A Message To Millennials


Multiethnic Group of People Social Networking at Cafe

According to a series of major US surveys, teens are increasingly swearing off alcohol, cigarettes, dope and prescription painkillers. Millennials are taking their cues from their Baby Boomer folks, those born between 1946 and 1964 who are veterans of the sexual and psychedelic revolutions of the 1960s and 70s.

Apparently this is to do with the new generation talking more openly with their battle-scarred parents. There have been several very long and rather boring articles in the press about how wonderful the Millennials are. In my experience they can also be incredibly touchy, needy and thin-skinned.

So I’m going to address the Millennials who read this blog (both of them).

Yes, you. Look up from your iPads and walkie-phones for a moment, you won’t find any Pokemon down there.

I mean, what was the point of me having to go on gay rights rallies and getting pissed in roller discos if you lot were going to throw it all away? Why did I have to live through an era when getting high meant drinking Watney’s Red Barrel and a bottle of cough mixture just so you could AirB&B to Amsterdam for your weed?

Do you know how early those anti-Vietnam parades used to start? There were outfits to get together and banners to paint – we couldn’t just digitally print them onto T-shirts and sell them in ironic pop-ups like you. Do you have any idea how many of us got lost along the way through war, drugs and sex? You just lose the occasional one taking a selfie on a clifftop.

We lived through eras where you wouldn’t have posted a photo of your dinner unless you wanted to feel ashamed. ‘Brown Windsor Soup’? ‘Gammon Hawaiian’? Two types of coffee (black or white), three TV channels, a trimphone that sat on a telephone table in the hall? You have an app that tells you where you can get craft beer 24/7. We had to wait for the Dog & Duck to open.

So drop that whiny sense of entitlement. You can meet partners on a hundred different apps. We had to fill in a compatibility form on the back of Private Eye suggesting that a lifelong partnership could be built around a mutual liking for table-tennis. You have cloud-computing laptops. We thought the K-Tel Soda Maker was high tech. You got stuff we didn’t; mainly top-knots and tattoos in misspelled Tibetan.

You can have birthday parties in Prague and Paris. We had Benidorm. You can go to work without a tie – or socks. We had Tootal jackets that came with a matching hankie sewn in. We couldn’t use the BOMAD because M didn’t have a B! Do you know how complicated it was to go through reel-to-reel, vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks, beta and VHS before reaching streaming?

Big deal, so you’re poor now because we got grants to go to college and you got debts. And after just two years of work we could afford to buy a flat in Covent Garden or Soho, while you’ll be living on your old man’s couch until you’re 30 (40 if you’re Italian). You got self-harming and low self-esteem. We had Saturday night fights and self-confidence. And we got pensions, cool fashion, great bands, cheap prices and proper adult movies without cartoon pandas. You got Autotune, DC films, the £3 coffee and Adele. We had exotic countries with different cultures and no American junk-food outlets, and circus lions, and normal weather. And we talked to each other without anyone saying ‘Actually, I don’t think that’s appropriate.’

Millennials, I’d start drinking and smoking dope fast if I were you.


24 comments on “A Message To Millennials”

  1. Wayne says:

    Er What the? whats got you going this morning admin? did some thing happen in your student digs? 😉

  2. Lynchie says:

    I fully endorse your searing incisive analysis of these Millenial types. Who was it said: “Youth is wasted on the young”?

    *wanders off singing The Incredible String Band’s “Way Back In The 1960’s”*

  3. Jackie Hayles says:

    What happened to lyrics (Bowie, Ian Anderson and many others)? We thought women were shaking off the shackles but I am amazed and horrified by the fact that two of my own daughters have seen fit to have boob jobs. Parents don’t talk to their children – that wonderful, ongoing conversation which we used to share, talking about our day, our worries, when we were too small to make sense of the world. Now it is all about mum on the phone, and truncated conversations due to the dominance of the mobile phone.

  4. Jo W says:

    Well said,Chris. A little tongue in cheek,maybe? 😉

  5. Paco says:

    You had me until Benidorm. You lucky bastard! Bognor or Butlins more like.

  6. DC says:

    Sadly millennials are a miserable bunch of beings. If you can’t be wild and reckless in your youth then it’s a bit of a wait until disreputable old age.

    I fear we have produced a generation of Stepford Wives (and Husbands). Let’s hope Generation Z have a bit more “oomph” about them.

  7. Bee says:

    Why not have a go and make them cry into their decaff flat whites?They are a bunch of self absorbed wusses who cannot experience life because they are too busy taking a pouty photo of themselves. Yes youth is totally wasted on the young. Harrumph!

  8. chazza says:

    Splenetic – love it!

  9. Brooke says:

    Well said! and here’s a tribute song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLpE1Pa8vvI

  10. Roger says:

    “incredibly touchy, needy and thin-skinned.”

    Perfectly ordinary human beings then.

  11. MIchael Part says:

    Thank you. I have a houseful of them, all with my last name, and I will pin this to their foreheads while they sleep.

  12. Steve says:

    A lot of truth but there are a lot more millenials in china than the uk and perhaps this is the more important long-term reality

  13. Steve says:

    Sorry millennials with 2 n’s….

  14. Ness says:

    You forgot the use of “literally” in a non literal sense. And stupid text speak. But then I’m from the largely unloved Generation X.

  15. admin says:

    Oh this is a wind-up, isn’t it? If not, thank you Shay A! I was really hoping I’d get an answer like this! You have beautifully proved the point from the geeky, obsessive list and touchy-needy tone to the rhyming sign-off! This was of course a ‘humour-piece’ using irony to place us non-millennials in the firing line. But you already knew that, didn’t you?

  16. Shay A says:

    I just like doing my research. Multiple sources to throw out your misconceptions, from older to younger generations. I didn’t place anyone in the firing line. I do not think it is necessary for anyone to be in the firing line. Hating a whole generation is just stupid. That’s millions of people you’re just labeling, without knowing their backgrounds or the experience they have.

  17. admin says:

    Who’s hating anything? I regard everyone as equal and view the world with a sense of benign amusement.
    I think I just hit the Sense of Humour Wall.
    Someone help me out here?

  18. snowy says:

    Don’t rely on us, you dug that hole all by yourself. We might want to hang out at the top, ‘wiv da kidz*’ and watch you struggle for a bit. 🙂

    [I’d stay well clear of Petards as well if I were you, very unreliable things Petards.]

    [*Oooh, taste the irony, on that]

  19. John Griffin says:

    Think you poked the nest and the insects didn’t like it. AFAIK the ‘Millennial’ exists in cities and in the middle-classes mostly, the rest of the world is either too busy surviving or (in a tiny minority) so privileged that they live in a different, parallel universe.

  20. Davem says:

    Bloody great post Chris

  21. admin says:

    In an update, a 15-year-old girl “forced” to go to a Canadian vacation spot by her parents last week called 911 with her emergency. Police were surprisingly patient with her.

  22. Wayne Mook says:

    Admin you should remember from your own youth nobody ever understands teenagers, all us adults hate their music, clothes and you just can’t be like your parents.


  23. John Howard says:

    Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous.. Shay A needs to learn how to read properly. Us older peeps know how read your blog and know when you serious and when you are being a “parent”.
    I have children who recently asked me how a particular word was spelled, and when I gave my opinion I was told I was wrong it was spelled another way. We then had an interesting discussion which involved me telling them that they may think that way, but the alternative was the way I was taught.
    They then resorted to the great encyclopaedia in the sky ( wiki ) and decided even though it said that it could be spelled either way, I must still be wrong. They didn’t really get the idea that English is an evolving language and that both ways could be right.

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