Saturday, January 28, 2006

21. A Spoonful Weighs A Ton

I received this email yesterday, and would like to respond with a few words. Of course, you can always email me at Freedom Fighter:

I wanted to ask you a question in hopes that you could ask your readers for some insight.

I am 21, and teachers and other older people ask me all the time why our generation feels like the weight of the world is on our shoulders? They ask me, "Why do you think you are more entitled to get sympathy for everything that's happened to you than our generation?"

I try to explain to them that, at least in my case, I've had more shit happen to me personally in my short time than they have had happen to them.

Can you help me out?

Yes, I can. Thanks for the letter. And I agree with you, I think it's true that our generation has had some crazy shit happen to them on a personal level than others. As I said in my opening post, my parents have been through Vietnam, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War, 9/11, and other stuff I'm not remembering now. Our generation, to the same effect, have seen 9/11, Columbine, the war in Iraq, etc.

But, I still believe I've seen more shit than my parents have, just from life experiences.

Growing up in L.A., I saw the Rodney King riots, my dad has been held up at gunpoint in front of my house, in front of me. I had both salmonella poisoning and meningicocal, nearly killing me.

Going to college in Colorado, my friends had been AT Columbine. They had hid in the kitchen and locked the door, waited out the shootings and the banging on the doors by the killers, demanding they open. I sat with my roommate freshman year while we waited, for a whole day next to a phone and next to the TV, waiting for his mom to call and assure him his dad WASN'T in a tower when they fell. I went to 5 funerals last year. 3 were my good friends, my age, 2 deaths by suicide, one by cancer. I've laid two best friends down, and that was just SENIOR YEAR.

There's been more personal attacks on our generation than any generation before. When I think of my dad, and my mom, at 22 years of age, I know they weren't as conflicted as I am now.

When they ask us, "What makes you think you can go on with your life without caring for the world in which you live?" I want to say to them, "Right now, in my life, I don't think I can care for a world that has wronged me. I need to look within myself first in order to look outside.

So, maybe the answer to all this is that, even though we may be lazy, apathetic and generally uninterested in the politics of this nation, we just need a little time to come to our senses, and a little time to work some things out with ourselves.

My generation deserves it.

Free To Be You And Me


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ff, i love the song titles. the flaming lips are awesome. new york poor new york is from the cat stevens song, right?

1/28/2006 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

yeah, it's New York Times, by Cat Stevens. I also dug the Black Flag and Elvis Costello references.
Let's hear some more L.A. talk, man.

1/29/2006 1:01 AM  
Anonymous Pitchfork said...

We wanted to let you know we love your site, please keep it up!!! Come out to Chi-town sometime, we'll take you out.

1/29/2006 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FF, I too have had a life like yours, and we're both so young (I'm 24). Your post inspired me to go ask my dad if he had anything like this happen to him. He said that he had everything like that happen to him. Suicides, deaths, friend-related abortions, etc. but I realized that all that was over a 60 year period. I had all this happen to me before I turned 23.

Kinda makes you think, huh?

1/29/2006 11:25 PM  

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