Gen-Y: We're not all that bad.

EDIT: A revised version of this post appeared in the Herald Sun on Monday the 2nd of August 2010.It can be viewed online here.

Being a member of Gen-Y is kind of like trying to stand up for Brendan Fevola. Your biggest enemy is the one you’re trying to protect.

Maybe if Fev stopped waving around dildos every time he got pissed, it might be a bit easier to present him as a responsible,civil member of society. Similarly, if Gen Y quit doing things like this, i might find it less of a struggle to defend my own generation.

Yes, it’s true Gen Y is full of idiots like the ones in that video. But then again, isn’t every generation? I’ve certainly seen a number of douchebags in suits on my commute home making sexist comments. I’ve seen women getting completely pissed off their heads at the races and making fools of themselves on the train home. The only difference is, it’s not carefree and funny when you’re over the age of 30, it’s just tragic.

Just the other week my friend had to pick up her mum from a “ladies lunch”. What sounds to be a relatively innocent  affair, plucked straight from some horrible chick flick for middle aged mothers (“Just out to lunch with the girls, darling!”) was in reality a melodrama fit for the trashiest of teenagers. My friend’s mother and her girlfriends had gotten so drunk on their accompanying wine that one of them had quite literally shat herself.A fireman’s lift to the car was of course, out of the question at this stage given the unsanitary state the woman was in, so an ambulance had to be called just to get the old dame home.

My friend was called by her mother because she “just wanted to get home and rest.” No doubt, given the antics she’d been up to. So my friend, member of the tainted Generation Y dutifully went and picked up her mother, as if collecting a disgraced daughter stranded after a night out.

So given behaviour like this, why is it Generation Y gets the bad rep? Sure, we like to sleep in a little later than our older generations but that just means we know how to enjoy luxuries while we still have them. We’re well aware that after the lax days of University we’re going to have a “real” job, complete with “real” 8am starts.

And the perception that we want the world handed to us on a silver platter is just plain wrong.Last month while volunteering at a student radio station i watched Gen-Yers tirelessly call authorities, in particular MP’s, and get shuffled from switch board to switch board before reaching a rude media spokesperson and a dead end.

In particular, one of the most stinging rejections came from the Minister for Youth Kate Ellis, who was always “in a meeting” or “out on business.” One wannabe journo from my course had to give away a scoop to a bigger news corporation, purely because Kate Ellis wouldn’t give her the balance she required without heftier credentials.  You would think just being a young person (You know the ones Ellis is meant to be legislating on?) would be enough for our fine Minister, but apparently the voice of youth is the last thing she wants to hear.

So if the Minister for Youth won’t even listen to us, where does the rest of the world get off on bagging us out? Where do they get the evidence to back up the claims that all of us down here in Gen-Y camp are arrogant slackers? The people i hang out with certainly aren’t providing it.

Most Gen-Yers i

know are hardworking and certainly more passionate than their cynical forebears. Sure, we like to drink and sleep in, but who doesn’t? And of course there are a couple of idiots amongst us, but the rest of Gen-Y hates them just as much as you do. Don’t hate them because they’re young, hate them because they’re dickheads. They’ll probably always be that way, and one day future generations will be shaking their heads and tsking at them when they shit their pants while out to lunch.

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