Photo: Spaskov/Shutterstock

How to Piss Off a Millennial

by Matt Hershberger Apr 26, 2016

Hi! We’re the Millennials, the much-maligned group of people born between 1980 and the early 2000s, and since we’ll be footing the bill for your retirement homes (and, you know, everything your generation decided to just go ahead and put on the credit card), here are some things you can avoid doing to make sure we don’t find a green, energy-efficient use for the corpses of Baby Boomers.

Be bitchy about us living at home.

Yeah. We love living with our parents. It makes partying and getting laid super easy. And you know, we’d love to move out, but when you guys were put in charge of the education system, you said, “You know what would make education even better? If it was prohibitively expensive!” So we’re stuck paying 50% of the salary from our minimum wage (if we’re lucky) internship, and the other 50% on gasoline and food.

Tell us we’re “not willing to work.”

You know, the iceberg that sank the Titanic was already a dick for punching a big hole in the hull of an unsinkable boat, but if he’d turned around and snarkily asked the drowning, hypothermic bodies why they weren’t more willing to swim, he would’ve been a complete and total bitch. Also, enjoy that iceberg metaphor while you can, because our kids won’t be able to understand the concept of ice.

Force your failed politics on us.

We’ve already changed the game politically, and you can see the manic desperation as the Baby Boomers are slowly aging out and trying to convince us to do the things they’ve always done. Just the most recent example is New York Times columnist David Brooks’ moronic article saying, “Hey, I smoked as a kid, but you shouldn’t be allowed to because grumble grumble I don’t like these young stoner whippersnappers!” That’s a direct quote. Look it up. (Editors note: That is not a direct quote.)

We’re going to end prohibition, and we’re going to be a better society for it. We’re also actively making the world a better place for the LGBTQ crowd, and we’re finally starting to tackle the environmental problems the older generations have left us. So kindly keep your weird comments about butt sex being “illogical” and climate change being a hoax because you saw a snowflake to yourselves.

Every generation is a revolution. We’ll have to accept that ourselves in 30 years or so, as our kids start noticing our failures. But for the time being, step aside, bitches, we got work to do.

Call our music shitty.

Frank Sinatra once said that rock ‘n’ roll is “sung, played, and written for the most part by cretinous goons. It manages to be the martial music of every sideburned delinquent on the face of the earth.” It’s a time-honored tradition for the older generation to call the younger generation’s music “just noise.” See jazz, swing, rock, heavy metal, hip hop, techno, house, and electronic music. First: Technically, all noises are “just noise.” Second: Why don’t you just cut to the chase and tell us to get off your lawn?

A note to all Millennials out there: Let’s be cool about our kids’ music. This ridiculous trend of musical curmudgeonliness needs to end with us.

Call us narcissistic and entitled.

Last year, the fading anachronism known as “TIME Magazine” published an article about us called “The Me Me Me Generation.” The subtitle was, “Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents,” with an ass-covering “Why they’ll save us all” tacked on to the end.

Seriously: Blow me me me, TIME. Yes, we want the best for ourselves. We are not company men. We want to be fulfilled by our work, and fulfilled by our lives. So yeah, we’re less willing to settle. I’m at a loss as to why that’s a bad thing.

Pretend the selfie is a sign of the apocalypse.

You know, we’ve had these shiny glass things for centuries that serve the same function as the selfie. They’re called fucking mirrors. Unless you’ve never checked yourself out in one, let’s not pretend the selfie is indicative of some sort of deeper narcissism.

Call us “Millennials.”

It’s just a horrible nickname. Millennials? Really? Y2K was not even a thing. It’s hardly our most defining attribute. To be fair, we haven’t had a decently named generation in 50 years. Hemingway got to belong to the “Lost Generation” which is an awesome name for a generation. My grandparents got to belong to the “Silent Generation.” The people before them were the “Greatest Generation.” After that, generation names have sucked. “Baby Boomers?” “Generation X?” They’re also trying to call the Millennials “Generation Y” (which is a horrible idea, unless we’re absolutely sure there’s only one generation left to name), and — I’m serious — “Generation 9/11.”

Yeah. We’ll take that if our grandparents will take “Generation Holocaust” and if our parents take “Generation Reagan.” Come on, guys. We can do better than this.

Lump us all together.

This is true for any generation: We’ve only been around for a quarter of a century. The oldest of us are barely over 30. Most of us don’t even have kids yet. So our effect on the world is TBD. You don’t yet know what we’ll do: The Baby Boomers seemed like they were gonna change the world in the ’60s, but then they gave us Reagan, Clinton, and the Bushes. The ones of us that are prominent now may not be the ones that determine our generation’s defining characteristics in the history books.

We are diverse. We are legion. We are Millennials. Look out world. And hey, we’re not moving back in or anything, but we need to crash at home for just, like, a couple of weeks while we try to get back on our feet.

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