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The Pancake Generation

Six years ago I received an email from my mother. The subject of the email was "Growing up w/out a CELL PHONE". The gist of the email was that my generation - Gen Y, the pancake generation, the most awesome generation ever, the culmination of all mankind has achieved so far - has it too easy. It detailed various things that gen X didn't have that we do. I have spent the past several minutes (the things I do for my readers...) digging through my emails to find this piece of literary glory to share with you.

If you are 30,
or older, you might think this is hilarious! 

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious 
diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what 
with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning.... Uphill...
Barefoot... BOTH ways. yadda, yadda, yadda 

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in 
hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had
it and how easy they've got it! But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my
childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it! 

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to 
know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up 
ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to 
get there! Stamps were 10 cents! 

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe! 

There were no MP3's or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the 
record store and shoplift it yourself! 

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and mess it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car.. We'd play 
our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that's how we rolled, Baby! Dig? 

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else
called, they got a busy signal, that's it! 

There weren't any cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a 
damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your 
"friends". OH MY GOD !!! Think of the horror... not being in touch with 
someone 24/7!!! And then there's TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids 
have no idea how annoying you are. 

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection 
agent... you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister! 

We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had PONG! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no 
multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen... Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE! 

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no, what's the world coming to?!?!

There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little 

And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

And our parents told us to stay outside and play... all day long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside... you were doing chores!

See! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or any time before!

The Over 30 Crowd 

At the time, I recall being extremely offended by this email. I was thinking something along the lines of, "Why would anyone say such mean things about us?" I promptly sent my mom a response email complaining about it, and saying that I didn't find the email amusing in the least. A response email rude and harsh enough to make today's internet feminists proud. It contained all the rage that a ten-year-old could muster and transfer onto a screen. Now, six years later, I cannot for the life of me see how I could have found this anything short of hilarious. 

This blog, though, isn't about how I was considerably stupider at age eleven than I am today, although that may be the subject matter of a future blog post. It's not easy to come up with blog ideas, you know! This post is a response, from the Young and Hip crowd - or at least, from me - to the Over 30 Crowd. Actually, strike the hip bit. I may be young, but I'm not hip. Saying "hip" stopped being cool in the 90s anyway.

So here's my response:
When I was a kid, I promised myself that some day, I would get back at all the people who bored me with the "When I was your age" talks. After all, why wouldn't you want to bore someone with how bad you have it compared to them? And now that I'm sixteen and able to say stupid things in public, I thought about the generation that came before, and it amazes me how good you had it. 

You guys think you had it bad because you had to go shoplift a record from the store, look at us now! We don't even know what sites to download our MP3s from! 90% of the songs online sound like they were recorded during a thunderstorm! And even if we do find a song, we don't know when the NSA will come busting our doors down for violating the DMCA! Hitchhiking half a mile doesn't sound so bad now, does it?

And cell phones! You seem to think cell phones make our lives so much easier! All they do is give our parents a way to call us every thirty seconds! And all these location tracking apps make sure they know everywhere I've been, ever! I can't even skive off school to go watch a movie without my parents knowing!

Have you seen the sort of tripe Cartoon Network airs these days? There used to be a time when Cartoon Network shows used to be good, wholesome shows that the entire family could watch together! Shows like Tom and Jerry! Like Codename: Kids Next Door! Now all we get are shows like Chota Bheem, shows that lower your IQ by a point for every second you watched! You guys had to wait a week to watch cartoons, we're thankful that we can spend weeks without watching them!

And another thing! We don't have Napsters anymore, and it was your generation's fault! It certainly wasn't a 16-year-old that shut them down!


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