You have to understand that I’m coming to these things as a member of the most pessimistic and ironic generation that has ever roamed the earth. When I hear millennials getting hurt by "cyber bullying", or it being a gateway to suicide, it’s difficult for me to process. A little less so for my boyfriend, who happens to be a millennial of that age, but even he somewhat agrees with the sensitivity of Generation Wuss. It’s very difficult for them to take criticism, and because of that a lot of the content produced is kind of shitty. And when someone is criticised for their content, they seem to collapse, or the person criticising them is called a hater, a contrarian, a troll.
In a way it’s down to the generation that raised them, who cocooned them in praise – four stars for showing up, you know? But eventually everyone has to hit the dark side of life; someone doesn’t like you, someone doesn’t like your work, someone doesn’t love you back… people die. What we have is a generation who are super-confident and super-positive about things, but when the least bit of darkness enters their lives, they’re paralysed.
It's time we start lumping in the helicopter parents with other special interest groups whose main goal is to shield their Potential Victim Group from all criticism.
The multi-culti crybabies say we're not allowed to notice anything bad about a culture or race that we don't belong to. Feminists whine about men pointing out anything bad about female nature. And upon hearing a single slur, the homophiles are already preparing their "I love my dead gay son" speech to berate the bigots.
With the family values revolution of the past 20-some years, "my children" have become yet another sacred victim group. It's not children in general, a la "save the children" or "believe the children" from the 1980s. That came from do-gooders during a wave of child abuse, who may or may not have had small children of their own. Today's "praise the children" movement comes from parents themselves, seeking direct benefits and praise themselves -- "Who raised an honor student? THIS GUY!"
"Tell me how awesome my kid is."
Well, what if your kid is a wuss? Or a brat? Or a social retard? Or anything else that pollutes the public sphere? Your little dear isn't like those spazzy doggies that can be kept on your side of the fence. Pretty soon these annoying little shits are going to be spazzing out all over the neighborhood.
I remember when strangers would shoot you a stinging glare if you were acting up in public, when they might even come over and pinch your ear, scolding you to "Listen to your mother!" I also remember when you could make "ching-chong" jokes, dismiss female hysteria as "just PMS-ing," and sling the word "faggot" without being prosecuted for a hate crime. Do that these days, though, and you're treated like you pulled a gun on them, or like you raped their self-esteem. Nobody wants to be regarded as a thug or a rapist, even by strangers they'll never meet again, so basic norm enforcement has vanished from public places (anywhere outside of the nuclear household, including schools).
As "my children" age into their late 20s, we're finding out that the Millennial self-esteem bubble must be maintained indefinitely -- not just to save them from the occasional scraped knee as children. Parental interference is de rigueur at college, and grade inflation rampant. Anyone who's had to read college students' essays these days knows what Ellis means when he says you can expect shitty quality once the group has been declared off-limits from all criticism.
It's striking how absent the criticism of the anti-criticism movement has been, even while so-called conservatives have been busy thundering about the politically correct dumbing down of the culture. Maya Angelou alongside John Keats in English class? Dumbing down. Frida Kahlo studied as seriously as Rembrandt? Dumbing down. Everybody gets a trophy day, "Awesome job, buddy!" -- ??? Uh, well, you know how you have to handle the sensitive mind of a developing child. A child who's 25 years old? Yeah well... what are you trying to say about my parenting, huh asshole? Just like the other full-time defenders of Potential Victims, parents these days enjoy making a noisy display about how butt-hurt they are when you offend them.
While we're at it, why do so few of the anti-"dumbing down" crowd champion the balls-to-the-walls kind of classics? Somebody whose name demands the emphasis of "fucking" -- Christopher fucking Marlowe, Cara-fucking-vaggio. This is another sign that many in the anti-PC group are overly delicate themselves.
I know the strategy of framing helicopter parents as a variant of race hustlers would not fly with the liberal half of the country, but I think it would find enough traction in the conservative half. Or at least serve to separate the shameless from the integrity-minded ones.