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The Forum > Article Comments > Gen Y are ready to boil over > Comments

Gen Y are ready to boil over : Comments

By Melanie Poole, published 27/5/2009

Gen Y are molly-coddled, expensively educated, insulated from responsibility, ipods glued to ears. Or so many would have you believe.

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I would give the intergenerational jealousy a rest, because that is just playing into the hands of the cynical policy-makers who invented it as a diversion and remain unaccountable.

What younger generation hasn't felt that 'they' were not being listened to? Certainly older people did in their youth and when they took to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to change things they were beaten and arrested by police who had been allowed by the government of their day to remove their identifying numbers.

The only way to bring government to heel is to actively campaign against and vote out the slack Party hacks who undermine democracy and parliament's role by always toeing the Party line rather than representing their electorates. The challenge is there for young voters to refuse to become automatons who habitually vote for the same political Party and fall for the spin that their right to have a say is exhausted at the polling booth.

Now for a sobering thought: it is not only the young who feel cheated and unrepresented, but who cares about 'them' because they are old, useless and in the way. It is a crying shame to have to wait for their deaths to claim their (usually) very meagre assets, right?
Posted by Cornflower, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 2:04:51 PM
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I think there is a gross contradiction in each generations reactions to the political decisions being made in their time. In their youth, people rage on about how things need to be changed yet when given the chance to play a hand in the politics of running a country the giant leaps needed are not made. Additionally, the rising generation may run around in hysterics claiming that past generations are leaving them a soldering ruin to inherit however i see the youth i am associated with taking incorrect action. They consume more than any generation I've known to consume. Laptops, MP3 players, fast cars, personal TV for those living at home, etc. These are not always necessities. The solution is in ethical consumerism, its all that anyone in power and high end jobs is listening to. Hurry up and catch up before its too late.
Posted by Asdoama, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 3:34:13 PM
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I haven't as yet seen any evidence of Gen Y boiling over, more boiling happening in the baby boomer generation who emerged from the ideological 70s before rampant consumerism took hold. But if they are it is good that the Generation wants to have a say in future policies.

We can learn much from our elders but we can learn to think outside the square and to re-evaluate through our younger people.

Gen Y might be boiling over at some level and the author is right about ideological wantings. Universities have become process lines to churn out job-ready, mortgage aspiring, techno savy consumers of the future.

Where is the passion? The ideas? We know nothing is new, mainly just reinvented or adapted to suit a different time, but without ideological exploration we just become robotic citizens with very little oomph in us to seek change when it might be needed.

Gen Y is the result of this transition and they are not alone in fostering the ire of their elders for some reason or another - in my youth it was heavy metal, men with long hair, socialism and the feminist movement.

The transition started slowly at the tail end of the baby boomers and grew from the womb of economic rationalism and when we became resources rather than people. Gen Y were the result and we are all to blame if we have raised a selfish generation. But you cannot generalise about a generation and the real world is a quick leveller for those who might have received much on a silver platter (mainly from baby boomer parents).

Everything goes in cycles and I think we are coming out of the age of materialism.
Posted by pelican, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 6:37:13 PM
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I feel like I should applaud your optimism. There seems to be some grand sense of promise sewn throughout the weave of this article. And yet…and yet. Generation Y (for what these labels are worth) belong in vastly greater numbers to the stereotype you disdain than to the politically and socially motivated you would have us believe. You mentioned a National Union of Students Rally, I’m not certain, but perhaps you were talking about the 50 or so people I saw lingering around the free sausage sizzle last month in Union Square? But I’m being cynical (label: Gen X); although, I’m happy to match any wager you’d care to set towards whether any real outcome will follow those rallies. Rallies are a bad joke and those in power know it. The biggest rally in Australia during our lifetime was to protest the Iraq invasion. You probably went to one. So did I. I spent almost a whole hour there, which is about an hour’s more time than the 20 million odd Australians who didn’t think the time it takes to watch an episode of So You Think You Can Dance is worth the lives of a few thousand foreigners. What makes the youth of Australia deserve this faux attention you speak of? We have a better life right now than any generation has ever had before (if you’re talking access to resources - which might seem cynical, but ask somebody drowning alongside a hundred others somewhere between here and Indonesia what other quantifier exists) and we are happy to greedily gobble it up. How many people do you know who are genuinely giving up anything of importance to themselves for the sake of a greater good? Ok, you probably know a few, but how many of them aren’t ‘arts/law elites’?
Posted by deargodimpostingonaforumwhathaveibecome, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 7:36:12 PM
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Even if the youth did deserve to be heard - on, say, the grounds that our futures are pretty much already destined for resource wars fading away as far as hope can see - what possible reason can you have for believing anybody will listen? You mention climate change, evidently the most commonly agreed upon issue amongst the youthful - and Rudd did exactly as anybody with any political savvy knew he would do: nothing.

Look, I really do admire your passion. And I really do respect that your heart is in the right place. But there’s a grievous sin you are walking a tightrope over - the belief that ‘this time it will be different’. Gen Y is completely apathetic. As was every generation before it since the War. And once things actually get nasty, and we’re forced into kilometre-long dole queues and we’re setting up underwater minefields to protect our borders from the millions of environmental refugees that are building like lemmings on the cliffs over there, then people will become motivated again. And the cycle will continue, as it always has. Please, the world needs people like you, with passion like you - but if you channel your energies into the status quo of bull---- appeasement that political nobodies like poor Ms Ellis would have you do, then you are selling your dreams short
Posted by deargodimpostingonaforumwhathaveibecome, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 7:38:35 PM
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Generation Y should not be snagged by the tired old victim industry, nor by the other tired old acorns (and there are many) that serve as daily feasts for the cafe latte sipping chartterati. If they want a really BIG, worthwhile goal Gen Y should put all of their creative effort and energy into ensuring that they and their children regain the family life that has been sadly lost in many developed countries, especially in Australia.

Through their own experience of being baby-sat in front of a DVD and being 'rewarded' with electronic throwaways in the place of parental time, guidance and affection, Gen Y should have the wit to realise what their parents could never understand, which is that there is tremendous worth and joy in living the family life, particularly where the extended family can be resurrected and valued. Remember the simple joy of those mundane family things like making apple pie with mum or the family picnic in the park with Gran along? Whoops, you probably missed out on all that, huh? Are a hundred such experiences worth more than putting rounded ends on a swimming pool or Carla Zampatti outfits? You might differ with your parents on that.

Government needs to be held to account for the part it took and is taking to destroy families. This applies to all levels of government, including local government for its refusal to plan cities and suburbs for people and families, not just for greedy developers, shopping town entrepreneurs and the motor car.

Anyway, what do you think Gen Y, will you treat you children as you and your friends were treated, or are you inclined to do something about it? Should you decide to go ahead you will have quite a battle on your hands, not the least from powerful interests like organised religion who would pervert what you are doing for their own selfish interests.
Posted by Cornflower, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 8:34:12 PM
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