Are All Millennials Douches?


I ask that headline question, knowing the answer, but wanting to make a point.

No, obviously, all Millennials are not douches. My son and his cousins and mates are all pretty great people. Maybe it’s a Catholic thing.

And many of your kids and grandkid Millennials are good people.

But it’s pretty obvious that there are a LOT of Millennials out there who, probably due to lousy parenting, and the corrupting influence of the Internet of Everything, are up to douchery that is beyond any douchery that has gone before.

A trio of cases in point follow:

Case 1

I just this moment read the tale of J. Kelly Nestruck (@nestruck). Seems J. Kelly, Theater Critic for the Globe and Mail in Canada, received an email that was to have been sent to Joe Kelly, CEO of the Manly-Warringah (sic) Sea Eagles. Apparently, the email and attached contract, were about a player leaving one club and going to another.

I know this because the erstwhile Canadian theater critic tweeted, “Anyone cover the New Zealand rugby league and want the contract of a player XXX (HOGS is withholding his name) that was just emailed to me by accident?”

You have to ask if it ever occurred to Mr. Theater Critic to advise the sender of the mis-sent email, and to destroy the attachment. You have to ask if his Mom or Dad taught him any manners at all? (Oh, obviously not … he grew up to be a theater critic).

Case 2

In August, a twenty-something couple were have a major, emotional break-up during a flight-delay. Passenger Kelly Keegs (@keegs141), who was seated nearby, tweeted “live coverage” of the break-up, complete with the actual argument and photos of the highly distressed couple. Here are a couple of Ms. Keegs’ tweets:

**loud sobs**

“Is that what you’re starting to do with me? Just slow fade me OUT? Just like the others?”

“I don’t want to be this girl. I don’t want to be her. I want to be my best for you and YOU WONT LET ME”

At one point, the joyful paparazzi, who I should note is a New Yorker, tweets: “This is the greatest plane delay I’ve ever had.”

Perhaps I am wrong, but I have to assume that Ms. Keegs did not have a mother or father or grandparent or sibling or anyone who told her that doing such a vile, heartless thing was wrong and just plain mean.

Or that doing such a thing might push two volatile young people, who were already on the edge, right over the edge.

Case 3

Sadly, this last example is from my home, Auckland New Zealand.

Earlier this year, patrons of a pub happened to notice that in the office across the way, a middle age man and a young women were having at it, for maybe half an hour.

Pub patrons were laughing their heads off and posting photos and videos of the couple on line just as fast and furiously as they could.

As you can imagine, the “office sex romp story” went viral in an instant, then made the local news, and then went global. The sex romp story, and its fall out, was the top story in New Zealand media for almost a week.

The “senior” manager, whose face had been blurred in media but not in social media, saw his career and his marriage go down in flames in a matter of days. His poor “devastated” wife learned of her husband’s affair on Facebook.

The young woman involved in the office romp, forever branded as a scarlet woman in NZ, had to resign and move overseas to try an rebuild her life and career.

It was all very sad, at so many levels.

At least one New Zealand journalist held up a mirror up to society and wrote:

“Ten years ago the story might have fizzled out there – a source of gossip in the pub for a week if that. But in 2015, when Friday night revelers have a pint in one hand and a smartphone in the other, it was not long before videos of the live sex show were jamming people’s feeds on social media. Soon, the footage was being commented on worldwide. As the week went on, the story became bigger than the individuals involved, throwing into play a key issue of our modern age – the extent to which social media breaches privacy…

People on social media also criticized the media for reporting on the story all week. Ironic that the same people are on a forum commenting about it. Yet as the popularity of the story shows, the media is giving the public what it wants. Does that make it right?

The pub patrons were just doing what many people automatically do now when something unusual or interesting happens – stick it on Facebook or YouTube. The immediacy of social media doesn’t allow time for consideration of ethics, or even consequences.”

The last paragraph is, I guess, the point of this story.

I think we Baby Boomers — yup, the”Sex, Drugs & Rock’n’roll generation” — need to have a talk to all the Millennials within our zone of influence.

About right and wrong.

About privacy.

About the Golden Rule.

About karma.

About getting their own personal ass kicked if THEY EVER do such awful things.

Because, it’s pretty clear, that no one bothered to have that talk with them before now.

Or if anyone did, the lesson was drowned out by the intoxicating primal power of social media.

Or the Kardashians.

So go have that talk now. Maybe take along a smart phone.

And a baseball bat.

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