I keep thinking about the Long Chile and Ohio 2 thing that Craig Calcaterra wrote. If you missed it, which you probably did, here’s the heart of it (which I quoted in my commonplace book):

The thought processes and the particular brand of creative flair this generation [Gen-Z] possesses is not like most of us have seen before. They are imbued with an aggressively off-center sensibility infused with an often shocking amount of absurdity and abstraction married to an equally shocking and profound strain of nihilism and cynicism. It’s a nihilism and cynicism with no small amount of humor, but it’s a humor one laughs at in self defense.

It reminds me of our friends’ teenager, who, filling out a form for school, replied to “what languages are spoken at home?” with “English, sarcasm”. And it reminds me, very strongly, of the senses of humor and nihilism that our dude is growing into.

Calcaterra did a great job of capturing the essence of these Zoomers, that I see in not just the Dude but also his friends, and increasing flashes of it in the Bambina as she grows up. There’s something I think he was wrong about, though: I’m not sure why we could have expected anything different from kids raised by Generation X1, which did a pretty decent job of off-center, absurd, nihilistic, and cynical. (But clearly we’re amateurs compared to these kids.)

  1. I don’t consider myself to belong to that arbitrary grouping, which is of course what a member of Gen-X would say. [return]