Nobody really ‘did’ anything.

[in response to John Shirley’s post on Facebook about a Newsweek article asserting that “The first good, peer-reviewed research is emerging, and the picture is much gloomier than the trumpet blasts of Web utopians have allowed. The current incarnation of the Internet—portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive—may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic.”]

It’s making everybody into “makers.” When I was in a band the last two years of high school (’88-’90), we had a four-track when most people had no idea what that was (now, of course, they sell them compatible with CD-R’s, rather than the Maxell tapes we used back then). Nobody had much sense of the compositional skills that go into writing — unless you learned it in school, and you damn sure couldn’t edit any VHS footage (if you bothered to shoot it) even though it had sound and was in color, and photos had to be developed at the drugstore or you had to be taking a class to develop (exclusively) B&W — if it occurred to you *to do so* to begin with.

“Movies were made by someone far away,” Richard Linklater said in the book for the movie “Slacker” (before he describes his “Eureka moment, seeing “Raging Bull,” when he realized the form was a medium), and that’s putting it mildly. Long-form letter writing had all but vanished as a practice (except for certain of us in the first year-or-two of college), and everybody lost track of everybody else, save those you built lives with, immediately upon graduation and found it harder to meet people in the outside world … this is not a culture that encourages further growth. If anything, it impedes it, and often on the basis of nothing more than resentment of the youth and just plain, easily-avoidable uncharitableness.

Who are these people, making these studies? Do they not *know* about how Big Pharma and phalanxes of MD’s (trained in biological cause-and-effect, not psychological) blighted the lives of God-knows-how-many Gen-X’ers by failing to find a chemical cause AND NOT REFRAINING FROM PRESCRIBING MEDICATIONS *ANYWAY*? (“Why are you having trouble meeting people? How’s your libido?” Fuck you!)

Barring Factsheet Five, nobody “did”; kept up with others; or else they were professionals. Is this crunch, this landslide, this multitude of overlapping-and-simultaneous growing pains’ symptoms really such a surprise?

THEY’RE EXPERIENCING THIS ALL AT ONCE! The Millennials are experiencing this all at once.


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