Don’t let ‘em push your button.
So, my news feed has been blowing me up all day with stories and tweets etc. about how Generation Z (mostly a bunch of teenagers and people in their very early twenties) has been at war with Millennials (mostly a bunch of 20 and 30 somethings) over skinny jeans, side parts, and how Millennials aren’t cool anymore. I’m pretty sure I could summon up the energy to have an opinion on this clearly super important issue, but, then again, I kind of want to know, as a threshold question before I get too involved in caring about this, why should I care? Why should anyone care?
—Kelle, Generation X, Normal Heights
May I observe how that’s so Gen X of you: wanting to care, but not being able to bring yourself to care unless there’s a really good reason for it. I bet if you could somehow siphon off a tiny fraction of the cynicism from an average Gen X’er and funnel it into the minds of the average Gen Z teenager you would render this entire inquiry moot. Too bad it doesn’t work like that, eh?
In any event, you shouldn’t waste your brain space caring what one group of people thinks about another group of people, at least when the ostensible feud amounts to little more than harmless taunts that we’ll all forget about in a week. Save the energy for something that might matter. If Gen Z starts sounding suspiciously patricidal (or any kind of -cidal), then maybe we’ve got something to worry about.
While we’re on the subject of feuds, and if you want something more useful for your mind, I have always wondered why the word ‘feud’ wasn’t spelled ‘fued.’ If you think about it, ‘feud’ rhymes with both ‘hue’ and, even more pertinently, ‘fuel,’ both of which place the ‘u’ in its rightful spot before the ‘e,’ so there’s no reason to reverse the order of the vowels. I think we can all agree the word ought to be spelled otherwise, but there you have it.
Now, you are probably thinking about how you didn’t come here for a grammar lesson, but stay with me. If my plan worked, you have now begun to obsess over the needless transposition of the vowels in the word ‘feud.’ Because I will never get back the minutes of my life that have been spent pondering this exact question, I have chosen to drag you along with me for this meaningless diversion that yields no answers. It eases my existential angst to know that I am not alone here. However, because this is an absolutely pointless exercise in mental gymnastics, my motivations can only be perceived as selfish and solipsistic in the extreme.
Such is the nature of a fued between Gen Z and Millennials, and any attention you shouldn’t pay to it. Two separate cohorts, each trying to show the other how much they don’t care about each other’s norms; while onlookers from other cohorts want to position themselves as removed from, and therefore superior to, the whole stupid thing. It’s nothing more than passing existential angst back and forth like the last wine cooler at a Fourth of July party on the fast track to its nadir... and I wonder if you even noticed how I put that final ‘u’ and ‘e’ in their proper places.