the monkey of generational angst

“America isn’t breaking apart at the seams.
The American dream isn’t dying.
Our new racial and ethnic complexion hasn’t triggered massive outbreaks
of intolerance. Our generations aren’t at each other’s throats.
They’re living more interdependently than at any time in recent memory,
because that turns out to be a good coping strategy in hard times.
Our nation faces huge challenges, no doubt.
So do the rest of the world’s aging economic powers.
If you had to pick a nation with the right stuff to ride out the coming
demographic storm, you’d be crazy not to choose America, warts and all.”

Pew Research Center, The Next America:
Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown


(a young Macaque courtesy the web)

(*****yesterday’s post had quite the typo—commandant verses what I actually meant,
commandement…thanks David!! Sadly, I can look at something a thousand
times and still see it as what I meant rather than what I typed…
such is an aging brain—onward and upward!)

A life long friend and I can often be heard grousing about this current generation’s
sense of entitlement, self indulgence, whining, progressiveness, liberalism, irresponsibility, lack of morality….
all the while as we fuss over their ‘addiction’ to all things social media
and materialistic….

And it goes without saying that I am convinced pervious generations groused
about us…however I’m wondering if perhaps their grousing was more so with a
deep and very real sense of foreboding.

For I am a baby boomer. That blossoming group born post war—
as I was post Korean war.

After my friend and I have gone on a bit, trading lamentations, I tell her that
“You know, this is really our generation’s fault…”
“What?!” she’ll exclaim….
“Yep, it’s our generation that is really to blame…”
“We are the ones who did this to them.”

“But shhhhhhhh,” I’ll warn, “we don’t want to give them the satisfaction of
having one more person, place or thing to blame
as they love to cast off any and all culpability for their actions…”

“We were made of tougher stuff” she’ll counter indignantly

And while we’ll both admit that we are not nearly as tough as say that of the generations of our grandparent’s and parent’s, those of the “Greatest Generation”…
one thing is certain, we are tougher then this current bunch of whining
“snowflakes”—-that is a truth!

And as much as I fuss about millennials, my son continues to defiantly insist to me
that he is not, nor has he ever been, a member of this millennial generation
of which I am constantly fussing, cussing and complaining about….

However according to those who figure out such statistics and numbers,
the millennial generation falls between the ages of those who are between
18 to 34….so sorry Son, but you are on the wrong side 34 by almost 4 years.

And so I often wonder exactly when it was we went so wrong….with them….

So as I ponder this latest conundrum…our Wee Flea friend is at it again….
offering tantalizing morsels for sample…
and it is right along this notion of generations and their dysfunction that he
is happily taking us.

Our friend the Wee Flea has read a book that, whereas it was not written by a
Christian and is not necessarily a book for Christian audiences, David did find
the book most enlightening….
he does warn however that the F word is frequently used.

Now this is where David will venture more bravely than myself as he has read
and seen those things that I will readily and quickly cast aside as rubbish
as I have a low tolerance for crude language, hedonism, vileness,
defamation or sarcastic flippancy…..

Yet David is good and diligent to sift through the spoils in order to find
the buried gems….

His latest offering is a book by a fellow named Rod Liddle…who happens to be a
journalist and contributor to The Spectator
and I will say that what I have read from The Spectator, I have greatly enjoyed.

The Spectator is a British conservative weekly publication with a focus on all things
political and of current affairs. It’s been around since 1828 so it must be doing something right. I’ve looked into subscribing as an ‘across the pond subscriber’
unfortunately the cost would be exorbitant….
so I settle to just catch the random article here and there….

The book by Mr Liddel is entitled
Selfish Whining Monkeys…
how we ended up greedy, narcissistic and unhappy

David was kind in that he tells us that if we don’t feel like reading the book,
he’s identified 25 main characteristics of our generation and offers them in his blog.

and oh how it stings….

The Lost Generation –

“It is hard to argue against longer life expectancy, greater affluence, safer workplaces, the freedom to escape from a hopeless marriage, the rights of women to be treated equally, and so on. But a certain moral code has been lost along the way, which has contributed largely to our country becoming close to bankrupt, a nation of broken families clamouring about their entitlements siring ill educated and undisciplined kids unfamiliar with the concept of right and wrong, where there is an ever diminishing sense of community and belonging, a perpetual transience, if you fancy a cheap oxymoron.”p. 10

“peace has made us complacent, freedom has made us irresponsible, affluence has made us acquisitive, comfort has made us neglectful of others, and security has made us – oddly enough – tremblingly insecure.” Page 11

12) The Divorced Generation

“beyond that, though it was a betrayal of my boys. Having made the decision to have children, I should have stuck with it. But I didn’t; my personal happiness seemed to count for more than anything else.” Page 75.

“The loosening of the divorce laws, and the swift removal of stigma from those who have been divorced, came from the top down. It was designed to enable the more affluent in society to continue to pursue that most compulsive of post-1960 pastimes, serial monogamy.” Page 76.…

Like so much socially liberal legislation presented to the electorate as a wonderful means of acquiring those most liberal of things, freedom and equality, divorce reform benefited only the well-off, by and large. It was legislation designed to enable the affluent to XXXX around with impunity, (no fault, remember!), And hang the rest. Hang the kids. Children from broken homes make up 80% of the population of Britain psychiatric units……. Whoever the 1971 divorce format was brought into ‘enable ‘, it was certainly not the children. It was not the children, and it was not the poor.” Page 77.

13) The Sexualised Generation

He talks about the 1970’s and Gary Glitter singing to 14 year old girls – ‘Do you wanna touch me?” What do you think he was referring to…?

This as I hear Rod Stewart singing somewhere back in my shadows in my head…
do I think he’s sexy or Mick Jagger singing about wanting to spend the night
together…
sigh…..

Anywhooo, this is but a few of the gems I plucked out of Davids’ list which I
found most telling.
David has only offered 1 though 13 in today’s post as he’s divvying the list up
into a Part I and Part II posting—tomorrow he will offer us Part II–

I can hardly wait to see how much lower we will sink into the truth…
to be continued…..

Rod Liddle – Selfish Whining Monkeys.. A Review – Part 1

For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100:5

26 comments on “the monkey of generational angst

  1. atimetoshare.me says:

    You are my little reading bee. When do you find time to do all this research? Great stuff by the way and I agree that we (my generation, the silent one) began all this. It has sifted down over the past 75 years, slowly deteriorating into what it has become. I think war pulls us all together as a nation, but I don’t recommend it as a solution. For example, I saw a great awakening after 9/11. People bonded again, feeling each other’s pain and working together to soothe it. We need something to stir us as a nation once more. Something that sifts through all the degeneration and goes back to our roots. We will never be like we were again, but I pray that there’s a return to our Christian values at some point.

    • I read a book about a year or so ago that a friend had recommended, a Christian friend–I think it was called the Harbinger. It was a prophetic type of book—now I’m not all into the gloom and doom sort of mentality of those who look to the tea leaves of humankind’s demise but I do think it all interesting when we so look at scripture and past nations as it were…this is a quote about the book….
      “Before its end as a nation, there appeared in ancient Israel nine specific warnings and omens of national destruction these same Nine Harbingers are now manifesting in America with profound ramifications for America’s future and end-time prophecy.”

      It was an interesting read—and gave one much to ponder—part of our problem—“ours” being society and maybe Western Civilization more specifically, is that we don’t look to God or His word and of our particular course….what are we missing I often wonder….
      Anywhooo—I thought about all of this when you said we need something to “stir” us again as a Nation….sadly it will come at a great cost because we have grown deaf and hard headed….

      • atimetoshare.me says:

        True indeed, but there are still a few who are willing to speak out about it. Even a whisper can be heard, when God is in it. Our hope and confidence is that God has already won the victory for us and even if we completely destroy ourselves as a nation, we will rise again in a perfect kingdom.

  2. @vapor_sage says:

    I love the opening. There are those, I believe that would wish us all to think that it is much worse than it is. I’m sure many are stuck there and have underestimated the human spirit. Though I am technically a baby boomer, my children are among the generation following millennials 10 and 14
    I think too that our parents and theirs wanted us to have it better than they did and the intentions were not matched in the outcome, as so often happens.I only wish to convey personal responsibility to my girls and that it truly is in their hands with God as the ultimate authority.

  3. hatrack4 says:

    My two boys are too old to be millennials, but the younger is young enough to have a millennial wife. My wife and I have often talked about their problems are our fault, or our generation’s fault. I condemned rock and roll off hand. My wife loved it, so the boys gravitated toward her. She was more lenient, and less fits of anger. We have been married nearly 43 years, but a lot of our son’s friends came from broken homes. Yet, my parents saw how the country was changing, so they just stayed on the farm and pretended it was the 1930s. That didn’t help much either. The only thing that does help for our generation and all that follow is to get closer to Jesus, and not this candy store Jesus that they talk about these days. Thanks for the post.

  4. Julie, Grammarly is a great add-on to your writing. For example, it just reminded me I need the dash in “add-on” and changed “for” to “to” following. I thank Kathy for causing me to explore their website. It’s not that expensive and saves me a lot of time.

  5. oneta hayes says:

    Julie, you have not gone to the right generation who is to blame. It was my generation who wanted to give kids everything – therefore, moms just like me left the home to make some money. You were the first “latch-key” generation caused my mine. My kids (your age) complained because I wasn’t at home when they got in from school. I would say “But if I quit we can’t go out to eat after church on Sunday night. Which do you want?” Or, at sixteen “We won’t be able to buy you a car. Which do you want?” Obviously I kept drawing a salary; they kept coming home to an empty house. (Actually when they were teens we were blessed with a dad who kept them in soccer at that time, but all homes were not so fortunate.) I am talking about the typical household with teens after school being home (or wherever) alone. I am ever so thankful that by God’s blessings, my sons made it through those unsupervised years without toooo much baggage to drag through the years.

    • Oneta, you are yes, my mom’s age had she lived to see today—-and she was a stay at home mom who was very miserable. She was miserable for lots of reasons— one reason being that once we’d gone on to school, looking back, I now see that she was bored.
      Many of her friends worked or had husbands who made larger salaries than my dad, so they could afford to do “fun” things while their kids were in school. My mom was watching soap operas, Dinah Shore and Phil Donahue once daytime talk shows took off.
      As we got older, Mom volunteered a great deal at my high school, which I think she enjoyed…she did things that the laws now prohibit parents (aka nontrained professionals) from doing today– but I always knew she envied her working friends who had their own spending money as Dad was very stingy with mother’s “allowance”
      And there is a notion right there, dad giving mom an allowance, that would have today’s women up in arms—-but the allowance was what mom had in order to manage the house—buy groceries, buy our clothes…etc…a budget basically.

      I worked out of necessity as my husband worked in a small family business where there was no insurance. I worked basically so we could have insurance…
      It’s all such a mess and so out of control now.
      My son had to first attend daycare, then when he got in school he had to attend the after-school program as I was still teaching or had meetings to attend…
      so yes, a mess that I hated and now a society’s vicious cycle…
      And it all falls back on our living under the obedience of God—and we are reaping the generations who opted not to do that…

  6. Dawn Marie says:

    An excellent post Julie! For me – whenever my thoughts are drawn into the hamster wheel of blame I personally become exhausted. I am learning to recognize the ‘failures’ (of self or society,) as nothing great than those which existed in biblical times. I think failure evolves only in the way in which it appears – because still failure continues to exist and will continue on again into the next generation. Our ‘next life’ will be (through God’s grace) free from its damaging effects. I’m discovering (with LOTS of trial & error) to put my energies on the positive we are attempting to do & live, to say I am sorry when I fail, and continue to move forward with the intention to do better in my next attempts help me to live more positively & free from the burdens failure can weigh us down with. My God lightens the load each time I remember to do so!

    I loved all the comments to your post and am also checking in to grammarly myself! Don’t be too hard on yourself – I often cringe to think how many red pencil marks my former grammar teaching would be marking my posts with! Giggles. Hugs to you for continuing to challenge us in thought and deed!!!

    • Said so well Dawn Marie—amen as there will always be failure as long as man continues to walk this realm—not our realm we know….
      and let me just say, I went and checked out Grammarly—I sprung for the higher priced package as I figure I’m that defeicnt…as “free” would probably not be much better than my autocorrect—but went for the whole kit-n-kaboodle and I’m thinking game changer!!!

  7. Tricia says:

    More excellent words here Julie and yet ANOTHER book for me to read! 😉 I tend to get really sour over today’s snowflakes, safe spaces, fear of being offended, etc…but then I look at my millennial aged nieces and nephews and I am heartened. All of them are tough and not afraid of opposing ideas and although one of them, my little flower child I call her, drives me nuts with her liberal opinions, I am glad to see a fierce spark of passion in her. They all had good parents who stayed together (my brothers for their fathers, which I could never imagine as a child!). I tend to forget sometimes to balance the bad news I read about with the good stuff I see every day.

    Anyway, the excerpts from that book sure are interesting/alarming and make a lot of sense. We shall see how this “American Experiment” plays out soon enough I fear.

  8. Elihu says:

    What a thought-provoking post and such excellent comments!! As I was reading everything, I couldn’t help but think about Solomon’s words: “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”
    ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    I think every generation has lamented the deplorable state of the up-and-coming generation because we see the “new” problems with greater clarity while air-brushing the problems of our own youth.

    I am what they now call a “Xennial”—the micro generation between Gen-X and the Milennials. We are old enough to remember analog technology while simultaneously growing up in an increasingly digital age. I remember the older generation fretting about the impact of video games on us while simultaneously encouraging us to get email and be computer engineers. These days we cry about iPhones and social media while the schools do computer testing and have “bring your tech to school” days. Things that make you go, Hmmm. 🤔

    Some would at the problems are apples and oranges, but they aren’t really. There will always be variations on the same challenge to each generation. In the end, it always comes down to the same thing—serving God or serving Satan; serving others or serving self. And we have to make that choice day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute until the Lord returns or calls us home.

    • Thank you Elihu for your thoughtful words—yes it is indeed a constatnt choice that we need to be ever mindful of while living those choices out for others as a constant witness to those all around us!!!

  9. dbp49 says:

    Like your friend David (with whom I share a first name apparently) I also will read non-Christian material in search of the gems hidden within. I just always figured the Lord and His Holy Spirit had to reach the non-believers with at least SOME information in some way, so even those books have some things in them that a discerning Christian might find useful. So as not to mislead any younger (read “newer”) Christians, I should point out, and I would be curious to know if it’s the same with your friend, when I do find myself reading a secular book, it’s usually because I feel the Spirit has pointed it out to me in some manner. Otherwise I tend to stay within the confines of my 1500+ volume Christian library. Also wanted you to know I’ve been becoming quite the fan of your site these days, so please keep up the great work.

    • Thank you David for your clear insight and kind words. The David of whom I speak is Pastor David Robertson–he is the pastor of St Peter’s Free Chruch in Dundee, Scotland.
      I follow his blog and have found him spot on with his offerings—he’s authored several books and is a well known figure on the debate circut of Christianity vs Atheism—

  10. Oh, this is really good stuff, Julie! Truly “on target.” I’m looking forward to the next installment! ❤ ❤

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