January 11, 2006

Myth of the Quarterlife Crisis, Cont'd

Daniel Gross of Slate has a convincing demolition of the reasoning behind such books as Anya Kamenetz's "Generation Debt" (previously serialized in the Village Voice), which essentially argue that young adults are having a harder time living in today's economy and that they're especially screwed by the way society is set up. To which Gross says, "boo hoo," calling them the "It Sucks to Be Me" Generation.

In fact, twentysomethings are perhaps before off today than at anytime in history and besides- as I've argued before- your 20s are probably the best possible time in your life to have a crisis.

Gross, then, gets a great dig in at the author:

Look. It's tough coming out of Ivy League schools to New York and making your way in the world. The notion that you can be—and have to be—the author of your own destiny is both terrifying and exhilarating. And for those without marketable skills, who lack social and intellectual capital, the odds are indeed stacked against them. But someone like Kamenetz, who graduated from Yale in 2002, doesn't have much to kvetch about. In the press materials accompanying the book, she notes that just after she finished the first draft, her boyfriend "proposed to me on a tiny, idyllic island off the coast of Sweden." She continues: "As I write this, boxes of china and flatware, engagement gifts, sit in our living room waiting to go into storage because they just won't fit in our insanely narrow galley kitchen. We spent a whole afternoon exchanging the inevitable silver candlesticks and crystal vases, heavy artifacts of an iconic married life that still seems to have nothing to do with ours." The inevitable silver candlesticks? Too much flatware to fit in the kitchen? We should all have such problems.

And does her fiance have one of those crap temporary jobs all the drones in her generation are destined to hold forever? Not really. He's a software engineer at Google.

Posted by Stephen Silver at January 11, 2006 01:32 AM
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