The Kids are Alright

And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

— from “Changes,” David Bowie (1971)

Much of what I read online lately seems to be written by recent college graduates, by younger folks puzzling out the ways of the world. Or maybe I’m only a few years away from 50, and still puzzling out mine, thus seeing affinity with them. But I do run across a few complaints about “these Millennials” every now and again; mostly, it seems, from their parents — old fart Baby Boomers who didn’t die before they got old and are fooled quite nicely, thank you — and leftover members of the Silent Generation. They might want to notice this up-and-coming Generation Zed.

My two oldest children were born in 2000 and 2002. The one will be voting this fall. The other will be voting in the 2020 Presidential election.

They aren’t the only ones.

Note these dates: April 20, 1999; December 14, 2012; February 14, 2018. Those are the dates of named school shootings in the United States: Columbine, Sandy Hook, Stoneman Douglas.

The survivors of the latter went to Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., today, where they encountered The System:

The morning began with optimism. It did not last long.

— “Florida Students Began with Optimism. Then They Spoke to Lawmakers“,
The New York Times, February 21, 2018

The 2012 fourth grade class at Sandy Hook will be voting in the 2020 election. Their older siblings will be voting this year. They will be voting because they can. And they’re a bit fed up with the bullshit.

Old enough to fight, old enough to vote.

— slogan advocating a lower voting age.
The 26th Amendment lowering the voting age to 18 was ratified because of Vietnam.


Also published on Medium.