Oh, Internet news sites. You’ve let me down again.
Look, I don’t expect too much out of you, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and et al. I get it: you don’t really understand how the Internet already shares common knowledge through Snopes and Fark.
But, somebody on news editing staffs must know that prejudice and pseudoscience are not newsworthy, no matter who it’s about. They know this, yet they give the go-ahead to articles like the Associated Press’s January 11th inauguration filler, “With Obama, many say bye-bye to the boomer generation.”
(OK, who seriously uses the phrase “bye-bye” in a serious journalistic piece? “Bye-bye, boss! I’m off to cover war crimes in Rwanda! Bye-bye!”)
Yes, I understand that it’s been a slow news cycle since November 5 after Barack Obama won the election. (Trust me, when it’s tough on you, it’s tough on guys who attach poo and pee jokes to your stories.) I also, grudgingly, understand that the Obama inauguration story will be newsworthy until January 21st, when we can move on to his “historic” first day on the job, second day and so on.
But analyzing what kind of president he’ll be based on his generation? That’s where I draw the line, and you should have, too.
I’m tired of the “generational” story. They’re always based on historians looking for a book deal without doing research, and they inspire comments like, “Gen Xers have to clean up after the f–king boomers,” or, “The stupid Millennials are so lazy.”
This isn’t to say I’m against generalizations. You’re all whores. Of course, some of you might be less whorish than others, but I can say that with confidence, knowing that most of you will agree and the rest will post an angry comment in response. Either way, you’re still whoring around.
However, I don’t pretend that my generalization is based on any kind of science or research. I’m going on a hunch and freely admit that. And — pay attention now — my sweeping characterization of the entire Internet is not based on somebody’s f–king birthday.
A generation is simply defined as “a group of individuals born and living contemporaneously.” That’s a window of anywhere from 10 (if you’re a superstar) to 40 (if you came into money later) years. If it’s possible to study that and call it serious analysis, then I am an individual living contemptuously of my idiot peers.
The AP could have published any of the following and the resulting article would be just as important news:
“With Obama, many say bye-bye to the Year of the Dog.”
According to Chinese astrology, we’re trading a dog for an ox. That means that Bush will be the last of the dog presidents, who are known to be loyal and honest, yet stubborn and eccentric. Obama will be the new ox president, who is clearly patient, soft-spoken, bigoted and easily angered.
Unlike generations, the Chinese zodiac is based on one year.
“With Obama, many say bye-bye to Cancer.”
OK, that’s admittedly funny, but very misleading (especially if your prognosis is terminal).
But, because Bush was born in the month long window between June 22 and July 22, that makes him the last Cancer to reside in the White House. This also means that Obama is the Leo that has surgically removed him.
Additionally, this also means that the last ruby president has been replaced by the new peridot president, based on the months alone.
“With Obama, many say bye-bye to white people.”
Since we’re basing entire personalities on condition of birth, why not take the step that reporters really wanted: race.
Too far? At least it’s genetic and environmentally-influential.
Let’s just say that if this is a stupid way to qualify a person’s characteristics (and it is), then where does that place using one’s generation?
Besides, how does this signify the end of an entire generation’s election to the presidency? Look at Old Man McCain. He would have replaced a boomer with the World War II generation. You know, that group that Clinton “ushered out?”
Unfortunately, this moronic story was doomed from the beginning because, unlike my examples, Obama actually belongs to the generation being ushered out of the Oval Office. 1961: that makes him, as the article even admits, a boomer.
So, where does this manufactured generational difference come from? Wishful thinking, which holds as much weight as astrology when it comes to reading the future.
I get it, AP and news networks that run this garbage: you want Obama to be different. That’s not news. There’s only one spot in the news for fortune-telling, and that’s the weather. Do you really want to be like those nerds?