“I am not saying you are a bad guy” my friend said “I am just saying you are uniquely unqualified to be the spokesperson for a whole entire generation.” That declaration hurt. I had put a lot of thought about being spokesperson for my generation while I was eating breakfast. I pointed out that the generation before us had Bill O’Reilly and Bono. I think logic would dictate that if they are the spokespeople for their generation I should be the spokesman for mine.
“ Well you used the word ‘logic’ and applied it to you, which by definition makes it wrong….” The wonderfully prepared Thai food I was eating was feeling unsettled after he said those words that were truthful, but hurtful nonetheless. “… and anyway, the have a much better sense of style then you do.” I asked him to name one example of a leader with a good sense of style, he was able to name seven in under a minute. He left out Plato. I was subsequently mocked for equating myself with Plato.
“And don’t you have a job?” My friend sipped on his ice coffee. At this point I was wishing the most mature thing I have wished for in my life, that the ice cubes would fall out and give him hypothermia because he didn’t agree with me. It would be the galaxy agreeing with me, it didn’t happen. Apparently the galaxy refused to side with me on this issue. He was right though I did have a job, well I will in a week. And it would be difficult for me to solve all the world’s problems while I was making lesson plans. It would be difficult, but not impossible.
“ And also you use small words, people don’t trust others who use small words, they prefer big words, preferably used incorrectly or in ways that render any sentence impossible to read.” No doubt he was referring to Noam Chomsky. I never understand what he has to say, nor do many people. Sometimes I think they agree with him just because they are quite sure that anyone using such big and impressive words must be right. Or, if they are like me, they agree with him so he will shut up and we can go back to listening to important things on the news, like sports, or a funny yet touching story about cute animals. Not that I trust cute animals anymore than I trust Chomsky. But they are pleasant to look at, unlike Chomsky.
He then went on this long and completely irrelevant meandering speech about how our generation is underpaid and how we will never see the benefits that we are paying for and therefore we don’t have a need for a spokesperson. And even if we had a need we really wouldn’t have the time because with the advent of the Blackberry, Interweb and other such intrusive devices as well as a global economy which demands we be awake twenty-four hours a day and deal with problems in real time, even when that real time is three in the morning, my generation certainly does not have time to worry.
It is not like we don’t care about the global recession, but if we take more than thirty seconds to worry about it we could lose our jobs. Or, if they have already lost their jobs, we are too busy chasing after the three jobs a week that are dangled teasingly in front of us like a hook in front of a fish.
An issue like the environment is another one where my generation needs a spokesperson. Maybe two would be better. There could be the pro-environmental person who will show the world by consuming less we cut down on pollution, help the economy because food and oil price would go down as the world consumes less and make the world a better place because we can do luxury activities like “breathing” because fewer factories would be polluting the air because our reduced consumption would require fewer factories be built. The other would be me. I hate the earth. If we didn’t have an environment then we would never have hot weather or insects that bite me in the middle of dinner. We would also be rid of the cute animals that use trickery and good public relations to force us to worry whether or not the shopping mall we are building (because we need more shopping malls, especially 24 hour super centers because they fulfill the basic human necessity of being able to buy discounted CD’s at three in the morning) is destroying their home. I never heard the Earth apologize, or even care really, for the hundreds of thousands of people it has displaced because of natural events.
And I would tell my friend this but he would say “I am unnecessarily causing trouble” or “not really making much sense” but I say exactly the same about Bono and O’reilly and people pay attention to them. I see no reason my voice should not be added to the multitude of other voices that we follow instead of doing that horrendously tiresome “forming our own opinions”. I can be divisive if need be and I can talk ad nauseam about things I know nothing about, using words that I can’t even say right. The boomers have tons of people like that and they must be doing well because they are getting quite rich doing it. I deserve that unnecessary power and wealth and my generation deserves me.
For some reason, that I cannot imagine, my friend grew a bit bored with the subject. We then turned to talking about much more pressing matters, namely how the Red Sox would do in the upcoming baseball season. It looks like my promotion to spokesperson for my generation would have to wait.