Justice

This Comic Is a Hilarious Response to All Tired Complaints About 'Millennials'

October 15th 2015

By:
Kyle Jaeger

Last week, a Los Angeles Times column challenged young people to take the "Millennial Pledge," a list of ostensibly funny recommendations from a reporter whose understanding of the Millennial generation seems to be informed by tired stereotypes.

"I am entitled to nothing," the first one reads. "Just once, I will try driving without texting," another says.

The list goes on. There are 46 recommendations in all, and each one attempts to advise through humor. But while the list might have landed with an older audience, Millennials were, by and large, unimpressed. Even Chris Erskine, the author of the article, admitted as much in a follow-up piece.

The Gen Y feedback Erskine received from the Saturday column was "frightfully smug and humorless," he wrote. "To me, this is what you get when you raise an entire generation without spanking."

This comic is the perfect response to the "Millennial Pledge."

In his follow-up, published on Monday, Erskine doubled down, insisting that previous generations were more respectful and better humored than Millennials.

"Look, I get it. We haven’t handed the millennials a world in mint condition," he writes. "No parents ever do. But we’ve spread democracy, reduced Communism, virtually eliminated the constant threat of nuclear elimination. Has any single one of you punks been drafted?"

The suggestion here is that younger readers have failed to live up to the expectations set by their parents' and grandparents' generations. To be sure, a fair amount of criticism of Millennials is warranted; we were raised in the Digital Age and have incurred our own set of problems. Still, this "Millennial Pledge" is silly—not offensive, but clichéd.

That's why the comic, illustrated by Matt Bors, is so spot on. It captures the absurdity of Erskine's recommendations and highlights the fact that his list is based on generalizations. Millennials are between the ages of 18 and 34, a wide range to cover in one pledge. Many of us are aware of the trends that the author references, but most of us don't actually engage in them. At least not regularly.

In the end, it was a silly list. But not tongue-in-cheek in the way that Erskine intended.

#MillennialProblems.

Part of the reason Erskine may have faced such "humorless" backlash is because, despite the fact that Millennials were raised in the Digital Age, and during a time of economic growth in the 90s, our generation now contends with some serious issues—issues that don't go away just because we have access to technology.

"Millennials are also the first in the modern era to have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment, and lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations (Gen Xers and Boomers) had at the same stage of their life cycles," the Pew Research Center reported. And "seven-in-ten Americans, spanning all generations, say that today’s young adults face more economic challenges than their elders did when they were first starting out."

Here are some Tweets from Millennials to back me up.