What’ll I do
When you are far away
And I am blue
What’ll I do?
– Irving Berlin
I know this is far from an original thought, but as I watched the crowds in DC yesterday, some still overwhelmed with Bush Derangement Syndrome, others perhaps simply overanxious for the white dove to descend from the heavens and usher in the reign of their Messiah, I couldn’t help but wonder what the Generation Y crowd (and those who produce their mass-marketed, spoon-fed entertainment) is going to do now that they don’t have George W. Bush to kick around any more.
Think about it — virtually all of the magazines, music, television, and movies produced for the under-30 audience is created, written, or performed by people who are also under the age of 30. There are only a handful of major liberal blogging stars who are over the age of 30, and precious few who are over the age of 40.
What difference does that make? It means that virtually none of the entertainment establishment for GenY has been active during a time when Republicans could not be blamed for everything wrong with America — especially the last eight years. They’ve created a “help! help! we’re being repressed!” identity brand that has essentially become their meta-narrative, the central myth that defines who they are and what they are able to accomplish. Consider the first sentence in Daily Kos’ “About Us” statement:
Markos Moulitsas — a.k.a. “kos” — created Daily Kos on May 26, 2002, in those dark days when an oppressive and war-crazed administration suppressed all dissent as unpatriotic and treasonous.
But now that the mantle of oppression has been lifted by The One, GenY is supposedly ready to spread its wings and become the real “greatest generation” (see Cassy’s post below).
Yet I have to wonder, what happens when reality bites? What happens when they realize that The Lightbearer is going to more or less keep the current system in place? What happens when they realize that we’re going to be sticking around in Iraq for a while after all? What happens when they realize that Afghanistan is still a mess, and Americans will continue to die there? What happens when they realize that, even if they are not housed at Guantanamo Bay, America will still be detaining captured terrorists? What happens when they realize that coercive interrogation techniques are still on the table? How will they react to American flags and portraits of President Obama being burned by foreign protesters, or by hard-core antiwar protesters here at home? What happens when they realize that we’re probably going to keep virtually all of the Patriot Act in place, and reauthorize the use of warrantless wiretaps? What happens when they finally realize that Barack Obama is serious when he says, “we shouldn’t be making judgments on the basis of incomplete information or campaign rhetoric“.
What happens when they realize that they have basically been hoodwinked by a slick political campaign and mass hysteria, and that there will be precious little in the way of sunshine, lollipops and roses for the next four years?
I can’t imagine how difficult things are going to be for Generation Y, who placed so much trust in Barack Obama, yet know of no other way to express their unhappiness than with sarcasm, vulgarity, and crudeness of such intensity that even their Baby Boomer parents find it shocking. Will they demand that Colbert, Stewart, MTV, VH1, Air America, and the music industry crucify their Messiah if he fails to live up to their expectations?
All I know for sure is that it’s going to be a lot of fun watching it all unfold. Popcorn anyone?
PS – By the way, where’s Osama?
PPS – Something to torment your liberal friends with: