Why Did Millennials Ruin Everything?

Here’s an idea. Millennials have ruined
everything as an attempt to escape the past. In case you haven’t
heard the news according to Google
autocomplete, which is populated by
likely search terms, millennials are
poor dumb idiots. We are stupid, rude,
lazy, and obsessed with side hustles, which
seems contradictory. We’ve also killed crowdfunding,
the Olympics, and cereal, as well as suits, running, the
American dream, soap, diamonds, home ownership, the investment
industry, and the Mcwrap, which let’s be
honest all of those are just different parts
of the American dream. For a bunch of
poor, dumb, idiots, we sure can do a lot of damage. For comparison, at
least Baby Boomers, our parents are the worst,
though I wouldn’t be surprised if those results auto complete
that way because millennials ruined them. And the silent generation,
our grandparents, are oh, how appropriate. Boiling an entire
generation of people down into one neat
little set of descriptors or pinning upon them
the responsibility for the failure of some industry
or fast-food item is absurd. It’s also worth pointing
out that at any given time there can be upwards of six
generations currently living, and while sure, one may dominate
the headlines we should be wary when that same generation
is unilaterally condemned for some such calamity. But either way,
it happens, and in our current
click-based dystopia, it happens to millennials a lot. Maybe because since
we are narcissistic, we’re obsessed with what
people are saying about us, so we’ll click on
whatever calls us out and because as we work through
our hit list of industries, olds want to know what segment
of the capitalist utopia we’re gunning for next. (Whispering) Psst. It’s vacations. The reason why will
blow your mind. (Speaking normally)
As a generation, the Millennials are an
exceptionally economically viable scapegoat for
the internet outrage. I mean publishing, the
internet publishing industry. Publishing, as it
turns out, is actually something we’re pretty good at. How convenient. It’s probably because we
don’t have interior lives and document all
of our experiences using technology,
never actually living in the mohe– living in
the moho– I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. Either way, the
important thing to note is that Millennials
kill industries. Industries don’t die,
and so there’s a sense that some terrible
fate is avoidable until the kids show up. Blaming younger generations for
ruining things is nothing new. The yun’uns have always been
derided for their noisy music and disrespecting their elders,
except our music is noise and to hear some
people describe us, disrespect is practically
our way of life. So here’s what I want to do. I want to accept
this silly premise that Millennials are
lazy ruiners of things who never want to grow up. And I want to talk
on the complainers own terms about why
that might be the case. And to do that,
first we’re going to talk about how
generations work. And as a really brief aside,
we are taking a different tact here from Adam Conover, who
recently ruined Millennials. And The fact is that generations
in general don’t exist. We made them up. Generations are not
naturally occurring, true, but social divisions are
nonetheless really powerful. To understand how that power
functions, as I mentioned we’re accepting the angry
gray-hairs Millennial premise in order to question it. And if you haven’t seen
Adam’s talk, you should. It’s great. OK, on to how generations work
which, OK, right off the bat this seems very easy. A generation is a group of
people roughly the same age. But stop the presses. Not just because the
presses are no longer an economically viable
method for mass communication in the post-millennial
apocalypse, but also because
I’m closer in age to many Gen Xers than young
Millennials, whose outlook I share. So is that it– similar
age, similar outlook? Well, no. We wouldn’t say that
someone my age who thinks that technology
is ruining our humanity isn’t in the same
generation as me. So what’s the answer here? Well, I’m glad you asked. German sociologist Karl
Mannheim wrote in 1927 about this the problem of
generations in an essay by the same name. He says you’ve got
a group of people born around the same time,
and that’s a generation. Sure, that’s how most
people think of generations. But as we’ve just
seen, it’s useless. So within a generation,
Mannheim says, you also have these two other groups. You have an actual
generation, which are people who experience the
same social and historical problems, and within
that, generation units, groups within the same
actual generation who work up the material of their
common experiences in different and specific ways. So while me and a 30-something
construction worker from Hunan may be in the same generation,
we could be in different actual generations if we haven’t
experienced the same social and historical problems,
which probably we haven’t. This is also why though we’re
close in age I’m not a Gen Xer. Different problems. Me and Straw Mike are in
the same actual generation, but different generation
units because he works up the material of his
experiences differently and has a very different
outlook from mine. You call these
online jerks friends? You haven’t even met them. Aw Buddy, don’t ever
change, because we need you to keep saying
stuff like this for the show. Mannheim says an important
part of this whole process, how we relate within
and between generations and what generations do,
has to do with our memories. The experiences you
have when you’re young have a big impact on who
you turn out to be, duh, but they also help you
identify with people who share those memories. This is why there is a
difference between generations and actual generations,
the members of which have similar personally
acquired memories and can therefore
relate to one another. Mannheim also writes about
appropriated memories, what we may know or remember
from previous generations. Knowledge of the world
which is just in the ether. Millennials may have
personal memories of the global economic
collapse and 9/11, but appropriated memories
of Pearl Harbor or the moon landing and here, is
where things get weird, and also where we return to
why we Millennials are awful. Spoiler alert,
it’s not our fault, because nothing is our fault,
# no responsibility, # lazy, # Teflon generation, # selfie. So if actual generations
cohere because of a shared understanding of the world
informed by shared personally acquired memories, what
does it mean when memories are increasingly mediated? Mannheim was writing decades
before global pop culture existed, but starting with the
end of the silent generation and up to now, there’s only ever
been an increasing prevalence of media as part and parcel
with a normal experience of modern life,
especially as children. Books, radio, music, television,
movies, news, games, media, and media objects,
organize and contribute to our memory and
understanding of our social historical moment. The longer this is the case,
the more each generation will have access in some form
to the social historical moment of previous generations. So what I wonder
is if this makes the line between
personally acquired memory and appropriated
memory blurry somehow. I’m not saying that
we remember things that didn’t happen to us because
we can watch Looney Tunes, All in the Family or news
reports from the ’70s. What I am saying is
that many of Millennials personally acquired childhood
memories largely concern media. So if memories concern
media and media informs memory and memory
relates a generation, it’s worth asking if that media
has to be of that generation only. I wonder if the availability
of previous generations’ media contributes to the shared
Millennial memory and therefore outlook. And if that has something to do
with us being whiny brats who ruin everything. I think it could. First, the industry
which produces that media you have
awesome memories of has to figure out
how to stay afloat. There are lots of different
ways for doing that, but one common tactic
for maintaining relevancy is an emphasis on youth culture. Increasingly popular
culture is youth culture, and arguably
Millennials and Gen Xers were the first two
generations to be born into a
widespread equivalency between popular culture
and youth culture. We have been shown with gusto
that music, fashion, celebrity, art, technology, progress itself
is driven by young people. Children have always
been our future, but in the interest of a
relevant media ecosystem, they must also be the present. Would it be a shock, then, that
some portion of Millennials would be hesitant
to become adults? To willingly engage with
actions and lifestyles which symbolize adulthood and
therefore insignificance, the death of impactfulness? Which brings us second to that
which Millennials hath killed. The importance of generations
and having differences between them, Mannheim explains
is that new perspectives urge progress. What one generation
sees as natural, the next generation
sees critically. “The continuous emergence
of new human beings teaches us both to forget
that which is no longer useful and to covet that which is
yet to be won,” he wrote. What is it that’s
being forgotten here? And what does it mean to forget? Forgetting attitudes,
opinions, and habits is one thing, but forgetting
ever-present media messages, literal
infrastructure, industry, and entrenched institutions–
cultural, economic political, educational– that
is another thing. For Millennials, more than
any previous generation I think the world is a database
of what exactly has been done. All the accomplishments of
the generations before us stand in authoritative repose. We can even know how those
accomplishments were made, and in many cases the optimal
recommended expected pathways for repeating them. In so far is it’s the
job of a new generation to covet that which
has yet to be won, Millennials may stand in front
of a crowded trophy case. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
joke about participation trophies here. To make room as a generation,
Millennials can’t just forget what’s standing
in front of us, we have to destroy it
in order to make room for our own accomplishments. For Millennials to “kill”
industries, “ruin” products, let brands, companies,
businesses, symbols of success, progress, or work
“die,” that isn’t just laziness, narcissism,
or stupidity. It’s a radical act
of forgetfulness. Trying to make room in
the crowded landscape for a foundation on which to
construct our own success. And if vacations, designer
bags, or the Mcwrap suffer in the process,
well, then so be it. What do you all think? Why did Millennials
ruin everything? Let us know in the comments and
I’ll respond to some of them in next week’s comment
response video. There is no comment
response video this week for last week’s episode about
Borges and Pierre Menard, author of Don Quixote. But there is a new prep
thread on the subreddit for the next thing we’re reading
for the Idea Channel book club, which is another
Borges short story called “The Library of Babel.” It’s a great one,
and there’s already really awesome supplementary
material and additional reading and already an awesome
conversation in the thread. We are going to be
discussing that short story on the subreddit in two weeks,
so yeah, check out that thread. Lots of great stuff there. Special thanks to Vanessa Hill
from BrainCraft for inspiring this week’s episode
about Millennials when she sent me
story after story about all of the things
that Millennials kilt. We have a Facebook, an
IRC, and subreddit links in the doobly doo. And the tweet of the week
comes from us actually. We are in the throes of figuring
out what the next Idea Channel t-shirt is going
to be, and I think there might be a sort of
tournament-style voting thing that happens. And right now we’re talking
about whether or not we’re going to go
with I pronounce it “jife,” possibly spell that
with IPA, or “jife for life.” So if you want to vote
on that Twitter poll. We’ll put a link to that
in the doobly doo too. And last but certainly not
least to this week’s episode would not have been possible or
good without the very hard work of these ruiners of everything,
except for this episode and previous episodes.

Adam Ruins Everything – How America Created the “Model Minority” Myth | truTV

Boy, I’m sure glad we left
the pool party, Trey. Math homework
is way more fun! Computer,
that’s the first thing you’ve ever said
that doesn’t add up. (canned laughter) You’re so studious, Computer. Trey, you could learn
a thing or two from his people. They’re very wise. (canned laughter) Whoa, time out! (whistle blowing) Here we go again! TV and movies are rampant
with Asian stereotypes. Especially the idea
that Asian people are some kind
of “model minority.” Smart, successful, polite,
obedient, and of course, inherently good at math. What’s the big deal?
Those are all compliments. Well, these “compliments”
actually originated in a government
propaganda campaign. And not too long ago,
white Americans actually thought
the exact opposite. Time in! (whistle blowing) In the mid-1800s, Americans were so hostile
to Chinese people, the country passed laws
banning Chinese immigration and denying their freedoms. They were stereotyped
as a lazy, opium-addicted, menacing horde dubbed
the “yellow peril.” (guitar riff) But you’re old Uncle Sammy
didn’t stop there. Uncle Sammy!
Uncle Sammy! (canned applause) (Adam)
Yeah, Uncle Sammy hasn’t been
such a cool uncle. Because of anti-Asian racism
during World War II, the United States interned
Japanese Americans in concentration camps. Hey, it’s our Japanese friend
Kenji from up the street! Oh, that’s not
your friend. That’s a spy who wants
to kill Americans. (canned laughter) Uncle Sammy,
why didn’t you do that to German Americans
in World War II? Yeah, I wonder. Because they’re white. Because they’re white. But all that changed
when the US needed to suck up to its Asian allies
during the Cold War. See, as the Soviet Union
rose to power, the US worried
that Soviet propaganda was making communism
sound “dyno-mite.” (Russian accent)
America is so racist,
am I right? It’s like, hey, USA,
cut it out! Woof.
Guess I better “have mercy”
on these Asians. So America embarked
on a propaganda campaign to tout Asian-American
success stories. The State Department
highlighted Asian-American artists,
politicians, and even sent
an all Chinese-American basketball team
on tour overseas. Forget all that
nastiness earlier. America loves
our Asian sports heroes. And in 1965,
Congress approved a landmark
immigration law that ditched
racist restrictions. But it gave preference
to immigrants who had training,
talent, or skill sets that would benefit
the US economy. (speaker feedback) Sammy and The Rippers
are changing their tune. Border’s now open
for smart, successful Asian immigrants. (guitar riff) Wow! Now that I’ve let
all these educated, successful Asians
into America, I’ve gotta say, Asian Americans sure are
successful and educated. (wild guitar riff) (canned laughter) So America went from a country
that despised Asians to one that held them up as a shining example
of assimilation. And this self-fulfilling
prophecy resulted in the “model minority” myth. And the most sinister part
of this myth is it was used to put
other minorities down. And it’s still holding
people back today. Oh, it’s our very special
guest star, professor of history
at Indiana University Ellen Wu. (canned applause) Why did I need to use
the ladder, Adam? Aren’t we on
the ground floor? It’s a sitcom thing. In the 1960s,
government officials looked at socio-economic data from African-American
communities and contrasted it
to the so-called “family values and stability”
of Asian Americans. Now, this fueled
racist claims that black people had
no one to blame but themselves if they experienced poverty and other social
disadvantages. Conservatives went on
to use these claims to justify making cuts
to many essential social programs
for African Americans and other disadvantaged
minority groups. They were even used to argue
against civil rights. Come on, you don’t see
Computer complaining about “fair and equal
protection.” Asians earned their place
in this country. Why can’t you?
Wh– what? No! Uncle Sammy,
you helped Asian people. Why can’t you see that? And the model minority myth
hurts Asian people too. If an Asian-American student
is struggling in school, many teachers assume that they
don’t really need extra help. And it’s not true
that all Asians are crazy rich
and successful. The poverty rate
for Asian Americans is actually higher than
the national average. And frankly,
it’s kinda ridiculous that we lump people
from so many different backgrounds together
as “Asian.” Yeah, Asian people
are not a monolith. Trey, you and your
multi-ethnic adopted parents keep referring to me as your
“smart Asian neighbor.” Specifically,
I am Korean American and, sure, I’m smart, but I also love
Ultimate Frisbee. Why doesn’t anybody
talk about that? (canned applause) You know what?
This is messed up. Computer’s a person who contains multitudes, and probably
has a real name. You know what, Uncle Sammy? This is all your fault. Get out of my room. Whoa, watch the hair! (canned laughter
and applause)
00:05:19,986 –>00:05:19,019
Aww, wipe your tears,
you sissy.

Adam Ruins Everything – Why Partisan Politics Have Been on the Rise since the 1960’s

Conservative Republicans and Liberal Democrats They don’t agree on anything,
nothing gets done, right? Wrong. For most of
the 20th century, there was actually
such a thing as Liberal Republicans
and Conservative Democrats. I mean, can you imagine? It must have been like
Bizarro world! Me Liberal Republican. Me support
labor unions and wear shoe
on head! Me Conservative
Democrat. Me oppose civil rights. And me pee
out butt? (laughter) Now, yes, these two usually
still voted with their parties, but when something really
needed to get done, the Conservative Democrats
could team up with the Conservative
Republicans, or vice-versa,
and make it happen. Me think government
should not shut down. Oh, me agree! Functional government
am important! Good night!
It’s morning. Meow!
I’m a dog! (laughter) Comedy’s very stupid,
isn’t it? (chuckling) Now, during the period when the parties worked
this way, America had
our best century ever. We went to the moon,
we extended the vote to women and minorities,
and we won three major wars, two hot, one cold. Oh, just like the food
they serve in the cafeteria
where Ted Cruz eats alone. (laughter) So, what changed? Well, a big piece of the puzzle
is our old friend… (guitar strumming) …”el BJ.” Seriously, you guys aren’t
even gonna be able to say his name
the old way. After this, the emphasis
is on the “B” for you. So, the night he passed
his civil rights bill, LBJ turned to his assistant
and reportedly said… And he was right. There are a lot of reasons
partisan polarization increased in the second half
of the 20th century, but the Civil Rights Act
was pivotal in accelerating this trend. The Republican Party became
more and more Conservative and the Democratic Party became more and more liberal.

Adam Ruins Everything – How the Government Created Tech Monopolies | truTV

Ah, yes, we've
all heard that myth: the solitary tech innovator, the genius singlehandedly
changing the world. But it's way wrong. Tech companies are actually
taking over the world. And they're doing it
with our government's help. Here at CORI,
we're harnessing innovation,
so that we can make the world a better place all by ourselves. Hey, bruh.
You need any help or taxpayer money
or whatever? Dude! Not right now!
Cut! (bell rings) (man)
All right, everybody,
let's take five. Todd had help? Not just Todd, all of Silicon Valley benefits
from government money. And sometimes even
government technology. In fact, the US government
invented the fundamental tech that became the internet. Hey, who wants to use this cool
new technology I invented that connects computers? ♪♪ Uncle Sam also gave
a $4.5 million grant to the search engine that
eventually became Google. And a half a billion dollar
government loan jumpstarted the release of Tesla's
first car. Thanks, man. We'll totally pay you back with, like, making
people's lives better or more convenient, or… I don't know, whatever. But why would Todd,
I mean, tech companies, say they did it
all on their own? Because it lets them pretend
they don't owe us anything. Let's be clear, the problem
isn't that tech moguls took money
from the government, it's that while
these companies we invested in
rake in billions, taxpayers like you
and me are getting screwed. Normally, if you invest
in a company, you get to make money
when the company profits. But that's not the relationship
we taxpayers have with Big Tech. In fact, quite the opposite. (laughter) Tech companies are infamous
for funneling funds through places like
the Cayman islands, Luxemburg,
and Ireland to avoid paying
their fair share
of taxes. Hey, guys, any chance
you can chip in for that 'za? Or like the roads the pizza
driver used to get here? Sorry, dude, all our
cash is in Ireland. (laughter)