man can do what he wants, but I’m going this way….”
Jobs and money are only sort of necessary evils. Work as little as possible to get what you need – and what you need is not really very much. Consumerism is steadily passing them by (not that they never “want” something, but its just not important enough to go out of their way to get.
In the same vein, I have seen a lot of older people consider them lazy – but I would want to reconsider that. They are decidedly not lazy in the traditional sense. Let me give an example: my boss has had that attitude toward some of the kids here: but the ones I am thinking of will stay late, come early, bust their butt to do something that needs to be done. But then turn around and just blow something else off because its not that important. In other words, I think they are thinking for themselves more, whereas part of the old work ethic involves peer pressure: don’t leave something for someone else to do. Yes, but, is it really necessary to work longer now, when you know the next person in will have time to waste with nothing to do?
I’m also starting to see more and more cases of kids that are very much aware of the food that is not locked up. (Again, part of that “work only as much as necessary”) — from urban dumpster diving to wild foods, they are looking for alternatives to the wage slave lifestyle.
Is anyone else seeing similar patterns? Perhaps I just have a unique set of friends (ummm… no, I’m sure I do), or perhaps I’m seeing patterns where none exist. But at the very least it’s an intriguing possibility.