THE ME ME ME GENERATION
The Time magazine (May 20, 2013 issue) has an intriguing article on the present generation. It featured today’s youth as the Millennials or pejoratively called the Me Me Me generation. Accordingly, “they are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents.” This generation is about themselves. Their pictures including their adventures are posted on their timelines and everything about themselves are published for the world to see. This is also the generation, which has no enemy. They “never rebel at all.” Simply put, “they are just nice.” The article has described them as “earnest and optimistic. They embrace the system. They are pragmatic idealists, tinkerers more than dreamers, life hackers. Their world is so flat that they have no leaders. They want constant approval—they post pictures from the dressing room as they try on clothes. They are cool and reserved. They are informed but inactive. They are probusiness. They love their phones but hate talking on them.”
This generation is “so comfortable in front of the camera that the average 1 year old has more images of himself than a 17th century French king!” They understand the world better than their parents or ancestors and this is a generation that can live smoothly and relate perfectly with almost everyone. That makes this group “the new greatest generation of optimistic entrepreneurs or a group of 80 million people.”
We may misunderstand this generation, in the same manner that previous generation were misunderstood by their parents or ancestors but it is their composure and maturity, a quality which was difficult to cultivate before, would be the saving grace of the future. That was in essence what the Time magazine has described this complicated generation is in the first place.
We are so obsessed with how foreigners greet our country that when we hear of something unpalatable, we react as if the things they were saying were all lies. Dan Brown’s imagination on the “gates of hell” described Manila’s slum. MMDA’s Chairman reacted violently as if he has not been to any of Manila’s slum areas. When a fiction writer writes about fiction, some people react as if what has been written down was non-fiction. There are a number of non-fiction issues, which these people’s reaction ought to be heard. Like the Spratly islands row with China, the Sabah tiff with Malaysia, the contested waters up North with Taiwan, matters which anyone with substance ought to submit their response. But there was a spooky silence.
Finally, MMDA has already taken note of all “hellish” spots in the metropolis with a renewed vigor to have it cleaned and spruced up. And that should have been the principal response instead of indulging to a debate a fiction writer in the first place. Philippine Star editor Amie Pamintuan is correct when she said that Dan Brown has a literary license to write his novels but MMDA Tolentino has no license to debunk a work of art.