Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

Youth Against Cynicism

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm

by Justin Banks

Born at the tail end of the 20th century, we are the children wandering through paradise, as it burns slow. The stakes are as high as they have ever been, yet the danger has never seemed further away. “Foreign wars with foreign enemies…not my problem,” says the youth of today, “I have my own problems to attend to.” Though these foreign wars were perceived as our problem forty years ago, when the insurmountable Vietnam war lingered over the minds of Americas youth. There is a new un-winnable war on the streets of America, the battle against apathy, the struggle against narcissism, the clash against myopic perspective in an increasingly diverse and united world. The time to change the world is here, but the question is, are we ready?
It could possible be the environment we grew up in. Post-WWII, Post-Civil Rights, Post-Vietnam, Post-Everything, we lived in the sheltered suburbs and impoverished ghettos of America, with no way out, or even worse, no desire for a way out. People become stronger in unity, stronger in progressiveness. When all that is left is stillness and ennui, the youth are consumed by narcissism and lack of passion. If the 80’s were known as the “Me” decade, then the past 10 years have been the dream of every solipsistic businessman who rose to glory thirty years ago. Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter are the new tools to bask in the glory of ourselves, every one else be damned. Forget making an impact on the world outside of ourselves, let’s make our own little social world as appealing as possible, for god forbid that we are not perceived to be beautiful, intelligent, open-minded, and fun. It can be seen in our cultures, in our music venues and art galleries, a mass consumption and regurgitation of past cultures that are seen as more authentic and worthy than our own. Eat it up, spit it out, and suck in back up within ourselves, not for the benefit of the population. We’ve become no better than flies on the rotting corpse.
Where is the urgency? The urgency is dead. There is no fight to change the world, because we see the world as being incapable of changing. Due to our hyper-awareness nurtured by technology, we see a wasteland of social mores and human competition. We ourselves as being born to a quire as much as possible, then die. Realism is a good virtue, apathy is a curse. How ironic that we prop ourselves as being so great and unique with our social tools, but lack the ambition to believe we can do great things? Have a lot of fun, be as gluttonous as one can, but do nothing truly substantial – will that be the creed of our generation?

Make an impact. Change the world, or the world as you perceive it. Leave your mark. Think big, and do everything within your power to achieve it. The worse failure a human can endure is the failure to try. Optimism can seem foolish at times, but apathy never becomes empowering. The baby boomers are in their twilight, Generation X stares down the beast of middle-age. Our time is coming, slowly but surely, let’s not waste it. We all great in our own rights, let’s combine our talents and make something happen.