The Posteverything Generation

“We are the generation of the Che Geuvera tee-shirt.”

I could not agree with Nicholas Handler more. I was very recently discussing the Che Guevera tee-shirt with other members of “our” generation, and we were laughing at how absurd it is that we wear his face as if he were David Bowie. The closest positive image that we seem to represent (or at least the youth of liberal colleges like Middlebury) is a climate-change-aware generation.

I do believe we can collectively grow up to do good deeds for this world. But first we have to stop thinking Che Geuvera was cool, and replace a tendency towards apathy with a hunger for knowledge.

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3 Responses

  1. Ah, the irony of posting this online.
    Check out: (if you haven’t already read it) http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/10/opinion/10friedman.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=generation+q&oref=slogin

    When I first read this essay (whenever it came out a few months ago) I had a mixed reaction. Reading it for the second time, I have an even more negative reaction. Mr. Handler’s writing is deft and sucks the reader into its (postmodern) structure, but I disagree with his conclusions. As you say Cloe, we ARE the generation of the Che Guevara t-shirt but unlike Handler, I don’t think this has any redemptive value to it. Handler ends the essay saying:

    “However, the technological revolution, the moveon.org revolution, the revolution of the organization kid, is just as real and just as profound as the revolution of the 1960’s…they will see that behind our pastiche, the post generation speaks in a language that does make sense. We are writing a revolution. We are just putting it in our own words.”

    I believe our generation is too caught up in our own worlds to be experimenting with putting it in our own words, with making a “moveon.org revolution” “real.” Until the world is operating on the technological terms Handler identifies our generation with, Facebook, YouTube and Moveon.org aren’t viable ways to make change or progress that is felt across the board. (Not just in the in circles of ivy-league-esque academia that Yale and Middlebury operate in.) These are tools, not means. Until our generation learns how to speak up and speak loudly, we’re going to be stuck wondering why the newest Facebook group: “Feed a Child with Just One Click!” is still leaving us hungry for more.

  2. Have you guys read the comments that people left in response to Handler’s essay? Check them out…I think that that’s where the real story is…

  3. In response to Tom Friedman’s “Generation Q,” posted by Kyle:
    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the involvement of the individual “twentysomething” and of “twentysomthings” as a whole is the same as it was in our parents’ generation — in a different sphere, as Handler suggests. It’s as though Generation Q is speaking in a different language. So how can we expect people to understand and really take notice? Those whose attention we are trying to get are on a different wavelength. They’re the ones in power and they call the shots, so we need to play by their rules. What’s the point of an online petition no one ever sees? What do facebook groups matter to people who don’t know about facebook?

    That begs the question: how will methods ever change if the younger generation must just follow the older generation? I don’t have a solution, but to say gradually.

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