The Saeculum Decoded
A Blog by Neil Howe
Dec 212009

This article in the NYT can be read on many levels.  As an indicator of the tremendous pressure facing young Millennial (born 1982-200?) who want to excel.  Or as a sign of how far Millennial girls are willing to go to slavishly jump over every bar that teachers put before them.

Or it can be read as pointing to the changing role of entertainment in a nation now governed by the “cultural elite,” no longer by the “power elite.”

Young Boomer (born 1943-1960) recall their parents and teachers taking such a casual attitude toward culture and entertainment.  It wasn’t part of the civic and institution building that (G.I. (born 1901-1924) believed) really mattered.  Cultural performers were not very well paid, and no one really cared if the production was original or innovative.

Now look at Millennials.  If they want to excel in entertainment, they had better be ready to enter some astronaut program of all-consuming perfection.

Bill and I once wrote—I think it  was in Millennials in the Pop Culture—that if “The Graduate” were re-written today, the key word “plastics” would be replaced by the word “media.”

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