Posted on | January 18, 2013 | 23 Comments
Being clever and funny about the stupidity of one’s elders is one of the more vicious habits of youthful ingrates, and it’s generally impossible to appreciate one’s elders until you are yourself compelled to cope with the burden of responsibility and authority. Even then, some people are so smugly satisfied with their own superiority that they can’t recognize maybe they owe a little bit of respect to their ancestors.
Part of the problem of modern Youth Culture is that it teaches young people that they are smarter than their parents because . . . Well, mainly because old people are always stupid and young people are always smart. This is the basic theme of every network sitcom, and it’s also the basic lesson that smart kids learn in school, because (a) everybody with an IQ over 110 knows that being a teacher is the crappiest job in the world, which is why (b) if your kid has an IQ above 110, it’s only a matter of time until they realize they’re smarter than nearly all their teachers.
(Necessary caveat: My daughter graduated summa cum laude. She is a grade-school teacher. Likely explanation: She was home-schooled.)
OK, so I glanced over at Memeorandum and saw a rather clever satire of the future as liberals imagine that conservatives imagine the future. Kind of a complex theme, and it was handled with great cleverness by “Ed,” the pseudonymous host of the blog Gin and Tacos.
Ed is very smart and very bitter, but more the latter than the former. He has that special kind of arrogance that one associates with academia nowadays and — surprise! — he is an academic:
Ed is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Midwestern Liberal Arts University after receiving his Ph.D. in political science from Giant Midwestern Public University and teaching for three years at Giant Southern Public University. He teaches Intro to American Government, Public Opinion, Elections, and The Presidency to a select group of very lucky boys and girls each semester.
Like many Americans now between the ages of 21 and 40, Ed was raised in a household in which Ronald Reagan was worshipped more fervently than Jesus, Santa, and Carl Weathers combined. One of his first clear memories is being taken to a Reagan/Bush 84 campaign event in the old Chicago Stadium, the highlight of which (bear in mind, we’re talking about a 5 year old) was Reagan’s entrance atop a fire engine. Accordingly, Teenage Ed was a well-read, viciously conservative little bastard, the ruiner of many an otherwise good time. Then one day in 1998 something snapped and he realized that A) he gave a flying shit about people other than himself and B) making a lot of money in order to emulate the miserable lives of our parents was not all that appealing. That’s when things got a lot more tolerable for everyone involved.
Born about 1979, then, this political science professor is now 34, and infinitely superior to stupid Republicans like his parents, thanks to that great Road to Damascus insight when he was 19. This is how to become an academic, see? During your sophomore year of college, you realize that you love your professors and hate your parents, and decide to pursue a Ph.D. so that you can spend the rest of your life teaching future generations to hate their parents, too.
My parents were Democrats, but my turning against the Democratic Party wasn’t undertaken as a youthful rebellion. My “youthful rebellion” phase involved drugs, long hair and loud music — the normal American adolescent stuff — and it wasn’t until I was a 35-year-old married taxpaying father of three that I realized the Democratic Party was actively pursuing the destruction of everything good and decent in the world.
Weird, isn’t it? I was a long-haired 19-year-old freak tripping out on psilocybin about the time “Ed” was born, and I was covering the impeachment of Bill Clinton just about the time 19-year-old “Ed” decided he hated his Republican parents.
Too bad his parents didn’t abort him, huh?