Read of the day:
Kids these days
Millennials are as hard-working as anyone else – so why does pop culture pretend that all we do is party and hook up?
Young people like me give the bulk of our waking lives to work, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at popular culture. Movies and television shows tend to cast us in the mold of Hannah Horvath, the central character on HBO’s TV series Girls (2012-). Horvath didn’t need to say ‘I may be the voice of my generation’ to make it so. As a millennial young person living in New York — in other words, as the prototype of her kind, on a show that aims at verisimilitude — that happened automatically. She is on television; she is one of those inescapable examples your mind is drawn to when you’re thinking about ‘kids these days’. And that’s why she’s so dangerous. The very word ‘millennial’ is a pejorative, and Hannah is fuel on the fire. The first thing she does in the whole of her fictional existence is ask her parents for money. She has been out of college for two years, and still she doesn’t have a paying job. She wants $1,100 a month so that she can continue writing her memoirs. ‘Do you know how crazy the economy is right now?’ she says. ‘All my friends get help from their parents.’
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