Today’s Essential Foreign Affairs Reads
1 hour ago
Speaking with millennials as a millennial, there is a little dance you do in conversations, raising an issue and then seeing how they react. As someone above pointed out, there's no middle ground (except the apathetics who are mostly busy trying to catch pokemon now), so either you get wide-eyed horror/uneasy contempt when they discover you're "one of those (un)people," or else cautious but direct eye contact as the other person wonders if maybe, just maybe, you're sane too, and an ally.
There's an alliance of the sane building underneath all the progressive hysteria, but millennials have never been taught to lead, nor seen much good leadership in their life. The young Alt-Right at present is coalescing around those willing to take the societal condemnation most millennials (sane or not) don't dare face. There's a nascent social revolution brewing, but it lacks critical mass and the willingness to "go there" and face the shrieking condemnation of society. Living or dying based on the approval of their peers and wider peerdom of society is a weakness of millennials, but one that older generations can help them grow out of.
I spent 12 years in Catholic school being scolded by nuns. I was reminded of this while watching Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech at the DNC last week. I was reminded of Sister Brigid Mary, who in fifth grade kept a closet full of yardsticks she’d broken over the posteriors of misbehaving boys—it was always the boys, never the girls. I was reminded of the nun in first grade who confined me for hours to the dark basement of her convent for misbehaving in class. I was reminded of the female lay teacher who told me I’d burn in hell for jokingly singing “Happy Birthday” out loud when she told the class that Jesus was born on Christmas. I was reminded of another female teacher, a real bulldozing rhino that one, who liked to yank me by the hair and drag me out of class for indiscretions real and imagined.
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