Feel Good Drag

There’s a social upheaval happening in this country.  My friend calls it “The Pucification of America.”  Basically, we’re raising a generation of wusses.

I know that every generation says that they were much tougher than the next one.  I’m sure someone said, “In my day, we didn’t have no ‘lectricity.  You pussies and yer indoor plumbin…!”  But this generation is a bit different.  See, they’re wussiness is infecting the rest of us.  Lemme ‘splain:

When I was in elementary school, my mom thought I spent too much time alone playing with my toys and drawing ridiculous stick figure comics.  So she put me on a little league team.  We were awesome and we won the league.  “How,” you might ask?  By keeping score.

The average score of a little league game

The average score of a little league game

Today’s little league teams don’t do that.  Today’s little league teams are all about teamwork and feeling good about oneself.  And when you lose, you feel bad.  So no one keeps score.  So the kids play and have a good time and everyone is happy and everyone goes out for pizza and ice cream and no one cries about anything.  Which is great until one of these kids grows up and has to deal with a loss (personally, I think that’s why the suicide rate is so much higher with the current generation; when the feel bad they genuinely have no idea what to do with those feelings) – a loss like losing a cell phone, or a loved one, or a job.

Sometimes I would say I have to go to the bathroom, and then I would just sit on the toilet to pass the time.

Sometimes I would say I have to go to the bathroom, and then I would just sit on the toilet to pass the time.

Today in America, you can’t really get fired for being incompetent.  People will talk to you about your job performance, but they won’t really come out and say what needs to be said.  Something I heard practically everyday while working at Burger King was, “Get your shit together or leave.”  You don’t hear that anymore.  Anywhere.  People talk around the point without actually getting to it.  For instance, if I was a teenager today working at BK, I’d probably hear something like this:

“Hey Nick.  How are you?  Have a seat buddy.  I noticed you’ve been eating some of the chicken fingers while on the clock.  Now you know this is our most expensive item.  Have you been getting enough to eat at home?  I just feel like if you can’t get enough food at home, that maybe you should subscribe to our ‘half-off’ meal program here.  It’s really pretty nice; I utilize it all the time.  I remember one time, when I was about your age, I was having a pretty tough time at home too.  But my family at Burger King saved me, which is why I’ve been so loyal for the past 20 years.  I think you’ll see if you simply use the programs that are available to you, you won’t have to sneak so much food behind the scenes, which is really what we’re about here…”

Not once would I be told not to sneak food; not once would I be told to “quit dinkin around” and “get back to work” before I get “shitcanned.”  Instead, the boss would tell me how they feel, would ask me how I feel, and then we would agree to feel generally bad about the situation.  However, I would never be led to feel bad about myself or my behavior, just the situation.

Like I said, people talk around the point without actually getting to it.  And as you can tell from Tiny Life, I can talk for years around a subject without actually getting to the point.

I only say this because I was “yelled at” the other day.  Well, the modern equivalent of getting yelled at: the product of my behavior was discussed until the point came where we both generally felt approximately the same thing about said product.

To tell you the truth, I felt pretty good about myself.

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3 Responses

  1. The problem described may be regional, or, perhaps, associated with particular socioeconomic groups. It is certainly not normal for children’s sport teams to eschew scores.

    Incidentally, in central Ohio, several schools are cutting all extracurricular programs in the face of shrinking budgets; our sports programs are thereby teaching a fine lesson about loss.

  2. It was when I lived in CA that I noticed the “no score” sports trend. It adds to the idea that we can’t just leave kids alone to play; we have to reinvent everything that has to do with kids from “playdates” to “learning pods”.

    In MI, we’re really close to cutting just about all non-core classes and programs. The State just mandated that we lose something like $250 per child. Even at a small district like the one I live by, that’s $750,000 out of the budget.

  3. So, is the wussiest generation the current group of kids, or the generation of parents that are trying to insulate their kids from disappointment?

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