David Thompson
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March 15, 2014

Comments

Connor

I saw this yesterday and hoped you'd take a pop at it. ;D

The Grauniad moderators are working overtime deleting all the piss-take comments but this one made it through:

'Yah, so I was in Afghanistan.'
'Really? Wow. Marines? Logistics Corp? Engineers?'
'Actually, I went to produce multimedia for a skateboard charity.'
NATHAN BARLEY WAS A SATIRE, YOU DICK.

http://discussion.theguardian.com/comment-permalink/33096651

David

NATHAN BARLEY WAS A SATIRE, YOU DICK.

Said comment has now been deleted. Possibly due to its accuracy.

Former citizen of  Glorious Socialist Utopia

They are not exactly 'young', in a traditional sense, are they? Or maybe this is encouraging sign that 40's are becoming new 20's?

Atempdog

“I think about power a lot,”

[Shudder] I bet you do, Emma. I just bet you do.

svh

Erica Buist, 29, a “recovering stand-up comedian” who “studied philosophy at Durham, moved to Mexico for two years,” and now runs “a blog called How to Be Jobless

Soon to be followed by a blog called Oh God I Wasted My Life.

rjmadden

I don't think I can handle lectures on sexting from people who refer to themselves collectively as "Generation Y".

David

I don’t think I can handle lectures on sexting from people who refer to themselves collectively as “Generation Y”.

But they’re defining themselves. Themselves being a subject of near-cosmic importance. It’ll be thrilling.

Anna

Erica Buist... “studied philosophy at Durham, moved to Mexico for two years,” and now runs “a blog called How to Be Jobless

Actions have consequences? So unfair.

Jonathan

"Why Clueless defines Gen Y better than any other single cultural artefact."
I think 'Clueless' pretty much describes every Guardian contributor sweetie.

David

Actions have consequences? So unfair.

Apparently, they’re going to “rage at how economically screwed [their] generation might be.” Though, given the biographies of those doing the raging, I can’t help wondering if that predicament might in part be related to their own choices and assumptions. Choosing to get heavily into debt for degrees of little if any economic value isn’t an obvious path to prosperity. To say nothing of time spent “performing poetry” or “standing on the street with placards,” or claiming “lifestyle and pop culture” as an area of expertise.

Craig Mc

'Meanwhile, Leila Haddou, 26, is “really concerned that we are the first generation to be poorer than our parents, despite being the most educated.” Some readers may wonder if there’s a clue in that sentence.'

An hour later, and I'm still laughing at this.

Robert

What's the collective noun for 'self-involved preening ninnies'?

BenSix

All of them are older than I am and they're writing as if they're 13-year-olds. Growing up is underrated.

Mal

"What's the collective noun for 'self-involved preening ninnies'?"
A "stroke".

Joan

Apparently, they’re going to “rage at how economically screwed [their] generation might be.”

Maybe if these arrested adolescents were less into themselves they might not have so much to whine about.

David

Maybe if these arrested adolescents were less into themselves they might not have so much to whine about.

Well, devoting fewer hours in the day to cat memes, drop-crotch meggings and general narcissism might free up some time to reflect on more pressing matters. Say, the likely return on that arts degree, or the economic viability of poetry performances. But any flickering of realism presents certain risks for the self-admiring. It would, I think, make it harder to displace responsibility onto other people, or ‘society’ or whatever. And where would the Guardian be then?

Mojo

The journalistic equivalent of Cheyne-Stokes respiration.

Novus

Surely a Guardian of self-involved preening ninnies?

JuliaM

This business of them being 'the most educated' generation - if I'm in early enough to catch 'The Chase' or 'Egghads' before tea, I always cringe a little if the opposing team is made up of recent graduates.

Their general knowledge is generally rather... lacking, to say the least.

dcardno

I think rather than 'most educated' generation, they might be more accurately described as 'most schooled' (possibly in both senses of the term). Education, as in the acquistion of useful knowledge and training in methods of thought, seems to have been missed, somehow.

Richard Powell

I thought this generation had Laurie Penny as its spokesperson? Certainly she seems an intellectual Titan in comparison with this lot.

"I worked for Time Magazine's London bureau after graduating [in English Literature], where I was taught how to string a sentence together." In the old days one used to learnt that in primary school. So what her extended education taught her is something of a mystery.

"[H]oping that, by laughing at me, people would feel less alone." That's what your blog's all about, David, n'est-ce pas?

Mags

She moved again, to London, “for a great job,” one in which she “got to look at cat gifs.”

I assumed you were making that up for comic effect. Sigh.

David

That’s what your blog’s all about, David, n’est-ce pas?

I’m selfless that way. Practically heroic.

Jimmy

I guess I'm Gen-Y (1980) but I don't have affinity with these people.

Bart

"channel our activism against old political systems into creating a new, more powerful, youthful presence on the upper rungs of politics."

Political activists who want to sweep away old political systems and replace them with a more powerful presence at the top with a strong emphasis on youth movements.

Yeah, you do that! And I'm sure there are no recent historical precedents that point to this being a really, really bad idea.


"when it comes to getting a job, nothing you’ve done is good enough."

To think it was barely twenty years ago that writing about Arabic hiphop, having fun with other social activists and twatting about with skateboards in Afghanistan guaranteed you a six figure salary by 25. Nowadays it's almost like business owners can't see any advantage in hiring people with this sort of skillset.


"30 under 30 – our picks of the brightest young global media stars. (We trust you to disagree with our choices rabidly in the comments)"

The Guardian. It totally welcomes rabid dissent in its comments section.

S

despite being the most educated

I've interviewed them. The aren't educated.

They have certificates.

It.

Is.

Not.

The.

Same.

Thing.

R. Sherman

Are these the sort of people who hit me up for donations to fund their trek in Andes to "raise awareness" of something? Marsupial genital mutilation or some such? Shit. I thought they'd be gone longer.

Watcher

It was a mystery to me but now I can see Generation Y is shorthand for Generation Whine.

dicentra

What's the collective noun for 'self-involved preening ninnies'?

A pretense.

David

I guess I’m Gen-Y (1980) but I don’t have affinity with these people.

Well, quite. They do seem to have chosen a remarkably narrow demographic. I have relatives of a similar age and, oddly enough, they don’t seem anything like the Guardian’s up-and-coming lovelies. They don’t speak of themselves as exemplars of a generation, as if that in itself were wildly thrilling and a basis for applause. Neither did they have the means to flit around the world playing at characters from Dr Zhivago. They don’t mumble about politics in vaguely fascistic terms and, so far as I can tell, they aren’t swollen with assumptions of entitlement. My relatives of that age tend to have jobs, families, mortgages. They don’t have much time or inclination to play at Nathan Barley And The Shoreditch Massive™.

Henry

My facetious comment was along the lines of "This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide etcetc". It seems to have been disappeared rather than deleted.

"Best job until now? Working as a journalist in Beirut... writing about topics from Syrian civil society organisations to Arabic hip-hop and the work of Joe Sacco (who I went for a cheeky shawarma with!) The worst? Working as a caterer on board a ship that was taking part in a recreation of the Battle of Trafalgar"

Wow a cheeky shawarma (my local Lebanese spells it differently. never mind). With Joe Sacco. Exclamation mark.

Fine piece of name-dropping. I did have to look Sacco up, and found him, to use his own phrase "exceedingly, exceedingly boring".

Dripping with that authentic blend of self-righteousness and studied contempt for her own country's history. The Guardianista's short bio, obviously, not the shawarma. Which was just 'cheeky'.

guinspen

Eclectic poet Tyrone Green tackles the landlord problem.

Nik White

In CiF did anyone else see the response from a Guardian staffer as to why there were 9 women but only 1 man in the line up?

    The Gen Y takeover editors are trainees here at the Guardian who edged out over 900 other applicants who applied to join our Digital journalism scheme last fall [sic]. We vetted an equal number of men through three stages of recruitment but there you go. There's no pretence that they are trying to do anything other than report on and debate their world, starting from their perspectives. That's why we're sharing their profiles from the off.

To which 'Icarusty' points out what ought to have obvious to the staffer but apparently wasn't, by asking:

    if it's best person for the job at Guardian, i.e. no quotas, then why the widespread approval from the Guardian staff for quotas in the boardroom?

On a related point, given how much opprobrium is generally heaped on the current British government because most of them went to the same elite private school, but also given how rife nepotism is in the British media, I wonder just how long it will be before it's discovered that one (or more) of the trainees on the list turns out to be Polly Toynbee's niece or Alan Rusbridger's daughter or whatever?

David

[ cough ] Isabella Mackie [ cough ]

Bart

"Dripping with that authentic blend of self-righteousness and studied contempt for her own country's history."

The French fleet destroyed at Trafalgar was destined to escort Napoleon's planned invasion forces to Britain. Napoleon saw France as a new Rome and, ominously, referred to Britain as the New Carthage.

What this lady is, effectively, objecting to, is commemorating the event that saved the country she lives in from premeditated, systematic annihilation.

It's what you'd expect from the sassiest, most sophisticated members of the Most Educated Generation.

Nik White

[ cough ] Isabella Mackie [ cough ]

Ha ha ha! That story was a new one on me!

But even just a few moments idle reflection using memory alone makes the British media / media-politics complex read like the dramatis personae from a Game of Media Thrones:

Greater houses:

    House Murdoch: Rupert Murdoch, father to Prudence MacLeod, Lachlan Murdoch, James Murdoch and Elisabeth Murdoch House Dimbleby: David Dimbleby, father to Richard Dimbleby and Johnathan Dimbleby House Snow: Peter Snow, brother to John Snow and father to Dan Snow House Anderson: Steve Anderson elder brother to Jeff Anderson

Lesser houses:

    House Coren: (the late) Alan Coren father to Victoria Coren-Mitchell and Giles Coren House Johnson: Boris Johnson and his sister Rachel Johnson; House Smith: (the late) John Smith (politician), father of Sarah Smith (journalist) House Wyatt: (the late) Woodrow Wyatt, father to Petronella Wyatt House Gogarty: Paul Gogarty, Max Gogarty House Madeley: Richard and Judy Madelely, parents of Chloe Madelely

I'm not against a child following their parent into a particular business or profession on principle – in a family run restaurant or whatever, it's entirely their business (in both senses of the word).

And, for example, I happen to think Sarah Smith is a dedicated and professional journalist and so in that sense she is the right person for the job she does, even though there is a distinct possibility that at some point in the past, being the daughter of the one-time leader of the Labour Party may have tipped the balance in her favour at some early job interview when she was first starting out in her career.

But when jobs in the British media are so highly sought-after by so many young people it does seem to stretch credibility that the lucky few to get through the recruitment process always turn out to be so overwhelmingly related to one another.

splotchy

The Gen Y takeover editors are trainees here at the Guardian who edged out over 900 other applicants who applied to join our Digital journalism scheme last fall

There were 891 applicants who were worse??? Where do they find these people?

*boggles*

Smudger

There were 891 applicants who were worse??? Where do they find these people?

A scary thought. But then they're only 'worse' according to the Grauniad's criteria. So they're probably better.

herbert deutsch

Priceless

carbon based lifeform

For one week, we will share our perspectives on the media, globalisation, sex and pop culture,

And what the world really needs is… er, more short stories by Laurie Penny.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/mar/16/robot-dogs-foldable-tablets-mongoose-bloggers-sci-fi-visions-media-future?

Dr Cromarty

So, Guardian Media Group, famed for your anti-elitist and anti-hereditary privilege stance, which of her unique merits caused you to employ Isabella Mackie, the daughter of your editor, the millionaire Alan Rusbridger (Cranleigh; Magdalene, Cambridge)?

Hal

. . . the dramatis personae from a Game of Media Thrones: . . .

. . . which of her unique merits caused you to employ Isabella Mackie, . . .


Oh, there's noting wrong with nepotism, as long as you keep it in the family . . . .

David

And what the world really needs is… er, more short stories by Laurie Penny.

Oh dear, that is quite awful. Not exactly subtle, is it? (“If you use a male login, you don’t get any health and beauty content,” says Ruby. “I find I care less about my looks now I’m not having to read about it every day.”) Laurie’s attempt at fiction seems to have been crushed under the weight of her politics.

Two comments caught my eye, though. This one made me laugh: “Give the establishment a nice healthy slap.” Apparently, the Guardian and its statist readership of teachers, lecturers, social workers, educational advisors, broadcasters and interfering busybodies couldn’t possibly be part of the establishment. And more perceptively, this: “The young should be learning, not trying to teach.”

splotchy

I've just read Penny's 'fiction debut'. It is so unutterably bad (stilted, clichéd, hyperbolic, unimaginative prose and grammatical hogwash), let alone a 'plot' for which the only description that comes to mind is 'naff', that I feel embarrassed for the graun printing it.

It wasn't so long ago that the graun published stuff that, if a tad leftist, was at least reasoned, readable and a useful balance against reading the telegraph - in the past I've found it challenging and informing. But nowadays its opinion columns are not just teenage Marxist tripe, but seems to be going out of their way to parody teenage Marxist tripe. Needless to say, I no longer go there for anything cerebral - indeed, does anyone ever get anything from it that is not the media equivalent of laughing at a freak show?

sackcloth and ashes

'From Monday the Guardian is handing over control of its features content to 10 young trainee journalists'

It may be an improvement on the usual output ...

Steve 2: Steveageddon

I wish I could be like these hip, groovy young cool dudes and she-dudes from Generation Y, with their Facetubes and Friendbooks and twittering to people on their iPads about their fancy degrees in skateboarding and Marxist theory and whatnot.

I like to imagine they spend a lot of time eating pizza, high fiving, and saying things like "Cowabunga!" when not actively fighting the evil forces of Shredder and/or free market capitalism.

My uncle Mike is the black sheep of the family. He used to have a mullet, smoked roll ups, and drove a brand new Arctic White 1984 Ford Escort XR3i which he called "The Fanny Magnet". He let me drive it once even though I was only a child. He later got sent to prison after he made the in-retrospect-not-very-wise decision to race a police car, and during the routine checks that followed the police realised he had originally acquired "The Fanny Magnet" by hot-wiring it off the premises of a Ford dealership, because hot-wiring was a real thing you could do back then, like wearing a mullet with no intended irony.

Anyway, despite or partially because of my mother not wanting me to spend any time with him, I thought Uncle Mike was cool, and by cool I mean David Hasselhoff in a leather jacket, standing next to Gary Coleman in front of KITT, both giving a big thumbs up cool:

http://images.spatiallyadjusted.com/best_picture_ever.jpg

But... these Generation Y kids in the Guardian might just out-cool Uncle Mike's 30 year reign in my mind as the King of Cool. Uncle Mike didn't have internet memes, he had a crudely drawn tattoo of boobs on his bicep. Uncle Mike didn't do "community organising", he did community sentences. Uncle Mike didn't listen to Arabic hip hop, he ate kebabs in The Fanny Magnet while listening to Ozzy at 120 decibels on the Blaupunkt stereo.

At this point, the only thing keeping Uncle Mike top of the cool charts is the fact that he gave me a pair of homemade nunchuks for my 10th birthday. If the next edition of The Guardian has a free Chinese throwing star sellotaped to the front cover, Generation Y's victory will be complete.

Rafi

And more perceptively, this: “The young should be learning, not trying to teach.”

But they've been out of uni for 2 or 3 years now. They have so much to teach us about life.

David

But they’ve been out of uni for 2 or 3 years now. They have so much to teach us about life.

This blog’s unofficial mascot, Laurie Penny, often grumbles about people not taking her seriously, supposedly because she’s female and “young,” by which she means very nearly thirty. Though I suspect many people struggle to take her seriously because of what she actually says. Her enthusiasm for communism and vandalism, for instance, the endless references to her own “radicalism,” or her belief that paying above-market wages is “easy” because businesses don’t have to be competitive.

Rob

Adding "eclectic" to the list of words redefined by the Left to mean its exact opposite.

Joan

But they've been out of uni for 2 or 3 years now. They have so much to teach us about life.

Because no one else has never been young.

David B. Wildgoose

Can I please just add my sincere appreciation for Steve 2: Steveageddon's comments.

Even if they do cause me to burst out laughing in the Office.

Henry

Adding "eclectic" to the list of words redefined by the Left to mean its exact opposite

Ha.

Yes they haven't murdered "diversity" enough, have they? A new word was needed, to make vacuity convey the impression of perspicuity. To give exceptional narrowness of mind the veneer of knowing more than other people.

When they don't. At all.

However I'm moved to compassion by the way these enthusiastic young things are trying to engage with the barrage of cynical negativity* in the comments, the audible snorts of derision from the only people who could be bothered to comment.

* or "negative cynicism"? couldn't decide

Mr Ecks

Generation Y?--They are so for up their own rectums they need help from Arne Saknussemm to find their way out again.

Hal

“I think about power a lot,”

[Shudder] I bet you do, Emma. I just bet you do.


Brain: Noreiga, Ghengis Khan, Sadham Hussein, and me, The Brain
Brain: We all have this one thing in common, we are into world domination

Pinky: It's a new sensation, try it and you'll feel elation

Brain: It's the gift to give the guy, who wants everything

Pinky: Military takeovers

Brain: Governmental makeovers

Pinky: Coup d'etat and ??


Narf!

Tom Foster

Nik,

'In CiF did anyone else see the response from a Guardian staffer as to why there were 9 women but only 1 man in the line up?'

It seems the 'one man' is actually a transsexual:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/19/trans-people-rude-questions-sex-lives

Sample quote:

'Usually I'd engage but he wasn't trying to initiate a conversation. I defriended him.'

Tom Foster

(Incidentally, I thoroughly recommend a scan through the comments in the above article. There's a great discussion in which 'cis' people take offence at being called 'cis' and 'none-cis' people tell them off for thinking they have a right to choose their own label. And there's an argument about how to go about interacting with people in one's daily life without making any assumptions whatsoever about them in case you say something that might offend them. Fantastic stuff – almost unbelievable, I would have said. But this Generation Y thing seems to be The Guardian turned up to 11, so nothing surprises.)

Henry

There's a great discussion in which 'cis' people take offence at being called 'cis' and 'none-cis' people tell them off for thinking they have a right to choose their own label

Policing people's attitudes for a change! Based, no doubt, on good science...or maybe just the meaningless witterings of someone like Judith Butler

* * *

When questioned about the 9-1 (and the 1 is N/A) gender balance, the very keen-on-quotas Guardian innocently say that these were simply the best candidates for the job.

I once worked in an office where this happened, some very feminist bosses kept accidentally recruiting and promoting more women. They too talked about "choosing the best candidate".

If you really questioned them about it, they might start to admit that they do want to 'address' a perceived 'imbalance'. At which point you're fairly sure that you're dealing with people who lie, routinely, about their motivations.

Not that I'd accuse Rudsbridger et al of this, of course. Um.

David

It seems the ‘one man’ is actually a transsexual

I really didn’t see that coming. Apparently this sociologically vital snapshot of “Generation Y” didn’t require a male perspective. I mean, from someone who is actually, technically male and not preoccupied with much more exotic baggage. Which may explain why the article mentioned above - “Everything you wanted to know about trans sex lives and were rude enough to ask” - turned out to be the opposite of what was so breathlessly advertised.

But then the whole thing seems rather mis-sold. I spotted several articles telling me how uniquely difficult it is to be a member of “Generation Y.” Or rather, how difficult it is to belong to a certain, rather presumptuous subset of said generation. For instance,

Generation Y struggles for cash – but there are lots of ways to save money - from urban foraging to canoeing to work.

But the nearest thing to realism I could find was an admission that “Today’s youth has spent years chasing qualifications no one ever asks us about.” Though inevitably the blame for such decisions is laid as far away as possible. “We’ve done what you asked, society. Release the jobs!” A recurrent theme seemed to be that if people have chosen to spend years studying for a degree in English literature, journalism, media, etc., then there just ought to be relevant jobs there waiting to be taken. The demand for people with degrees in English literature, journalism and media somehow just ought to exist.

n

'I mean, from someone who is actually, technically male and not preoccupied with much more exotic baggage.'

Some nice transphobia there. Fucker.

David

n,

Some nice transphobia there.

It isn’t transphobia at all. I’ve no particular ill-feeling towards people who are transsexual, transgendered or alienated from their physiology. But it is worth noting, briefly, that the sole male contributor chosen by the quota-conscious Guardian isn’t, strictly speaking, what they appear, and is most animated by concerns that aren’t exactly typical of the male population. Much as the other participants aren’t exactly representative of an entire generation. Or even a generation of Guardian readers.

I don’t regard the gender make-up of this supposed generational snapshot as a major point, and less so the contents of Mr McConnell’s trousers; but it is worth noting as a minor aside. Or possibly, as a cherry on the cake.

Connor

Some nice transphobia there. Fucker.

It was the 'fucker' that persuaded me. I denounce your hate speech, David. ;-D

David

It was the ‘fucker’ that persuaded me.

I’m guessing n’s assumption is that a transgendered person’s subjective experience of their gender, or claims of such, should always override all other considerations. And so not deferring to that person’s preferred gender identity at all times, including in conversations to which they aren’t a party, is itself “transphobic,” or “hatred” of some kind.

It’s a conversation I’ve had before, though without the epithets.

[ Added: ]

Incidentally, it seems the trainee Guardianistas aren’t at all troubled by the lack of male perspective in their supposedly representative generational project for a paper fixated by gender quotas and “equality.” In fact they’re practically triumphal. Because feeling righteous and self-satisfied about the absence of male contributors will somehow make things less sexist and narrow.

It’s Guardian logic.

Nik White

Some nice transphobia there …

n,

This isn't Twitter.

Assuming you are capable of doing so, you can use more than 140 characters (and you could even include some verbs).

You would of course actually need to have some kind of idea to express, some form of argument to put forward, first.

sk60

It’s Guardian logic.

They're fighting sexism with, er... sexism. Then feeling good about themselves.

Joan

They're fighting sexism with, er... sexism. Then feeling good about themselves.

And blocking anyone who criticizes them on twitter.

David

They’re fighting sexism with, er... sexism. Then feeling good about themselves.

So it would seem. The “Gen Y” titans told the rest of us to “challenge [our] stereotypes” while seeming quite committed to stereotypes of their own. And so these supposed exemplars of a new generation are whining middle-class lefties, much like the whining middle-class lefties who hired them. It’s almost a caste thing. People who use the term “social justice” to signal their righteousness and superiority - without pausing to define it or unpack its practicalities. And they evidently feel that glamorous and fascinating jobs for people like themselves simply ought to exist regardless of demand and massive oversupply. “We’ve done what you asked, society. Release the jobs!” But how many arts and media graduates does the country need?

In terms of their unrealism and self-flattery, they are of course ideal candidates for a career at the Guardian. And I suppose you can never have too many articles about students’ bedrooms and such pressing questions as “which 90s film character are you?

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