(Editor’s Note: Welcome to “Boom Goes the Dynamite” a new feature on Drunk and Humble where I take Baby Boomers to task for their incessant Millennial bashing.)
WE ALL GET TROPHIES!
You’ve heard right?
You must have. It’s a huge scandal. Participation trophies have turned an entire generation into spoiled, entitled, compliment-fishing babies.
I mean, books have been written about the subject.
To hear Baby Boomers tell it, we’re obsessed with these fucking things.
Funny thing is, I couldn’t care less about them. They just went and handed them out, when all I asked for was one of those sugary juice bottles. You know, the ones that they sold in bulk.
Does anyone still have their participation trophies?
No! Of course you don’t. They’re stupid and pointless.
It’s a piece of plastic bolted to square of marble, not the Stanley Cup.
Every participation trophy anyone ever got has ended up in a trash can, basement, attic or closet.
No one gives a shit about them. In fact, most of us wouldn’t have even played sports at all had our parents not pushed us into them.
So fuck your trophy. Keep it. I never cared enough about playing rec-league soccer to covet any kind of trash trophy for it.
I’m not the one who had the thing made. I didn’t want that trophy.
That’s right. Let’s not kid ourselves about who those participation trophies are really for: YOU.
YOU the parent. See, for parents, child-rearing is come kind of warped competition to see who can produce the most well-adjusted offspring.
Kids are little clusters of genetic pride. And if you’re going to prove that your dumb kid is better than the neighbor’s dumb kid, you better damn well have a cabinet full of plastic to back it up.
To parents, those tiny little trophies are proof of what a good job they’re doing.
Just look at how ACTIVE Julie is! So many ribbons!
Perfect. Now you can show your kids’ medals to your own mom and dad so that they’ll know what an amazing parent they raised. Yes, finally the parents you could never please will be mollified by the accomplishments of their grandchild, which YOU raised. Validation!
Congratulations! YOU WIN!
Your kid is an active and productive member of an established social order. They’re not some weird, lazy loner jerking off all day and torching ants with a magnifying glass. Those are the tragic and hapless products of shitty parents.
Those parents couldn’t child-rear their way out of a paper bag.
Not you though!
Gaze upon your ribbons, trophies and medals. You better hurry, though, because they’re going to end up in a box in the basement as soon as Julie goes off to college and gives you something new to brag about. Oh the prideful tears you’ll cry!
This is classic Boomer. Foist some self-serving bullshit on us, act like it’s what we wanted all along, and then write think-pieces about all the potential negative impacts down the road.
Just like they created a commercial-media complex overflowing with sex and violence, inundated us with its subversive messaging, and then asked the question: Why are today’s kids so oversexed and violent?
Or when they gorged us on a steady diet of McDonalds, Milk Duds, and Coke and then accused us of being lazy fat-asses. (Excuse me? Did you not see my participation trophies?)
Boomers are right about one thing though: Millennials ARE sensitive.
I celebrate that fact whole-heartedly, because it’s not a bad thing.
Not only are Millennials far more accepting of other races, genders, and cultures, we’ve straight up shamed you into agreeing with us.
See, while you’ve been ruminating on the far-reaching impact plastic trophies have had on an entire generation, we’ve been quietly advancing a progressive agenda.
Just ask your gay friends.
Oh right, you don’t have any gay friends (that you know about) because you’re a Baby Boomer!
You spent decades marginalizing gay people, and now you’ve all suddenly come around on the issue.
Here’s Hillary Clinton (whose husband signed DOMA into law) doing the classic Boomer-Two-Step.
This was in 2004:
Now, here’s 2015 Hillary:
Ah yes, Hillary, you and all the other Boomers were right there with us all along. We were actually supposed to have made marriage equal back in the 80s but somehow got sidetracked by the Cosby Show.
Still, that’s better than dipshits like Jerry Seinfeld, who think the fact that people no longer chuckle at the word ‘gay’ is a sign that the PC police have run amok.
Get it? GAY French king? Gay people? French people? They’re both faggy amiright?
Amazing that line didn’t win over a college crowd.
It’s not us. It’s you, Jerry.
The problem is that in 1986 you could throw the word “gay” into a punchline and count on reliable laugh. Hell, Eddie Murphy did entire stand up sets about his homophobia. This is the same Eddie Murphy that got busted picking up a transgender prostitute on the Hollywood strip mind you.
Wow. For a group that’s constantly derided as being coddled, it doesn’t look like LGBT people had a very good go of it up until, I don’t know… now?
All these “helicopter parents” and yet LGBT Millennials had to tell themselves that “It gets better.”
We are a braver generation than you’ll ever be, because (in addition to fighting your pointless wars) we’re the ones who had to come out to you bigots.
And now we have to sit here and listen to you act like it was never a problem in the first place.
It won’t stop there, either. Because we won’t stop. We’re coming for every single one of your archaic symbols of institutionalized bigotry – from confederate flags to racist football team names.
And every single time one of these totems comes crashing down, we’re going to have to listen to you pat yourselves on the back like it was your idea. Most of you will deny your callousness ever existed, while the ever-shrinking minority dig their heels into the ground to try and stop our progress.
You scold us for being too sensitive but you’re totally unwilling to acknowledge the great awakening that that sensitivity has wrought.
WE brought LGBT acceptance. WE elected the country’s first black president. And WE are pretty fucking close to electing the first woman president right behind him.
You were the ones who voted for trickle-down economics and the War on Drugs. We’re the ones addressing income inequality and reforming the criminal justice system.
So yes, we are more sensitive than you. We do have a much higher threshold of empathy and understanding.
And yes, we do expect life to be fair.
In our society, everyone – gay, straight, black, brown, man, woman, intersex… – does get a trophy for participating.
It’s called respect.
2 thoughts on “Fuck Your Participation Trophy, Our Prize Is Being Better People”
Preach it, sister!
After reading your articles on Baby Boomers v. Millennials, I would like to see you write an article on the similarities and the good that the two share. For instance, they both share the sense of obligation to give back to society; that work/life balance matters; that financial gain is not the right reason to stay with an employer. Millennials look to Baby boomers for guidance or advice and Baby Boomers like offering professional advice ( maybe because Millennials are usually the offspring of Boomers). Boomers do not exhibit the same comfort level of diversity as Millennials, which is something that Millennials can help the Boomers with. 58% of Boomer women and 52% of Boomer men volunteer to advance environmental, cultural, educational, or other causes. Baby Boomers are self actualizing, and have contributed to education, human rights, civil rights and women’s rights. They started charities and foundations which by 2000, totaled 90,000 not-for-profit organizations. Boomers are optimistic, idealistic and competitive. Where Boomers will say I will start a charity and change the world, Millennials will change the world. Millennials are optimistic, multitaskers, caring, community oriented, politically engaged, and a diverse generation. Eventually young adults of one generation become elders carrying elements of their generational influence with them making a lasting impact on society. I know that as a Baby Boomer myself, I have tried to instill these same values in my children, and who I hope have benefited from my teachings. No matter what generation you are from, we have all at one time or another heard other generations say, you lacked work ethic, were rude, disloyal, lazy etc. Even Socrates was quoted as saying ” The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they allow disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children now are tyrants.” So in closing, each generation will will have a positive impact on society and unfortunately some negative impact, but let us focus on the positive and help each other improve on the negative.