The Huffington Post published a piece a few weeks ago titled "Why Generation Y Yuppies Are So Unhappy," wherein the author posited that the young people of Generation Y — those born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s — have unrealistic expectations of success that spring from delusional, inflated senses of self-worth.
The author illustrates these points with stick-figure drawings and graphs featuring unicorns and gardens full of "special flowers."
Over the past couple weeks, the article has been very pervasive in my social media feeds, popping up once or twice a day with ongoing regularity. It has also gained traction with the blogging world at large, inspiring countless response pieces (add this one to the pile, I guess) with titles such as "I'm Gen Y, and I'm not a Special Snowflake. I'm Broke."
How you feel about the article depends largely on where you fall on the generational spectrum.
Millennials are all like "Incensed!", Baby Boomers are all like "You Know You Right!" and the Greatest Generation is all like "What's a Huffington Post?"
My own opinion remains objective as I exist in a kind of generational no man's land. Although the article would group me in with the Millennials — I was born between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s, unless my whole existence is a lie — I actually belong to the micro-generation wedged between Generation X and the Millennials.
I am a Willennial — someone born in the early to mid-1980s who came of age during the rise of Will Smith.
Willennials watched "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" during its original television run. Willennials "got jiggy with it" at their high school homecoming. Willennials spent their parent's hard-earned money on VHS copies of "Independence Day," "Men in Black" and "Wild, Wild West."
While the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers feared Y2K, the Willennials celebrated the Willennium.
Willennials have always been on a different wavelength than everybody else. Not because they're special, but because they refuse to live life anything less than Big Willie Style.
Whether you feel that the Millennials or the Baby Boomers are at fault for our current woes, as a Willennial far removed from the debate, I am of a clear mind that there is a different generation we should be concerned about. I'm speaking of the generation born within the last two years, the Gabba Gabba Generation, named after their cultural touchstone "Yo Gabba Gabba!"
Largely, Millennials do not have children. Some have avoided child rearing because it would hinder their ability to "discover themselves" while "living life to the fullest" in a nightclub at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday, but most have not had children because having children is cost-prohibitive and boasts little-to-no ROI. Because of this trend, Millennials have had limited exposure to the Gabba Gabba Generation and do not realize the full extent of the problem.
The Baby Boomers suffer from a similar disadvantage of limited exposure, since their Gen Y kids are, on the whole, too poor to boom out some Gabba Gabba grandbabies.
But as a Willennial with a young toddler in the house, I come face to face with the Gabba Gabba Generation on a daily basis. What I've seen is disturbing, to say the least. What I'm seeing is a generational attitude that will destroy America.
Some things you should know about the Gabba Gabba Generation:
THEY CAN'T DO ANYTHING BY THEMSELVES
When my 2-year-old wakes up, she wants breakfast. But she can't cook her own breakfast — I have to do it for her. A million times a day I hear her little voice chiming "Help you dada? Help you open da crackers?" Kid, why don't you pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get your own crackers, like an American!
THEY HAVE NO INCOME
An informal study conducted by myself and a Google search bar concluded that zero percent of the Gabba Gabba Generation pays for their own food, housing or health care. Talk about a bunch of moochers. Clothes, books, toys, diapers, balloons — this is a generation of cheapskates passing the bill off to the rest of us.
THEY ARE LAZY
Need help around the house? Good luck asking your 2-year-old to wash some dishes or take out the trash. It needs to be done, but do you think they care? They're too busy shoving Play-Doh into the DVD player.
THEY MAKE MESSES WITH NO INTENTION OF CLEANING THEM UP
Spilled a box of Cheerios on the floor? Guess who'll be sweeping that up, brother. Not the Gabba Gabba Generation. They feel entitled to your services as a custodian.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THEM, ALL THE TIME
They either get what they want or they throw a huge fit. Crying. Screaming. Making a scene at the checkout.
Do you have any idea how many times I've seen "Shrek the Third"?
How about asking what I want to watch once in a while?
THEY ARE UNEDUCATED AND HAVE NO AMBITIONS
I asked my toddler what she wanted to do the other day, and she said "Go to da park! Go slide on da sliiide!" Typical hedonistic response from Generation Gabba Gabba. All play, no work. Try putting down the blocks and picking up some marketable job skills, junior. Oh, I forgot, you're not even in school! What do you do all day?
The Gabba Gabba Generation contributes nothing to society besides dirty diapers and devoured dreams. The other day, my toddler spent 10 minutes examining her feet. What did you find down there, kid? While you were staring at your feet, people are dying in Syria's civil war.
What are you going to do about it? Stare your feet into a cease-fire?
Try caring about someone else for once in your life.
Ryan Jackson thinks this newest generation is acting like a bunch of little babies, and he can be reached at email@example.com.